It has been an unbelievable journey helping Joseph Apoya get a room and get accepted into high school here in Accra.
Suffice it to say that miracles do happen and prayers are answered.
Here in Ghana, no one rents month by month. Landlords require 3 years rent up front. Some even make you pay a fee to see the room they are renting! Some require a down payment on a room that isn't for sure available yet. And many make you pay an "agent" which can easily turn out to be the owner of the land or building. After many disappointments, Joseph finally did succeed.
Here's the happy picture of Joseph and me in his single room. If you ask him about this room, he will tell you that it is "just perfect." It is about 8 feet by 10 feet. It does not have an indoor bathroom, shower or kitchen. There is no running water. But,he no longer shares a sleeping room with 20 other people. And he is still very grateful to the man who let him sleep there for the last few years rent free. For the first time in his life he is sleeping on a bed instead of the floor. And his rent is paid up for the next 3 years; that's how long it will take to finish high school.
Because he never dreamed he would be able to go to high school in Accra, he applied for admission in the northern region where it is less costly. However, with the help of several Obruni (white) ladies and a teacher from his junior high school who felt he had potential, we were recently able to get him into a good high school here in Accra. This required myself and this teacher taking him to the Ministry of Education.
His former teachers all liked him because he was a "self made" student. He was chosen as the Head Prefect of his junior high because of his scholastic ability and hard work. He will freely admit that he was a poor student until he realized that he could look up every word he didn't understand in the dictionary as he prepared for school each day. And this he did without parents or family support of any kind. He did meet a compassionate American tutor who passed his name on to us and sent money to make sure he had food. He had a weekend job all through junior high to earn money for school fees and food.
The drama of actually getting him into school was an intense few days. School started October 22, 2012, and no word about a spot for Joseph. We were really worried about his chances. But, on October 30th, he got a call saying we must come to the Ministry and then go pay fees at the school immediately. I dropped everything, borrowed a car and off we went. At the ministry we received the paperwork for his admission to St. Thomas Aquinas High School. We met the Assistant Headmistress and then set off for the bank to pay the fees. Here is a picture of Joseph in his uniform on his first day of high school.
God really does work in the details of our lives. He knows and cares for each of His children; even a little orphan boy in Acrra, Ghana, Africa.