By Dr. Jennifer Wilson
Our day began with morning devotions under the gazebo with all of the NEA staff. The pastoral staff sang two beautiful songs for us, testimonies were given and Dr. David Mensah gave another inspiring address. He wanted us to know that our mission of medical, surgical, dental and eye care to Northern Ghana has had unspeakable proportions. He described an enormous ripple effect as we have been steadfast about saving lives over this past decade, and concluded with a text from Galatians 6:9 that encourages us all to not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest.
It was hard to get everyone to breakfast as Peter the artisan returned with another gazebo full of goods. Our suitcases are full and Peter is one happy man.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning, taking inventory and packing away our equipment for 2019 under the skillful direction of Joan, after which leftover medicine and supplies were organized for distribution to the local health care facilities.
Tonight we had a feast under the stars with all of the NEA staff, translators and volunteers along with their families. There were well over 200 of us. The children were over the moon with excitement. Our expat team were sporting new outfits, thanks to Esther and her seamstress team that made 34 outfits in total. A cow was killed and the kitchen prepared a wonderful roast beef dinner.
We were all surprised when David announced that the Chief of Yaara travelled to Carpenter in order to see our team off. Chief Joseph gave a beautiful speech asking God to give us the proper thanks due for our sacrifice. He asked that the Lord send us home safely.
The NEA team presented each of us with a fresh jar of NEA’s organic peanut butter. David asked us to tell our families that they are loved by NEA every time they eat it. The music and dancing began after which David called each team, along with our translators, to the stage for a dance-off. It was quite a sight. The prize was given to Nana Tibalakala (Dr. Mensah) and his brother Nana Yaara Kooko (Yaara Chief Joseph). Their dance was so fantastic. The children’s’ performance was definitely runner-up. It was a perfect end to our mission.
There is an African proverb that states,
If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today.
This team of Ghanaians, Canadians and Europeans lifted a lot of stones over this fortnight, and the mountain of poverty and ill health was moved just a little bit more. It has been an honour and a privilege for us to serve NEA, and we return home having gained much more than we have given. We return home better than when we came as the lives of our brothers and sisters in Ghana have been imprinted in our minds and on our hearts forever.
All eyes are on the Leyaata Hospital that will be built on these very grounds over the next two years. Our collective vision of sustainable health care is almost here. This is the biggest mountain that NEA has ever considered moving but we are committed to cheering them on towards their vision and assisting them in any way we can. Please help us.
On behalf of our team and all of the patients we were privileged to serve, I want to sign off by thanking God for all he has done.
I want to thank NEA for inviting us into this partnership.
I want to thank our leadership for their wholehearted commitment to every detail of this mission.
I want to thank each and every member of this outstanding 2018 Ghana health team for the unique role they played in making this mission an overwhelming success.
And finally, I want to thank all of our family, friends, donors and supporters who have made it possible for us to come alongside side the people of Ghana for such a time as this.
Let us never grow weary of doing good. Let us never grow weary of doing good. Amen.