Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Michigan, Seemed Like A Good Place For A Roadtrip

               Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to go to the Faith and International Development Conference at Calvin College. The theme of the conference was "Cultivating Community: A Right To Belong." After a long 9 hour drive leaving at 6:30 AM it was exciting to finally reach our destination of Michigan. There were five of us who traveled from Messiah College. The conference was broken up with devotional speakers. key note speakers and break out sessions. The first key note  speaker of the conference was Dr. Brian Fikkert. Dr. Fikkert is the co-author of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself. He is also an economist and spoke about the economic work he has done. He is a very intelligent man, with a PH.D. in Economics with highest honors from Yale University. This point he made though stuck with me throughout the conference, "What is the secret to development work?" "It's God! God needs to show up and perform a miracle." Dr. Fikkert has a plethora of knowledge and life experience, but he didn't rattle off numerous answers about how he did this or this. He understands that it is God working through and in the situations that transforms situations and lives.
             God has plans for each of us. Being at this conference it has quickened my desire to continue to pursue God wholeheartedly and seek what His plan is for my life and beyond Messiah College. Before coming to this conference I had thought about international development work and since this conference I have felt a greater desire to do mission work. The exact details or timing I still have no inkling of, but God will reveal the time and place. If it was up to me I would work in industry for the next three years and then while still working start taking online or night classes for a MBA, a Masters in International Development or a Masters in Economic Development. Once I finish my masters I would work for a few more years and then start looking for opportunities to apply my masters internationally or locally. At Messiah College there is a service organization called, the Collaboratory. Collaboratory. This organization works on projects world-wide, helping people in need in many different aspects of life. Being able to be a part of an organization like that, where I have a base of operations in the US, but still get to travel internationally would be an amazing opportunity.
     There is much to think about and continue to be in prayer about, but I know God has an awesome plan and I am excited to see what the next step of life entails.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Made It: One Final Post

For those of you that don't know, Amy and I made it back home safely!

 Our flight back was uneventful and everything went very smoothly. Thank you for your prayers. Also thank you for the continued prayers during my entire time I was in Ghana. They were greatly appreciated and the trip was a very good one. I was able to accomplish a lot while I was in Ghana and I was able to have a variety of experiences as well.
The next few days will be a transition to what life is like in the US. In a few weeks I will transition back to school and then in less than a year I will transition again to life after school.

I realize that life is full of transition. It is full of making the most of the time you have in each particular place you are in at that particular moment in your life. I think that it is good to find comfort of normality, but at times change is necessary so that your life does not become stagnant.

In these next stages of transition for my life, I don't want to necessarily forget my past, forget my experiences I've had from Ghana and other places, but I want to use what I learned, use what I saw, use what I heard and continue to pursue God's perfect plan for my life. I am excited to see what God's plan is next. But what I do know is that God's will is perfect and He knows what He is doing. And that is good news.

Thank you again for your prayers.



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Time to head home? I think so.

 Hello one last time from Ghana. Amy and I are now waiting in the Accra Airport waiting for our flight to JFK. We have about two hours to kill before our flight departs. Thank you for your prayers and please just keep our last bit of traveling on your mind. So far everything has gone smoothly with security etc.

So what have I been doing the last few days. Well after my last day of work Amy, Alex, Shannon and I headed to Ben's house. Ben works for World Vision GI-WASH in Tamale as a mechanic and has helped drive us a few times. Ben graciously invited us to his house and his wife cooked us a local Ghanaian dish, See pics below. It was a fun night. Ben asked us lots of questions about the US and we looked through his wedding pictures and the food was different than anything you would get in the US.
For those of you who have been to Burkina Faso the Tizert is like Tow and the sauce is called Ayuyu (not positive on any of the food spellings). When Stella (Ben's wife) was dishing out the food, I was worried, because the smell wasn't the best and the sauce was a dark green and kind of slimy. It tasted better than it looked/ smelled. I was able to eat the most out of the four of us (Americans). It was a good experience and I think that Ben and his family appreciated having us over.

We arrived in Accra on Friday. Today Amy and I went to do a sight seeing. See pics below. It was good to see the city of Accra. I prefer Tamale though. Accra was a high pace compared to Tamale where it was kind of like a village city. Not nearly as hectic as Accra is.

In 13 hours I will be arriving in the US.  It will be good to take a few days once I get home to unwind and think about my time in Ghana. It has flown by and it will be nice to remember all the different events/ experiences I have had.

Goodbye from Ghana.

