Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Learning the Life

This post was written a few weeks ago, but, due to some challenges, we are posting it now.  Sorry for the delay,

Guest Blogger: Franklin Beebe, age 14

     Earlier this week, I had the chance to go to an orphanage and spend two nights there with my friend, Michael. The home is located in the middle of a very poor community and it isn’t any better than its surroundings. This orphanage has running water outside only once a week on Wednesday, although sometimes the water never comes on Wednesdays.  If there is no water then it is hauled by wheelbarrow to the home by some of the boys living there.
 In the two days I was there, I got to experience an orphan’s normal daily life. 
     The kids have almost nothing to do throughout the day. While I was there, we played “football”(soccer) on a dirt area behind the orphanage. We used a deflated soccer ball that had numerous holes in it. It was sad for me to see that they used that for fun and that was all they had, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. They seemed happy.

     For dinner I was fed rice and chicken, the following night I was fed rice and chicken. That’s what we received for lunch both days as well.  It tasted good but it got old after a while.  I loved breakfast though. We got an egg and vegetable sandwich. It was delicious.

     At the home there is only one girl and the rest are boys. It was hard to see the conditions of living at the orphanage. And for them to have running water only one day a week was even harder. Everyone has to take a bucket shower outside in a little shack that looks like an outhouse. A bucket shower is using a bucket to wet yourself and then to rinse. I have had to take a bucket shower at home a couple of times when the power goes out.

     While I was at the home, one of the boys gave me a Twi lesson(Twi is one of the main languages the Ghanaians speak). He taught me a few words in twi like go, come, and close the door -  just easy words.

     I also had the chance to put some of the younger boys there down for bed. Michael was talking to Paul who is the “Daddy” of the home. I went in to the boys room and they got out chairs and made a circle and got a chair for me, they all said “Sit, and tell us a bible story before we go to bed.” I was trying to think of a short story I could tell them. I remembered earlier in the month someone doing a sermon on the good Samaritan. That’s what I talked to the boys about. They loved it. They very rarely get put to bed by a white person let alone get put to bed at all. I am glad God gave me that chance.
     Michael had been living at the home for a couple of months and saw the need for running water.  All summer he’s worked on installing pipes and drains so the home can have access to running water within the walls. He needed to buy a Polytank for the water to be gravity fed from the roof. A Polytank, by the way, is a big plastic water tank that holds water to run it to the house.

     On Wednesday morning, Michael and I walked down to a lot on the side of the road where Polytanks were sold. We found the right sized one and got the price. Later that week Michael was able to borrow a truck and haul it back to the orphanage to hook it up. I wish I could have been there to see it lifted up to the roof, but I had to leave the next day. Michael got the tank up successfully and now they will have running water all week long, as long as the tank fills up on the Wednesdays when the water is running.

     I am glad I was able to go and help out at the home and get to know some of the kids very well. I would go back any time if I got the chance again. The house needs some work and isn’t in great shape but the souls within it shine. 


A. Gillispie said...

I'm so glad you got to spend some time at Nyame Dua (meaning, "God Protects"). Daddy Paul is like a brother to me, and the children there are precious to me as well.

I want to mention that although the home isn't as "nice" as some other orphanages you may have visited, the home is owned outright by Daddy Paul. He does not pay rent. In Ghana one would much rather live in a small and simple home that they own, than a large nice home that they pay rent on. It is a great success in Paul's life that he owns the home, as simple as it is.

As you said, the home lacks for many earthly things, but is abundant in the things that really matter, like the Love of the Father!!


Annie said...

Thanks for sharing this. It was amazing you could go with that friend and experience their daily life.