We had every intention of going to Haiti this past June, but God had other plans. When we learned the trip was full, Roger suggested going to Ghana to see about the possibility of adding a medical component to Give Hope’s work there. Our past Haiti trips included only our son Collin, however, when we mentioned to our family that we were considering going to Africa, everyone was interested. We spoke to Roger again, and he informed us that 5 extra tickets had been purchased. This would be enough for our entire family. He added, “Were you looking for a sign?”
We agreed to go, and everything started falling into place. Dr. William Ntim, a Novant Cardiologist from Ghana, put us in contact with physicians and leaders there. He has a heart for helping his people and his involvement would prove invaluable, both medically and culturally. But even with these contacts, we were unsure of what our medical involvement would look like. Upon arriving in Ghana, we were immediately approached about seeing the children at Sowers Academy in Medie, right next door to where we were staying. With stethoscopes in hand, Bill and I saw almost 200 kids at the school. They were so polite and grateful. Most of the kids were healthy. We did see some congenital abnormalities, as well as general pediatric issues and skin infections, and we dewormed as many children as we could.
Our next stop was a government school in a smaller village.After receiving approval from the local chief, we set up shop under a shaded tree. Soon after we arrived, we heard over the loud speaker that broadcast news to the town “Doctors… Doctors”. Of course that’s all we understood! Up the hill people came hobbling – old men and women with canes, women with babies. We set up chairs for a waiting area and saw 120 kids and 50-60 adults. The people were so thankful that we were there. Sometimes the most we could do was lay a hand on them and listen.
We were then escorted by Dr. Ntim’s brother, Fredrick, to the mountainous Kwahu region. This part of the country is lush and green with fields of pineapple and cassava, and the colorful blooms of mango and papaya. We were received by the local hospital’s administrator and given a thorough presentation on their services and their needs. We were then able to visit the community health clinics, which were well staffed and knowledgeable but lacked funds, good water and sanitation. The chief of the region welcomed us in a formal ceremony where we were
properly introduced. He joined us as we visited the local clinic, and agreed to help fund some of the structural, water and sanitation issues.
On our final day in Ghana we had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Health for Women and Children. This was a pivotal meeting to open doors and gain support for continued medical missions through Give Hope Global, Ghana. We were able to start a conversation about partnering with the Ghanaian physicians and their team to provide both physicians and supplies. We were received with such warmth and love in Ghana. Not only was much accomplished, but the groundwork was laid for more work in the future. It truly was the hand of God leading us throughout the trip.