Monday, September 14, 2015

12,000 Kilometers and Just Getting Started

Thanks to our handy truck (a 4-wheel drive Nissan) we've been able to criss-cross a larger part of the Volta region as we get to know the amazing people of Ghana. It seems like each day brings a new cultural experience and a new opportunity to serve, and we're grateful to see the Lord's hand in the miracles that happen each day.

Our truck has been a huge blessing and has gotten us up, over and through every obstacle we've put in its way.
The streets here are very narrow with more taxis, tro-tro buses and potholes than you can count,
but everyone seems to give us a wide berth and we've yet to end up in one of the drainage ditches that line every street.
We keep praying for safe drivers (us included)!
We travel to Accra a few times a month for meetings, transfers, departures and the temple. The trip can take anywhere from 3 hours (on a good day) to 5 hours if the wait is long at the ferry or traffic is bad in Accra, which it always is. While we're there, we always stop at the "American" stores to stock up and resupply on some of the brands we miss from back home.

Froot Loops, Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs - oh my! The options are limited and expensive
but nothing says home like a stale box of Frosted Flakes. Sarah even found some Bath & Body lotion
in a scent called Ghanaian Geisha, but we left that on the shelf.
Transfers occur every six weeks and bring a measure of happiness and sadness as strong missionaries head
home after serving valiantly for two years. These are 4 elders from our Ho zone. The second from the left
is Elder Ravia from Fiji who's headed to serve the remaining 3-months of his mission in the Liberia, Monrovia
mission. They haven't had any full-time missionaries there since the Ebola breakout over a year ago and he's
going to train all the new missionaries that arrive there soon. Elder Ravia started his mission in Sierra Leon and was transferred to Ghana when his first area was closed due to Ebola. Three countries in two years - what an example!
We continue to see miracles happen all around us and love the experiences and perspectives we're learning as we go. 

On Saturday we were able to attend the baptisms of seven new members of the Ho 1st Branch. What a wonderful spirit as two husbands from the branch baptized their wives into the church and 5 other youth and young adults from the area.
We attended the local Kente Festival this week which celebrates the rich tradition and culture of the Ewe tribe in Togo and Ghana. This area is know for it's fine artistry, colorful Kente weavings and fierce warriors. These are the Queen Mothers from each of the local tribes who have come to celebrate and be honored at the festival.

A huge blessing for us this week as the mission installed a new solar-powered battery system at our house. We even had "light off" the night it was installed and were able to test the system immediately. It ran our lights, refrigerator and air conditioner for a full 10 hours! Hooray for solar power and no more generator! Special thanks to President Heid who is always looking for ways to upgrade the missionary's apartments and living conditions, even senior couples!
We had two days of District Conference last week with a zone training afterwards, so all 18 elders in our zone were in town for a couple of days. Add the AP's and the office elders as well and you know there was a lot of teaching, learning, food and fun going on. We love these missionaries! 

While major food consumption always tops the list as a favorite for missionaries, weighing each other, and subsequently teasing each other mercilessly about the gains and losses, comes in a close second.
District Training and the Ho 2 Branch. Just like herding cats in the states, they call it herding chickens here in Ghana, and we still missed getting all the elders in the pictures. There are 7 countries represented in this picture!


  1. Very very interesting! We think of you so much. What amazing things are going on!

  2. Loved this post and the update of what you are experiencing. What a beautiful thing our gospel brings and opportunities it provides. Love that you are both a part of it and sharing it's goodness! Miss you both