For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11
If you missed part one of this blog post click here. We had one more night in Ghana during our first trip. I was sad to be leaving this place I had come to love so quickly, but knew I would be returning soon. My dad also grew to love this place as much as I did, this made me so happy. This night was spent celebrating a wonderful first visit with the men and women who worked for the organization that we partnered with to build the wells. Men and women who we made instant lifelong friendships with. Men and women who would quickly become partners, companions, and family. Over dinner and maltas, (A favorite Ghanaian soda) we talked about the possibility of creating a non-profit organization to help orphans in particular. Scribbling on paper napkins different words in Twi (one of the languages spoken in Ghana) we had chosen Nyame Nsa. Which means God’s helping hands. This name seemed perfect, now we needed to go home and make it official. So as God would have it Project Nyame Nsa was born. (pronounced -nah-men-sah) To learn more click here.
I went home to New York inspired, my compassion for these people turned into passion, and no one could tell me what we wanted to do would be impossible. Because God was on our side. Fast forward to spare you all the organizational details, over the course of the past six years we are an officially registered non-profit in the US and Ghana. We have raised over a million dollars to build a Village of Hope for orphans with a housing complex for the kids, a church, playground, guest house, soccer and basketball area and transportation to a nearby school. The small vision of the orphanage had exploded into something so much larger than what we had expected. The Village sits on a 5 acre land plot one hour from the capital city Accra. When I initially said yes to this I didn’t realize all that it would entail. That’s the simple beauty of being obedient to what God has called you to do. He lead me every step of the way and surrounded me with family, friends, supporters and donors that made this vision a reality. And I will be forever grateful for this! He always provided for this project when it seemed impossible. At every phase He provided just what we needed.
I want to use my story as a way for anyone reading this to know three things.
- Everyone has purpose, whatever it may be. But you can’t discover this purpose if God is not in control of your life. So often people want to be used to do great things by God but struggle with control. How can God lead you to your destiny if you are busy chasing money, the crowd or what you think is best for you life. He can’t, and you just might miss out on a wonderful,exciting and fulfilling life that you were created to live.
- That you don’t need to go to Africa to make a difference. This is something that I strongly emphasize. This may be your calling, and it might not be. We can all be lights in different places and fields. If we were all called to go to the same place how could we make a difference? I would so encourage anyone to pray, be still as ask God to make it so clear what he wants you to do. And he will.
- Passion. Life without passion is boring and unfulfilling. I promise you that when you truly find yourself doing what you love you won’t lack anything. You will be at the center of God’s will, what other better place is there to be?