Take me to church
Christians and Muslims, this is what the majority of people identify as here. Two very different religions that have been able to co-exist through times of hardship.
Revision: thrive through times of hardship.
We went to church. Sarah, having a Catholic background, was able to comprehend most of the dialogue but I myself, having no religious background, struggled to keep up with the context which was only made more difficult when paired with the mesmerizing Ghanaian accents. To say the least, we had very different experiences that day but the major takeaways were not something one would need a translator to explain.
Fact: we wore sweat-stained genie pants to church because that’s what we had.
Fact: locals wore gorgeous dresses and collared shirts that looked like a sea of colour when they swayed to the music.
Fact: we were welcomed whole-heartedly despite our fashion faux pas.
This sense of inclusion and community extends far beyond the church doors. You see it in the streets when people smile and wave. You feel it in the grip of each handshake as you enter new places and people say “you are welcome”. It’s in the way that strangers want to be your best friend and are genuinely willing to help you out in any way needed.
In addition to the sense of true community, there was one other component we noticed, especially while working in the hospital and clinics: hope. It’s no secret living conditions here are unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed and hardship is faced every day, but...
with religion comes hope,
with hope comes strength,
and with strength comes power.
It is this power from religion that allows individuals, families, and communities to persevere for a better future. And it’s beautiful.
By Victoria Jeffery & Sarah Langlois
4th year BSN Students
University of British Columbia Okanagan