All journeys have secret destinations, of which the traveler is unaware.

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am. Philippians 4:11b


They say it's your birthday.....

tomorrow is my I really 27 years old? It's crazy! I'm almost 30. My 10 year high school reunion is next year. I can't believe it. I've done so many things in my life so far. I'm getting ready to go back to Ghana in September. Only God knows how long I'll be there this time. I'm definitely planning on staying for the entire school year. But who knows how much longer.....2 years..5's crazy to think about it. But exciting too. I still have a very hard time calling myself a missionary...but really that's what I'm doing I guess. Working with a missionary school.
I've had 3 strange dreams lately and my high school band director (who died unexpectedly a few years ago) was in all of them.....I don't really think they mean's just strange to me.
I'm so excited and ready to get back to Ghana that I can't explain it in words. Every time I talk to someone from Ghana or look at the pictures from Ghana I'm just SO ready. I have to get on the ball and get all my mess together. I have so much to do. I have to get my monthly supporters. I have to go speak at a friend's church in Durham. I have to get my ticket ordered and call the guy that's arranging the payment for me. I have to get some stuff that I need/want to take back in the shipping container. I need to go help load the shipping container. So many things to do..ahhhhh. It's ok though, Jehovah Tsur (the Lord is my strength)



Sometimes I just get disgusted with our high-tech, instant gratification, self-centered society. I was browsing on the internet today and I came across an ad for THIS This whole idea makes me feel a little sick. Someone calls themself a Christian and is actually concerned with giving to their particular congregation but they can't seem to make the time to just go to the bank or write a check sometime before Sunday morning? Seriously? And it gives a receipt...which THIS SITE says people apparently drop into the collection plate so that others don't think they're not giving.....or maybe they even "accidentally" drop it so someone can find it and discover how much they're giving. AHH! things like this make me want to just scream. Are Christians in America really like this? Most of the ones I know personally are definitely not, which is very assuring to me....but the fact that there are people calling themselves Christian that are concerned with outward appearance and with having the most convenient "church going experience" available just makes me sick. Let me just throw this out there...You don't 'go to church' ARE THE CHURCH and here's another little tid-bit of info...when you go to assemble together with other Christians, IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU! or your neighbor, or your friend across the aisle or the preacher or the people singing/playing music etc. IT'S ABOUT GOD! end of story. You really can't inconvenience yourself and go to the bank before Sunday morning assembly or mail a check for your tithe to the office of the congregation? These machines cost $5000 with a $50 a month operation fee. What congregation really thinks that's a better investment than giving that 5 grand to a needy family, or to mission work in the foreign field. I know from living in Ghana that $5000 US dollars would go a loooooong way in Ghana, and I'm sure it would in just about every other underdeveloped country in the world.
When are people going to get it. Come on Christians....grow some backbones. when you see crap like this...don't fall for it. If you think this machine is a good idea, you need to seriously think about stewardship and how everything we have on this earth is given to us by God to make His name known and glorified. You really think a credit card swipe machine in the foyer of your church building glorifies God? I certainly don't...and honestly, if I attended a congregation that seriously considered one of these ridiculous things...I think I'd have to seriously consider finding a new congregation.



I can't help but think about my decision to go back to Ghana a lot lately. To me, it's really not a big deal. Yet....I wonder if it will hit me someday that I'm leaving what I've known my entire life to go live in a foreign country. When I say it that way, it seems like a big deal, but it's really not to me. There are people that have told me, "oh I could never do what you're doing.." and I always think that it's just because they've never been there...I think to myself that if people had been there, and gotten to know the people I've gotten to know, then everyone would want to go live there. But I dunno, maybe that's not really true. I used to think it was strange that I'm not so much of a homebody because my mom loves being at home and doing things to make wherever she is feel more "like home." Maybe God just designed me this way. Whenever people ask me how long I'm going to stay in Ghana I don't know what to tell them. I have to say something like "until God puts me somewhere else" or something like that. The other day I almost blurted out "forever" but my brain caught it before my mouth let it go. Was that a Freudian slip? Who knows. I try to ask myself how long I am going to stay in Ghana. I honestly have no clue though. Like I said in my last post, a couple of years ago I had no clue that I'd be going back to Ghana for a 3rd time to stay for however long. I certainly can't predict what will happen in this life. I wonder how long it took people that have gone over there short-term and ended up staying, to realize that they were staying there forever. In all fairness, they've all gotten married there so they have something that ties them to Ghana. I don't have that, but I still wonder how long I'll end up there. I bet you get tired of me talking about Ghana all the time don't you?'s just on my mind a lot lately. I'm not scared of staying there long-term anymore like I was before. I actually feel more at ease about going back to Ghana that I would feel if I was staying here in the States. I have a purpose there...and I know that the place is not where the purpose comes from but my life feels more meaningful there than it does here. enough for tonight I s'pose


Meant for this....

