Monday, March 12, 2007

Over three years ago when I returned to Ghana and started working in Buduburam, I thought I would do some “updates” once in awhile to let family and friends know what I was doing. The updates were also intended to be a method of keeping my own journal and thinking through my thoughts. I know these updates over the three years have been used in different ways – some people actively read and respond, some look at the pictures, some figure they’ll read them later when they have more time (because I probably ramble a bit from time to time and they can get long), and some just press delete, I’m sure. A year and a half ago, I learned about blogs – they’ve turned out to be a great way to share more pictures.

But that means some of the early newsletters can’t be referred back to. One guy I wrote about in my first update was Leo. He was in high school and some people had been helping him complete his education when he went through some kind of nervous or psychological breakdown. By the time I arrived he was doing much better, but his sponsors had decided not to continue assisting him. I happened to mention him in my first newsletter and someone wrote back asking how much was needed to help him complete his high school education, and then offered to send what was needed. He had two years left of school, and finally graduated this past year. By the time this picture of his graduation was taken, he had already begun attending vocational school. Fortunately, his new sponsor has been able to continue assisting him and he will complete with a diploma in about a year and a half.

Another guy I have written about is Dixon. From past blogs you know some of his story – the spinal injury, giving the go-ahead for the surgery with no idea how we’d come up with the money, the trust in God for all this to work out, and finally a successful surgery. He’s since been attending vocational school for computer hardware, software and networking - also through the donations sent for him - and has just completed a diploma for each of these areas. (He's pictured above with two of our co-workers, Peter, and Joseph, who have been helping alot with the hospital arrangements and the follow-up care.) Sometime in the next month or so he plans to return to Liberia - again with the help of some donations. In the meantime, he is voluntarily helping to teach some of the deaf students, using the computers we’ve had donated to the school.

A third person I wrote about a while back is Watson. We weren’t able to help him with hearing aids even after going to a couple more specialists. He was already skilled as a mason, and had hoped to at least further his skills in this area. Again, through open donations received, he was able to complete a plumbing course. We discussed with the instructor of the course the hearing difficulties Watson faced, and he was willing to help by following some suggestions for adapting the presentation of his lessons to meet Watson’s needs. A few months ago Watson completed his education and is now apprenticing under a Ghanaian plumber. Again, the apprenticeship, the tools, the education were all possible thanks to the open donations received.

In the last couple of months I have left I promised to give some updates on people and things I’ve mentioned in the past. I’ll try to do a few more – and if anyone is curious about anyone I may have written about in the past, let me know.


At 2:35 PM, Blogger Nate said...

Thanks for the update! Because the process can take so long and you're in the middle of it, I imagine it's sometimes hard to step back and look at how the hundreds of baby steps and numerous setbacks have still resulted in positive forward movement. Congratulations to Leo, Dixon, and Watson! (and you!)

At 8:45 PM, Blogger MJ said...

This is great Steve. It's so nice to see these pictures and the look of pride on their faces having obtained them. I know you must have felt so proud of them when they completed their education knowing how much you were able to help them.

At 12:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for people to know.


Post a Comment

<< Home