Patrick and Afua
Of course the big highlight for the trip was time spent with Afua at her orphanage. Our biggest hope was that we as her parent, Eric would be able to move her to a foster home, a smaller setting with individualized attention. We did what we could to make it happen, but in the end, she will stay at the orphanage for now. They did allow our dear friend to come and visit Afua in our absence. Knowing that someone will check on her, sing to her, pray over her and snuggle with her does this Momma's heart good.
Everyone saying goodbye to Afua
Eric visited Afua daily for a couple of hours and the rest of the time he spent helping out at the Fern House. There were some practical needs such as getting propane tanks filled (not as easy as our quick run to the gas station), taking donations and visiting a client at her home. Other tasks included looking at potential future properties, vehicle needs and getting to know all the wonderful people at the Fern House. Eric's days were long but fun filled as he checked things off the to do list.
Looking for new properties for Fern House
I have to share the neatest story from Eric's trip. Patrick (the gentleman in the first picture) and his wife Esther are expecting their first child in April. Eric was the chairman at Patrick's wedding just over a year ago and he usually drives us to places while in Ghana. We consider him a trusted friend and Eric was excited to spend time with him while running errands in Ghana. Both Patrick and Esther's families live far from Accra and as Esther's due date has been approaching, they were getting worried about how they will manage. Giving birth in Ghana is very different from here as child and maternal mortality rates are high as well as the access to medical care is challenging.
Esther "practicing" with on of the Fern House babies
As Patrick was helping Eric during the week, he learned that the Fern House helps pregnant women in a crisis situation and he witnessed the great work done there. He offered to help them transport things and be a resource if needed. At the same time, Comfort who runs the Fern House (who is a midwife), learned of Esther's pregnancy and wanted to see how she could help the young couple.
Comfort and Esther
Turns out Esther's baby is breech and one evening, the ladies spent time teaching Esther how to encourage the baby to turn. They poured in so much wisdom and loving care into this young couple and offered them hope as her pregnancy was nearing the end. Now they have a place to turn to, a new hope that wasn't there just a week before. Esther was planning to travel 6 hours away from the city to be with her family in a small village. Having Comfort to seek advice from will be a safer option for mother and baby. In a week's time a worry surrounding this pregnancy is now replaced with great joy. I love it!