I've been thinking lately that maybe I am meant to be in Ghana. After recent donations I've received for my return trip in September I think it's pretty obvious that God wants me there. But I mean further back than that. A few years ago I never would have even dreamed that I was going to be going to Ghana ( I probably didn't even know where it was.) But there are aspects of my personality that just FIT with the whole missionary style of life. Wow, to refer to myself as a "missionary" in writing is really, really weird.
So what do I mean really? I don't even know really. Sometimes I think something is different or special about me and later I realize that everybody was like that. But for the sake of this post, I'll continue. As a child I was never one of those kids that got homesick or cried at sleepovers or camp. I've always been able to just be "at home" wherever I am. I never was a picky eater (obviously) and I'd always try new things even if I didn't think I'd like them. Maybe those are things God put into my personality to get me ready for Ghana. I've never been the kind of person that feels like they need to have lots of "stuff" to be happy. One of my really good friends in Ghana told me I was simple. He meant it as a compliment. He was basically saying that it's obvious to him that I don't care about possessions and having expensive things or a big house or whatever to feel successful. I know people that I don't think could live in Ghana, even in the city where I was. They'd be miserable without hot water for showers and without wireless high-speed internet and without digital cable. I've discovered over the last 7 months, that I don't really need to have any of those things to be happy. Apparently what I needed to be happy was to feel like I was doing something worthwhile. Maybe I'm stretching a little with the thinking way back to my childhood.....but who knows. I can't believe I'm sitting here in NC planning my trip back to Ghana, West Africa and I have no earthly idea how long I'll be there. What if I do actually end up staying there forever? I can't even wrap my brain around that.



Wow! 3 posts in one day....I know. Sorry
I've been thinking a lot lately. Maybe it's because I'm here in NC at "home" and things are just not the same as they were before I left. Mom's married & lives in a place that is totally unfamiliar to me. I don't really have a place to call my own anymore, even though my friends are awesome & I can stay with them and feel at home. Their houses aren't really MY home. Maybe it's because I'm a little worried about my brother & his family since they're having a hard time right now financially. Maybe I'm worried about people in my family that are spiritually dead. Maybe it's because I've been living in Africa immersed in bible and prayer and memory work and all that stuff. I don't know. I don't think I ever learned how to pray. As I read that, it sounds silly because as we taught the kids at camp this week....prayer is just talking to God. You can basically say anything you want or need to to Him. When I was a kid, the only thing I ever remember learning about prayer was that you do it before you eat, and before you go to bed. And there were even specific prayers for these times. You know the ones, "God is great, God is good let us thank Him for our food. By His hands we all are fed, give us this day our daily bread, Amen" and "Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take (which was usually followed by a list of things I was thankful for.) Don't get me wrong, I think it's fine to teach those prayers to really young kids, to get them into the habit (initially) of prayer on a regular basis....but that's pretty much where my education on prayer ended. Until around the time I got to late High School and college. Prayer is REALLY important....and I still just don't feel that comfortable doing it. I will pray when I'm called on...but I feel awkward when I do. Like I'm fumbling over the words and not making any sense. Or I forget what I was going to say right when it's my turn to speak. How do you get comfortable talking to the creator of the entire universe.....? There are things I don't even talk to my best friends about, and I'm supposed to discuss them with God? I mean, he already knows anyway, but still, sometimes saying something out loud is just really hard. Some people seem so comfortable with prayer. Like they really are just talking to their best friend or dad and they're standing right next to them. I want to be like that. So I'm going to work on it...I'm going to make sure I talk to God more. If you don't mind, could you bring me up every now & then when you talk to Him...thanks.

Tough love

So, for the last 3 days I've been helping out as a counselor at a Christian camp. This session was for little kids ages 6-8 or so. You know what I've decided.....American kids need some tough love. Man alive! I don't think I've ever seen such whiny, bratty kids in my life. Don't get me wrong, they were sweet too, but some of them seriously needed an attitude check. I think one little girl whined enough for every camper there. I just kept thinking, "man, in Ghana, this kid would get a spanking for whining like that." I'm not saying that every single time a kid whines or gets a bad attitude you should whack 'em. But sometimes a kid needs a spanking. Kids in my age group almost all got spankings when we did something wrong and most of us aren't emotionally scarred from the experience. And in Ghana when a kids gets disciplined when it's over, they have to thank you for it. Because you discipline your kids (even your students) because you love they should be thankful that you love them enough to discipline them. It seems kind of shocking to Americans that we're so "harsh" over there. But in all honesty, kids need discipline and routine. When they know their boundaries they are much better off and so are the adults that care for them. I dunno, just a thought.

