Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fresh News From Africa (Orphans First)

So here I am in Accra, still feeling unusually tired (not a good sign, but oh well), staying in a $ 34 per night Baptist Guest House, and voilĂ —I have Internet access. Now how cool is that? (Not the bit about feeling tired, but the cyberspace connect.) The fatigue is probably just from traveling—hey, 4 planes over the weekend is a lot for me nowadays! Anyway, I want to thank all those who are praying for this trip. (Details can be found on the Orphans First Prayer Chain: orphansfirst.org).

As in India and most third-world countries, there’s always a love/hate struggle going on in my heart when I’m in Africa. Love because these Western Africans are lambs. They are meek and hungry for truth. Hate because of the squalor, filth, disease . . . It’s everywhere, of course, and unless you stay in a “normal” hotel (which we don’t), it’s in your face constantly. It always pinches my heart to think that these people live with nothing and we westerners have so much.

Tonight, Louis and I strolled up the street almost gagging on pollution from the cars, and trying to mind where we stepped because the rains have been heavy and just to step in water could give you typhoid. We came to a huddle of children and some adults. We asked if we could give the children some bread, which we did, and then gave a few other handouts to the adults. Nothing much really, but what was more significant is that we shared the Gospel and the response was positive. Seems it usually is in this part of the world.

Our pastor-friend from Benin traveled over two borders to meet us here in Ghana and will participate in a special pastor’s leadership conference tomorrow. While the men meet, I’ll probably spend time with the children in the Christian School in Tema, and I think I’m scheduled to teach the women. In the evening we have church. (Louis will preach). Then Wednesday, we plan to get to cross the border into Togo. Not a pleasant experience crossing borders. Sigh!

We first went to Togo some twenty years ago with folks from our church in France. I think it was there (or was it Ghana) that some mosquito set out to kill me. And kill me he almost did. I caught the worst strain of Malaria that exists, and almost died. (But since I’m here telling that tale, you know I didn’t.) Togo, like Benin and some twenty other countries in Africa, is French-speaking.

In Togo, Louis will preach at a few churches, and I’ll work again with children and women. Then, some time later in the week, we’ll go by foot again through the next border to Benin where Orphans First plans to start another children’s home and center. We’ll also teach, preach, work with children etc. But our main focus will be to look at potential land to start this new home. Prayers appreciated.

Well, that’s it for now. It’s likely I won’t have Internet access for the rest of the trip. Not sure. You know where to find me on Twitter (but I don’t think you can follow unless I accept you—and if I can’t get on the Net, I can’t do Twitter). If you don’t hear from me in a month, start worrying. Until then, just keep praying. And THANK YOU. A huge thanks for your prayers. (For recent prayer requests, go to www.orphansfirst.org and click on Prayer Chain.)

Janey L. DeMeo
Copyright © July 2009



Domenic Marbaniang said...

That's a great job you're doing. The Lord be your Shield and Strength!

Scott Dickson said...

Janey and Louis,

Nice blog update! Was as if I were there jumping the puddles and avoiding the squalor right along with you. How I miss it. It's one of those things you know, Like Nepal, you miss it, it's vulgar rawness and dark spiritual intensity. With those smells, even the stench ! yet mixed in there are those genuine smiles behind lifted hands in prayerful greetings. You love it! and hate it, all at the same time. You know you are alive and that something profound is happening all around you. Life is happening. Life and death all together, all drifting down the holy river leading to the Ganges. By the time you have been there a week or so you are more than ready for a clean bed, a good glass of red wine, a fine meal, a long stroll along a beautiful river with someone you love holding your arm. All the things that drive you crazy! For after you return, from seeing the reality of how the rest of the world lives, you are plagued with the haunting question posed so well by Francis Schafer, "How shall we then live?"

So we then live within a dichotomy, displaced in heart between two extremes, not entirely fitting anywhere just concerned observers, and engaged missionaries seeking to expand the kingdom even as absurd as that sounds.

I Love you guys You are champions.

Now Be Safe and come home, we've got a lot to do!

Scott Dickson

Scott Dickson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.