Archive for March, 2010

From the Bush to the City

Time to refire up this blog

Well, here I am in Accra,Ghana somewhere about 4:00 in the morning, enjoying the relative cool of the early hours, and making the most of a good internet connection.  I did quite nicely without emails, or radio, or TV. for the last five weeks, all the same.

Six weeks in a rural location. They went by in the blink of an eye- It is never long enough.  But with our daughter in Canada ready to pop a second child out any day now I do feel a pull to get home- and  being away from the Magpie gets wearing.

I came in to Accra a little early in order to connect with two of our students” that I couldn’t see except on the weekend.  One is doing well at
a catering school.  The other has just failed a remedial high school exam that she spent months studying for before re-writing.  How do I encourage her and help her find the next way forward?  She is currently working as a maid/nanny. Long days, hard work, and peanuts for pay.

And what did I do with my time in Nkonya?

Of course, I  brought the advance copy of the Nkonya New Testament to wave.
We used it for our morning team devotions, and showed it off in churches. We held team meetings, and a meeting with the central committee, and a meeting with representatives of all the churches about the upcoming dedication.   And we sent representatives to the chiefs and elders in every town to inform them of the planned event.
There is now a date:  November 20th.  Hopefully the rains will have stopped by then.  It’s a Saturday, that falls on a traditional “Rest Day” so there
will be no conflicting funerals.  And it comes shortly after harvest so there will be foodstuffs on hand to feed guests.

We moved all the project equipment into the new Language Office- taking advantage of my being there with a truck.  Wow- space, and more space, and ceiling fans that really deliver. ( Have I said that the weather has been HOT?)  In the afternoon I watched lines of High School students queuing up to pump water from our borehole. The boarding school is just up the road and their pump is currently down.  They would have a long walk indeed to get water from the closest town otherwise.

I attended the monthly meeting for AIDS patients run by two members of the project staff.  Singing and prayer time and a pastor’s message.  Health lecture by the local nurse.  A question and answer time, and lots of sharing of individual stories- so much grief- so many struggles.  Then a lunch of rice and stew and fish was served.  And at this meeting there was an American guest from a small orphanage for AIDS orphans located in an adjoining language group.  She had brought a large suitcase of secondhand clothes to share out.

I also went with Foster twice to take patients to an AIDS clinic, and spent one afternoon on a goat buying expedition to get new goats to send
out to various patients.  We are using a traditional way of fostering out goats.  The patient rears the goat.  The first offspring becomes theirs, the
second is returned to the project, the third is theirs and so forth.  Not a quick way to riches, but time tested.

Our foster son  needed repeat surgery after the one done last year failed and God opened the way for us.  Christian had started having painful
attacks about three weeks before I came to Ghana and each one was worse- so something urgently needed to be done.  I’m cautiously optimistic that we will have better results this time.   He seems to be making a good recovery.
I had a powerful sense of déjà vu- right up to the fact that once again the surgery was done just before the yearly “sports week.”  Christian was able to be home for two weeks afterwards and still miss only a minimal amount of class time.  It wasn’t just rest- he studied Biology and English with me.

Team members finished drafting Psalms and Genesis.  Exodus- already finished, was back-translated by someone not too familiar with the book.  I can back-translate it myself but I know what the verses should say.  His translation will show up the rough spots more clearly by bringing
out places where he didn’t understand the meaning.

Each Sunday I attended services at a different church – renewing ties and spreading the news of the coming New Testament.

In all the time cracks, in the cool of early mornings, and during office time when others were drafting or doing back-translation I studied Hebrew.
In HIS “free time” in the evenings our lead translator worked through  introductory lessons  on reading and writing the Hebrew
alphabet.  I have left a first Hebrew course with him for him to continue with.

And more- so much more, but I grow long-winded already.


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