Grandfather wants them to come home...

We just received a call from our in country missionaries, Dave/Ellen regarding GN.  Please begin praying w/o ceasing regarding the following situation.

While GN was in the hospital, after his surgery, Grandma called her eldest son (grown man, adult living in Kumasi) to share the good news of how GN medical situation.  Her son came home to Bolga and reprimanded his father for being “foolish” by not allowing them to come home and not allowing GN to be a part of the family.  He demanded his father apologize as well as allow both his mother (Grandma) and baby (GN) to return to their home. In addition, the eldest son also spoke to the entire village community.  The entire community has agreed both are welcome back to the village.  The request is for them both to return to the village, once GN has had his stitches removed.  Naturally, this news was very exciting to Grandma.

Not to be the cynic in this opportunity to be joyful, Troy and I are somewhat reluctant to just belief Grandfather has had a sudden change of heart.  There will be a meeting this weekend at the family’s home (where we originally rescued GN) with Mama Laadi, Dave/Ellen, Grandmother, Grandfather and “the head of the family” (not sure who this is).   In this meeting, the proposed arrangement will be discussed. 

Frankly, we do not have legal rights over GN.  So, if Grandmother wants to return, we cannot legally stop her.  Grandmother has been an exceptional, solid, and faithful caregiver to GN in these past months.  Her heart has softened towards GN, and she truly loves this child, proving over and over she believes and sees his life has value.  And, although we have faith Grandmother will still ultimately protect GN, it is still our flesh alerting us this may still be too soon.  OSIF is not advocating placing or allowing GN to remain in an unsafe environment or situation. And, so, in the upcoming meeting, Dave/Ellen will assess the living situation and the conversation.  They will ensure Grandfather, the family, and the village is all made aware Grandfather will be held responsible for any negative action taken in GN’s care.  In Ghana, and many African cultures, but specifically here in this area, the family relies on everyone to maintain and participate in the support of the family (farming, etc.)  When one person (disabled child) is unable, it creates a burden.  It is equally important Grandfather understands, in GN’s case, (1) GN has sponsors who will continue to support him monthly to ensure he receives necessary medical/nutritional care and (2) Dave/Ellen will be popping in unannounced periodically, often to check in on how his care and situation is.  If at any time there is concern for his wellbeing (an unexplainable scratch, bruise, etc) the police will be contacted. 

So, where does this leave us…this whole situation needs prayer and we would love it if you could join us as we lift these and all other items the Lord places on your heart to pray about as intercessors for GN, his family, Dave/Ellen, Mama Laadi, and all others who will eventually become involved.  (We have also asked Daddy Eddie to continue to be our Ghanaian on the field to keep us grounded. J)

Here is our take on the situation…
OSIF is founded on the concept of reintegration, with a 100% goal.  However, timing is everything and what we want and what is God’s plan is not always at the same pace.  Having said that, the truth is Troy and I both feel reluctant to reintegrate just yet.  It was just a couple weeks ago Grandfather was threatening to kill, and proved his aggressive anger by showing up and hurting GN just prior to this threat (right before surgery).  So, to believe there is an instant change of heart is difficult to comprehend.  However, four things we know without a shadow of a doubt,
1.    Our God supersedes anything and everything, if we allow Him control!
2.    God’s plans do not always make sense to us, in our flesh, in our logic.
3.    We are not there. 
4.    We are not Ghanaian.
The thing about #3 & #4 is Ghanaian culture is not like our western culture.  And, we are here in the US, not currently there where this is happening.  We are not on the ground where God is most certainly at work in this family.  We have to have complete trust God will provide necessary guidance to Mama Laadi and Dave/Ellen as they arrive at the family’s home for this weekend’s meeting.  We trust God, and we trust those we’ve entrusted with GN are tremendous advocates for GN and his future and his HUGE testimony.  So, the very best thing we can do…is pray!

The prayer requests:
·         Dave/Ellen to hear and see where God is leading regarding the upcoming meeting with Grandfather.  And, if God is providing sensitivity to reveal GN is not safe (at this time) in the home/village, Grandmother would be receptive to Dave/Ellen’s recommendations, comments, and suggestions.
·         Continue to pray God’s Will for GN would ultimately be done.  We know God HAS a plan, but we also know God gave us all freewill.  We need to remain in prayer the decisions made regarding GN’s care ultimately remain w/in the center of God’s Will.
·         Prayer and faith the necessary funding would begin and continue to pour in for his ongoing care, regardless of the living arrangement decision. 
·         Pray the Lord would provide peace to those who are not there in person to see these family changes, those who were there when GN was rescued.  God to provide peace to those of us reluctant in flesh, and trust God’s plan is the best plan and those on the ground will seek where God is in this situation.  God would change our heart to match His heart (God’s heart). 
Thanks for constantly keeping up with my updates.  If at any time you want to stop receiving these updates, please just let me know!  Thanks again!

Thank you all!

