We said farewell to Elder Harris who returned to his family in Caldwell, Idaho. Elder Harris was an Assistant to the President for several months so we got to know him well. He called us Grandma and Grandpa and was constantly asking about recipes, advice for school, etc. He plans to be a medical doctor and has a brilliant mind. He just needs an assistant to help with details!!
Our May 23 departure group
Always the unexpected when you are driving in Ghana!
During the week our AP"s and Office Elders became "warriors" at the mission home. A missionary from Cape Coast Mission, about three hours away, had a sudden mental breakdown. He was transported to Accra for evaluation and medical treatment. Our elders took an all night shift to watch over him until appropriate arrangements could be made for him. (They didn't get any sleep at all) He is doing much better and likely will remain hospitalized until he can safely be returned home to Nigeria.
We have another elder temporarily staying with us at the mission home for a few weeks. We will get a photo this week. He is from Ghana, is serving a mission in Liberia, and his father is a mission president in Nigeria. This missionary received special permission to temporarily leave his mission and travel to Accra for TOEFL (Test of English for a Foreign Language) testing, so he can prepare for school when he is released from his mission.
All of these US missionaries will be going home in June. Since the temple will be closed for maintenance when they depart, President Heid had them come into town early and attend the temple now.This week the Wardells from the Kumasi Mission (in the back), and his sister and brother-in-law, returned from a safari in South Africa. We spent a few hours with them and they gave us some travel tips, since we will take the same trip prior to returning back to the US.
It was Brother Wardell's 69th birthday. He was treated to a tropical cheesecake. He shared with all of us. Yum!!
On Saturday we attended a program, "Special Kids Have Special Families". Several women who are serving a senior mission here, volunteer at a school called New Horizon. It was founded over forty years ago to help students with handicaps. During the annual Africa Day of Service sponsored by the church, the Cantonments Ward, which meets on the temple grounds, helps with clean-up and landscaping at the New Horizon School. The volunteers thought it would be nice to recognize the families of these special needs students and have ward members actually meet the people they help each year.
The students and the staff performed a few songs for their parents with help from the Young Women and Young Men who attend the Cantonments Ward.
The students sang, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" complete with hand motions.
Ballet by M. Miles Dance Academy. The owner of the studio attends the Cantonments Ward.The Accragio Choir performed some selections from Africa, secular and Christian music. Their accompanist, Mary Richards, is a volunteer at the New Horizon School and a member of the Cantonments Ward. The choir is truly international with members from around the world.
There are several mature adults who participate in the Sheltered Workshop at New Horizons. They perform job skills according to their abilities. One gentleman has been at the school for 43 years. These adults learned three choreographed dances!!
Mrs. Salome Francois, founder of the New Horizon School, greeted her daughter, who is in a wheelchair. Mrs. Francois started the school over forty years ago because her daughter was paralyzed from a small pox vaccination and needed help for her education.
Mrs. Salome Francois received a framed poem entitled "Heaven's Special Child" and a framed picture of Christ with little children, as a tribute to her helping these students. She was very touched. (We were too, especially remembering our niece who has Angelman's Syndrome.)
Heaven's Special Child
A meeting was held quite far from earth
It's time again for another birth,"
Said the angels to the Lord up above,
This special child will need much love.
He may not run or laugh or play,
His thought seem seem quite far away.
In many ways he won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.
So let us be careful where he's sent,
We want his life to be content.
Please Lord find the parents who
will do a special job for you.
They will not realize right away,
The leading role they're asked to play.
But with this child sent from above,
Comes stronger faith and richer love.
And soon they'll know the privilege given,
In caring for their gift from heaven,
Their precious charge so meek and mild,
Is Heaven's very special child.I
This couple did a salsa as well as a hip hop dance.
View of the Ghana Accra Temple from the Stake Center second level.