I have started this blog and given up about five times. It is so hard to sum up what has happened in Accra over the last few months and the joy that filled me to be home over the holidays. I teach my kids summarization and main idea reading strategies almost every week, yet it I takes me months to use those skills in my own blog writing! So if there is anything you want to know about American International School (AIS), or living in Accra that I have not mentioned, please let me know.
I’ll begin by attempting to express my gratitude and awe for the love and support that comes from my home town community. Your prayers and thoughts are deeply appreciated. All I could think of as the plane touched the ground in Denver was seeing my family, snuggling up under a blanket with a hot cup of coffee (and not sweating), decorating the Christmas tree and watching cheesy hallmark movies, and food! Coming back home is always confusing when your life is somewhere else. Meeker is home because it’s where I was raised and where my family lives. Greeley is home because it’s where I discovered who I want to be in Christ. Dublin is home because it’s where God called me to further my passion for culture and teaching. Ghana is home because God had called me to teach here. God has taught me to live in the present, where he has called me. To seek him in everything I do. So while I was ecstatic to be home, I was equally as excited to get back in a plane to fly back to my other home.
It has been two weeks now since I have been back in Accra, and two and a half weeks back in school. All my coworkers told me that my big plans to work over the Christmas break would never happen, and naturally I didn’t believe them. I figured I had plenty of time to re-organize, lesson plan, and prepare for this new semester. They were right. Time flew by, I ate way too much food, and I enjoyed relaxing with my family (wouldn’t go back and change anything). Anyway the semester started off a little rockier than I thought. My computer decided to crash the day before school started, I caught a nasty cold (probably due to the 100 degree temperature difference), and was overwhelmed with planning. Slowly I began to focus on all the things that were going wrong. The semester was not starting off like I had imagined, and I was frustrated.
As soon as we pulled out of the driveway headed to the Denver airport I was focused. Focused on the blessings in my life, on my purpose at AIS and in Accra. I was overwhelmed by God’s grace and goodness, as you usually are after Christmas and in the New Year. It was as if I was walking straight forward, following the path that God had laid down for me. That lasted about 2 hours. Then we hit a big snow storm. The airport was canceling flight after flight and I began to worry, slowly stumbling off that straight pathway. I made it to Ghana and my computer stopped working, I stumbled a little more. I lost my voice for the first two days of school, stumbled a little more; each time falling away from that straight path I started on.
When I moved to college I wasted a lot of time lost, driving in circles. Growing up in a town of 13 streets didn’t help my directional skills. Anyway, the worst was when I would start off using google maps on my phone and then gain the confidence to turn it off, only to get lost again. In the end I always found my way because I could pick my phone up (with a little shame) and hit the re-route button. I believe this is what God does for me every time I stumble off his path. I wonder off to the right and he hits the re-route. I wander off to the left and he hits the re-route. No matter how many times I fall off that path or how far I fall, he continues to hit the re-route. Here are just a few of the ways he has re-routed me.
- In the midst of hundreds of flight cancelations in Denver, my plane took off.
- Another teacher at my school had the same problem with his computer and was able to help me fix it with two days!
- Before school started a teacher shared a devotion about how Big our God is, and reminded me to ask myself if I am making my problems bigger than my God.
- Before I left for break my class spent time praying for people we know who don’t know Christ. The first day back two of my students asked about the people in my life, by name, who don’t know Christ. I knew they were praying for them.
- The church that I attend in Accra is having a ten day fast. I am fasting for the first time in my life and feel God pulling me closer to Him.
After the Christmas holiday’s AIS has J-term (January term) for about two weeks. During this time, secondary students choose to take different classes including cooking, running, Asian culture, and so on. The Elementary chooses one theme to focus on for the term. This year we chose “Serving others”. Students learned about taking care of the environment, participating in trash pick-up days and bottle recycle activities. In class we discussed what it meant to serve others just as Jesus served us. Throughout J-term, each class raised money to donate to a local orphanage, Beacon House. To celebrate the end of the term we invited Beacon House over for chapel and a carnival! The kids had loads of fun and were able to apply what they learned about serving others to the community around them. We are now back into our normal schedule, and very busy!
-Please pray for all the students at AIS who don’t know Jesus. Also for the students who do; that they would continue to grow in their faith and be a light to those around them.
-AIS is participating in a basketball tournament in Uganda. They will also be doing some outreach mission during their trip. Pray that they will be fully funded soon and for the safety of their group as they travel. If you would like to support their team please let me know!
-The church I have been attending in Accra, Hope City, is looking for a bigger building. Please pray that Hope City will continue to grow and they will have the funds to move to a new building with more space!
-A group of local kids hang out at our apartment compound on Tuesday afternoons. We attempt to play futball with them, and also teach them about Jesus. Pray that God will continue to send more kids, and that we can be the light for them!
Thank you again for all your prayers and support!