Several years ago, even before I moved to Ghana, a friend had asked me what concerns did I have about moving to Lawra alone. "Hmmm...I guess it would be that my family would not be close by." I explained the reasons for which my brothers and sister would probably never visit me in Ghana. So, this person told me that he was friends with a Ghanaian. His name was Lawrence. At the time, Lawrence was living in Accra. I was instructed to email Lawrence and tell him that he was to include me in his family. So, I did. Lawrence responded. Of course, I was welcome into his family. And, his home village was in the Lawra area. Who knew? Not the person who gave me Lawrence's name!
Fast forward about two years. I finally move to Ghana. My memories of Lawrence were on the "back burner." I had no idea who he was, where he lived or how to get in contact with him. It is Easter week. I leave for a training with Rev. Dery, which would be held in Kumasi. We show up at Dery's Uncle's house (Rev. Job) at 2:00 in the morning. And we are welcomed like long lost family! I fall into bed. In the morning, I join the group for family devotions...guess who walks into the room. Lawrence! I was introduced to him, finally! It ended up that the people I knew or have met are all part of Lawrence's extended family! His family house is about a five minute motorcycle ride from my house!
Since then, Lawrence and I have seen each other several times a year. He comes for coffee/tea when he is in the area. I attended his father's funeral. When I am in Tamale, I visit him. He makes long, boring meetings not so boring. We've had theological conversations. I ask about his family. He asks about mine. I encourage him and pray for him. He does the same for me. At Rev. Baiden's funeral, he stood next to me as I read the Tribute from the Lawra Mission Circuit. He watches over me like my older brother, Dan, would, if he were here.
And, because Lawrence is a Superintendent Minister in the Methodist Church Ghana and I work alongside Methodist Church Ghana, Lawrence is there to share my joys and challenges in ministry. And, when life gets crazy, he tells me to "breathe" and reminds me of the One Thing that is most important. He sends me to Scripture and prays for me. And, I am thankful that years ago, God put into motion everything needed to give me family when I am so far from my own. Praise God!
Follower of Christ, Cross Cultural Worker, presently serving Christ in the Lawra area of the Upper West Region of Ghana.