Ghana Blog: By God’s Grace
There is this episode of Star Trek, the Next Generation where Picard, who captains the Enterprise in this series, is being sent around in the time continuum, and each jump, be it forward or backward, gets easier until he is not sure where he belongs. That’s how it feels a few hours after landing, once I’ve adjusted to the heat, and showered off the journey. It feels completely natural, as if we never left, and yet there are subtle changes that take a few days to notice.
Wednesday night we watched the Black Stars, Ghana’s National Team, play Germany in the FIFA South African World Cup. Ghana is the last African country in the series with a hope of advancing to the second round. We all wore our Ghana Africa Cup (from 2008) shirts that day, and as we met with different people, or renewed friendships, the conversations eventually landed on the question of tonight’s game.
“Ghana will win,” we would hear, and then confidently, “by God’s Grace we will be victorious!” The TV announcers have made a big deal about Ghana being the last chance for an African team to advance, calling Ghana the Hope of Africa. All Ghana had to do was win or tie to advance, but they did neither, but thanks to the Australians who had such a lopsided win, Ghana still gets advances to the next round, by God’s grace and Saturday night, the Black Stars play Team USA. So Hope is lives on here, and the streets filled with people rejoicing, and blowing those vovozvualla horns.
On Thursday we were invited to Methodist University-College Ghana for a dedication of the boreholes, or wells as we call them. St. Philip’s United Methodist, and another Church, have each sponsored a borehole, and our missionary friend Mary Kay Jackson had successfully drilled them almost two weeks ago. Not far from the site of the borehole is a large termite mound, which I understand is a good sign, as it is thought that the termites already know where the water is, and isn’t. Currently the boreholes are just large blue pipes sticking out of the ground, but later, when they install pumps, they will supply water to the new dorms, and administration buildings.
Technical issues: 60 and 76 meters deep. 6-7 gallons per minute flow.
Dedications are an interesting ritual. I’ve been asked to bless babies, food, houses, bicycles, cars, journeys, but this is the first time I’ve been asked to bless a well. We taxi across Accra to the college, and first go to look at the borehole. Then we move to the administration building, where individually we are introduced to each of the team of administrators who will partake in the blessing. Later we gather in the office of the Principal, where when everyone has assembled, tea and cookies is served. While tea is being served, the leader of each group introduces their people, and tells a short story. The Methodist University-College principal goes first, and introduces his men, and tells how they have been praying for a borehole for years and now, by God’s Grace, you are here, he motions to us. Currently all Methodist University College Ghana’s water comes from a large underground cistern that is recharged daily from a visit from a large water truck. Mary Kay introduces us, and I tell a bit about the project from our end. It turns out that music is a major focus of the university, after all we are Methodists, the principal adds. Later I explain that the bulk of the funding for this borehole came from a series of mostly classical concerts called Water Song Project. That news is met with knowing smiles, as if it was more evidence of God’s Grace. Then they pin us with a University pin, and we head out to ask God to blessing.
As we are saying our good-byes, one of the administrators asks where our hearts will be on Saturday night. By God’s Grace we are blessed, we say, because no matter the outcome of that game (Team USA or Ghana’s Black Stars) we will winners.