Washing Clothes

Okay so as I was mentally preparing to embark on this adventure of ‘Living in West Africa’ I knew that there was going to be many things that I had never done that I would need to learn. One of those things was learning how to wash my clothes by hand. Now for my African friends this may seem silly or trivial but this was something I really wanted to accomplish.
Once I got to Alidas house, the friend whom I am staying with in Togo, I knew this was my opportunity to learn. As an added bonus, God even sent me a teacher, Mimouna to help me with my new skills. Her name is Mimouna and she is seven years old. She is what they call a ‘house mate’ and she comes from a village 12 hours away from Lome in Northern Togo. She helps out around the house (cleaning, cooking, washing, etc) and then gets some schooling in the evening. I know for some of us this may see a bit cruel but a lot of these ‘housemates’, their families are unable to provide for them even with basic needs so it is actually more beneficial for them to go into a place where they can get basic needs plus skills training. Anyway so yeah my amazing teacher is a 7 year-old little girl in which the only way we communicate is through gestures since I speak English and she speaks a Togolese dialect.

Alright back to clothes washing. So the third day at Alida’s house my smelly clothes were piling up, so I decided it was time to give this clothes-washing thing a try. I gathered all my stuff and walked to the back cemented area. Mimouna was close behind ready to give instructions. Off I went. Smelly clothes in basin. Pour water over clothes. Add Omo (detergent). Scrub, smoosh, squeeze, dirty clothes. Ring out soap. Place in clean water. Rinse clothes. Ring clothes. Hang on wall to dry.
As I hung up my last sock I was beaming with pride. I did it! I washed my clothes. Yay! The next morning I went out to collect my clothes and as I pulled them down I took in a big wiff of my hand washed clothes. As the scent filled my nose I started to gag. Ohhh noooo!! Guess I didn’t do as good of a job as I thought. ALL of my clothes still smelled like sweaty stinky Becca. I grabbed Mimouna and had her take a small sniff she rubbed her nose politely and then smiled. Time to wash my clothes again.
Sooooo I did the whole process all over again. Smelly clothes in basin. Pour water. …etc….. Hang on wall to dry. This time when I did the scrub, smoosh, squeeze, thing I did it WICKED hard. When I had finished this time I KNEW that I had done a good job. My hands hurt, my back hurt, my legs hurt. Yep that means I did a good job!
So about 6 hours later I went out to grab my CLEAN clothes and took a big wiff. Awwww, fresh, clean, Becca washed clothes!!
I grabbed Mimouna and had her take a BIG sniff and the smile on her face assured me that I had done a good job. Hooray!

Becca's beds!

I want to post a special thank you for the many beds that I had the pleasure of staying in over this past month.

Atlantic Point

Murray Crawford

Lyn and James Burnett

Ghana 4 star hotel


Most of these people opened up their homes to me even though I had never met or even spoken to them. But EACH ONE quickly accepted me into their homes and showed me boundless love and hospitality. If by the end of this adventure, I ended up right back where I started, it still would have been TOTALLY worth it because of meeting these amazing new friends.
I pray that God will bless each and every one of you. I pray that he will bless your families and the work that God has given you to do!

Adventure back to West Africa!

