Formed not by what has been been - but what could be” Margaret Thatcher
Thatcher was describing America with this quote. A quote we heard while watching “The Iron Lady” - a film the Larsons finally caught on the flight en route to Ghana.
Because an airplane is the only place we manage to get mom to actually sit down. Cause she can’t do laundry on a plane. Or boil water as our H20 purification system.
While seated on the long plane ride, I started thinking about that Margaret Thatcher quote — focusing not on where we’ve been — but what could be.
Because the quote encapsulates everything we believe about God. That no matter what we’ve done. How idiotic we’ve acted. God still loves us.
Just like He loved David even after the guy slept with another guy’s wife and had that guy killed (John Edwards kind of stuff).
Just like He loved Noah who built that ark and yet got so drunk his sons had to remind him to put some clothes on.
Just like He loved Sarah even though she laughed (out loud!) at God’s ability to accomplish what He’d promised.
Just like He loved Hannah even though she had a “freak out” moment in the temple.
It’s called grace.
Grace that will not let us go. Grace that will not hold our shortcomings, big mouths, stupid habits, inability to stick to our big plans to do better — against us.
A grace that compels us to come to Ghana.
Lt. Colonels Odile & Eugene Dikalembolovanga (yeah, it’s a mouthful) have showed us up close the work of The Salvation Army here in Accra for 90 years. A work covered in grace.
They also surmised that mom is very “energetic,” that dad is a speed talker the translator can’t keep up with, that Wally really likes his Internet, that Leslie reports on Justin Bieber, that Esther has a name from the Bible, and that Marcia is very short.
The Dikalembolovangas took us to Kotobabi Corps where we had church. Which is a lot like hip hop class. With mosquitoes. Live chickens. And grannies who dance way better than mine.
Through the work of The Salvation Army we see how children are able to attend school (The Army has 200 schools across the country), the street children are able to learn skills (namely sewing) to find career options beyond prostitution, and the poor are able to get medical treatment and education re: malaria & HIV through the Anidsoffia clinic.
But most importantly, The Army’s mission in Ghana is “to seek ways to introduce our people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Bono says that “God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house.” Which means God is in Ghana. In the gracious acts of His servants Odile & Eugene. And in your own personal spheres where you are pouring out His love.
Thanks for praying & providing for us to be here. And thank you for living out His grace while we serve here in Ghana.