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Ursula Akurugu: A story of hurt, forgiveness and faith. Changing the world, through the community of Vea.

 

 

 

In the remote village of Vea in Northern Ghana, an 11 year old girl named Ursula was sold to pay a debt. The family that bought her forced her to work long hours and abused her physically and mentally. After 5 years of hell on earth, one night a voice woke Ursula up and she heard distinctly, “RUN!” (She later found out that men in the village were coming to rape and kill her that very night.) She fled Vea with the clothes on her back and eventually found shelter and safety with a family from the UK.

Over time, Ursula found the power of faith and the hope to live, but struggled with forgiving those who had been so cruel to her. She told her new friends that she would never go back to the village and would never let go of the bitterness in her heart.

Ten years later, a severe famine caused by a widespread drought in Northern Ghana struck Vea. Ursula began to hear about the suffering of her people and children starving and her heart melted with compassion. She used all of her relationships to rally help for the village of Vea. Three trucks of food and supplies rolled into the village with Ursula leading the way.

When she arrived in the village, Ursula had a strong aching in her heart. She knew, deep in her soul, where that first bag of rice must be delivered. With that, she delivered the first bag of rice to the family that abused her. That one act of kindness sent a shockwave of goodwill through the village. It also allowed Ursula to meet with the chief (the first woman to be allowed a meeting at the sacred stone). The chief, who had originally declared that all children would stay in the village no matter how desperate because “we will all die together” sat with Ursula and listened to her plea to release several of the children to Ursula, so she could take them to safety. As result of this plea, 12 kids were allowed to leave that day.

Ursula and her husband David now live near Vea, helping orphans labeled  “demon children” by the village or sold into slavery to pay a debt. Everyone in Vea knows her story and she has helped hundreds of children. One woman is changing an entire village and proving that love is stronger than hate, hope is stronger than hurt and forgiveness is the greatest force in the world.

Please join OneCommunity as we welcome Ursula, and her husband David, to Texas this May!  OneCommunity will be sponsoring several events, in Austin, Corpus & Victoria, TX, for the public to come and hear Ursula’s story of love, fear, triumph and forgiveness.  Learn more about how, together with Ursula and David, OneCommunity is bringing continued change to the community and children of Vea!  If you are interested in attending an event, please email us at info@WeAreOneCommunity.com and OneCommunity will add you to our event calendar.

 

TALAATA’S CHILD: April 21, 2015

Welcome to Talaata’s Child!  Each Tuesday, One Community will highlight one of or many children, available for sponsorship. This is a GREAT way to learn more about the many children who need your help!

MEET AWINPOKA!

AWINPOKA (ID# 934)

#934; Awinpoka, A (F) Age 8

 

 

Awinpoka is 8 years-old, and is in the 1st Grade at Vea Primary School. Awinpoka loves to spend her free time with her , playing Ampe (a local game involving some pretty amazing dancing) & Reading!

Awinpoka has 4 siblings, ages 10, 7, 6 and 5.  All 5 children live with their parents, along with other close extended family.  Awinpoka’s father is local farmer, farming both millet and harvesting reeds used for both weaving and cooking fuel. Her mother is one of the village’s many basket weavers.

Awinpoka needs your help! Please clink on the link below to see how you can partner with OneCommunity to help bring hope to the hopeless and put smiles on the faces of the children in a village called Vea in Upper East Ghana.  www.WeAreOneCommunity.com/give

TALAATA’S CHILD: April 14, 2015

Welcome to Talaata’s Child!  Each Tuesday, One Community will highlight one of or many children, available for sponsorship. This is a GREAT way to learn more about the many children who need your help!

MEET MOSES!

MOSES (ID# 149)

#149: MOSES, N; MALE, AGE 11; GRADE 4

 

 

Moses is 11 years-old, and is in the 4th Grade at Vea Primary School. Moses loves to spend his free time with his brother, playing Football (Soccer)!

Moses has 1 brother and 2 sisters.  All 3 children live with their parents, along with other close extended family.  Moses’ father is local farmer, farming both millet and harvesting reeds used for both weaving and cooking fuel.  His mother is one of the village’s many basket weavers.

Moses needs your help! Please clink on the link below to see how you can partner with OneCommunity to help bring hope to the hopeless and put smiles on the faces of the children in a village called Vea in Upper East Ghana.  www.WeAreOneCommunity.com/give

We went to BRING CHANGE, but this happened instead…

Spring Break in a small rural suburb of Barahona, Dominican Republic.  Simple enough.  Fifteen adults and 14 high school/middle school students set out from  Central Texas, bound for a rural community near Barahona in the Dominican Republic, with one mission: Change the World.  Isn’t that what a mission trip is all about?  Changing others?  Aren’t mission trips about bringing support, help, our hope and in our case, the love of Christ?  Yes…and no.  The story of a mission trip does not end there.  That would be too simple.  That would be too “clean” and easy.