Praise God for leading us to Bolga in February.  Praise God for speaking to my ear asking me to stay next to Mama Laadi and speak with Grandfather that day none of us will ever forget.  Praise God for all of One Step In Faith friends, no One Step In Faith family, who were ready to forsake all others – to abandon all plans – to come alongside the work God had already prepared ahead of us and invited us all into.  The Lord has been really working on my heart, to say the things I feel before the moment passes me by.  To express how people in my life impact me, so they know without a shadow of a doubt where they stand in my heart.  For a woman whose love language is NOT words of affirmation, it has been a challenge.  But, you know, the more I take the step out of my comfort zone…the easier it is.  So, in that context, I feel is essential to be transparent in this moment, and share my heart with a specific few. 
Thank you to the team that became our board (on board, and into our board of directors).  J 
Dave/Ellen, thank you for taking care of GN and his grandmother since you arrived in Bolga.  Thank you for the years of growing together, and pouring into us.  Thank you for allowing us to be part of your family.  Thank you, that through it all, our love for each other and Ghana has grown and grown.  We are constantly humbled and thankful for God placing you two in Ghana to be the hands and feet of Jesus…representing every one of us – as if all our love and desires for GN’s life and future are all bundled up and packaged inside you both to spread over him daily when we can’t be there. 
Dear, sweet, AWESOME, extraordinary Daddy Eddie!  Oh gosh!  I’m not sure I’ll be able to express the joy that leaps into our hearts every time we walk through those doors and see you waiting for us each time we arrive in Ghana.  The instant smile we feel inside when we hear your voice on the other end of the phone.  You light up a room with your pure joy, trust in the Lord, and sold out for Jesus life.  It honors us to have been brought into your life.  Thank you for continuing to put up with all of us Obrunis!  Thank you for your unconditional love, only the Father could have given you!  We love you like the fish loves the water!!! And, that’s no joke!  Hee! Hee!
Karen, Eric, and Cody thank you for stepping in faith and boarding that plane to Africa.  Thank you for your patience as we stumbled through fundraiser after fundraiser.  Thank you for walking this path, even when you had doubt.  Thank you for your willingness to abandon our plans, daily, while we were in Ghana – willing to start afresh every day – knowing it was drawing us closer to the Lord’s plan for our time.  But, most of all – thank you for joining our OSIF family. 
Meme, there won’t be words, ever, that explicitly share what it means to have shared Ghana with you – live and in person – and then to see the love we have - resound inside of you as well.  To see the transformation, through the years since our first trip to Ghana is beyond words of the English language.  Again, another miracle we would not even have thought to pray and ask for.  We prayed for our families to be comforted, for them to understand and accept with peace, and that they would feel/see the love we have for Ghana and her people knowing we were doing exactly what we were supposed to be doing for the glory of God.  And, of course we’d love for them to be proud of us, but not in a bad way. J  To have you go, was more than we could have asked for.  To have you fall in love with Ghana and her people in a way that even comes close to our love, way more than we could ask for, but to find a call and follow it as well into mission field of Ghana – no words to explain.  Every child desires validation from their earthly parents, and your son and I are constantly overwhelmed by how his family validates his call on a regular basis. 
Dear, dear Kevin…welcome to the family!  The Lord has big plans dear friend, we cannot wait for you and Didi to join in on all that God has in store for us.  The ride, I promise you will be more than you ever dreamed thought to pray or ask for!  Hold on tight!  We are so blessed and excited to have you in the OSIF family!
Not the least of these, I assure you…but…thank you to my husband.  My life is fuller with you in it.  I know, those who are in ministry are supposed to say – only God fills my life.  He absolutely does!  And, one way He did this was to place this amazing man in my life, whom I cannot imagine a better partner.  We have had some really hard times, even times when it seemed desolate, but the blessings, peace that surpasses all understanding, grace, incredible breakthroughs and growths have all outweighed and outnumbered any of those days.  Besides, without those hard times, those sorrowful times, we would not appreciate joy and LIFE.  I am so thankful for you.  I know you struggle with why God would choose you on this journey.  I know you struggle with the awesomeness of this call and your worthiness to be called into it.  Let me assure you dear, sweet man of mine – no one is worthy.  No person is worthy of any call, but he has gifted you with an undeniable ability to become a part of community with little or no effort.  You have a compassion very few have to compare.  And, God wants to use these gifts in His work, and He’s waiting for you to step in complete faith…knowing you are not worthy but willing to be just who you were created to be for Him and the expansion of His Kingdom!  I love you, more than words can ever say…you are my sunshine!  Thank you for crying out to the Lord for guidance and direction with One Step In Faith, and pushing me when I just didn’t think it was possible, just yet.  Thank you for pouring prayer and petition to the Lord for the months prior to our departure in February for God to bring a team who’d join us, a board of directors who stay with us, and for all those who have and will join us along the way to be as committed and driven to follow Jesus wherever He leads us on this journey, as God has led us to be - standing in the gap for children. 
And, thank you to our family who watches our children when we go, prays for us daily, and listens patiently when they have heard us go on about Ghana for the millionth hour.  Thank you for loving us to pieces.  Thank you to the families and friends of ours and of the boards, for supporting us along the way.  To those who have come along side us from the beginning, believing in this call and the work the Lord was building us up to begin to do.  I may not list you all by name, but you know who you are and how important you are to each one of us.  Thank you to every supporter from the past, present and those to come.  There is no way we could continue pushing forward in this work God has invited us to do, without your obedience to His call for you to join us.  Your prayers, your financial support, your time are precious commodities we feel honored you have entrusted us to steward. 
Thank you Jesus!  Thank you for dying on the cross.  For providing the only opportunity we would have to be with the Father.  There are times when we see the darkness of this world, like a child being starved to death because it is the means to end his life, because he is deemed a spirit child.  There are times when the starving, the trafficked, the abused, the abandoned and so much more seem so dark you wonder where Jesus is.  And, then, I remember…He came…He is living inside us and He calls us all to be His Hands and Feet.  Each person has a different place and way they are called, and I thank you for having patience in us as we took a while, but eventually came around, and heard your call.  We love you Jesus!    

