“Because love and wisdom exist and subsist in use, it is use that affects us; and use is to perform faithfully, sincerely, and diligently the work of one’s function.” Conjugial Love 16
As a Senior in the Kempton New Church School, we have the opportunity to choose a Senior Project where we get a chance to personalize our education and pursue something we are interested in. For my Senior Project I chose to organize a Kempton New Church School Senior Service Trip to Tema, Ghana, with much help from Rev. George Dziekpor and his daughter Klenam Dziekpor.
Our service group consisted of myself and the two other KNCS seniors, Percy Brown and Hayden King, and also Joram Heinrichs, a senior from the Carmel New Church Society in Kitchener, Ontario. My dad, Rev. Brett Buick and Miss Vivienne Riley, both faculty from KNCS, also accompanied us as support and chaperones.
This trip was life changing for me, and I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to travel to Ghana and meet so many wonderful people.
The service aspect of this project mainly revolved around supporting three Christian private primary schools in Tema: Cejose Wisdom International School, Richenfel Academy, and the Tema New Church School. Each of us taught various classes to the 4th, 5th and 6th graders at each of the schools, from English and math, to science and ICT (Information and Communications Technology).
Before leaving for Ghana, we also collected over 300lbs. of children’s books, school supplies and books of the Heavenly Doctrine to support those schools, and the growing effort for a Theological School in the New Church Society in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
Rev. George Dziekpor was our host, and is now a dear friend. He did all the preparations for our stay in Ghana, organized our guesthouse, spoke to the schools, and scheduled our weekend excursions. He and his family worked so hard to make sure we would have a wonderful, memorable trip, and he definitely accomplished this. We would have been lost without him, so a big thank you goes to Rev. Dziekpor, and the rest of our Ghanaian brothers and sisters.
My favorite part of the trip was interacting with the Ghanaian school children. I dearly loved being called “Auntie Natalie,” and seeing their bright smiling faces. It was such fun to answer their many questions, and laugh with them as they delighted in my silly American ways. I feel they taught me just as much, if not more, than I taught them.
It was particularly wonderful to visit and support the Tema New Church School. The New Church children’s books and school supplies were enthusiastically received.
While we were there, the Tema children sang the hymn “Jesu, Jesu” to welcome us to their school. It was such a heartwarming experience to hear the children singing about the Lord.
This year and this trip has definitely been a defining point in my life, and I am so grateful that I was able to experience this amazing adventure with my dad and my friends, old and new. A big thank you also goes out to all the people who supported and helped me along the way, I could never have done it alone!