Sitting on the airplane flying into Accra many thoughts ran through my head. “What am I doing? I wonder what a Togo jail cell looks like? I wonder how much my bail will be? I wonder what it is like to be deported?” Ya know the usual questions you ask while you are about to fly by yourself into a West African country without a visa. Many of you may be asking “Becca how did you get yourself into this position in the first place?” Let me back up to fill you in on the events that led to this crazy and wonderful adventure.
Once upon a time in a small country in West Africa there lived a girl named Becca. She lived and worked on a BIG white tin ship as a pediatric nurse. After working on the ship for 1 year she saw the huge need for health education. Also during this time the ship was preparing to get some new parts added or fixed up. So while the ship was going to get surgery Becca had to find something to do for those 5 months of the hospital being closed. She looked and looked. She asked many people. She googled, yahood, and even asked Jeeves but could find nothing that fit. So Becca decided to pray. ““Dear God I don’t know where you want me to go or who you want me to work with but I know that you put this passion in my heart so whatever you want me to do I will do it for you.”
The very next day when Becca got back from work her roommate and good friend said “Becca, I met a woman today who does Community Health and I told her about what you want to do and she wants to talk with you!” A huge smile streaked across Becca’s face as she knew that this was an answer to her prayer. Becca quickly ran down to talk to the woman. This woman told her all about the organization called Global Health Network and Life wind. They call their teaching program Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Two weeks after this conversation Becca had signed up to work with CHE in West Africa for the full 5 months.
Becca continued her work in Togo and in August as the big white tin ship left Togo tears ran down her face leaving this place she loved but hope filled her heart knowing she would be back. After eighteen days of sailing the big white tin ship arrived safely to South Africa. Becca then spent two nights in Durban and then was off to Cape Town. Once in Cape Town Becca gathered together her 8 pieces of documents to send to Pretoria to the Ghana embassy there so that she could get her Ghana visa. Over the next 13 days Becca ran all around Cape Town with her other friends from the BIG white tin ship. They all had a blast.
During this time Becca still hadn’t heard back about her visa. At this point Becca was staying at her friends’ house and his Mom asked “Becca since your visa still hasn’t come maybe we should call the embassy to see what is going on.” Well by the end of that day Becca heard some not so good news. The embassy had denied her the visa and said the only was she could receive one is if she was to get one while in America.
“Oh no!” Becca thought, “What should I do?” So she called the American Embassy to get some advice, they suggested that her only hope would be if she were to fly to Pretoria and ask them face-to-face. So within 12 hours of this conversation Becca had booked an unexpected flight to Johannesburg even though she knew no one there, had no place to stay, no transportation to Pretoria, and was running out of money. Becca knew this situation looked grim from the outside but she had a sense of Peace knowing that God was in control and whatever the outcome if was going to be okay. So the next morning Becca’s friend was online and suggested that he had a friend whose sister lived in Joberg. Within the hour that friend came online, and Becca asked if it would be okay to stay with her sister and she agreed. By 3pm the next day Becca was at the Cape Town airport ready to board a flight to Joberg. But WAIT, due to the time difference from South Africa to America her travel agent didn’t confirm the flight and her money hadn’t gone through for this flight change. So as Becca and her friend walked up to the counter with just a prayer and a glimpse of hope the woman looked up her flight only to see that Becca hadn’t paid and she had no seat on the flight. The lady then walked away to try and see what she could do. She came back and asked Becca to come with her. They walked over to the ticket counter manager and they said “Sorry, you have to contact your travel agent we can’t do anything about this.” The first lady then took her to a different counter and told her to wait. As Becca and her friend stood there Becca was trying to think of what else she could do. But before she could think up her next master plan the lady had returned and said “Uh, don’t worry about it, we’ll put you on the flight anyway.” A HUGE smile fell across Becca’s face and before she knew it she had a ticket in hand. She hugged her friend goodbye and off she went.
