Welcome to Africa!

Disclaimer: The following post is not about the happy-go-lucky missionary life. Some things are hard. If you are troubled by this, please pray for us!

Last week was a whirlwind, in more ways than one! We conducted interviews with several candidates for housekeeper and for Twi language consultant/teacher. After a lot of work with the interviews and writing contracts, we have engaged a housegirl and also a Twi teacher.

But the major drama of last week was electrical in nature. Wednesday morning, the power went off. This is no major catastrophe here; it happens, and you manage.

However, the issue came that the voltage monitor on the house (which prevents excess voltage from coming and damaging our things) burned up and malfunctioned. Several visits from the electrician did not solve the problem, and we lived by running our generator twice a day from Wednesday morning til Friday night.

Fast-forward to Friday night. It was raining, and the generator decided not to start. The monitor showed that we had grid power, but it wouldn’t let it in the house. An unpleasant call to the electrician led to me (Ryan) learning how to wire around the monitor so that we could have lights and re-cool the fridge and freezer.

Saturday, the original electrician, plus our landlord’s electrician, came to work on the problem. Finally, they discovered that the problem was caused by some previous worker not having secured wires together correctly from the transmission lines to the house, so water in the connection was causing sparking and overloading. They fixed that, the monitor, and also rigged up a starter so that we can run the generator as needed. Now things are back to Ghana-normal on that front.

In the midst of this, we were sorely tested in patience and understanding. At no time were we in any particular danger, nor did we go hungry or anything like that. However, it is unutterably frustrating to see that an “essential” service like electricity is available, even flowing to your house, but you can’t have any. Culture shock was in full force, as we wrangled with the principle that sometimes things just don’t work here, and they almost never work as expected. On Friday night, we wanted to come back to the US!

But we thank God for His mercy and providence in making sure that what needed to get done got done, and we have been returned to our default state re electricity. We also thank Him for our fellow missionaries, who were here to listen and encourage us through the trying times, and then rejoice with us when order was restored.

Like the woman who found her coin, we ask you to praise God with us for His mercy. We also ask you to continue to pray for strength, wisdom, and understanding as we adapt to a new way of life.


2 thoughts on “Welcome to Africa!

  1. Sounds familiar. When I was working on a building in Malabo Dos the running phrase was “TIA”. You are probably running into “This is Africa” way too much. Prayers for you and your family for safety and patience.


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