Volunteering was 11 months of intense learning, making discoveries, meeting challenges, and witnessing miracles and blessings. Most of all, it was an opportunity for God to transform the realities of many people, including myself! I served as a volunteer nurse at the Adventist Hospital in Sunyani, Ghana.
The major difficulties during the first two months were learning the official language (English) and the dialect (Twi), and adapting and socializing. With God’s help, all obstacles were overcome. During this time, I also had an appendix issue, which led me to an emergency surgery. Twenty-two days after surgery, I was glad to return to my work routine as a nurse and supervisor at the hospital.
It wasn’t easy. I was hit with malaria more than four times! But I was still able to receive the joy of having a child named after me, of saving lives of children through donation, of providing comfort to adults and the elderly, and of bringing hope and an example of determination and courage to many.
After a while, I had the opportunity to assist the hospital’s nursing administration, and to help in restructuring and standardizing appropriate invasive and non-invasive procedures. Also, I was able to help with the furthering of education regarding nursing equipment, supervising students, and caring for children, youth, and adults. I had the opportunity to witness to non-Adventist physicians, nurses, patients and staff. I shared whatever I knew about Jesus, faith, eternal life, death and the Christian walk.
I enjoyed eating different food, wearing different clothes, and discovering new musical rhythms and dances. My heart was filled with gratitude and a sincere love for a joyful, thankful, and prayerful people.
The staff and patients were able to recognize the seal of God’s approval on the hospital. They are strong individuals who love their family and respect the elderly; they taught me to live in a different way, relying completely on God as the first and last solution. I learned that we should not only be grateful for what we have, but for what God is in our lives.
I know that God called me to serve in providing physical well-being to others, and to help them see their chance to choose eternal life. I actively participated in the church’s outreach activities in the city, and also in evangelistic projects. I even had the opportunity to preach in English! All our prayers were answered in God’s timing so that His name was glorified. I am certain that all the victories and achievements were only possible because He was in charge of everything!
During my time in Ghana, two Week of Prayer programs were organized. I was able to visit six different churches to help tell young people of the wonder of living an unforgettable experience, where dedicating one’s entire life to serve others brings eternal rewards.
Mayara Ferreira is originally from Brazil. She served as a Nurse at the SDA General Hospital in Sunyani, Ghana. She served from July of 2010 through June of 2011. Mayara feels that serving those of a different culture than her own helps her to grow more humble and compassionate to their needs. She wants to spend her life being an instrument in God’s hands.
To view more pictures for this article and to read more articles from this issue of Mission Post Magazine, visit http://www.adventistvolunteers.org/MissionPost/v13n4/v13n4.pdf.
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