Kwame  Nkrumah Memorial Park
A Peacock at the park

At Ben's House

Tizert is on the left and Ayuyu on right

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Final Work Day

So today is my final day at GI-WASH, where I have been for about 5 weeks now. I feel like I have finally begun to get the hang of the office and who people are and it is time for my departure. The last few days have flown by and have involved trying to finalize accomodations, how to leave certain project work, saying good bye to World Vision staff, etc.

It will be good to head home. I would enjoy being here longer, but the final days of a trip, you  begin to want to be back to normal, or back to consistency and when you know your leaving you don't have consistency.

I am excited for the last few days and the last few experiences here in Ghana and we will see what God continues to have in store for Amy and me.
Here are some pics from today and my trip from Mole.

Amy working hard
A bird nest in the office courtyard

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Elephants Please

             So our trip to  Mole National Park was a success. It was a pretty great trip! It was short, but good. We left early Saturday morning and got back this afternoon. The weather was pretty good. It down poured last night (it sounded like a waterfall), but we were able to go out on a nature walk Safari and the best part of all we got to see elephants! It was a nice little trip. We were able to relax and enjoy our time there. There was no work to worry about, or house visitors to entertain. It was just us relaxing and enjoying God's beautiful creation. 
                    Now that it is over, the last big event has occurred before leaving. Now that this trip has happened the ending of my time here feels more and more real as the hours pass. Despite the final things that need to be done, I will try to enjoy these last few days. Enjoy the experience that I was blessed with the opportunity to have. God has continued to work out all the details and be in all of the different situations throughout my time here I am excited to see what else He has planned for the small time I have left. I hope you enjoy the pictures! I will try and post more when I have better internet

Friday, July 19, 2013

One Trip Down, Here Comes Another

So Tuesday, I headed north. I headed on a 2 hour drive to Bolgatanga, Bolga for short.
This trip was to go out in the various communities up there to visit with persons with disabilities. Part of the time I spent distributing assistive devices (latrine chairs & gallon tippers) and the other part was going back and receiving feedback from the users.

It was a good trip.  The staff from World Vision was very helpful and they really helped coordinate my short time there well. I was only there until today. I was able to visit and get feedback from about 13 different people in various parts of the northern area of Bolga. It was a good experience to talk to persons with disabilities and see how these devices help them, but also see how we can continue to improve there day to day lives.

Overall the trip went well. Not everything went perfectly, but that is to be expected. I was able to get some good information and the people I visited with were very appreciative of the work be done.

I got back this afternoon from that trip and tomorrow morning bright and early we(Amy, Shannon and Alex) will be heading to Mole National Park! We will be there tomorrow and come back Sunday night. I am excited! It should be a good little trip! Hopefully we will experience a lot of the wildlife of Ghana on our adventure!

One more week left, it is crazy to think about. It feels like I have been here for months, but at the same time I feel like I have just left. Please be praying that all last things that I need to get done before I head home can finish up smoothly and final plans can be made without any issues.

I look forward to seeing many of you soon!


Seth (Philemon 1:4-7)

Monday, July 15, 2013

So Much To Do So Little Time

Hey everyone,

               This past weekend was my last weekend in our neighborhood. Next weekend I will be heading to Mole National Park to hopefully see Elephants and other wildlife. And the following weekend Amy and I will be boarding a plane heading home. It is amazing how the trip has flow by, but also felt like it has been months and months we have been gone.
The weekend was relaxing. We went on our weekly Saturday trip to the market. Each time, I have felt more and more comfortable and confident with where things are located. Sunday Amy and I went the church our storekeeper and her children go too again. As the service was ending, a big storm blew into the area. Everyone stayed inside as the rain came pouring down. Slowly people began to brave the rain and finally an hour after the service ended Amy and I headed back with our storekeeper and her children. We got dropped off in town and the taxi drive was the worst one we have had here. Amy and I were questioning whether our driver could drive as he took like 30 tries to back out of his spot. Then once we got going, we seemed to barely break 20 or 30 kph as we are passed  constantly passed. We mad e it safely, but it was a pretty sketch ride.

           This week will be very busy. Today I headed out to a community somewhat nearby. It took about an hour and a half to get there. Distributed some of the assistive devices I had had a local artisan fabricate. These devices where latrine chairs and gallon tippers.
The rest of this week I will be up north in Bolga doing work up there with the assistive devices. Distributing them and finding local artisans to replicate the devices. I am sure it will make the rest of my time here go by quickly.

    In the midst of the busyness of my trip coming to the end, I am hoping I can take a moment or two too soak in the experience of Ghana. The ride today was through the countryside of Ghana and it was a sight for sure.

Goodbye for now,

Seth (Titus 2:11-14)