A Journey HomeA Journey Home is the story of my mother’s experiences working as a nurse in a health clinic for the under-served in Ghana, West Africa. Click here to begin with the first entry of “The Journey Home”  My comments are in red.


June, 1990

Mama traveled to Scotland in May to coincide with my brother, Steve’s trip. He has traveled to Scotland nearly every summer with college students from Freed-Hardeman University who teach Vacation Bible School in the small churches of Glasgow and Dunoon. This year the university chorus gave 40 performances in schools, parks, homes for retirees and invited people to come to preaching services at night.

Since the climates of Ghana and  Scotland could not be more different, Mama asked me to buy a coat for her and send it over with Steve. She was able to stay in Scotland for two weeks. She had a letter to send back with Steve but in all the shuffling of bags and locations is was misplaced. Here is the letter she sent to me.

Dear Martell,

Have David (middle brother) write you a check for the coat, extra mailing expense of the box, telephone calls, etc. If you don’t, I won’t feel as free to call. (She usually called collect; it was just easier.)

The Scotland trip was so good. Such a drastic change of scenery, pace, and faces. It was so good to see Steve, although our time together was very limited. We stayed in different homes and ate in different places. The chorus was just great, but all of them were exhausted by the end of the two weeks.

Bob and Beth Williams returned to their home in Pennsylvania after their time of service in Ghana. Beth was scheduled for eye surgery, and they did not plan to return to Ghana. Their paths crossed with Mama’s in London on the Williams’  return trip and her return trip to Ghana.

The Williams accomplished much good during their two and a half year stay. The Ghanaian people shed tears of sorrow as goodbyes were said. I will miss drinking coffee with Beth and arguing with Bob, just like family.

The two days in London with Beth and Bob were a marathon: taxi rides to hunt for a reasonable hotel, subway travel to see a few sites, finding the church, meeting a lady who teaches at Lipscomb, and Ghanaians who knew people we know.

By Monday morning when Beth and Bob put me on the plane for Ghana, I had malaria. Luckily the plane was far from full and I could lay down in empty seats to sleep. Avril, Gabriel and his wife met me in Accra. I rested all week and am now fully recovered.

Yesterday the clinic was closed for a national holiday, so Avril and I went with a group to Lake Obono, a volcanic lake, one hour from Kumasi. It is a large lake surrounded by beautiful hills. We took a picnic lunch and ate on the two hour boat ride.

Lake Obono

Lake Obono

We were home by 4:30, cleaned up and rested an hour before our team meeting after supper. We already miss having Bob at the helm as administrator. Samuel (Obong) is so good at bringing things back to reason, but he will be at Harding mid-July to September.

The box of books and tank tops from you arrived while I was gone. It had been opened, part of the candy gone. I had four tank tops. I didn’t count the books, also a video. The tops are perfect. The clothes you sent for Scotland were fine. I loved the coat. Good buy!

Love you all so much,


When I think of all the traveling she did in those few years she worked in Ghana, I just thank God for keeping her safe. International flights, airports in London, Amsterdam, and Ghana became as familiar to her as traveling to Nashville from West Tennessee.






I thank God for those who are putting themselves in harm’s way in Africa as they struggle to care for victims of Ebola.

I thank God for a healthcare system that I take for granted, for Medicare and insurance so I rarely am concerned about how to pay for medical care.



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