This was my (Dana) fourth trip to Ghana and my second trip to Nkwanta since knowing it would be our home one day. I thought I pretty much had my life and my mission in Ghana figured out. That was until I fell in love with a beautiful girl named Naomi. She is 12 years old and her home for the past two years has been God’s Eye Orphanage. She sleeps in a room with 15 girls or more that is smaller than my bedroom closet. Her bed is the ground. There is no electricity and the water that she drinks has worms. She can’t go to school because she has no one to sponsor her. There are days without food and I don’t know how many of those she has. Couldn’t bring myself to ask that question or many others, as I wasn’t sure I could handle the answers.
As much as their physical poverty bothers me, I am encouraged by the words to a song that Naomi sang to me about Jesus: The first few lines are…
“He carry my sins way, he died on the cross to save my soul, he carry my sins away.”
My prayer for her is that she truly understands what Jesus has done for her. While I was there I asked her if she truly believed what she was singing and I didn’t get a good answer from her. As much as I want to get back there to do what I can to take care of her physical needs, I want to get back there to disciple her. I want her to truly understand what Jesus has done for her. This isn’t what I have been appointed by WorldVenture to do, so I am not sure what my ministry at the orphanage will be, but I do know that the Bible tells us in James 1:27 that we are to look after widows and orphans and it is also the verse God used to show Chris he needed to go to Ghana on that first trip. Getting involved with God’s Eye was not what I expected as part of my life in Ghana. The living conditions are horrible by our standards, but yet better than what those orphans came from. The kids have people there who love them and you can see that by the smile on their faces. Honestly the smiles on there face is what I see when I look back on my time there, not the terrible conditions.
On the last day at the orphanage I was sick and unable to leave the house. I was sad to not go back but at the same time a bit relieved as I was not sure I could say goodbye. Chris was instructed to give my love to Naomi and take a few pictures of her so that I would not forget her face. He came back with a knitted bracelet that she made and a letter that she had written. She wrote on the outside “I love you” and inside “would you be my mother”….what do you say to that? Those few words have messed me up. Still processing a lot. I wasn’t expecting to come back feeling the way I do. There are many needs in Nkwanta that we were made aware of on this trip from the orphanage, to NewLIfe School to the church. I am very thankful to already be in the fund raising process to get there full-time but now the impatience of having to wait when a huge part of my heart is still there is very hard. Before we left I prayed that Chris and I would have momentum when we got back to really make time for fund raising and it looks like we got it, just in an unexpected way. God only knows what the future will hold for us in Nkwanta, but I know that he has given me another daughter. She may never be officially mine but in my heart she already is!