January 2022 will be my 3rd trip to Ghana! In 2014, I went on my first trip over with my family because my dad wanted to show us where he had been traveling for missions trips the past couple years. We got to see a lot of the work that was being done and where my dad had felt called. Since I was only 13 at the time, I didn’t really make a heavy connection and didn’t understand how I could help out or be a part of the vision. After my first trip my dad had continued on going yearly to visit these villages in Ghana so it always had a place in my mind.
Fast forward to 2019, I had been out of high school for about 6 months and was pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education. My whole week was dedicated to an Early Childhood Education program and also working at a local preschool. My dad started planning the next trip for January of 2020 and I decided that I wanted to go back and see what had changed and why my dad was continuing to go to Ghana yearly. So I committed to going and I don’t regret it one bit!
January 2020 was my 2nd time in Ghana. As a teacher I got excited and wanted to do an activity with the children of the village. We collected kabob sticks and marshmallows to do a STEAM activity. We had the children building with the kabobs and marshmallows to make a tall and sturdy structure. Little did I know, many of the students desired to be architects! The children built their structures and had never tried or even seen marshmallows before so it was cool to see how they used them and felt about the taste.
When we arrived in Atta Ne Atta I looked around the school and immediately had something put on my heart. Being an Early Childhood teacher, I’m so used to seeing classrooms with colors, pictures, and students artwork displayed. But in this school all I saw were tan, blank walls. So later that night at our dinner table I asked some of our trip leaders if we could go into town to buy paint. They were all on board! We bought the primary colors, some tape, and a few brushes. The next day in the village I walked right into one of the kindergarten classrooms and got right to work! It was cool to see some of the other volunteers and even the children stopping into the classroom to watch and help out with what was going on. We painted the alphabet, numbers 1 through 10, basic shapes, and even some animals and images around the rest of the room! My favorite memory of this project was the children singing their ABC’s behind me as we painted the alphabet and painting all the children’s hands green to stamp on the back wall to make a tree.
As a teacher, I want to see each and every child there growing in their education and having the future they desire. This year I plan to bring over more hands on learning activities to do, painting supplies, and educational posters for the children to use in the schools.
Instead of these people having a place in my mind, they are forever on my heart. I am so excited to see how God will work through our team this year!