A sobering trip this week to Jamestown, the original British seaport from the mid 17th century. It is perhaps the poorest area of Accra. Approximately 5,000 people, mostly of the Ga tribe, still live in the beach area where they survive by catching and selling fresh and smoked fish. Their boats are wood, hand-carved from a single trunk, and hold 8-10 men. The fishermen spend up to a week at a time on the ocean and use nets to bring in the catch. They are skilled boatmen but live literally hand to mouth. It is a life of abject poverty. We were able to climb to the top of their lighthouse for a panoramic view. Our little group also gave a sizable donation to our guide, the teacher of the school which accommodates 150 children - many orphaned.
Saturday afternoon we had access to the temple minivan and went shopping by ourselves for the first time. Accra is notorious for its aggressive drivers and crowded streets. We found the grocery stores, made our purchases, and returned without getting lost, having an accident, or being stopped by the police. ThIs marked our “breakout" from the compound and bolstered our sense of independence.
We experienced window-washing Ghana style when they came to our building and worked from the inside out. We are three stories from ground level. Check out the photo. No workers were actually hurt in the cleaning of this apartment.
This week we had a busload of patrons from Abidjan West Stake in Cote d’Ivoire. Sue had the opportunity to administer the ordinances in French that she had been preparing for three months. She was shaking but became more confident after several repetitions. She also tried to communicate with some of the women in the dressing room. They would correct her but would smile at her efforts. Several of the workers commented on Tom’s excellent French and wondered how he spoke so well. “Ah, a mission to Paris.”
Sue: I will conclude with my most touching experience of the week, as I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day and send my encouragement and love to my wonderful daughter and daughters-in-law, who are learning to nurture as God would have them do. I was asked to participate in a sealing where a young man was proxy for his grandfather and I was proxy for his grandmother. They were sealed together and then a woman acting as proxy for his deceased mother was sealed to her parents. I cannot imagine his feelings of joy for doing this for his immediate family, but I could feel the spirit of love in that room, and felt privileged to be involved. Truly the Lord loves all his children and wants each to be blessed with the saving ordinances.
Housing and boats
A beautiful smile