Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Good Morning

We hop out of the car, grab our bags and an *ntoma, and head down the dirt road to make some visits. We are headed to a shanty village today. Most of those who live here are northerners who've come to Kumasi for work.

While their houses are made of scrap lumber and zinc sheets, there is space to live here, more so than in other parts of our huge city. They live near the mills where they work, surrounded by a bit of empty land because of the river that flows nearby. They work in the lumber mills by day, and then farm the surrounding area whenever they can.

As we walk the winding path, the blossoming trees rain petals on us. Clouds of color fill every tree we pass. The tall grasses surround the path, sharp and close, but elbowing their way in are millions of wild flowers, weeds, herbs, and food plants, each one striving for attention.

Butterflies flit from bloom to bloom, sipping in the sweet nectar of life. There are almost as many of them as there are flowers. The girls try to catch a few, but they are always a second too late. No matter today, as mama has her camera and can capture a few the easier way!

We reach the first house, and several of the ladies we were hoping to visit are sitting together under a palm tree. One young mother is lamenting the fact that her baby didn't sleep all night, another is telling a funny story, and a third is hanging dripping laundry out to dry.

The lone chair is brought along with some stools, and the mat is brushed of sand so everyone can have a place to sit. We share greetings, then talking starts in earnest. One of the ladies is a faithful church member, a bold witness to her neighbors. One woman has made a profession of faith, but is struggling to leave the church she was raised in. Another has come to visit our Wednesday night Bible study several times, but is a bit uncomfortable with what the Bible says about the Catholic church.

They have questions about marriage, and what the Bible really has to say about it. Our sister wants John and me to talk a bit about the importance of submission. The unbeliever doesn't understand why John has said her church worships Mary.
John pulls out his Bible, and I pull out mine. Then we enjoy the head-spinning dance of ministering here ~ we talk, discuss, stop babies from pulling the dog's tail, take turns holding the fussy baby who didn't sleep last night, share remedies for teething, accept the offer of water for the adults and biscuits for the kiddos, take a little one to potty, play with the babies, laugh, cook, come, go, greet every person walking by, wipe runny noses, and generally just live, love, and learn together for a few hours.

All the babies are getting sleepy and cranky now, including my two little ones.
Busy mamas the world over have plenty to do. One mother is going to try to sleep as her little teether has finally nodded off. Another needs to help a friend pound fufu for lunch. The third needs to go make food for her son and husband.
We pray with our friends, then slowly gather our things, wipe hands and faces, strap baby on my back, give our final farewells, and head off down the path.
Our morning has been a good one, full of the best things.

*ntoma ~ a large piece of cloth {approximately 2 yds x 1 yd} used by all women in Ghana; used for anything and everything, including strapping a baby to your back, wiping sweat from the face, snot from the nose, food from the mouth, covering heads from the sun or rain, used as a shawl when the wind blows cold, as a place to keep your money {tied in a corner}, as a skirt when yours is dirty, as a towel, as a bed coverlet; a pretty useful object to have around


  1. How beautiful! Thank you for sharing your morning! I love your beautiful pictures! Thanks again for showing the beauty in the ordinary. Hugs from France!

  2. So very different. I am amazed that there are actually places in the world where people would discuss spiritual things openly. I even have a friend here that acts like she doesn't know me if anyone else is in the shop with us! It's another world, for sure. Loved your photos, as always!

  3. Your visitation is very, very different than ours, for sure! :) Looks like a whirlwind or activity, and lots and lots of learning for all. Thank you for sharing!