This week the subject of poverty has been on my mind continually. Poverty is multifaceted; it's not just about a lack of money but also the lack of adequate food, shelter, clean water and access to health care among other things. I am still trying to wrap my head around the extreme poverty we see every day on the streets of Accra. There are street people; those living and sleeping on the streets. There are beggars; those who are blind, lame, missing limbs as a result of polio. There are others, many, many others, selling pretty much anything you could want (we call it 'Amazon on the Street"), who work hard to make a small profit, (the equivalent of $2-$3 per day) only to turn around and do the same thing all over again tomorrow. It is an incredibly hard way to live.
This week, while sitting in the car in traffic, as dozens of these street entrepreneurs walked by with their goods on their head, we listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, as they sang:
Savior, may I learn to love thee. Walk the path that thou hast shown.
Pause to help and lift another, finding strength beyond my own.
Savior, may I learn to love thee- Lord, I would follow thee.
Who am I to judge another, when I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see
Who am I to judge another? Lord, I would follow thee
I would be my brother's keeper, I would learn the healer's art
To the wounded and the weary I would show a gentle heart
I would be my brother's keeper. Lord, I would follow thee.
Savior, may I love my brother as I know thou loves me
Find in thee my strength, my beacon. For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother- Lord, I would follow thee.
The spirit filled my heart and tears flowed freely, the first time I have cried since leaving home. Sometimes life here is overwhelming, because the poverty we see is overwhelming. Words alone are inadequate to express how Elder Lambert and I feel, but some days it is simply heart-wrenching to look into the faces of these people. We love them and want desperately to ease their burdens. We hope we have something to offer. The Gospel is the answer.
On a brighter note,we attended a Christmas Chorale Night. It was a huge multi Stake event with three choirs performing, drums included! The quality of the performers was outstanding, and once again we were impressed with the capable, talented members of the church we associate with.
There is so much goodness in Ghana,
Elder and Sister Lambert
Teresa, her sister and 4 yr. old Beatrice at Gbawe ward today.
Roadside business selling smoked "grass cutter". No, Elder Lambert didn't try one!