“and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
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When I began to verbalize my opinions on race, LGBTQ rights, immigration, healthcare and many more hot topics I saw the change in my relationships. I watched people dump me like a bad boyfriend. I was deleted blocked pretty soon after vocalizing my opinions. As you likely read in The Atlantic Article people started to pull their funding left and right. The year before I had worked with a fundraising coach to establish a foundation of support while we serve here in Ghana. Through emails, skype conversations I had built our foundation well enough that money was no longer an everyday worry. Then I posted #BlackLivesMatter attached with an article about the shooting of Tamir Rice. A young boy just a few years older with the similar complexion of my oldest child. I could no longer call myself a christ follower and refuse to acknowledge the injustices that people worldwide are facing the system is not working.I’m so thankful for the people that patiently spoke with me, educated me and helped me wake up. From there I watched the foundation I had worked so hard to form crumble to the ground. My foundation was nonexistent and therefore my financial support was nowhere to be found. You can’t email asking for more support from the very pool of people who try to revoke your salvation. For the next year, I struggled with medical bills, work costs and affording just day to day necessities all while trying to successfully single parent and help navigate the infancy of Family First. We had some successful months of generosity and other months where I had no idea if we could even afford vitamins.When Priscilla was diagnosed with Tuberculosis for the second time we tried to fundraise for a car to use but here medical bills were so expensive every last dollar when to pay the hospital. By July we were facing eviction so our landlords family could move into our then apartment. So again we pleaded with people to help us afford a new home. In October we moved but between then we faced two more hospital admissions, a broken arm and I got malaria. By the time we moved into our new home we had no money and I was running low on hope. I continued to vocalize my distaste for Donald Trump knowing that it was unpopular.
Throughout the primaries, I vocally expressed I would be voting for whoever won the democratic nominee as it became clear Donald Trump would win the republican primary. I felt and still feel Donald Trump’s views are racist, dehumanizing, sexist and extremely dangerous to everyone that is not a straight white able-bodied male. Raising black children with special needs in a country that rely on public health funding I knew that my voice needed to be heard even if it meant losing the rest of my funding and support in Ghana. A few days before the election my social media was flooded with pro-life trolls, neo nazi’s, and a slew of other hate that began to attack my family. I spent that day in my room with a tablet on twitter, my phone on Instagram my laptop on my blog/facebook. I had 3 friends who all day helped me delete, block and report. I had just moved, I was emotionally and physically exhausted with those who claimed Jesus. It was awful and a small glimpse of what hate is thrown at people not in privileged groups on a daily basis.
Post-election our funding was cut even more after I sent emails to my congressmen and encouraged friends and family to do so in response to ACA repeal and the immigration ban. Money was so tight I began selling some of our furniture, photography equipment, clothes etc just to make ends meet. I felt like Job being tested in so many ways. I kept asking God where he was and why he wasn’t providing. How could I successfully help families in Kumasi if my own was about to suffer at because of my “activism”? Had I compromised my two precious daughters for the sake politics? Or would I compromise my children by being silent? I began to doubt whether I had made the right decision. I know all along I did, but in some stressful moments, I truly considered stopping. Satan had really planted a seed of self-doubt and failure. I was lucky to find a few groups of Christians who like me were passionate about loving our neighbor. I knew Jesus my savior was passionate about loving our neighbor and directly calls His followers to speak out loud when injustice is present. and I knew even if it cost me every dollar I could not choose silence.
When Emma approached me about the article. My first prayer was “so you are really asking me to go all or nothing.. uhh ok Jesus. Is my vocalism not enough now.. am I going to put my wounds on blast with the risk of being torn apart again.” Reluctantly I agreed, terrified once again we would lose it all this time. On Friday, something awful happened to me resulting in a sprained ankle and being pit pocketed while on my way to work. After getting checked out at the hospital I got into a taxi unable to walk from a junction to the house. In the car, my Mom face -timed me out of the blue (we usually chat on the weekend) I began to weep, huffing and puffing as I felt the world had knocked the wind out of me. Someone had broken my laptop; my tablet was crushed and they stole almost $100 in cash. ( I want you to understand, here people don’t steal just to steal it’s an awful cycle of poverty. I in no way condone theft but I also realize when you can’t provide basic necessities desperation and survival take over) But now, how was I going to feed my family, pay our bills for the next week? Through tears, I told my mom I felt like God was trying to punish me for following him. I felt alone, angry and honestly resentful of Ghana. I felt angry at the people who had pulled their funding, I felt angry at God and angry at the man who had tried to hurt me. I went home took some pain medication and let a friend watch the girls while I rested my ankle and prayed hard that God would provide our upcoming needs and that my ankle would heal quickly.
Yesterday morning was like a dream. I watched as messages rolled in praying over my family, our organization, and our finances. I watched strangers who 24 hours before didn’t know I existed offer to donate to help cover outstanding bills and needs. A miracle is what yesterday was… to all who started following us, praying for us and are working to help us recover financially words don’t adequately describe my gratefulness. I can’t stop ugly cry with relief, joy and a hew found hope for the things God has planned or us in Ghana. You all are such wonderful amazing people and I am so excited to be friends with you all and to see the way your prayers and partnership bear fruit here in Ghana.
If you would like more information on our family and Family First – Ghana PLEASE email me email@example.com.
If you would like to financial partner or make a one-time donation you can do so Here here or through PayPal:
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Our Business Partner Peach Leaves Boutique Also designs this Africa Prayer Necklace and Cross bracelets 100% of the profit from these two categories goes to our family. ( Necklace is $20 + shipping and Cross Bracelets vary)
If you are a business owner/church or would like to find a way to partner with Family First – Ghana please email me firstname.lastname@example.org We are currently working with 5 families and a few have unmet needs we are hoping to cover!