[Bringing the message at Asbury Dunwell Church]
It has been a quiet week in the village of Berekuso, our (new) home town. Actually, Suzanne is in Germany at a conference for Quality Assurance Officers (one of the smaller of her many “hats”).
While the cat is away, I’ve started all sorts of projects to make our little bungalow more livable. We already had a dining table built to sit six, and now I’m looking for chairs to match.
[the chairs I am looking for]
The carpenter is building some shelves so we can move our pantry out of the footlocker next to the fridge. The Ghanaians I know don’t seem to keep much food in the house, they go to market for what they need when they need it. For the children of depression age parents, we can’t live that way. So as counter cultural as keeping food in the house is, we still keep a week’s food in our home at all times. Turns out that is a good thing.
[AfricaWatch asks “Was it man-made?”]
Suzanne and I attended a two day conference on contingency planning, in the event our host countries become unsafe and we must evacuate. Besides having grab bags, packing lists and several evacuation routes plotted, it was suggested we keep a week’s worth of food in the house. We smiled at each other. Check.
Rhino, our 4WD, started to overheat as I was driving to our small group, so I camped out at our the group leader’s house to make the journey to the dealership for service (and new tires). Don’t want to try to evacuate on balding tires. Sometimes the dealership takes a few days, so I decide to greet our new dentist while I am waiting for them to figure out if they will keep Rhino overnight. Relationships are important in all things, and when that dental emergency comes, Suzanne and I want to already have a relationship with a good dentist.
[At the Communion Table]
While I was in Accra, the senior elder of our church called to invite me to join the Pastoral Team at Asbury Dunwell Church. I had hoped that would happen when we moved back, but didn’t want to assume it would. The Mission Society has a policy that we refrain from direct ministry our first year in-country, so I could not be considered for the position of being their lead pastor. It felt like the invitation to join the team was “on its way coming” and after preaching a few times, and presiding over the communion table, we all remembered what a good fit the church was.
Being on the pastoral team gives nice balance to the campus ministry Suzanne and I are praying over. Sharing our lives with some of Ghana’s current leaders in the church and on campus, pouring our lives into a few of Africa’s next generation of ethical entrepreneurial leaders seems ideal.
Finally, its Rainy Season, which could easily be called road washing away season. I had wondered how I would make my way back to the village, if the dealership kept Rhino overnight, since the road to Berekuso is difficult and arranging transport can be a challenge. I need not have worried, chatting with my first taxi driver, I asked where he was from.
“A small, small village in the Eastern Region,” the taxi driver said.
“I live in the Eastern Region,” I said.
“It is near Aburi,” he said.
“I live near Aburi.”
[George, from the village of Berekuso]
This went on for several minutes until we landed on the fact I live in the same village he is from, Berekuso. I picked his number, and tipped him well, which turned out to be a good thing because it rained all afternoon and the idea of sloshing through the mud to catch a TroTro (bus), to flag down a taxi in the next village, to find another taxi to climb the Ashesi hill, somehow did not appeal to me.
I called George (my taxi-driving new best friend) and he was delighted to come pick me, and bring me home. He knew exactly where it was, and more importantly the condition of the roads getting there. I also learned a lot about his African-indigenous church which is for another day.
Today I feel deeply blessed, and thankful.