Posted November 16, 2009 in MH Ho, Ghana:
Farewell to Ghana

by Maureen Denis.

Unless a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest (Jn.12:24).

As we close the blue doors of Madonna House Ghana for the last time, we walk in great hope that these words of the Lord will be fulfilled according to his timetable.

Nineteen years have passed since Mary Kay Murrison and I were enthusiastically welcomed to Ghana at the airport in Accra by Bishop Lodonu, some diocesan priests and sisters, and later in Ho by a brass band. Ghanaians certainly know how to celebrate and welcome.

Now as our twentieth year unfolds, we are in the midst of closing this room of Madonna House. In faith, we trust and believe that the movement to allow this death (the closing of any of our houses is like a death) comes from the Holy Spirit.

Even our closest friends, the little ones, though sad and uncomprehending, say, "We will miss you, but God knows best." Ghanaians are a people of faith and daily give us example of this.

The Lord promises life in the face of death, and we as a family have been given life in abundance during our time here. We have lived among a people who, in times of great adversity, can sing with their whole being, "Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey."

We have touched life lived in poverty and need, yet rooted in the joy of knowing God will provide. We have seen and been the recipients of a generosity which doesn’t look to self but gives away the provisions of the day. We are learning to jubilate and give thanks in all circumstances.

Our leaving is not easy. Many tears have been shed, by ourselves and by our friends. We pray that our presence here and our love for the people among whom we have been privileged to live, has been a tiny reflection of our God’s great love for each of us.

The seeds of the Gospel lived out according to the vision of Catherine Doherty have been planted in African soil. Our Triune God is the gardener, pruning, tilling, nurturing always, so we know life will flourish.

Friendships have been formed in the heart of God and so remain forever. God knows no distance. Approximately twenty-three staff have served in this "room" of Madonna House over the years. For each of us our time here has been an incredible gift.

For all that has been, for all that will be, our hearts are filled with gratitude.

Akpe Na Mawu! Thanks be to God!

The staff of MH Ghana were: Maureen Denis (director), Fr. David Linder, Darrin Prowse, Andorra Howard, and Beth Ryan.


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