Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday in Zugu

This morning I scrambled the guinea fowl eggs that the Sankpem Chief gifted us with.  We also had oatmeal and fried cinnamon toast.  Preparing food here is not an easy task as we are cooking on a very small gas stove and we also have to figure out what food we can get from the market that we know how to prepare.  We are so thankful for our dear friend Cynthia who has already prepared several meals for us.  Tonight she made us Red Red, which is fried plantain (very sweet) with a red sauce poured over it.  The red sauce consists mainly of tomato paste and black-eyed peas, along with a few spices.  I think it is my favorite Ghanaian food.  We also had fresh watermelon and mango.  While we were having Red Red, Cynthia was having a piece of bread with peanut butter spread on top (at her request).  Seemed kind of funny that we were eating Ghanaian food and she was eating American food.

Today we went to Zugu village to do VBS in the school.  There were over 300 children there, but the team jumped right in and made it work.  We were there for over two hours, telling Bible stories, playing futbol and singing songs.  In one of the classes for the older students, a few of the Muslim boys began challenging what we were saying about Jesus being God's son and born of a virgin.  Pastor Mohammed took over the lesson, mainly because we did not want to cause problems or say something wrong.  The end result was a very good lesson for us that we should know why we believe what we believe.  As Americans, we rarely, if ever, have to defend our faith.  Here, the Christians are greatly outnumbered and many of them are persecuted for their faith, so they know why they know what they know.

Some of you may remember that about 1 1/2 years ago Pastor Mohammed discovered a little boy named Ishawu and his sister Adijah who were near death due to starvation.  He took them to the hospital and got them nutritional supplements, which helped tremendously.  Last year we saw Ishawu walk for the first time.  He had been laying down for almost six years.  Adijah had been laying down for 2 years.  The mother was a widow and near starvation herself.  Through the Widow Care Program, Ishawu's mom received two goats last year and some funds to expand her small business of making a local cookie to sell.  Today we got to see the result of that.  She is now able to make and sell the "cookie" every day, bringing almost 5X as much income as before.  The difference was apparent as there was food in the cooking pot and healthy smiles on their faces.

Perhaps the highlight of the day (for me at least) was seeing Ishawu at school!  He is still so tiny for his age, but his mind is good.  I had wondered about that because he had been sick for so long and his head was large for his body.  I had a conference with his teacher who told me that he knows his letters and is doing quite well.  He also asks questions, which shows that he is thinking things through.  We also went to his house (mud hut) and visited with his mother and sister.  They are doing well, praise God.

After going back to Tarikpaa and having lunch (us - peanut butter/bread, them - rice/beans) and fellowship, we returned to the guesthouse for dinner and few more hands of spades.

Right now a I type (8:15pm), I am listening to the gentle African rains that often come at night.  The weather is mild and we haven't lost electricity once since we arrived, which means air conditioning at night.  After a long day on a dusty road it feels SO good.

Thank you all so much for your prayers.  We need them, we feel them and we depend on them.

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