As most of you know by now, I had the amazing opportunity to go to Ghana, West Africa with Touch a Life. My good friend Rachel basically runs the operation and I've gotten to hear her and my husband talk about the awesome kids that Touch A Life has rescued. This trip was basically to go and love on those kids and that is exactly what I did.
Ready for our plane trip!! I was just excited that it was only ten hours compared to our recent adventures to Australia and Bali that take 16. Yikes.
From Accra to Kumasi we go!
Our hotel was very serene and BEAUTIFUL. It sat on a lake created by a crater and was surrounded by lush, tropical mountains. Every morning we could hear people (including trafficked kids) fishing right outside of our window.
I love this woman who loves these boys...who love this woman.
The kids came to our hotel on Sunday to meet us, church with us, play with us, eat lunch with us, steal our iphones, and be loved on by us. It was hard not to get emotional to see how well they were all doing and to imagine what their lives were like before.
My beautiful Doris! Once she found out that her sponsor was my mother in law, Andee Cone, she never left my side. We immediately bonded over finger nail polish, coloring books full of Disney princesses, and Carrie Underwood songs.
I loved all the colorful Crocs outside of the Art Center. Only time I've loved these shoes.
The Art Center is amazing. We had so much fun doing different craft projects with the kids and I LOVED discovering that a lot of the kids are really good artists. Like, really good.
While I was there just to help out in any way possible while the kids were out of school, Dana was there to commemorate and celebrate her son's life. Like Pam Cope (the founder of TAL), she lost her son to a rare heart condition. She raised money for Seth's Social Center and placed in this amazing structure (for the kids to keep cool in the summer and dry during the rainy season) was a mosaic that was assembled by artists in Colorado. Meeting Seth's "team" was so inspiring and wonderful and hope that we get to hang again soon. I have a feeling that I would have liked Seth a whole lot judging from his incredible family and friends.
The kids participated in the dedication and sang "Heaven is a Wonderful Place" (COC shout out).
A lot of people have asked about 1. Our safety measures (especially while scoping out trafficked children on the lake) and 2. What we ate. I'll talk about number one later but for number 2, I'll say we did just fine. I love Ghanaian food and will scour the internet for recipes to hand over to Patrick. Just.so.good.
As Doris was my shadow, Felix was Patrick's. We called him "the crew". He did whatever he could to help Patrick (and sometimes not help Patrick..ha!) and we loved every minute. This little boy was very concerned about us leaving Eliot behind and INSISTED that next time we bring him. I believe these are good instructions that we could/should listen to.
Didn't want to overwhelm you too much with pictures of me and the kids so here's a little collage. Hilarious, gracious, beautiful, happy, healthy, loving kids. My heart is still with them in Ghana, me thinks.
Me and Courtney (a close friend of Seth's and the next TCU soccer star) posing with the boys and the Ghanaian flag. Represent, y'all.
This little boy holds a special place in our hearts. When Patrick did his first Lake Volta film trip with Randy Cope and Rachel Wise, they found Moses (top left) who obviously had health concerns. They spoke with his master and therefore his master, for the next six months, hopped all over the lake so he couldn't be found. Moses said later, in the film Patrick made, that he prayed every night those six months that they would find him and rescue him. And you know what? God hears the prayers of little trafficked boys y'all. They found him and rescued him and the pictures will make you drop to your knees and weep. God is good.
We went to the lake on Thursday and although I was super anxious about it, it ended up being totally fine. Rachel is a seasoned professional at going into these villages and talking to elders, chiefs, and more importantly the men who own these children. This picture, above, still makes my heart stop and then break. The little boy on the left is probably seven and his name is Earnest. The boy on the right is probably younger and his name in Ghanaian means "Human is more valuable than money." We (we meaning Rachel because I was just standing there with my eyes wide open) told the master how ironic that was. I really hope that Touch a Life, with the help of others, can save these two little boys who deserve the world.
So that pretty much sums up my trip in a nutshell. Patrick was shooting while we were there and when that film comes out, I will definitely share. If you have any interest at all in helping this amazing organization please visit their website www.touchalifekids.org and make your mark!