After the long week "on the road" in the Volta region, everybody slept in on Saturday morning! I think we all needed the rest; we'd worked really hard and accomplished a good bit. Along the way we built some relationships that are precious and priceless -- and help to show others the Jesus that is living in our hearts.
The Grace Team needed to make another trip to the Accra Arts and Crafts Market and they spent most of the day there. David and I ran some errands and made some visits in and around Tema.
We spent some time in the Tema market -- searching in vain for Kingsbite chocolate. That's one of our favorite treats. However, the factory had been shut down for a few weeks for maintenance, so we learned, and nobody in the market had any of the candies for sale. Pastor Paul drove us to the Evergreen Supermarket -- a large store fashioned like those in the USA. There we found Kingsbite, and purchased several bars to share with folks back home.
We enjoyed a long visit with Richard's wife Victoria and their three children Anita, Christabell, and Junior. Last year, they moved into a different apartment. It's outside of Tema, and as we drove there with Pastor Paul King, we were frustrated at how "far out" the place seemed to be. But when we arrived and entered, we were excited about how nice the place is -- bright, airy, spacious. It is by far the nicest place they've ever lived.
Later that afternoon, we walked around Community 11 a bit. I showed David a house I'd stayed in several years ago -- just a couple of blocks from where we were this year.
As we walked hand-in-hand, my mind wandered back a few years....my friend Rita and I walked along these same streets, laughing like a couple of schoolgirls, happy as we could be. I smiled with the memory; then remembering how our lives have changed since those times, I gave thanks.
The Grace Team arrived back home just as we returned from our walk. Everyone was excited about their purchases, and their excitement was contagious. Mackenzie modeled her new dress; John played his new drum; Sydney was thrilled with the carved birds she'd found. It was just plain FUN!!! I giggled to see the excitement among the group, and it was fun to share in their joy.
Sunday dawned and we all got up early -- we were to speak at two church services, sharing a bit about our experience with those who'd hosted and prayed for us. When we arrived at Christ Harvests the Nations in Comm. 4, the place was alive with singing and dancing and praise! We joined it, smiling and clapping. Praising Jesus whole-heartedly is one of my favorite memories of any trip to Ghana! Each team member spoke about the experiences that meant the most to them: the worship, visiting the kids at the dump, going to Potwabin, touring Elmina, worship at Kpeve, seeing village life in Adigbo Tornu, bringing pure physical water and the Living Water to Bame Atome, the wonderful people, the hospitality....we could share forever....
We left Comm. 4 and drove to the new church facility being constructed in Community 25. The building is nowhere near finished -- but that does not stop it from being used for worship and praise!! We shared once again, then left for home.
We had a late lunch -- it was our Farewell Celebration meal. The Grace Team made pasta alfredo and green beans -- I realized how much I'd missed green beans as I helped myself to seconds! Saturday night, Kristy sat on a low stool in the kitchen, teaching Ruth and Esther how to string the beans and prepare them for cooking. Their efforts paid off -- YUM!!!! Our Ghana hosts prepared jollof rice, fried chicken, bread, pineapple, kontumerie (sort of like spinach with smoked fish), goat stew, and a huge salad. We enjoyed the meal immensely -- and the company even more. We shared this meal with everyone that had helped us -- our cooks Aggie, Maggie, and Christina; Ben, Richard, Evelyn, Doris, and Bishop Godlly; Pastor Johnson and Chief Takyi; our drivers Kofi & Yaw. Other friends from Christ Harvests the Nations dropped by just to say goodbyes.
The Grace Team was flying out that evening, so they began packing up and getting ready for a long journey back to the USA. About 9 pm, goodbyes were shared along with hugs and smiles and they boarded the bus. We followed behind them in the car and helped them unload their bags at Kotoka Airport. One more round of hugs and farewells-- and they entered the airport terminal. We drove back to Tema.
They were headed home....or so we thought!
We hadnt even made it back to Bishop James' house when we got a phone call that their flight had been cancelled!!! The airline provided them with a room and some meal vouchers, so they stayed an extra day in Accra -- then flew out Monday night.
Well...actually Tuesday morning.
Ahhh Ghana time.... you just have to learn to adjust!