GN going home early!!!

A lot has happened over the weekend, but this a super brief summary…
GN did so well, instead of the originally predicted 10 day stay after surgery in the hospital, GN was released today to return back home.  He’ll return next week for removal of stitches, and then 1-2 times a month for follow-up appointments for some period of time afterwards, until his doctor releases him completely.  OMGoodness!  Isn’t that amazing!!  God overwhelms us with His goodness, while continually exceeding our expectations and desires!  WOW!  We prayed for healing, but honestly, I’m not sure any of us really knew what that would be like for GN in the beginning.  We certainly didn’t imagine the opportunity for complete restoration.  Or the healing after surgery would have him doing so well he would be released in ½ the time predicted!  Keep the prayers coming!  I know, I believe, I have complete FAITH...the voices of all who are singing praises up to the Lord are what is propelling this boy into the life he was born to live!  Please continue, please don't cease!  Even though he was released early, keep the recurring prayers at 9:11a EST through 7/1 as he still is recovering and he will return for his stitches removal w/in next week.  Thank you all!  Praise God!!!

GN is OUT OF surgery!

GN is OUT OF surgery! 
Texts from Dave/Ellen...

Dave/Ellen:  He's finished!  We can hear him crying - what a beautiful sound!

Casie:  Oh, that is so wonderful!!!  How'd it go?  How are you guys and Grandma?

Dave/Ellen:  She is    v  e   r   y    relieved!  Doc said it went very well - recovery for abut an hour then back to the ward. 

Praise God!  Lord we thank you even in the frustrations.  Thank you for all you have done, are doing and are about to do.  We are preparing for rain! 
Thank you all for joining us in this time of prayer for this boy.  We are so excited to see the impossible manifest in this boy’s life!!! (more to come...)

Please continue to pray...there have been more obstacles even this we know, the enemy is at work, but we will NOT be discouraged or moved off course.  Our Daddy can is bigger!  LOL!

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Blood work in, still pending update on surgery...pray!!!

Keep the prayers coming...the blood work results have arrived an hour early.  Still pending an update on whether he will have surgery today.  Thank you for your faithful prayers!

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Update on GN's surgery status

Have you joined us in daily prayer for
our rescued spirit child, GN? 
We are praying every day, at 1:11pm (Ghana Time),
that is 9:11a EST/8:11a CST through July 1st.
 Leave us a comment to let us know you are praying with us.
It seems I cannot escape God’s continued reminder His grace is sufficient for me, for us.  Why do people suffer?  Why are God’s plans sometimes so difficult?  How much can one person go through?  I’m sure these or others like these are familiar to many.  Truth is I’m not sure any of us will have the true, complete answer this side of Heaven. 
So, what is happening with GN’s progress…

Promise of hope AND A FUTURE…

We were able to raise the necessary funds for GN’s surgery!  (For protective purposes, we will refer to him as GN.)  He is being admitted today, with surgery scheduled for later this week.  Thank you to those who faithfully gave to help to SAVE his life.  On behalf of our sweet GN’s life – we are asking, pleading for those around us to pray every day over the next two weeks at 1:11pm Ghana Time (which would be 9:11am EST, 8:11am CST, etc.).  Will you join us?  If you plan to join us, will you please reply with a comment.  Thanks!

Our New Journey...

  I have been typing artless blog posts over the years, mostly about our journeys to Ghana.  As the years have passed, in sharing our humble lives and journeys, I have found myself drawing closer to the Lord in what I write.  My desire has been to share in the spirit and the rhythm of what God is doing in our lives.  Many who know me, and those who only know me through my postings are quite aware, I’m thorough to a fault in what I write.  What I mean to say is, I’m wordy!