By Dr. Jennifer Wilson
The young Ghanaian man in the Amsterdam airport listened as Dr. Sue and my daughter Jessica shared who we were and why we’re going to Ghana. He knew very well the challenges of the Northern Region of his country. He thanked us on behalf of all Ghanaians for crossing continents to help strangers and concluded by saying, “History will mark this.”
We are here. All sixty of us and all of our medications and supplies arrived safely (minus one personal bag which is en route from London). Our program and protocols and systems are ready to go, and I noticed some of our leaders fine tuning these things even as we flew through the night. (I love my Type A friends who may have a touch of OCD.) Other than one small flight delay, our travel was seamless, and we are grateful for those who prayed for our safe arrival.
We enjoyed a wonderful meal at a lovely hotel. Soon we will begin our journey northward. Our dear friends at NEA will be waiting to greet us under the mango trees and once our reunion with them is complete, we will begin the massive task of unpacking.
“History will mark this” was a thought-provoking comment for me, and I realized that perhaps the significance of this mission for the Ghanaian people has dimmed for me over this past year. How easy it is to forget what life would be like without access to a doctor or a dentist or medication. How can we even fathom that a surgical illness — even a simple hernia— could be a death sentence for many? What would a day be like for us without our contact lenses and glasses? I choke up when I remember that without health care, only two of my five kids would probably be alive and well today.
My BBC news app reminds me every day of the evil and destructive events that seem to be marking our current times. What a privilege for us to be part of an effort that is born out of kindness, love, compassion, and justice for our global neighbours. While we may never show up in any history books, I’m reminded that our annual visit to the Mo Land marks something very significant — the arrival of hope and healing for men, women and children who are just like you and me.