The last time I sat in this particular place in Atlanta, I was only a few hours from catching a plane to France that would eventually take me to Accra. Today, as I sit here typing this I am waiting on a plane that will take me to Accra by way of Amsterdam. I have been filled-up, refreshed, and recharged during my time Stateside, and I’m ready to get back into the fight.
These past six months have been fun yet stressful, exhausting but invigorating, rewarding and frustrating. Being a part of an operation that rescued over 40 children was a high point of the first half of my time in Ghana. However, watching as those children’s cases make very little progress in the judicial system has been frustrating. I’ve learned to love fufu, banku, and kelewele. I climbed Mt Afadjato, the highest peak in Ghana along with the rest of my office, and got monkey to sit on my arm and take a selfie with me. I’ve learned to almost enjoy cold showers every morning, and based on my physical reaction to the current weather in the U.S., I’ve become accustomed to the heat.
It has been a wild and wonderful experience. God has been so good to me in so many ways. From the way he first put the desire to do a fellowship with IJM into my heart, to the ways he had prepared me for the journey without my knowledge. God provided me with a church that was supportive of me, and the parking team family at church who raised thousands of dollars to help send me. He provided friends, friends of friends, and people I don’t know, who also gave in support of my fellowship in Ghana. I thank God for all of the blessings he has poured out on me, and I would also like to thank all of you who have been financially, spiritually, and emotionally supportive. I might be the guy living in Accra, but it took a village to get me there.
When I flew home for Christmas I was pretty tired. Over the course of six months a variety of small stresses built up and really wore me down. But my time at home has reenergized me. It was good to spend Christmas with family, to eat home-cooked meals, see my nephews and nieces, and see my dogs. I did get a little touch of food poisoning, but what’s life without a bit of variety? My time in Atlanta was just as refreshing. It was nice to finally watch my Dawgs with other football fans, and not in the middle of the night. I got to serve at Passion Conference, and few things get me as energized as getting to be a part of something that glorifies God like that. Seeing so many people make decisions for Christ just made my heart sing. It was also a great opportunity to see my parking team family.
Sadly, I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, but then a giant blizzard in NY canceled my flight out and that changed. I got to see some people I had thought I was going to miss. So, my heart is truly full. This next half of this journey will be fun, but involve a lot of change. We’re getting a new field office director, new roommates, and (eventually) I’ll be getting a new job. I’m so thankful for everyone who has made this journey with me in spirit, and everyone who has made this journey possible. You are just as much a part of the fight against trafficking in Ghana as I am! I hope that this next phase of my time in Ghana will produce some good news for me to share with you. I have no doubt that it will present new challenges. Through it all, God will guide me.
I want to thank all of you for your support and your prayers. If I didn’t get to see you while I was home, I’m sorry! I should be back in the U.S. in July, and we can link up then. If any of you ever find yourselves in Ghana, look me up! My WhatsApp contact info can be found under my Ghana cell number +233 50 715 0982, and I can be reached at the number pretty much anytime. Goodbye friends, goodbye Atlanta, and goodbye hot showers (that might be the most painful goodbye). When next I see you, I trust it won’t be so cold!