Not What I Expected!

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!

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8 Responses to Not What I Expected!

  1. AJ says:

    Dana,
    Naomi is a beautiful girl not just on the outside but on the inside.
    We keep praying that the Lord will work quickly as we know that you all
    are anxious to get there permanently.
    Standing firm with you in belief that this will all come together.
    Love you both,
    Dave and AJ

  2. wow what an exciting vision for ministry! It is amazing how God continues to reveal himself and give us a bigger and bigger picture of what He has for us.

  3. And as you said your new daughter is absolutely beautiful! Like you I am not sure I could have said goodbye to her either. John and Bethany both came back from Peru telling me that I would not have been able to take going to Peru not because of the poor conditions that they saw, but by the faces of the little ones that they met.

    • TeamHolloway says:

      Thanks Peggy! We love her. We are not typically affected by the conditions but this orphanage was different. It was REALLY tough connecting with the kids and then also to know their plight. But in this too we trust that God is faithful and He loves his children and will make a way for them. The little faces in any culture do really grab your heart! I believe you can “take it” – going to Peru – because God will sustain your heart!

  4. Pauline LaBarge says:

    I cried when you read this at church yesterday and it is tearing me up again. I will keep Naomi and God’s Eye Orphanage in prayer (and all of you too). I have no doubt that you planted many seeds while you were in Nkwanta and I will pray they were planted on good soil so when you go back you will see growth.

  5. Phyllis says:

    Dana, This is so beautiful, I wanted to aask you more about the orphanage. Like you, this is where my heart would lead me if I were to be able to go with you. so many children are suffering because of man’s need for power. Thankful god does watch over them, but they must still suffer so needlessly. Bless you and may God continue to help you in the path you and chris have chosen. You have all my love and respect, you are truly a giving and loving person. God has chosen a very special couple to help with his work. Bless you both, Phyllis

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