Jehovah Jirah

The Lord Provides! I found out how true this is big-time this weekend. As you all probably know, I'm working on raising support to go back to Ghana in September. I'm pretty confident that I can get the monthly support. If I can get 25 people/groups to commit to giving me $20 a month then I'm set on my monthly support. I wasn't really "worried" about the money for the plane ticket, but I know that it is the hard part because it's such a large amount of money all at once. Well, my friend Brittney called me on Sunday told me that when she did a presentation about her trip to Togo, the people she was talking to said they want to buy my plane ticket to go back to Ghana for me!!!! I sort of didn't believe her at first but she told me it was totally legit. The man called me this weekend to get info about how much the ticket will cost etc. I was at camp so I have to call him back but it's definitely legit. God is so awesome in the way he provides for us. It also just affirms to me that he wants me in Ghana and I'm SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT!!!!
Love ya all


Yeah this is home....

now I'm finally where I belong....

you know the song don't you? Many I've been missing Ghana hardcore this week. I've been working on a display table to set up at church so I've been looking at pictures of my friends and students all week. Then today I got 3 (THREE!!) phone calls from Ghana...all in one day. Esther Adolbella called me this morning. I hang out with her a lot, she's the cook at the school and the kitchen is right next to my learning center so I go in there & talk to her a lot. We also walk in the mornings so I see her all the time. She's doing great, helping out at the school for summer school. Then around 5 Emmanuel Ayensu called me. He's one of the guys that graduated this year but we're pretty good friends. He jokes with me all the time. He's actually staying in my room this summer (which I didn't know until today) so he was in my room when he called me, is that a little strange? Then almost immediately after that Richard Sarpong called me. He went to BCA but now he's taking classes for computer software or networking or something like that. He & the two Esthers are my best friends there. I miss them all so much. I can't wait to get back to Ghana.
This morning I spoke to a small group at a prayer breakfast about Ghana. It was a small group, but maybe I'll get some support from it somehow. They all seemed interested while I was talking so that's good. And Lawrence, the guy sort of in charge of the meeting, he said something I've not been able to figure out how to say since I got back. He said something about how I was going back home to Ghana, even though NC was my home....that the Lord had blessed me with two homes here on Earth. I've never been able to come up with those words to describe it but it's the perfect way to say it. Ghana is is NC. Who says you can't call more than one place home?
Home is where you heart is right.....well, mine is there and here at the same time.


....on being a nerd and missing "home"

I am a nerd....I have realized this before but tonight I came to the re-realization that I am in fact, a nerd. I have been working on a display for presentations etc about Ghana. I have one of those tri-fold cardboard know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I want it to look like the Ghana Flag turned sideways. It took me forever to get the spacing right for the bars since the display board is twice as wide in the middle as on each side. Then it has this star in the middle right...well, it's such a simple flag, if the star looks off, then the whole thing will look, well, crappy. So being the nerd that I am, I got out my (actually it was Heidi's) protractor. That's right people, I used a protractor to measure the angles of the star in the middle of the flag so it would be as close as I could get it to "perfect." It's NOT perfect, by any means, to me it looks really crooked....but after I get the pictures and info about Ghana on there people probably won't notice the crookedness of the star. Then while I was pre-arranging the pictures, because you can't just go throwing the pictures on there all haphazardly, I really started to miss Ghana. I found myself looking at every single picture thinking about when it was taken. I'm so thankful for little things like photos. I mean, Think about it, a photo is like capturing a little tiny piece of a memory on a piece of glossy, 4x6 paper. God is so awesome in the way he created our minds. The smallest thing can pull a memory out of the depths of our minds. A smell, a taste, a photo. What if God hadn't given us the capacity for memory? I mean, a lot of animal species don't really have memory as far as we know. But can see a picture and be instantly transported back to when it was taken. When I see the pictures of Esther cooking at the school, I can almost smell the food (as cliche as that sounds). The pictures make me miss Ghana so much.
Lately I've been wondering what in the world I'd be doing if God hadn't sent me to Ghana and given me the heart to go back there in September. Would I still be working in a kitchen? Would I have finally decided to go to culinary school at the C.I.A.. And where is this all going? Where will I be a year from now....5 years...20 years? I can honestly say I have no idea what the answer to that question is....Right now, I'm hoping I'm still in Ghana. In 7 months, God has given me a love for that country and for Kumasi and the students at BCA that just amazes me. I don't know....I feel at home there. Things feel stable, and I feel useful there. Before I went to Ghana in December I was a little afraid that God would call me back there....I'm so glad he has. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I guess that's about all I have to say for tonight....I need to get to bed anyway.



