"None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can do small things with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."
- Mother Teresa
We embarked on our latest trip to Ghana with great purpose, filled with the desire to achieve something meaningful, to fulfill that yearning that mothers have to fix something(or someone) that is broken, to instill hope, offer encouragement, to serve, strengthen and most importantly, to love.
It was my first time back to Ghana in over a year when we moved our kid's into the new home that we built for them at GMAD. We were so excited (as always) to see them and had planned for many other service projects to do while there that were in line with our cause. Also, this time we were bringing along ten strong and wonderful women and we knew that together, as we arrived, our bags bursting at the seams with supplies and our hearts equally as full, we could turn love's whisper into a shout!
AND SHOUT WE DID!
Being our first ever Women's trip we didn't know quite what to expect, or how the ladies would fare in a third world county.
We knew it wasn't for the faint of heart. The problems and challenges of the people we encounter can be enormous, as are the unshakable pains our hearts would feel.
Even so, as board members, we were so excited to share that "something" that we feel when we come to Ghana. That thing that is impossible to put into words or try to explain to someone who has never been there. It's not just a feeling but an overall experience.
You see, each person that we meet in Ghana has a story we haven't heard, dreams we haven't yet imagined, and a present-day reality that is just as real as our own, and what we have come to realize each time we meet them is that they have more to give us than we could ever give to them.
It is a privilege to learn from them, to feel their strength, to hear their stories and share them, and then to be inspired to do something to help, however and wherever we can. It is these kinds of experiences that captivate our hearts for Ghana and her people.
We also didn't know how lucky we would be to get this particular group of ladies, many unknown to each other but yet so perfectly meshed in their reasons for coming.
It takes a certain kind of person to leave their families and comforts of home, to travel 1000's of miles around the world into some of the most unpleaseant conditions to help people they don't know and may never see again.... and on top of that, Pay to do it!
But to our delight, what every one of these women possessed was a strong desire to leave their imprint on the lives of their brothers and sisters in Ghana. To bring them hope, comfort, and to just let their hearts be expanded, knowing that they could be.
Once we touched down in Ghana we literally hit the ground running and arrived at GMAD, and our home there, to the familiar smiles and hugs of the kids and staff who never cease to makes us feel like long lost besties! Even those they are meeting for the first time. It's one of the things I love most about Ghana, because they all do that and really, who doesn't like to be showered with love?
There were so many highlights from this trip that it is hard to do them justice in a single blog post but I will do my best to convey, as concisely as possible, a few of my personal favorites.
The School for Special Needs Children in Aboom. It never disappoints! We arrived to their exuberant hugs, and also painted the outside of their school(which was long over due for a paint job) Oh these kids!! I forget how they steal your heart from the moment you step off the bus. It was the best way to spend our first full day in Ghana.