GHANIAN CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS

      

                A GHANIAN CHRISTMAS SADNESS!

       While many of us are anxiously waiting or opening our Christmas gifts, in Ghana, a family anxiously awaits the tense news of a loved ones’ condition. My good friend, Kwame, sent money to his family for two chickens. One to be eaten on their Happy Christmas Day & the other on the next day, Boxing Day.  The chickens were costing $28.00 each in American money.  Meanwhile, his youngest daughter, Abena (Tuesday’s child), is taken to hospital with upper & lower GI complaints.  Luckily the Happy Christmas money has bought medical care, instead of annual chickens for these days.  The child would have died, without the medical attention, as she is already too weak.  In a poor part of the world children die all the time, due to unclean drinking water.  In these streams, clothes are washed, as well as their bodies, etc.  Kwame explained that they take their drinking water from the top of stream.  It is not boiled, as he explained, “As what good is it, as children are in school 8 hrs. a day.”  That water is not treated or boiled. It is hard to survive in Ghana. Staying alive in Africa is a “Miracle”, as Kwame says.! Being poor in Ghana, is a death sentence!  No money, no medical care!  Kwame’s three sisters died recently.  Money could not reach the one soon enough.  She died awaiting medical attention!  So sad! The other two sisters’ death may have been preventable, as well. We here in this country, do not always appreciate the simple necessities, that sustain life in each & everyone of us!  As Kwame is the tree of his tribe, everyone looks to him for help.  It is overwhelming, as he tries to save his family, singlehandedly!

So now, we wait.  We know that the Christ Child, will sustain & direct us, what ever the outcome.  We pray that this 6 year olds’ precious life will be spared.  So as we celebrate this joyous season, let us not forget the less fortunate among us!  Please offer prayers for little Abena & the many angels like her!

            MERRY CHRISTMAS!   AFE HYIAPAOO!

 A GHANIAN CHRISTMAS

Christmas in Ghana & other parts of Africa, are celebrated pretty much the same, as an American Christmas.  Names of things are changed as well as available products for the season. From the first week in Advent, churches & homes are decorated for Christmas! The day after Christmas is Boxing Day, as celebrated in other countries of English influence.  Their Santa Claus is called Father Christmas, who brings gifts to place under a fir tree in the corner of the home. He places other gifts in the childrens’ stockings. Decorations include pine branches, festive seasonal flowers on the tree with some bought decorations.  It is warm & sometimes rainy at this time of year. A prosperous cocoa harvest ensures extra money to spare.  All the farmers & miners come home to celebrate with family on Christmas Eve. School children are on holiday. On Christmas Eve, they walk down the streets singing carols & shouting “Christ is Coming!” In church, a pageant is prepared, for the evening. The church is decorated with pine & palm trees with lighted candles on the branches. Everyone dresses in native or Western dress. The Ghanians go to church bringing gifts or “love offerings to place on the altar, by communion table. Hymns are sung.  Then they visit families & friends after the service. On Christmas Day, everyone dresses as angels & sing Christmas Carols. They will also attend church again. The Ghanians are faithful worshippers & attend church every day! After the service, everyone returns home. A feast is served consisting of rice, meats, porridge, okra soup or stew & a yam paste called fufu. Fufu is eaten by placing hand in dough & dipping the fufu in the stew.   It is served outside the house. They also will visit friends, as we do.

Boxing Day, the celebration continues. A feast continues on this day. On New Years Eve, fireworks begin & end on New Year’s Day!

 

ADDING A PERSONAL NOTE!

Last year, I purchased clothing & other items for the family.  I asked Kwame’s wife for measurements. Little Kofi aged 7 years at that time, had a waist size of a 4 year old. No wonder they need a “Miracle”!  If starvation doesn’t kill them, the unclean water will. Now the hardship is that DADA has been gone for 6 years.  The children tell Kwame that they don’t remember him anymore. Such a sacrifice to leave loved ones & come to a new world to work, so they will have food. Now bringing them to America is blocked by the Embassy, as they were too poor to get legal documentation of their marriage. The church recognizes the marriage. We have come so far that a church’s word is not good enough!  Heaven help us!

  

           GHANIAN NAMING SYSTEM

Day of week child is born:

            FEMALE        MALE

SUNDAY-   Akosua         Kwasi

M0NDAY-   Adwoa          Kwadwa        

TUESDAY-  Abena          Kwabena  

WEDNESDAY- Akua       Kwaku

THURSDAY- Yaa           Yaw

FRIDAY- Afuah            Kofi

SATURDAY-Ama          Kwame

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RELIGION

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR LEFT-OVERS?  Do we chuck them, save for another meal, or do we ever think about a stewardship to the lonely, hungry less fortunate, or confined less mobile shut-in?  Often times a small portion of mashed potatoes or vegetable, will be thrown out, as it is not enough or wanted for another meal.  What if all of your left-over meals were to be placed into a frozen meal for someone in need? It could be kept for distribution or taken to a central place to be stored until needed.  What if ALL of our leftover spaghetti, chilli, chicken pot pie or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches were frozen for this purpose.  Think of all the wonderful home-cooked meals that could be enjoyed, nourishing the hungry for food, as well, as an example of God at work in our lives everyday! THINK ABOUT IT!  LET GOD USE YOU AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR HIS PURPOSE! Attending church is just the beginning of your faith journey to the kingdom of Christ.  You have to live your faith in all you do everyday.  When God calls to you to attend to the least of these, you MUST answer, “Here I Am, Lord.  Use Me!”

POETRY

 

CAN DEATH BE FAR AWAY?

 

Upon the bed, he lays,

Yet so very still,

His body rigid, limp,

Moves not, against his will.

Days pass, unbeknownst to him,

Loneliness, he accepts.

As the days progress.

The weeks pass readily,

He quietly accepts his fate,

Questions, “Why can’t I move?”

His life ebbs ever so slowly,

But never realizes,

That soon- too soon-

Death is beyond the door,

How beautiful the ending be-

A mind frozen in time,

Not aware of what waits for him,

And thee!

Only, Alice are you there?

“Come down & see me,”

He calls endlessly, for the love,

His bride of fifty years.

Her heart heavy with grief

Bears the pain with dignity,

And sets his heart & mind

At rest, for the long sleep-

Where the angels await,

His body with no imperfections,

Heavenly gates open to free

His imprisoned body, at last!

 

Footnote:

My husband is now being cared for by Hospice.

He is deteriorating quickly.

But there is time to prepare, for what no one knows

The day of resolution!