I'm a southerner. I admit it. I am not however, a stereotypical southerner. I don't say "ain't or ya'll." I don't like sweet tea, although after having lived with the Hostetters (Mrs H is from Eastern NC) I have learned to drink it and almost like it. I try to avoid having a southern drawl(is that the right word?) at all costs. I have an accent, but I don't think it's so prominent that you would immediately peg me as a southerner just by hearing me talk. I don't add extra syllables to words that have only one syllable (which southerners do quite a bit, just ask someone with a good southern accent to say my will come out sounding like 'Beyethayann') People that are not from the southeast commonly think of it as a place where the people are backwards, uneducated, quite often racist rednecks. Now I was born & raised in eastern NC and I am none of those things, so I know that it's not true, but people still think that way sometimes. But I am remembering more and more lately, that I am not really from the South.....I'm just staying here while my big brother gets everything ready for me to come home. I have heard people question why God made so many different races/ethnic groups. People think it's soooo hard to get along and find something in common with people that live in a really different situation than themselves. But I LOVE the diversity God allows in this world. I love to travel and learn about new cultures and new places and hear new types of music and eat new types of food. I have learned in the last 10 years or so, but especially in the last 7 months that people are NOT that different. Even when they seem like they are. I fit in just as easily in Ghana as I do in NC. The only real difference between my friends there and my friends here is their skin color. Maybe part of the reason God allowed such diversity is to get us to realize that all the physical stuff (hair/skin color, language you speak etc) it's not really important. At the core, the soul, people are all the same. The Ghanaians love Jesus just as much as the Americans. And they need Him just as much. All the differences we have should be appreciated as a display of God's great creativity. To go to a musical term, Humans are all kind of a theme and variation. We were all created in God's Image and since Adam and Eve we've all just been variations of that original theme.

Ok so, I have something I really need to get over & let God take from me....I have HUGE issues with my dad. I need to forgive him for all the crap he's put our family through in my life-time (longer really) and I need to forgive him for being such a terrible parent. I have tried to forgive him, but it keeps coming back. The anger, the bitterness, the hurt. I honestly believe that he doesn't care about us, beyond what it will benefit him to care. He acts like he cares when he knows people are watching. The whole time I was in Ghana (7 months including Christmas) he didn't call me once, and he only emailed me a few times, most of which were forwards that were junk mail anyway. But then when I landed in NC AT MIDNIGHT, he was there....almost crying because he was so 'happy' that I was home. It makes me really really angry to know that he uses me as a way to make people think that he cares about his family and he's the one that was wronged in the whole divorce situation. My nephew rode from Rocky Mount to Macclesfield with him and apparently he basically trashed mom all the way a 13 year old boy?! Why would a grown man feel the need to do that? Now he can say "oh I went & picked BA up at the airport when she got back from Ghana" which is technically true, but I bet he couldn't tell where Ghana is....or the address where I was staying, or the names of any of my friends. It just makes me mad. I still love him.....but not with the kind of love a daughter should have for her father. I just love him like I love a total stranger that needs Jesus. Is that wrong of me? I honestly don't feel like he's my father. It makes me feel a little guilty to say that, but it's true. They say blood is thicker than water, but I don't think that's true anymore. I'm almost ashamed to say that I'd sacrifice for most of my friends before I'd sacrifice for my own dad. After a while you get tired of caring so much about someone when all they ever do is hurt you. I don't know....but I have to figure out how to forgive's really really hard, sometimes I don't want to forgive him. I need help with it I guess....



I haven't had any allergy problems for the last 7 months except for two separate times when my sinuses just kind freaked out a little....I get back to NC and my allergies have been kickin' my tail non stop for the last 20 days.....I think I'm allergic to the United States....Just kidding (maybe..)

