We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. - Maya Angelou
It’s tempting to believe that we have little in common with women from other cultures. Their lives seem so very different from ours, and those differences can create barriers that block our vision. Instead of seeing how alike we are, we often focus on the ways we are unalike.
Ama Homeda lives in Ankaase, Ghana. She and I have a different skin color, we speak a different language, we have different degrees of education, and because she is African and I am a Westerner, we view the world through a different cultural lens. Those are one set of facts. And yet, there is another truth that I would have never known or believed unless I had met her in person.
I visited Ama's home in January, 2014 a few months before she began her new Puff bread business. She and her seven children and husband live in a one room structure on a hill outside of the village. She was hanging out laundry when I arrived - lots of baby nappies (diapers) on a clothesline in her dirt yard. Her five daughters were busy doing various chores, and one of them had the 18 month-old boy strapped on her back while she worked in the outdoor kitchen.
While we talked through a translator, Ama would stop to answer questions from her daughters, or attend to a crying infant girl, their newest baby, who was napping fretfully on one of the beds inside the room.
Ama wants her children to do well in school. She prays they stay healthy. She works all day to make sure they are fed and clothed. And she smiles when she looks at them. In that smile, I saw myself. For all the things I selfishly want for myself in a given day, I’d give them all up to make sure my children have what they need.
Ama began selling Puff bread in April to help support the needs of her family. In a year, it will be time for the the oldest daughter to attend high school, and this will take more funds from the family. She is determined, however, to make sure her children have the best life she can give them. She feels the responsibility for that every day. And again, I am reminded that despite our differences, we are alike.
On October 2nd, The Village event at First Baptist Church, Tulsa will give women here an unique opportunity to connect with women like Ama in Ghana. We will learn that we are more alike than unalike, as the poet Maya Angelou says. When we step outside ourselves long enough to see what we have in common with women around the world, we begin to see how big God’s love is for all people. He cares deeply about Ama and wants her to live the full life He created her to live. When issues like poverty get in the way, we can be sure that is not His plan.
Come hear how Rising Village is addressing the issue of family preservation in Ghana. Enjoy dinner and meet five women - through photos and videos - who have started small businesses and apprenticeships so they can keep and care for their children. Shop for items the seamstress apprentices have stitched, and learn how you can be a part of what we are doing in five villages in Ghana.
Tickets can be purchased online here.
We look forward to seeing you at The Village!