She arrived in Joberg and by 10pm that night was soundly sleeping at her new friends house. The next morning Becca woke up and was off to church. She still didn’t have a ride to Pretoria but she hoped that something would work out. After church she went back to the house and started looking up transportation to Pretoria. The cost to go was a lot more money then she expected. So that evening as they were off to church again Becca asked if there was anyone at the church that might be going to Pretoria that she could hitch a ride with. Once at church her friend talked to a girl that goes to school in Pretoria and she said that there was an extra seat in their car. Hooray!!
The next morning at 6am Becca started her drive to Pretoria. Becca knew once she was in Pretoria she would have to figure out how to get to the Ghana Embassy. Now the Ghana Embassy was only open from 930-1230 and then was closed for the following two days due to a Ghanaian holiday. Becca knew that these 3 hours were her only chance of getting her visa and being able to fly out by the next night on her scheduled flight. As they drove to Pretoria her new friends looked at the map and to Becca’s surprise the embassy was only a 10-minute walk from their campus. WOW! Once at the campus her two new friends walked with Becca to the Embassy and Becca was the fourth person in line. As she waited to talk with the woman she prayed that God would soften the hearts of those she talked with and also that He would give Becca peace. Finally it was Becca's turn as she walked up to the window the woman’s stone face didn’t show a glimpse of emotion. Becca explained her situation and the woman stood up, went into a back room, and came back with a package in hand. Becca’s heart jumped. As the woman handed Becca her passport she then said “Sorry we are unable to give you a visa.” Becca froze not knowing what to do. Over the next 120 seconds Becca stood there asking the woman if there was anything else she could do, someone else she could talk to, any other people that could call. The woman repeated time and time again, “No. No. No.” But Becca didn’t move. Not because she was trying to be difficult but because her legs WOULDN’T move. Finally the woman got fed up and walked over to the big steel locked door and said “Come in and talk to this other woman.” Becca’s legs finally moved again. As she walked into the white freshly painted office she knew this was her last hope. As she sat down in front of this woman tears started falling from her eyes. Becca quickly tried to wipe the tears away. The woman then handed her a tissue and said “Its not as bad as you think.” As Becca explained the situation to the woman, this woman then gave her some suggestions of things she could try to do to get this visa. The woman told Becca to call her with the results. So Becca quickly went off to do all that the woman had suggested. Well after 4 hours of running around all of those options came back as NO.
As Becca sat on a dirty park bench she surprisingly still felt at peace. She continued to ponder ways that she could get back to West Africa. “Hmm.. where else could I go? How else could I get a visa?” “Togo?..... TOGO….Maybe I could get back into Togo since the ship just left there.” So Becca called the Big white tin ship and asked if they thought this was possible. The man on the other end said that there is a chance that it would work but since the ship is not in port that the visa voucher is null and void, but he said that she could try. So Becca then contacted her travel agent and asked if they could make an additional flight from Ghana to Togo.
By Tuesday night Becca boarded her plane by herself to go to Togo. She had no visa, she had little money left, she had minimal communication lines, but she knew that God was with her and that everything was going to be okay.
She flew from Joberg to London and then London to Ghana. But wait, as they boarded their flight to Ghana two of the aisle lights had died and they needed to be replaced. The pilot said that this was a rare occurrence and a small issue but due to regulations they had to fix the problem before flying. Due to this “small issue” the plan was delayed one hour, which meant as they arrived into the Ghana airport Becca had 10 minutes to board her flight. By the time Becca had received her bags the flight to Togo had left. But while she was waiting for her bags she noticed a small sign that said GHANA VISAS. After collecting her bags Becca walked over and paid 20$ for a transit visa. Many of you may be asking why this is so important but now that Becca had this one day visa that meant that if she was unable to get into Togo instead of them putting her in jail, or deporting her back to America, they would only send her to Ghana. “hehe!” Since Becca missed her flight the airline put her up in a hotel. Instead of Becca staying in a jail cell she instead was at a 4 star gold trim hotel with a large bed and many pillows.
The next evening Becca took her one-hour flight to Togo praying that the documents that she had would suffice. As she walked up to the custom agent the man took her passport, glimpsing at the pile of papers and stamped her passport. Becca made it back to West Africa. Horray! Wow! God is so good.



