Arrival and restoration

When we stepped out of the airport in Accra, we were joyfully and enthusiastically greeted by four men. While I’d only met one of them before in real life, they all felt like friends.

During the past four years, I’ve seen so many photos of these guys and others on our team in Africa that I couldn’t believe those faces had stepped out of the photos and were real people. 

I fought back tears of joy that we are really here! We made it to Ghana. This verse came alive for me:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 1:3-6)

While our team in America does much of the work behind the scenes to help run our nonprofit ministry, our team members in Africa are the ones who train other Africans to share the gospel with people in their own countries. Some of them travel into remote places that are hard to reach, not only physically, but because of strong spiritual traditions.

It’s really a joy and a privilege to be able to do what we can do in America to support our team in Africa. The people here feel like the super heroes in our work. I’m sure I’ll be experiencing much more of this all week, but meanwhile, we have so much more to celebrate.

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One of the main reasons we planned this trip is to set up a recording studio at our main ministry base in Accra. We record content for audio Bibles, prayer videos, worship music, podcasts and more, but typically that work is done by a team from the United States either editing content in America or by traveling to Africa. Having a studio in Africa is going to be such a huge boost to our ability to produce media.

To make this happen, we needed to bring all of the gear we will need to build a studio. The seven of us strategically packed our 15 suitcases, wrapping cameras, tripods, sound equipment and gear in our clothes. We were nervous that : 1. The suitcases could get lost in transit or 2. The equipment might not make it through customs.

Once we arrived, we all gathered around the baggage conveyor waiting and watching. We pulled suitcase after suitcase off the rotating belt until we finally counted all 15!

A friend of our ministry works at the airport and he met us on our arrival. We piled our suitcases high on baggage trolleys and pushed them all to the customs inspector. He simply waved at our seven carts full of suitcases and didn’t even open a zipper. Praise God! We made it with everything!

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The hardest part of our 24-hour journey for me was the 8-hour layover in Amsterdam. We landed there at midnight our time, which was 6 a.m. in the Netherlands. So, basically, we just skipped over night. 

While the 20-somethings in our group used the time to explore the city, I found various chairs and benches in the airport to try to sleep. I probably took three naps of less than an hour before my sleep was disturbed by someone in the airport. I also got a few short naps on each 7-hour leg of our flight. 

Remarkably, by the time we landed, I felt well rested. I’m in awe of how God has created the human body in such a way that each time I woke up from one of these naps I felt a little better than I did before. 

I’m also super thankful for all of the food that I brought with me. I questioned myself on whether I was being over the top bringing so many snacks. But even on the flights here and during our time in the airport, I was so glad I had plenty of food that I knew would be safe for me to eat.

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We had an incredible day today exploring Accra. So much has already happened since I wrote this post this morning. Hopefully, I’ll have time tomorrow to write about our adventures!

I can’t thank you enough for all of the prayers!

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