6th day in Ghana–Pride, God, and Money.

8 June 2011

Yesterday, I woke up to roosters crowing…today, I woke up to drums beating and children’s chattering.  Every morning, the children stand in line by grade with their striped school shirts, black slacks or skirts.  Teachers check the cleanliness of each student’s attire, eyeing their shoes, their shirts neatly tucked into their shirts, and track points of each student and grade.  Madame Francisca directs the children’s attention on her–as housemistress she has announcements for the group.  Then, they proceed to sing:

“God bless our homeland, Ghana…
Raise high the flag of Ghana
And one with Africa advance;
Black star of hope and honour
To all who thirst for liberty… 

After they sing their nation’s song proudly, they sing their school song (which I don’t have the lyrics to sadly =/) Each grade proceeds to march in line–oldest students first–hands proudly swinging by their sides to go to class.  It was such a sight to see the students eagerly marching proudly with their chests out and chins up…Let me say this again, they were not walking…but marching…with such a stance of sheer joy and readiness to venture off to a new day of learning.

In the morning, Mr. Olan spoke with me and Mark about our microfinance projects for the month.  Short synopsis on Mr. Olan’s microfinance loans: Olan started his own Mmofra Trom Microfinance Organization very recently in order to provide for loans to various villagers who are looking to expand their small stores.  He envisions that he can help his village and his students from poverty.  “Education is the key to eliminate poverty”; his loans will help those in need.

He said that he wasn’t sure when we would be meeting with the loanees but probably within the week.  Well, only about twenty minutes later we were beckoned to meet with Muna and her sister.

Ha…that’s just a little bit of Ghana for you.  Don’t schedule anything. Expect the unexpected–oh the irony.  I am more of a go-with-the-flow person anyway because life has taught me you can’t forsee or plan out every single aspect of your life.  There are always going to be an unexpected turn of events.

Diane told us that Ghanaians don’t like to plan things far in advance because it defies God.  God has plans for us and only He knows our future.  I find it so interesting and inspiring that their lives encircle religion with God as the “Sun” of the solar system, and everything else revolving around it.  Even the stores and stalls here may be called “Jesus Hardware”, “He has risen”, or “Nobody knows tomorrow”  I have made it a little quest for me to read the rear window of taxi cabs and tro-tros (van systems that work like public buses here)  that have bumper stickers of such catch-phrases.  What’s kinda fun is how everyone has a different phrase…so hopefully you can imagine why I like looking for the back of these.

However, my excitement about this was quickly robbed from me.  I was in a cab with Mark that same day, listening to a Christian sermon from the car radio.  The first words coming from the speakers were “God will make you rich.  If you seek God, He will provide you with richness…etc”

I couldn’t help but feel a little sick to my stomach hearing this.  I guess it was naive of me to think that everyone truly believed in Jesus, and I’m not saying that everyone falsely follows God.  It was disappointing to see that there are those drawing in both non-believers and believers into faith through monetary and materialistic means.  They’re not believing in God for the right reasons.  But I guess having faith, believing in a religion, following moral codes is better than nothing and having no God at all?  I don’t know…Still, I can’t come to terms with this way of missionary work.  Is it better to have a false sense of faith and hope than have nothing at all?

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