I thank God for everyone who supported me both financially and in prayer support in 2007. It has been a time of great transitioning again for me. I am slowly adjusting to the time zone as we are six (6) hours behind Ghana. I finally slept through the night on Wed. with medication from my doctor. Last night, I finally slept through the night without the meds as my son gave me some new tea. My digestive tract is also slowly returning to normal.
My trip was very rewarding. I initially had some physical challenges (i.e. Jet lag, sleepless nights, not drinking enough water, dry eye syndrome, culture stress, anxiety, all kinds of stressors, etc. . .) but phoned my physician and husband and I got thru it - thank the Lord.
The highlight of the 2007 trip, for me, was the visit to the hospital. As background, it is a custom and practice, at that particular hospital, for women who cannot pay their bills to be detained until their bills are paid. The hospital does not feed them, but the women relied upon family and friends to provide their food. On this trip, there was a woman, who lost her child, that had been there for 218 days. The other six (6) women and their babies had been there well over one hundred (100) days each. Can you imagine a child being raised in that type of hospital environment (see my photos of same)?
You should have seen their faces as they did not know that we were coming, let alone that they would be going home to their families - Glory! I captured some of their expressions, but it was heart wrenching to say the least. There was not a dry eye in the entire room!
It was truly a blessing to be apart of the plan of God in the lives of the seven(7) women and six(6) babies (one transitioned) who went home to their families as a result of our paying their bills (~$4K USD) and providing them with monies for transportation. I praise God for the team and the people who gave specifically for that cause.
As I went with the other team members to one of the maternity floors of the hospital, I was truly overwhelmed with the level of condition of the facility and that of the women. However, the expressions on the faces of those women spoke very loud and clear to me! The compassion and comfort of God came forth in me like never before. All that I have experienced in my life and ministry (interceding for family and friends, chaplaincy at Good Samaritan, pasturing, etc.) was for that day. Jesus was glorified in me that day! We gave personal hygiene gifts to the new mothers and an outfit for their babies that were donated by the team and other persons. We prayed for each of them including those who were awaiting delivery and those who had loss their babies. Pictures can be viewed here: . Also, one of the team members who work for a hospital donated quite a bit of hospital supplies, etc. We went to be a blessing and we were blessed. How awesome is that?!
As we journeyed to the two (2) villages in the mountains, it was wonderful to see the countryside. However, it was overwhelming to see how the people live as we traveled - such dire poverty in this 21st century. (The reality is, it is not just there but here in the states as well.) I appreciated participating in walking the grounds, praying in the Holy Ghost & prophesying for the people and for miraculous events to occur. The ordination service was my second time (the first time was in Jamaica) experiencing praise and worship in a different culture and country. And, God truly moved in a marvelous way. He even gave me a written word for Pastor Joyce (the wife of the man being ordained as an Apostle). I also experienced primitive toilet facilities in the bush - yes indeed.
In the next phase of the trip which was a women and men's conference, God used me primarily as an 'Onsite Intercessor'. He also provided an opportunity for me to minister His Word through an interpreter to a group of three hundred plus women and to assist in one of the two anointing services with one of the apostles. I am truly grateful to God for the opportunity to have gone and to minister to his people, in whatever capacity, He provided.
The experiences were different, but similar in so many ways. I learned a lot about myself and others who are in leadership capacities. I believe that 'I am changed' as a result of the events of this ministry opportunity and the people to whom I and the other team members ministered to individually and corporately. The people look like me and I look like them! Holy Spirit has definitely given me new perspectives about those who are in positions of leadership. I have a deeper appreciation for the tremendous burden of leadership in international ministry. The experience with the team was good, I appreciate each one and have thanked them for helping to make my first short term missions trip experience to Ghana West Africa a memorable one!
It was great to experience praise and worship in a different culture and country again! As we attended several different services: an ordination on Sat., two(2) Sunday services, and of course the women's conference, it was interesting to see that the three (3) churches had names that included 'Victory', "Liberty", and 'Overcomer' now how prophetic, for me, was that?
My other experiences were so very enlightening and included seeing the places and faces as we traveled from destination to destination, being on the Ghana soil and ocean shores, interacting with the people such as the ladies at the conference, hotel staff, bus driver, and the African staff of the ministry, going to the market and shopping at the Art Center (a type of outdoor/indoor composite of shops). The latter was an interesting experience of negotiating - I had fun. In addition, the African ministry team was so welcoming and supportive.
We had a scare at one of the places we frequent for lunch; it was extremely stressful to say the least! There was an explosion (the outside rotisserie unit) that sounded like gunshots. I am so very thankful to God for Jacob, our bus driver. He risked his life by running in to tell us to get out and in a hurry! Well, you don't need to tell me something like that twice. So, I ran and was the very first person at the bus with another team member behind me. Anyway, everyone was safe including the restaurant staff and other patrons. I now have a new name - Pastor Wonder Woman as well as the other person. Thank God for his protection as there was no fire engine on the scene, just folks helping to put out the fire!
The hotel was quaint and the staff was very professional and accommodating. I felt safe. The power outages and the cold water showers were annoying, but I was not at home. And, I survived. I enjoyed my stay in my small cozy room and my interactions with my suite mate.
The plane rides were good; however, upon arrival in Accra I discovered that my two (2) African outfits that I purchased specifically for this trip were stolen. I have informed TSA of same. On the return trip home, my larger piece of luggage top zippered area had the zipper and TSA lock ripped from it - I have filed a claim with KLM. Upon arrival from Accra to Amsterdam, I and another team member had a Samaritan experience. As we deplaned, there was a mother who had a set of twin boys, about two (2) or three (3) of age, who needed help. Only I and the other team member assisted and then we rejoined our team. Everyone else, leaving the plane at the time of the need, just looked and kept walking - go figure!
Overall, my experience was wonderful, inspiring, enlightening, challenging, and educational. Thank you again for your prayer support that allowed me to experience a short term missions trip to Ghana West Africa with the team that God put together!
May God continue to bless the each of you! Thanks again! ((((My Family & Friends)))) (This means to hug you individually!)
Touching the Nations For Christ,
Pastor Sheena Coleman
BS, MBA, MACM,
P.S. While I was in Ghana, my grandson, Amiri stood before his kindergarten class and told them that his Nana was in Africa. This was a 'first' for him! Hallelujah. The teaching staff was so excited and proud of him and so are we!