1967 on a cold sunny day in Collinsville, Oklahoma the
Carlin family has no idea of the amazing adventures that lay
ahead over the next 3 years.
A very brave decision was made in my childhood. It
came out of my Dad's deep desire to be of service. He opened
his heart and mind to an extraordinary possibility. The possibility that a Veterinarian,
from a small town in Oklahoma, could become a missionary and be of service somewhere
in the world—that
he would be led to a place and whatever the
journey required of him and his family, they could give.
My family's missionary journey is an amazing gift I was
given as a child.
Thanks Dad and Mom.
My story begins here...
family moved to Ghana,
, in January 1968, when I was eleven.
lived in a missionary compound outside the northern region
It was a fabulous adventure for a farm girl
from a small town in Oklahoma. I made some very special friends
Sandow and I are sitting on the underground water tank outside
my bedroom window. We pumped water daily, by hand, to another
tank on top of the house for our house water.
Most of them were boys about my age, Sandow, Alando,
Mahama, Bugiri and his brother Wuni, Dahamani and others,
who would come from the village to the missionary's compound
to play with my brothers, sister and me.
Sandow and I are standing in front of Mom's sewing class. Her
students were the families of the tuberculosis and leprosy
colonies down the road from our house. These women
had never held scissors or a needle and thread. I loved
when they came because there was usually someone who would
let me hold their baby.
When my homeschool studies were done, Sandow and I sometimes
roamed around the missionary compound, walked to the village
market or down the dirt road past my house to the dam. We also
sat outside and played games like chess, checkers and oware.
As you can imagine, there are lots
of stories I could tell about those 2 1/2 years in Ghana. But
of all the places we went and all the things we did, my friends
were the best part of Africa for me.
You can take the girl out of Africa...