Living in Ghana

Periodically, we are going to share the testimony of the volunteers who are sacrificing so much to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these.  Today, meet Lola, a mother to three daughters and grandmother who adores her grandchildren.  She has been in Ghana since October 5 and will return at the end of June.

I have been so blessed these past 4 months to be here in Ghana and I am truly looking forward to the next 5 months. Four months ago I did not have a clue what I would experience here.   I have heard many missionaries speak and as I listened I knew they went through hard time,s but if you have not traveled to a third world country before it is easy to romanticize about traveling to another country. Once you do this, you will never be the same.  While it is true that you experience many wonderful and exciting new things the majority of time here is spent working and loving hard.  You work hard because there are no appliances here so you wash your clothes by hand and sweep with brooms made from pine needles that make your back ache.  You love hard because God will break your heart for the people and especially the children.

It has been difficult to see a sick child that you cannot help when you know that help would be readily available for them in America. But it has also brought me to tears seeing the way God uses people to come to the aide of children by  paying for medical treatment they otherwise would not get.  I know of one young boy who will be traveling to America for treatment and another that is having eye surgery because of the love and generosity of someone they have never even met .  I cannot say how awesome that is especially once you have fallen in love with that child.

The days are made up of bandaging boo boos, trying to find a way to get through to a little one who doesn’t talk much or talk at all, trying to communicate with a child who does not speak English, bathing the children in buckets, carrying water for cooking, washing, bathing and cleaning if there is enough water and fighting off giant African mosquitoes (ok exaggerating just a little), hailing a taxi or trotro anytime you need to go somewhere or walking far which we do a lot.

There are times when being separated  because of  the language barriers and the culture itself cause great loneliness.  I have put a movie on and began laughing out loud at something only to realize that everyone around me was trying to figure out what was so funny.  I have been surrounded by people smiling, laughing and conversing, but felt so alone because I did not know one word that just came from their lips.

While I have been here I have learned to love a people that I do not understand. I have truly come to understand that when God calls you to a place where there is nothing familiar, He is familiar.  That in circumstances that are not comfortable or comforting He can comfort you if you will ask Him.  He is so very real and cares so very much and He has shown Himself to me every time I have cried out to Him. The most pleasant surprise is that while you are allowing God to work through you to help others He is working in you to make you more like Christ. I am excited to arrive home the end of June and  enjoy my girls, my grandbabies, my son-in-laws and the rest of my family and  friends.  But I am different and cannot ever just live day to day, but must live every day for Him.  I can do it anywhere He calls me to do it but I must do something that is of eternal value and profit for the Kingdom of Heaven.  I cannot thank those who have supported me while I have been here enough.  What you have allowed to happen in my life and in my heart by being so generous is a gift that I will always treasure. I know that God will bless you for loving these children.

I would encourage anyone who can to help the O’Leary family with the vision that God has given them to do so. I have seen first hand how it is changing lives.  I am so grateful for the way God stirred the heart of a small girl to love orphans and how he has used that to birth Feeding the Orphans, something very valuable to these kids and for His Kingdom.


Whatever you did for the least of these, you did unto me. – Matthew 25:40


  1. Debbie Lively says:

    Where is the like button? Or the love button? I have seen firsthand what a difference Lola (Grandma) is making in the lives of these children. Thanks so much for loving and letting God work through you!

  2. What a testimony to the work of Feeding the Orphans as Lola is the hands and feet of Jesus to these kids. She loves hard because, well, that’s how Jesus would love these children. Thanks for sharing. Blessed by reading this tonight.

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