God you created the heavens and the earth

the sea and the sky, the night and the day.

God you created all these things and more, and said they were 'GOOD'

Then God you made something even more magnificent than mountains,

even more majestic than your vast oceans,

even more breathtaking than sunrises and sunsets,

even more beautiful than your precious flowers

and even more intriguing than the grace of dolphins or the speed of a cheetah.

These things that you made you said were 'GOOD'

But God you made something that you said was 'VERY GOOD'

You created something that can talk with you, laugh with you, relate with you.

You created Man. You created me. You created each and every person on this earth. Once you were finished you said it was 'VERY GOOD'

It is sad how we can look at all these beautiful pieces of your creation and have tears come to our eyes, with how amazing they are, but when we look at ourselves we dont think that we are 'VERY GOOD' we sometimes don't even think we are 'GOOD'

God you are our loving Father and Creator and when you made us we were the most beautiful and precious things of all.
God may we see the precious sons and daughters that we are to you.
God may we see how beautiful we are and how special we are to you.
God next time we are standing on top of a magnificent mountain, or watching a breathtaking sunset or just looking in a mirror, I pray that we will be reminded that we are more beautiful and breathtaking than these.
Thank you God!


Where is Becca now?

Many of you may be asking, “Where in the world is Becca? “
Right now I am sitting in Cape Town and will be here until the 22nd of September at which point I will be flying back up to West Africa to start learning more about community health education. I’ll talk more about that later. First I need to catch you all up with all the events of this past week.
The ship arrived safely in Durban on Wednesday and by Thursday afternoon myself along with 160 other crewmembers were moved off. Our reason for being in South Africa is to get some well-needed work done on the ship. In order to have this work done safely and quickly we had to move off all the crewmembers that will not be working on these projects. Because of this many of the families on board will be separated due to the fathers being needed for the shipyard work. For those not doing the technical work they are being moved to an urban area about 90 minutes away from the port called Applesboch. Talk about some big changes. Please keep the crew in your prayers especially during this time.

As we pulled into port, it was a mad dash getting departments cleaned up and packed up and getting personal cabins cleaned up and packed up to move off. By Thursday morning all of the things that were going to be sent to Applesboch was piled high and wide in the center of the ship. Then at 10am the whistle blew and the race began. In two hours I watched hundreds of brown boxes, duffel bags of all colors, an array of musical equipment, pots, pans, computers, etc. get carried off of the ship and placed into moving trucks. Within two hours that pile was completely moved outside. Within two hours over 160 people had completely moved off of the ship. Wow!
I was amazed at the sense of community and family especially during this time. Everyone and I mean everyone helped out. The young kids were helping clean cabins, the older kids were carrying boxes, and the adults were running to all the different departments to see who needed help. I was touched watching this family that God had put together helping each other out. As the last few items were walked down the gangway and placed in moving trucks I then heard the overhead announcement that said “All crew not staying on the ship please be off the ship by 1245.” I looked at my watch and realized I had 45 minutes before I would disembark from my home and embark on this crazy uncomfortable and unknown adventure for the next 6 months. I froze.
“What am I doing? This is crazy! I don’t want to say goodbye. I don’t want to leave this family. I don’t want to leave my friends, my internet access, my hot showers, my comfy bed, my clean drinking water, my 2 hours washing machine slot, my bible study, my football team, my honey nut cheerios, my running buddy…. My comfort zone. My home.

As these thoughts rushed through my head I had a déjà vu. These thoughts sound very familiar. Oh wait I remember, right before I left for Mercy Ships I had all of these same anxieties and more. As I came to this realization a smile grew across my face. God has been so good to me and every single worry or anxiety He has not only quenched but has provided more than I ever imagined. This ship has become my home and the people on the ship have become my family. It is as if God is like “Okay Becca now you are ready for the next step.”
So God may know that I am ready but that doesn’t mean that I am not scared, nervous, worried, you get the point. But because I am feeling these feelings I know that God is going to do some amazing things through me. Every time I have felt weak, scared, overwhelmed, afraid God has shown me that if I would just put my trust in Him that I would see that He is in control and all will be okay. So that is what I am doing.
Today I read a verse that may seem a bit extreme for my situation but I was definitely comforted by it. Luke says, “whoever would save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” So I know I am not losing my life like getting sent my death certificate but I do feel like I am letting go of those things that i feel give me life. Even though right now I feel like I am losing a lot of the things that I love, mainly relationships with people on the ship and the comforts of home, I know that by putting these things behind God and keeping Him as my #1 that I will find even more about who He is and His love for me.