July 14th, 2017
I am overjoyed with the experience that I have had in Ghana. I was quite nervous about traveling to a place I had never been, far away from the people I love. I knew that the Lord had called me here but a few days before I left, I kept asking Him, are you sure? I can now say that I am confident that the Lord was sitting in Heaven laughing at my silliness of being anxious about coming. My experience here has been more than I could have ever imagined. It has been challenging at times but so rewarding. I have never met people quite like the Ghanaians. They are so unique in their character and in their way of life. Before I left, many people tried to prepare me for traveling to a ‘third-world country.’ I didn’t think that religion was going to be a focus in this country. Boy was I wrong. I’m glad that I was wrong. There are churches everywhere. They are within walking distance from every house so everyone has access to one. On the back of the tro-tros (buses), there are inspirational quotes like: saved by grace, Emmanuel, God with us. There are signs on the streets with biblical encouragement. I have met people where the first thing out of their mouth is, God be with you. So basically, the Lord is a big deal here.
The aspect that makes religion here so unique is the boldness that everyone possesses. People don’t shy away from their faith or take the Lord out of conversation. My first two weeks here, we participated in community clinics. Most of the clinics were held in churches. Sometimes when we would arrive at 8 am, there would be service going on. The churches here are charismatic meaning that they are very passionate about their faith and show it in ways like praying out loud, dancing, speaking in tongues, etc. I was standing outside the window watching and listening to the pastor sing over his congregation. At one point, the entire body of the church started praying out loud and I felt a chill go through my body. I closed my eyes and felt like I was in heaven, surrounded by angels for a moment. I looked around and saw people praying so passionately, weeping and crying out to their Savior. I was so moved by their genuine faith. I could see the love of God in each person and how it embodied them from head to toe. Their faith shines through their personalities. Each Ghanaian I have met has been so kind, patient with my Twi (local language), welcoming, and overall just happy to see me.
At the children’s hospital, I got to spend a day with one of the dietetic interns. I was telling her how stressful the dietetic internship program is in the states. I told her that there’s less than a 50% chance that I’ll get matched to a dietetic program. I explained to her how competitive our program is and how I’m honestly scared that I won’t get matched. I asked her if it’s like that in Ghana; if she ever worries about getting a job after finishing her internship. Her response was, “Are you Christian, because it’s up to the Lord if I get a job or not!” She laughed and explained how the Lord will provide a way for her regardless of if she is an RD or not. I was taken aback at how bold she was. How easily I would have shied away from telling someone that. She didn’t seem worried or stressed because she is confident that our God is going to take care of her in His way and timing. I so easily want to know what the plan is so I can feel secure in it. But there’s something about not being secure in that. I would rather be secure in my Heavenly Father who spoke life over all of creation. Who knows every minute detail about me. Who is all around me at at all time regardless of if I see Him or feel Him. I want to only be secure in my Father. I believe that the American society has become sensitive to religion. We have to be cautious about what we say about our beliefs to others in fear of upsetting someone. This moment taught me to not be scared of that. To speak what you believe and to be bold in your faith. It was also the Lord reminding me that there is no need for me to stress; that I am completely secure in Him. I hope to be bold in my faith.
This week I have been at Ridge Hospital. When I was growing up, my parents always told me that the purest form of God that we experience is watching a child being born. In my anatomy class in high school, I had to watch the miracle of life movie and watch a baby be born. I could not watch the child come out of her mother because I was so grossed out by it. At Ridge, there is a wing devoted to mothers in labor. On a normal day, around 20 babies are born at Ridge. I had the amazing opportunity of spending a couple of days in the ward and experience the miracle of child birth. I was very nervous and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about watching a baby being born. Everything happened so fast. I walked into a room where a mother was 8 centimeters dilated. She had been in labor for 6 hours. All of sudden one of the students noticed that there was something coming out. Although the mother was only dilated 8 centimeters, she pushed during her contractions since she was in so much pain. The midwife and nurses had to rush to get ready and prep everything. The babies head was just chilling outside of the womb for about a minute or two. Then the midwife grabbed the shoulders and pulled the precious baby out. The mom automatically started thanking Jesus for the life He had made inside of her. She started singing and praising Him. It moved me so much that I began to cry. God is so evident in the creation of a baby. It blows my mind that a baby is created within the mother’s womb; all of the intricate details that the baby has. Everything about it screams the Lord. The mother was overcome with thanksgiving and couldn’t help but sing praises to her Heavenly Father.
Being in Ghana has taught me so much about my faith. I desire to be bold and to be confident in who the Lord has made me to be. I want my passion for the Lord to shine through me at all times. I want to be who the Lord created me to be and not let anyone stop me from being that. Even as this trip is coming to an end, the Lord is continually showing me things that I have learned through this trip. Even though I have heard this a thousand times, it’s essential to love God with everything you are. From that comes the abundant joy that many Ghanaians possess. I am better for knowing the people of Ghana.
With love from Africa,
How the end of our time at Ridge and this program helped me narrow my focus
Finding the light in situations where the resources are limited.
A story about how my first OR experience changed the trajectory of my future
How I was able to see myself in the hospital setting.
How coming all the way to Ghana showed me where my passion is