Another 1st for a DISCOVERY team
"Suffer to Gain" It's a common saying in Ghana, and aptly describes our travel to Tamale this past Friday June 16th. We departed from the Accra Guest House just after 5am in the morning.....and arrived at the Tamale Guest House at 12:30 am on Saturday. It was the longest trip we have had to date as a team traveling that route; usually, the trip takes around 12-14 hours. So how do we account for the additional 6 hours or so?
First, there was the hour plus we were stopped at a police barrier around 2 hours into our journey. The driver of our vehicle was told that the tinting on our widows was illegal; after many of us helped remove quite a bit of it, the driver was given a court summons and we were allowed to proceed. Then, shortly after we left Kintampo (about three hours away from Tamale) our bus needed emergency repairs on one of the wheel bearings. This process took about another 4 hours (the last couple in the dark) before we were on our way. Then, about 5 miles out of Tamale, our bus ran out of diesel, (this was at 11 pm) so we waited another hour until a vehicle stopped to give the driver a lift into town, where he purchased some diesel and found someone on a motorcycle to bring him back to our vehicle.
For more than the past year, I have been memorizing and meditating on verses that have to do with how to respond to worry; Phil 4:4-7 (Always be full of joy in the Lord....Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everything) and my current memory verse, Romans 12:12, which says "Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful." So I was well equipped with truth.....and yet, I failed miserably! Although I didn't blow it culturally, I was EXTREMELY stressed, and thus not the inspiration and encouragement to the team I would have been if I had followed God's instructions in my situation. I had been so flexible and patient up to that point.....was I getting proud? If I needed to be humbled; well, I am ! 8-) I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to seek to hear from God all that He desires me to learn from this experience....also, for John, Solo and I as we still need to talk about the communication breakdown that occurred between us leaders during the whole experience so that we can learn how to better work together as a leadership team. Please also continue to pray for health; for John especially as he gotten bitten up by mosquitos that night; possibly others on the team did as well. And let's not forget to also praise the Lord that the wheel bearing breakdown occurred in a way that did not cause an accident as we drove.
Anyhow, it is now Sunday afternoon, and we are all happily settled in the Tamale Guest House. The participants have spent yesterday and today out and about with Dagomba Christians of similar ages, experiencing what a weekend in their lives is like. Yesterday that included the experience of World Cup Soccer, as Ghana beat Czech Republic 2-0. It's hard to adequately describe the excitement; it's similar to how excited people in particular cities of the US get during play-offs of basketball, football or baseball, except it's country-wide, from the largest cities to very small villages. So fun!!!!!!!!
Sunday is a bit of a breather day for us (as it should be!) We will be very busy the next few days.....I'm not sure when we will be able to even send this e-mail off. But I hope that whenever you are able to read this, you will be encouraged to see how much we need your prayers, (both as a team and John & I personally) and reminded of the important difference your prayers really do make. Thank you so much for supporting us in this way!
In His love;
PS For those of you who know and love Johnson and Lydia Asare, we saw them briefly on Saturday morning. They are well, and busy with a short term team from Azusa Pacific University, so it's likely we will not visit with them much until next weekend. But I know some will want to know that we have connected and extended greetings from their friends at Seabreeze to them.