***From journal while in Ghana
The last day of visiting towns is pretty nice. We see the school in Bale is well established. We hope to help build a place where the teachers can come and stay. This way it helps them recruit quality teachers who can live in the same town as the school.
The dancing is great. The crowd falls in on us, and then they bring out the instrument.
They have a wooden xylophone. Handmade. I get all excited about the way the thing looks and the way the thing sounds. I play at it for about 20 minutes. The longer I play, the more the crowd starts to pinch in on me. They are confused by my playing, which sounds odd to them. Rhythm and melodies and sounds are totally different in African culture. There seems to be less fluidity, more repetition, but the energy and spirit are all unique.
I read an article years ago about the evolution of Hip Hop. The article traced the roots from modern day back to Blues, back to Southern Spirituals, all the way to African drumbeats. As I stand in a circle with other people around singing and dancing, there is a spontaneity to it all. In a place with no running water and no television, I am aware of how much american music has been influenced by these people on the other side of the world.
In fact, I begin to become aware of how much I have been influenced in a span of 12 days. In reality, it has taken me four months to begin to wrap my mind around the things that God has taught me.
No matter where you are, there is a need that people have to hear the gospel. The news that God wants to be in relationship with people despite our flaws is amazing. The realization that he sent Jesus to come and pay a price we never could is humbling. The idea that everyone can have access, no matter where you are or what you come from, is what I'll remember most about this place.