With Canadian Thanksgiving fast approaching, I find myself observing our Ghana Health Team through the lens of gratitude this week. With 40 days until departure, my heart is full of thanksgiving for so many who make this life-saving work possible.
I give thanks for NEA— our Ghanaian partners who are running a development program that continues to gain international attention for its holistic, community-based, integrated programming that is making a big dent in poverty alleviation. They are bringing life to thousands of northern Ghanaians every day. How grateful we are to be part of this.
I give thanks for the Ghanaian health care professionals— our dear colleagues who do their best to care for their people under exceptional circumstances and limited resources. They inspire us to be better at what we do at home. Their lives cause us to respond in bigger ways to transfer knowledge, skills and resources until such a time as they can stand on their own.
I give thanks for our team leaders. A mission of this magnitude requires an incredible amount of leadership. How thankful I am for our large leadership team — over 20 in number — who volunteer their minds, hearts and hands to ensure we serve with excellence. They are some of the busiest people I know, yet they give and give and give some more to the people of Ghana.
I give thanks for our past and present team members. They are the heart and soul of this work. They give so much to prepare for our mission and then execute our mission with compassion, resilience and professionalism. We are a growing family and community of people who refuse to ignore what is happening in the developing world and are committed to being part of the solution.
I give thanks for our volunteers and donors. We have raised 90% of our budget due to the hundreds of individuals who contribute their time, resources, finances and ideas. The small kindnesses extended to us by so many elevate our work to a unique level.
I give thanks for our families. They sacrifice a lot for us to serve in Ghana. They worry about us. They give so much for people they will probably never meet. None of us could do what we do without their support.
I give thanks to God. Thanksgiving originated as a public celebration acknowledging divine favours. Our mission has seen divine favours over and over in countless ways. I am thankful that God cares for the poor by empowering and assisting ordinary people like us to make an extraordinary difference in this world.
So as I eat my turkey and hug my family this weekend, my heart is bursting with the giving of thanks for all of these things and so much more.