Today was our “off” day, a day off from the busyness of clinic and a much-needed chance to catch-up on some sleep and recharge for the remaining two clinic days and the travel home. We began our day with a later breakfast followed by a “tour” led by Pastor Frank’s son Kofi through the Fanti fishing village across the street from our lodge. For me (a pediatric resident physician) and my husband Jay (a pharmacist), this is now our third trip to Ghana with the CVC team and our third walk through Fante village, and it continues to be one of the most eye-opening experiences of the trip, not dulling in effect with each trip. The Fante people are different than the Nzema people that we primarily serve in our medical clinics. They are a people who build their homes directly on the beach all along the Ghanaian coastline. The degree of poverty here, in our American eyes, is unlike any imaginable. They live in small palm tree branch shacks covered with metal roofs over sandy dirt floors. Children run through the small walkways between the shacks in tattered and dirty clothes that most people in the U.S. probably wouldn’t even use as garage rags. Infants sit bare-bottomed on the sand while their mothers prepare food. Children play with sticks and rusty tin cans; there are no iPads and TVs. For us, it is heartbreaking, but for them, they are happy and know nothing else.
The beach is full of Fante men arriving on large wooden boats with their catch of fish. These boats are colorfully painted and covered with phrases like “Jerusalem” and Bible verses like “Psalm 27.” In fact, driving through Ghana and reading the business signs and names along the road you wouldn’t think that there was a great need for gospel sharing. However, as we have seen in our clinic when taking “spiritual histories” from our patients, this is far from the truth. Many claim to be Christians but do not know Jesus as their personal savior but instead rely on the belief that their good works will save them. This trip especially, Jay and I have been convicted to get out of our comfort zone and start having some Gospel conversations, and we are so thankful for these opportunities.
After our walk through Fante village, the remainder of our “off” day included games on the balcony and a few hours of beach and ocean fun at a “beach resort” across the street. Jay and I enjoyed some happy wave-surfing in the ocean and my congested sinuses have now been sufficiently irrigated with ocean water. As we prepare for clinic tomorrow in our very own Nzema Baptist Hospital, we ask for prayers for strength for the last two clinic days, wisdom in medical care, and most importantly courage and boldness to continue to share the Good News to the Nzema people. May the Lord continue to make waves of change both in and through our team in Ghana!
- Mindy (and Jay) Strawser