22 names

(I wrote this two days ago…but just now posting it)

I don’t know about you but I love writing. I enjoy blogging and sharing my journey with you all(was tempted to say y’all) but it doesn’t stop me from journalling as often as I can. Something about physically writing out your thoughts and seeing your words hit paper is therapeutic. Ever since I was a young girl I would just fill journals up with my thoughts, hopes and dreams for the future. I think God was using this as a way to be writing to myself to prepare my heart, mind and soul for the work He has prepared for me in life. And I haven’t stopped writing, it is my most treasured thing I have. Why? Because it is a true and accurate picture of sharing hopes, dreams, aspirations, inspirations, passion, faith, brokenness, hopelessness and all of the emotions that we feel throughout the course of life.

Going to boarding school and then college journaling was something I slowly stopped doing. Then mid junior year I started again, even if I was wanting to write about UNC, my friends, life or classes I would always end up on the same subject. Ghana(shocker right?) and starting to just write out prayers for my move, preparation for my heart and the unexpected and most importantly for the children. Every night for as long as I can remember I prayed for these very children, without knowing their name, age, place of birth, story or testimony. I just prayed, through my journalling. I filled up an entire journal just of these prayers for these children. 22 was the number of kids that first moved in, and I was 22 when this all came about. 22 and 22, this is surely God’s way of speaking to us, telling us that this is His hand upon our lives. Then I had the chance to write all 22 names on the back of the notebook sitting outside with my kids.Watching them run freely, play in the rain, dance, sing, some sat next to me and wanted to make sure that I had included their name. One even wrote his name 3 more times on the front of the notebook. This was a funny moment that reminded me of all the different and amazing personalities that I find myself living with and loving.

Tonight in particular was that amazing night that made me to pull out this pink notebook that I started in 2015 full of everything that I feel I witnessed tonight. We had our prayer night and tonight one of our boys led it. I cannot tell you the strength and wisdom that God has given this young boy in particular. The way he prayed really left me to be speechless. God doesn’t care about your age, background, anything. He just looks at the heart. I prayed each night for them, and now I am hearing them pray these exact prayers of protection, guidance, unconditional love, and provision back for me. He even went on to pray for all the staff, foster moms and even the supporters in the US. He prayed for any supporter that he doesn’t know who is mindful enough to donate that God would richly bless their lives.

Tonight was one of those nights where you feel grateful to just be alive. Grateful to just serve a God who is so much bigger than we can understand. Grateful to be able to love, and be loved by a God, and by these children who show me how much the father’s love can grow. How deep and never ending love is, how powerful it is, and how perfect love casts out all fear.Grateful to serve a God who so carefully pieces together our lives, and unites us with the ones were supposed to be with from different sides of the world. In our prayer circle I look at the different faces of our children and remember their stories. Their stories are a real life examples of the father’s love and how the father has listened to our prayers. I see their faces and think about how crazy it is that he picked me up and placed me in this rural part of Ghana, and brought children from different parts of the country, and some other countries, and placed us all here. I feel humbled everyday to be a small part of God’s work and how he is moving so powerfully in 2016. At this very moment. I see how God is moving in their hearts, and minds, and I am in awe. 

You see when I wrote this journal

  • was a student at UNC
  • had no clue what life in Ghana would really look like
  • who, or how many children would be coming into our care
  • how truly amazing they each are
  • how difficult this work is
  • how much GOD would come through for me time and time and time again
  • how long I would even stay in Ghana

And then I…

packed up my bags

moved to a new country

across the ocean

on a different continent

far away from everything and anything I knew or was used to

not knowing that I’d stay more than a few months

not knowing that I’d start to see and call Ghana home

(cross, check and check)

You see there was SO many questions, and unanswered things, yet I just kept writing and writing and praying to prepare myself, I am not sure if anything could ever fully prepare myself for this, but just like my other post God is near, He is with us every step of the way.

I continue to fill  a new journal up, with hopes, dreams, aspirations, passions and stories of life in Ghana, so this moment will never escape me. Trying to capture the real moments that makes my time so unique here. The hardships, the frustrations, the difficulties, the amazing moments and all the in between moments.(Like watching the kids play a game on my phone, or watching them dance after school, writing down the funny things they say and do, and hearing their future dreams.) So that when I am older and have seen where God has taken my life and PNN I can just open my journal and find myself right back in Ghana. Where it all began.

With the first 22 names written on the back of my pink notebook. The 22 names who have become the greatset lawyers,doctors, engineers, presidents, pastors, nurses Ghana has yet to see. And in that moment I will smile, and just remember them as my first 22, and be able to treasure these amazing moments.

You are all loved,

Dev

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