The Sunday morning church service started to the beat of a much-needed, brand new drum set donated to the Carpenter church by chairman of the GRID board Jacques and Brigitte Lapointe. The shiny red drums arrived from Kumasi on God’s timing — just in time for worship.
Under the Kapok tree Pastor Rance and Dr. David Mensah, dressed in full chief attire, led us in the true spirit of worship with clapping, singing, and line-dancing. The African church does not need to be reminded to praise god with their whole heart.
Pastor Charles read the scriptures 2 Kings 4:1-7: Elisha asked the poor widow what she had to repay her debtors. She responded that she had nothing but a little olive oil. Elisha asked her to bring several empty jars to him and told her to pour a little oil into each one. The jars were miraculously filled to the brim.
The significance of the widow’s oil was not lost on us as we reflected on the work of our medical mission here in Ghana. Sometimes we feel as if what we have to offer isn’t enough to fill all the jars of the sick. Pastor Charles reminded the entire congregation of Africans and “the experts” as they call us, that if we are willing, God will take whatever is in our hand and multiply it and work through it to serve humanity.
After more clapping, singing and dancing, a heart-warming testimonial was given by Ernestina, the Ghanian medical assistant who has accompanied us on all five missions.
Her testimony assured us that indeed the Lord is working through our team to fill the jars of oil. She said our team has taught her “tremendous wisdom, insight, gentleness, love and compassion.” The Ghanaian government has recognized her exemplary care of patients in her region that they have put her in charge of a large clinic which has 30 staff. She is now training all of her nurses and midwives using what she has learned from us. She is transferring clinical skills. There is no doctor at this busy clinic that has a 6 bed ER and 8 bed maternity unit. Ernestina is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We were moved by the impact we have had on this remarkable woman and now, on her staff. More jars are being filled.
As the worship service came to a close and while we were still dancing, clapping and singing we were reminded once again that our work has left many Ghanians beating to a new drum.
Sunday evening our convoy of vehicles arrived at the Mole National Game Park, a 4,577 square kilometer reserve dedicated to the protection of wildlife. Last night we celebrated Dr. Laurence’s 40th wedding anniversary by singing a few different versions all at once of “Happy Anniversary” while his wife listened on the phone from Vancouver.
Today we had the option of going on a walking or jeep safari. The guides told us we probably wouldn’t see any elephants as none were seen on the safari the day before. Well … there were elephants everywhere. Some groups saw as many as 12 majestic elephants as close as 100m away. We also saw crocodiles, deer, antelope and water bucks all in their natural habitat. The monkeys were getting a little cheeky while we were cooling off in the swimming pool and one took a bit of a run at our dear friend Sarah Hasted from the UK. She was cool as a cucumber and handled that monkey just fine!
It was a wonderful, well-needed rest and we all feel recharged, refreshed and ready to finish hard for our 3 remaining clinics which will be held here on the NEA compound in Carpenter.