Today marked our first full day since touching down in Accra and wow it was a good one! We began the day like any other and enjoyed breakfast at 8:30 followed by the rallying of all 20 of us back into the two vans.
From there, a quick ride took us to the SIM Ghana main office where we had the pleasure of meeting the former director of SIM Ghana and his wife who gave us a quick rundown on the system and mission of SIM and some important health reminders. For those who do not know, Sports Friends works under SIM along with multiple other branches to learn and spread the word of God throughout the entire country and world, so it was neat to be able to meet and speak with the individuals that orchestrated this trip. They also provided cookies, of which were passed around the table at least four times as we each grabbed another. That meeting took about two hours which led us right into lunch time.
Ben and Josiah guided us to a quaint little spot along the road called Urban Taste. This is where the adventurous eaters were tested as one of the specialties was a dish called Banku and Tilapia. We all know what Tilapia is, however, the plate included the entire fish with eyeballs and everything. Banku is a fermented corn-type dough side dish that was entirely eaten using your hands after Josiah had made a point of not using any utensils. Others simply enjoyed a dish of chicken or fried rice and enjoyed the opportunity to get to know everyone a bit better and jumped out of our comfort zones by learning many new cultural norms.
When lunch was over, we jumped back into the vans and left for a small village, about 45 minutes outside of Accra. Once we arrived, we were hesitant and unsure of what the game plan was but all the while these adorable children kept passing by and waving from afar. During this time, we waited around a bit and met a few Sports Friends coaches which was awesome to see God’s system in action!
We had packed along a handful of water filters for a demonstration only to discover the packs were missing the drill bit used to make the perfect hole in the buckets. Luckily, we were able to find a knife and Ben was successful in making a hole to provide this family with clean water. Meanwhile, others like Joey were busy entertaining a majority of the timid children by allowing them to chase and grab onto him. Adair, myself (Anna) and Megan were able to get the other girls in the village to play some games.
After some hanging around we had quite the crowd and walked across the street to the field. The field is not what you would picture, rather some bamboo soccer posts and a patch of dirt. The joy that the children displayed was so encouraging and in the short amount of time we were there we all experienced or saw God through their endless smiles. The excitement of the children involved us in so many aspects as Adair did flips off two stacked bricks along with the other children, Joey was giving endless piggyback rides, and everyone else was mingling or playing games.
When it was time to wrap up, we got to see the coaches teach by gathering all the kids up and prompting them with questions like “what is love?,” “how do we show love?,” “what is forgiveness?.” Each child was engaged and giving thoughtful answers as the “Madame” was introducing the character of Jacob and each child wanted to share that they knew who his twelve sons were. Closing in prayer, we began to load the vans where the children started shouted “do not go” as Joey had to literally get kids pulled off his sweaty back.
After a rough road trip back, we had dinner and reflected on our day where we saw the presence of God. Personally (Anna), I loved getting to know one of the little girls, Rachel, who was quiet and timid but when we circled up to pray she was asked to pray and did so with confidence and grace for the entire group. It was so cool to see her be a leader and example at such a young age for the other children. I (Scott), personally saw God working through the kids as they started off so timid and opened up and were so crazy by the time we had to leave. The joy that each of these kids showed was a true reflection of God and the work He is doing in Ghana through Sports Friends. With that, this first full day was more than we could have ever expected and we were all exhausted. After a cold shower we are all exited to get a good night’s sleep to see what God has in store for us in the coming days!
With Love, Anna & Scott <3