Our Real Life & OneCommunity Mission Trip to the Dominican Trip was an incredible and yes, cliche as it sounds, Life Changing event!  This group of 29 individuals, slept on concrete floors, all in one large community room, separating male and female during sleep hours by a strung plastic tarp curtain.  All 29 of us, shared two toilets, one “shower”, running water during the hours of 9am-4pm (some days) and electricity that had a funny way of shutting down  at 10pm, right when you got into the shower stall to try and rinse down with a bucket of water collected when the water turned on for a few hours earlier that day.  These are the same 29 individuals, that if asked, “Would you go back” would simply smile and reply, “How soon can we go back?”  What we learned, by the end of our 5 night journey was, our lodging conditions were preparing our hearts for change.  God is funny like that.  Just when we think we know what we need: hairdryers, make-up, a hot shower, fresh towels, Jack-n-Jill bathrooms, and master bathrooms with large soaker tubs, He has a way of rocking our world.  Of shaking us and like snow in a small snow globe, letting us gently fall back down, right where He wants and needs us to be.

During our time in the Mission Field, we were hugged, more times than I think we can count.  We had little hands and fingers holding our hands and pulling at our hearts.  We were invited into homes, made up of tossed aside pieces of wood of metal, and filled with more love than one can possible imagine.  We talked for hours with men, women and children, without either understanding the other’s language.  We held babies, just days or weeks after coming into this world.  We brought fresh, clean water into a home.  We allowed women and children to no longer “pedal” water along the street.  We gave families back 50% of their small salaries, that they spent on clean drinking water.  We blew bubbles, while telling a small child that Jesus came and died for her.  We entered a public school, and talked with the students about a God who made a promise… and further, that God keeps His promises!  We colored, we sang, we danced, we played hot-potato with soccer balls, and baseball in an amazing field, they referred to as “Yankee Stadium.”  We laughed.  We smiled.  We cried.  We came with a goal of bringing change to a community.  We brought a method of having fresh water.  We conducted a mini-Vacation Bible School and talked about God’s love. Did we succeed?  Yes, I think we did.  I think we did bring about change in a community.  A community BOTH in a small, rural suburb of Barahona, Dominican Republic as well as one in Central Texas, USA.  Mission Trips ARE about bringing change to the world…just it is not only a change to a remote, foreign community.  It is the change that happens in ALL of the lives that participate in or are touched by the mission trip.  If you wish to learn more about a OneCommunity Mission Trip, and how you can be part of this Change, please email info@WeAreOneCommunity.com

Being told he has been selected to receive a Water Filter!

Being told he has been selected to receive a Water Filter!

Just before our arrival, the materials for the water filters were delivered.

Just before our arrival, the materials for the water filters were delivered.

The team arrives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The team arrives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Team going out to bring water systems several families in the community

Team going out to bring water systems several families in the community

Our students helped during installation process.

Our students helped during installation process.

Certificate with home owner and team after filter installation and training session.  The water will be checked regularly by a locally trained leader, to ensure water safety.

Certificate with home owner and team after filter installation and training session. The water will be checked regularly by a locally trained leader, to ensure water safety.

Pastor Sonny getting into the crafts portion of VBS!

Pastor Sonny getting into the crafts portion of VBS!

Classroom students showing off their finished craft: "God keeps His promises!"

Classroom students showing off their finished craft: “God keeps His promises!”

Really enjoying the VBS crafts.

Really enjoying the VBS crafts.

We PLAYED...

We PLAYED…

...and Played.  Friendships that knows not language boundaries.

…and Played. Friendships that knows no language boundaries.

We hugged on and loved...

We hugged on and loved…

We brought Volleyballs, Soccer Balls, Bats & balls

We brought Volleyballs, Soccer Balls, Bats & balls

IMG_0407

Afternoons playing Baseball at “Yankee Stadium”

We experienced Love & Joy

We experienced Love & Joy

We experienced sorrow that comes from a changed heart...

We held on tight and cried…

TALAATA’S CHILD: April 7, 2015

Welcome to Talaata’s Child!  Each Tuesday, One Community will highlight one of or many children, available for sponsorship. This is a GREAT way to learn more about the many children who need your help!

MEET ANABA!

ANABA (ID# 1144)

#1144: ANABA NSOH , MALE, AGE 14; GRADE 2

Anaba is 14 years-old, and is in the 2nd Grade at Vea Primary School. Anaba loves to spend his free time with his twin brother, playing Football (Soccer)!

Anaba has 1 brother (his twin) and 1 sister.  All 3 children live with their parents, along with several aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Anaba’s father is local farmer, farming both millet and harvesting reeds used for both weaving and cooking fuel.  His mother is one of the village’s many basket weavers.

Anaba needs your help! Please clink on the link below to see how you can partner with OneCommunity to help bring hope to the hopeless and put smiles on the faces of the children in a village called Vea in Upper East Ghana.  www.WeAreOneCommunity.com/give