And of course, the saying goodbyes. This is somewhat complicated as I will continue to be working with Hopeline Institute, and will be back in September and December for visits, but it is a goodbye of sorts in terms of my living here.
On Thursday, I had a scheduled meeting with Fanny, the Executive Director of Hopeline, to wrap up a number of details that we still had to attend to, but suddenly after about 20 minutes, she wanted us to go down to the training center to pick up some materials. I went along and Fanny was talking non-stop the whole time (I later realized is was so that I couldn't interject any questions). When we pulled up there were a number of cars and I asked if there was a training or meeting going on, not knowing at all that they had a surprise party planned for me! It was an overwhelming experience with many, many kind words spoken. As I reflected on my time in Ghana, I have to admit, that I do it with a sense of regret, as I know that I was not at my best for most of my time here. So, if anything good came out of it, all praise goes to God and to the people who took the little I had to give and ran with it. Here are some pictures from that time together and some of my treasured friends and colleagues.
|Everyone getting a good laugh at my complete surprise.|
|They gathered around to send me out with prayer, with my dear friend, Rev. Philip Tutu, leading the prayer time.|
|We gathered for another picture on the steps of the training center, where six batches of Marketplace Ministers have gathered for pictures over the last two years, and Lord willing, many more in the future.|
|Pastor William Darko, a mushroom and duck farmer, who I am mentoring. Thankfully he doesn't need my help in duck or mushroom farming (rather he is teaching me about that) but I am privileged to work with him on his financials.|
|The couple who helped significantly with my stay in Ghana. They were welcoming, helpful, open, loving, God-fearing, and hard-working: Dennis and Fanny Atta-Peters.|
|A picture of our interns, Emily Daher and Kim VandenAkker, who I leave behind, but who are both doing great in Ghana.|
|And last but not least, my dear Juliet, Office Manager at Hopeline Institute, whose love and good work will continue to bless many others. She is the one responsible for the poster in the background.|
[Reminder: If you are in the Grand Rapids area, please stop in at 2135 Francis Ave SE, next Sunday, June 3 between 2-5 pm, to celebrate Noah's graduation with us.]