Over 17,000 nets!!

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Leah's Journal






ACCRA GHANA WEST AFRICA 2013                                       

I just wanted to give you a glimpse of my trip to Ghana West Africa this year.  We finally got to Atlanta & then they sent us to Amsterdam & on to Accra. 

We left Saturday morning at 6:00 for a 3 hr. drive to  Frankadua .  If you remember this is the girl’s home for the Trokosi girls, (sex slaves to the Voodoo priest).   These girls, there were 45 present, do not know when they were born so have never had a birthday.  We decorated the room with streamers & balloons, put up 3 long tables where the girls would decorate their own cup cake with icing, decorations & sprinkles that we took, they had a ball.  We took a karaoke machine, which we left with them, & played music.  [Several of the ladies] taught them songs & dances.  They had a ball.  Then using $1.00 bills we crinkled them up and stomped them on the floor, picked them up & straightened them back out & told the girls no matter what we did to them they were still a dollar bill & still had the worth of a dollar bill.  We closed with Bible verses & prayer by Reverend Grace who is a wonderful Christian lady who strengthens the girls each day in the Lord.  Oh my what a day of joy for us all.  Pictures & saying goodbye were very hard but we had a 3 hour drive back to Accra for another day of missions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Sunday Sunday morning we went to church for 5 hours.  All 14 of us spoke & taught a Sunday school group with a translator.  They really worship with song & dance pouring out their hearts to the Lord.  We went back to the Guest House for lunch before heading out to Karbokasi where we would feed 1,000 children chicken & rice & hand out mosquito nets.  They had 1,010 boxed up meals & ran out of food.  The children were told stories & played games with balls we had taken & had a blessed evening. 

The next day was a medical mission in Noka where last year the well the Urschels donated was put in & Kairos helped build a brand new Clinic that is state of the art for that part of the world.  Of course Noka is about 2 ½ hour drive & when we arrived there were a few people waiting on to see the doctor and the missionaries, but when the village saw us, they came running, probably 200 people.   The Urschels' well was routed so it could serve the clinic & then go into storage tanks with spouts for the villagers to get their water. 


The clinic has one large gathering room with 2 hospital beds, 3 other private rooms & a running water bathroom & marble floors with a large covered veranda in the front.  WOW.  We served here for 2 days & saw over 200 people.  We had doctor, nurses, and pharmacist. Eye glasses & prayer for each person.  I was on the prayer team.  Everyone that we checked in had or previously had malaria.  Children with ringworm, worms, sickle cell anemia, malaria & so many with very high fevers up to 105.  One man had lost 2 toes from gangrene, and the doctor said he would die.   Many had very high blood pressure & heart problems.  We leave them medicine with the sun representing morning & the moon representing night, printed on the outside of the package so they can tell when to take the meds.      

Wednesday morning Pastor Odai arrived at 6:30 to drive us to join the others at Ayibontey where Paula Marshall donated the money to build a school with 210 children in attendance.  95% of the village & those around are illiterate.  This is changing a whole generation to be schooled.  The children were lined up outside like military, saying yes sir as the teacher gave them directions as they repeated bible verses, sang & danced for us.  One lady from our group had taken red clown noses which she gave to the children along with candy, and they were elated, such a gift.  We gave them balls & Dr. David treated almost every head that had ringworm.  We always deworm every child we see by putting a worm pill inside a tootsie roll.  We then went to the village to hand out nets & to the convention, a tent meeting to hand out study bibles to pastors

From Ayibontey we drove about 3 hours to Afroh Ajai to dedicate the water well donated by Danny & Jolene Urschel in memory of Greg Urschel, my sister Nancy Wilson, and several other donors.  When we arrived at the village along dirt roads for miles the villagers met us to show us their village & the horrible water hole they had been getting their water from.  Then we returned to the area where the well was.  It was concrete about 6’ X 6’ with the well in the middle surrounded by ribbons & balloons.  The priest spoke & thanked us for the well that would give them the gift of life.  The well & granite stone were covered with lace table cloths.  Matilda a young woman in Ceremonial African dress danced around the well & then a young girl dressed as well brought scissors to me to cut the ribbon, then they removed the  pin that kept the well from working & had me pump the well to bring the delicious water & take the first drink.  I CANNOT TELL YOU THE GRATITUDE IN MY HEART FOR THIS WATER, & to think my sister’s name along with the others would be in the middle of the jungle forever as this fresh water would be for all who came to this wonderful place.  When the ceremony was over I was literally drained from all the joy I had experienced.  THANK YOU URSCHEL’S FOR THIS GIFT OF LIFE.                            

The second well was about 2 hours away at Akwakoubom.  This well was in honor of 11 year olds at Jenks School in Tulsa who sold "Fight the bite" T-shirts to raise money to send nets to Africa.  They ended up selling   enough to net 10 villages.  This endeavor was started by my friend's 11- year-old daughter.  This was covered by the Tulsa Newspaper & also Bishop Odai was in town & spoke to the school children, thanking them for their hard work, which made it really special.    When we arrived the villagers had been waiting about 3 hours, the chief and an area representative spoke.  I know the chief was Christian but I believe some of the village was voodoo.  Then Julie had the honor of opening this well as the villagers gathered around and danced.  They gave us a gift of a goat, red palm oil beans, pineapple, plantains, tomatoes & grain.  We handed out nets & one of our girls had one net left & saw an old lady way in the back & made her way through the crowd & gave the net to the little old lady who cried & thanked her.  We tied the goat in the truck & loaded up for a long trip after dark to the guest house once again.  When we got back we were up until 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning packing 28 bags for the next day, counting bracelets so the beaders could be paid. 

Thursday morning we went to TK’s so our first timers could see how the beads are made from recycled crushed bottles put in the molds & fired in ovens made from termite hill dirt.  The men sit in 100 degree temperatures putting paddles of beads in & out of the furnace all day long.  We were able to by beads for ourselves & bought some more for Kairos bracelets.  From TK’s we went to the city market to shop for ourselves & family.  We left for the Accra airport at 3:00 P.M. as our flight left at 10:30 P.M.  It took us 4 hours to get to the gate & we boarded our plane to New York.  From New York we flew to Atlanta where we sat on the runway 3 hours before taking off for HOME, TULSA & FAMILY.    WHAT A BLESSED TRIP.