Friday, July 26, 2013

Home Away from Home

Hello Beebe blog readers! My name is Jamie Talley and I have been staying at an orphanage called Nyame Dua for the past six weeks.  God has taught me so many wonderful things that I would like to share with you all!

James 1:27 - “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

When I arrived in Ghana the first thing I did was start sweating.  I was used to having air conditioning all the time and only having to be in the heat when absolutely necessary.  I immediately began to wonder how long this trip would feel due to the heat.  I thought to myself, “Self! This is gonna be a long trip if you don’t find a way to stay cool real quick!” Upon arrival at Nyame Dua I discovered a ceiling fan in my room that I now praise Jesus for because it saved me many a sweltering day.  I have learned to praise Jesus for even the small things such as this.
Before I came here I considered myself a strong Christian and very pridefully talked about what I was going to be doing in Ghana.  I thought I was big stuff for stepping out of everything I know for A WHOLE SIX WEEKS.  That’s how it felt in my mind at least.  Now it seems such a small amount of time to learn a new home and have to leave so soon.  I praised Jesus on Sunday mornings for sure when I was at church.  I prayed (sometimes) that His name be praised for all the big wonderful events that I saw happening in the states.  I praised Him when I saw another person join the family and praised Him when another brother or sister proclaimed aloud that He is the savior.  I even thanked Him for the food that I ate at a meal.  I seldom thanked Him and praised Him for anything else though.  I took for granted how much food I had.  I took for granted that I have my own bedroom and loving parents that have supported me for these first twenty-one years of life.  I took for granted having central air conditioning in my house.  So many things that I thought were just there, I never thought of as blessings.  Jesus provided for me the things I needed to thrive here in Ghana.  
My first two weeks here were pretty rough as I settled in and got used to what I was doing every day and who I was with every day.  I had never been on my own before like I was at Nyame Dua.  I cried and prayed that God would let me be able to talk to someone only my tenth day here because I felt so lonely.  Through the sound of my blubbering I heard a knock on my door and found Meagan and Richard, two of the folks working at another orphanage, standing there waiting to come talk to me.  God heard me.  I had planned on a Skype date with my parents that night as well, but the power had gone out.  After talking with Meagan and RIchard I felt better but still was just homesick for the sound of my parents’ voices.  I continued praying that I could get just a phone call to go through to the states.  The first attempt failed and I shed a few more tears.  I tried once more and prayed through the tears that this would work for just five minutes, and God gave me a twenty minute conversation with my mom and dad! GOD HEARD ME!  He heard my cries for help and didn’t leave me alone.  I was never alone because God heard me.  
Throughout the trip there were very few lonely nights after that because even with the power out I could feel God’s presence in the room with me comforting me and telling me to just rest.  I found that reading was a good way to suppress the loneliness for a night or two.  I read His Word some and began reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Praise Jesus.  I had something to do and something to kill the loneliness in my heart.  The Beebes were also a fantastic help.  I called Robin just to ask for prayers and she invited me to come spend the day with them.  Praise Jesus!  The Beebes were always ready to help and pray for me when I needed it.  I also went over to GMI, the orphanage where Meagan and Richard were working, quite a bit.  There were other Americans there that were a great help just to talk to when the kids were taking a nap.  Praise Jesus!  I have made so many wonderful new friends.
The Beebes will forever be a family that I pray for and will continue to love and keep in touch with.  I was and still am incredibly grateful for Mason who came and stayed with me the first few nights that I was here.  Franklin and Weston came with cousin Zach Tate on different occasions to play with the boys at Nyame Dua and help me out with things around the home.  Braden being a youngster is always ready to play with the kids at the home when he visits and is also ready to lead us in morning devotions when called upon by Reid.  Godwin is such a bundle of energy all the time and is such a welcome burst of energy when I was lacking a little.  Reid and Robin have been so welcoming as well and have been parents to me as well as their own while I have been here. Praise Jesus!
More friends were met at GMI in Meagan and Richard first when they were the answer to my prayers.  Richard, who is from Ghana, was a welcome guide and male companion along the way.  Meagan, Andrea, Kate, and Miriah were so much fun to be around! Meagan, ready to live in Ghana, showed me, just through her actions, how to love on these children and how to be a gentle leader for them yet be stern enough when they need it as well.  Andrea, the first that I was in the “classroom” with, showed me, again solely through actions, how to get these children to learn in different methods of teaching yet all with the love and care that all children need.  Kate was such a welcome burst of energy! She was always ready to play with the kids and never slowed down when the rest of us were showing signs of being tired.  
Miriah showed me how to distract the whining kids while still teaching and love on those just wanted attention sometimes.  All of these wonderful people I now consider my friends, and I think that it’s awesome how God brought us together in Ghana when we might not have ever met had we stayed in the states.
I could go on just about forever about the people I have met that have helped me, but I’d like to talk about the kids I was with a little bit too.  
I stayed at Nyame Dua for these six weeks and ,after God ridding my heart of homesickness, I fell in love with the home and all the people there!  Daddy Paul has become my best friend while I have been here.  We talked about the states and Ghana and just about everything whenever we had the chance while the kids were at school.  When the kids came home it was nonstop soccer time after homework.  All day everyday they wanted to play soccer.  All of the kids touched my heart in different ways and now I wish that I could take them all home with me or that I could bring my family from the states here so as to have all of my family on one continent.  As I said before, I went to GMI quite a bit as well and fell in love with kids there too.  I could talk forever about each of the kids but that would literally take forever.  They are all so sweet even when they are screaming for attention.  
I have been here through Feeding The Orphans which is a great organization that is helping all these kids and more throughout Ghana.  They need your help too.  They have links on their website where people can sign up to sponsor children throughout Ghana.  There are different sponsorships though.  The big ones are school and food.  These sponsorships are to help the kids at Nyame Dua and GMI as well as some children that are living with single mothers out on the streets.  Anything you and friends can give is a huge and very welcome gift.  I am a college student so I understand being broke by the states’ standards and understand that prayer is just as powerful as giving money, but please don’t neglect these children just because you think to yourself, “Self, someone else will take care of it.” I think I can sacrifice a Starbucks run once a week to save up enough money to feed a kid for a whole month.  
        Pastor Jerry from Fairview United Methodist, where I have been for all twenty-one years of my life, prayed over Zach and I that our hearts would be broken for these children while we are here.  One child in particular broke my heart just as my pastor had prayed for.  I'll call him Baby S. for now.  He was born with a misshapen head which has caused some severe brain damage.  He also has a very difficult time breathing.  His parents didn't want him and his father even ran away because he thought his child was a demon.  His mother was trying to find a way to kill him when she brought him to Daddy Paul's home in northern Ghana who then said, "No he's a child of God and we will find a way to take care of him."  Paul and I took him to the hospital just for a diagnosis and the doctor said just he needed to have special care to be taken care of.  The doctor pointed at me and said, "Where this man is from would be a better place for the baby to live than here (Ghana)." I almost cried at that point while his caretaker held him.  If nothing else please pray for Baby S. that he would be healed of what is plaguing him and that he would be adopted by a loving family that could take care of him the way he needs to be taken care of.
Thank you all for your support and love! May the Almighty God of peace and mercy bless you all this day and forevermore! - Jamie

Psalm 27:1 - "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

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