I've been doing some information gathering for a display about Ghana that I'm going to put up at Christ's Church and for presentations should I have any to do (and I think I will). Some of the info I'm getting makes me really sad.....The most shocking tidbit I found so far was about the number of AIDS related deaths. In Ghana there are an estimated 21,000 AIDS related deaths a year in a population of 23,832,495 well, the shocking thing is that in the US there are 22,000 AIDS related deaths a year in a population of 307,212,123. So I'm sitting here thinking about it and it's crazy to me that a country as small as Ghana only has 1,000 less AIDS related deaths a year than the US even though like 283 million more people live in the US than in Ghana. I know it's not just Ghana too. Most of the African continent has an AIDS epidemic basically. That's on top of the other problems people have with poverty and poor sanitation....when will people that live in wealthy countries, that could really make an impact on less fortunate countries, start to care? I'm so glad that so many of the people I'm close to really DO care about Africa and Ghana. Maybe it's because the know people that have been there and they've heard from those people about how amazing the people are there. Maybe it's because most of them are Christians and they genuinely care about the souls of the Africans. I don't know, but I feel really fortunate to have a circle of friends that cares about the world.
I'm really starting to miss Ghana and I'm getting excited about the opportunities I have to tell people about what's going on there. One of my friends, that I haven't heard from in a very long time, sent me a message on Facebook this weekend asking me if I'd be interested in speaking at the church he & his wife go to. He's on the missions team and he brought me up at a meeting and they want me to come speak about Ghana and possibly offer me support to go back. Two of my other friends both told me that they need someone to support monthly because the person they were supporting is no longer in need of monthly support. And I know that I have more friends that want to help me, whether through monthly support or moral support. God is so awesome in the way he provides everything we need, exactly when we need it.
Since I've been back, I occasionally think to myself "wait, you're really only going to be here until September....seriously?!!" I almost can't belive it. I know that people here care about me, but I think God is using these few months to really show me that my friends here really honestly do care about me and what I'm doing, even when I'm thousands of miles away and even when they all have their own lives to worry about. I've really been convicted to do a much better job with sending out updates and emails when I go back to Ghana. If people are willing to support me and pray for me and care about what's going on in Ghana, then I have a responsibility to share with them as often as possible about the work being done there. If I can't sacrifice a few hours and a few Cedis a month to go to the internet cafe and send out an update, then I don't deserve their support.
I have finished my new support letter, I need to get it printed so I can start sending them out as soon as possible. They probably won't start going out until I get back from Camp next Tuesday. I'm excited about that too! I haven't worked a session of camp since I was in college and I've never worked a session with younger kids. It should be very fun. I might even get to share about Ghana some. I think they have wireless internet at the camp, so I might take my laptop and upload some pictures and blog while I'm there, we'll have to see how busy I am. I think I'll end this blog with even more pictures (are you tired of pictures of Ghana yet?....I'm not)


Grow UP.....seriously!

man, can I just say that people that go through life not worrying about their responsibilities as much as they should really irritate me! If you tell somebody you'll take care of something DO IT. And if for some reason it looks like you're not going to be able to take care of it, let them know as soon as you find out. It annoys me when I have something to take care of and someone else tells me they're going to handle it, and then I find out a the last possible minute, that they didn't get it taken care of and Oh, now it's my problem again! AHHHHHHHH and people wonder why I want to go back to Ghana! Oh how I love Ghana.

By the way, if anybody wants a very adorable, very sweet black cat, please let me know.


One year.....anniversary?

So, this time last year, I was in Ghana for the first time ever. I was still trying to realize that I was in Africa....I remember Connie telling me something along the lines of "it's not another planet" just Africa. I have to admit, I was kind of scared of what God would do with me on that trip before I left the States. I "worried" that I would feel called to go back to Ghana. haha, ironic? A year ago, I never would have thought that I'd be planning on returning to Ghana AGAIN for an even longer stay. The way God works things's crazy sometimes. I can think of about 100 things that have happened to me since I got to college that had they happened differently, I would have gone to Ghana the first time. I can't explain it, but I really feel drawn to Ghana, like it's home. I hope that you realize that this doesn't diminish the value of NC being my home. I just think God has given me a special love for Ghana. I'm really excited about learning Twi (the most common language in Kumasi), I'm really excited about doing more speical things with my students, I'm really excited about getting to know the friends I have there even better. I have some things to do here this summer that I really need to do in order to make sure I have enough support to go back. I need to meet with some people one on one to, for lack of a better word, sell my cause. If I can get about 30 people to commit go supporting me with $20 a month, I'll be set. I don't particularly like the idea of "selling myself" but if it gets me back to Ghana, I'll do it. I don't know what else to say. I can't wait for September. Pray for all my support to come in quickly and easily.