Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Another Day In Africa

Welcome back!  So much has happened since I last wrote. Two weeks ago my fellow Lay Mission-Helper, Diane, and I moved into our home. We are living at a St. Anne's Girls Senior High School, a boarding school in Damongo.  Our accommodations are obviously much different than Americans are used to, but way better than most Ghanaians.

The Diocese of Damongo has gone out of their way to make us comfortable.  Our dwelling has linoleum flooring instead of the more common concrete floor, a new living room set, and I was given a truck to get back and forth from work at the secretariat. We do face a few challenges, however, such as bucket bathing, washing clothes by hand, and not being fond of the food.

We attend Mass on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.  Every first Sunday of the month we are bussed to the Cathedral for Mass.  Mass lasts one and a half to two hours and is very lively with clapping, swaying and singing. The celebration begins on the trip to the Cathedral. In the video you can see the excitement. 
Last Saturday the school had an evening of entertainment. The girls sang and danced all night (Ok, until 9:30 pm). 

Cows, pigs, sheep, goats, lamb, rams, chickens, dogs and cats roam freely.  It is not uncommon to pass by a pig
or have a goat follow me on my way to the school.  

There is a National Forest ten miles away. Sunday I went on my first safari. What an experience! Guided by men with guns, we headed down a dirt road to get a closer look at an elephant eating leaves from a tree. We heard a roar behind us. We turned around and saw a male elephant, ears raised, coming quickly toward us. 
Guns ready, the guides yelled, "Get off the road. Men, get in front of the women." Adrenalin pumping, I was looking for a tree to climb. Thankfully, we were spared. About 10 yards from us the elephant turned and went into the forest.

Just another day in Africa.

God Bless and be sure to check back!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Journey to Ghana

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, I set out for Ghana. I was to fly out of Pittsburgh to Minneapolis, MN to meet up with my missionary partner, Diane. The flight was delayed such that getting to Minneapolis in time for the Paris connection was not possible. No problem, Delta booked me on a flight to Paris through Boston. Perfect! Until the flight to Boston was delayed and a plan C was in order. Next I was booked on a flight to Atlanta where I was able to make my connection to Paris. Finally I met up with Diane.

After a 4 hour wait at Charles de Gualle Airport we boarded our flight to Accra, Ghana. We were transported to a nice hotel, and after a well needed shower and good night’s, rest we were driven back to Accra Airport to board an Africa World Airline flight to Tamale.  We were met by Msgr. Gus who drove us to Damongo, our home town for the next three years.

We have already become familiar with Damongo, visiting various churches, driving by many schools run by the diocese and visiting the Cathedral. We were blessed to have met the Archbishop of Tamale as well as the Archbishop Emeritus.

The people of Damongo are very friendly, especially the children. They are excited to greet us and shake our hands. It is a beautiful feeling to be so welcomed.

Diane and I have been staying at a guesthouse run by the diocese. Today, Monday, January 28, 2019 are to move into our new home. It will be nice to get settled. Except for the fact that I am still without one of my three suitcases, the one with my clothes, things could not be better.

Enjoy the pictures and stop back!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Called to Mission

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I am Karen (Sprock) Hunka from Latrobe, Pennsylvania. For years I desired to be a missionary but working, raising children and caring for elderly parents kept me quite busy.  I put my profession as an accountant/auditor on hold four years ago to take my mother out of a nursing facility and care for her where she wanted and deserved to be–at home.  I was blessed to be my mother’s caregiver for three years.

November 2017, when my mother went to meet her maker, I had a decision to make. I knew with my work experience I was marketable. Going back into the workforce would not be difficult. I could continue to make a decent salary and add to my retirement fund. However, this no longer seemed important to me. I felt there was something else I should be doing. 

The Holy Spirit was calling me to go down a different path. At the age of 60 I was being called to mission. With resources provided me by my parish priest, Father Sedlak, of St. Florian Catholic Church, United, PA and use of the internet, I found an organization that seemed to be perfect.  I filled out the Lay Mission-Helpers Association (LMH) application, obtained the required recommendations, and flew to Los Angeles, CA for a weekend of discernment and interviews.  Ultimately, I was accepted into the program.

LMH knows that going on mission in a distant country in not easy.  I just completed a formation program in Los Angeles, CA., where for 4 months I was taught by some of the most amazing priests, sisters, brothers, and professors imaginable. Living in community with three others also discerning for mission, I worked on developing the skills and knowledge I need to serve successfully overseas. Soon I will travel to Ghana, Africa, where I will serve for the next three years as an accountant in the Diocese of Damongo.

The motto of LMH is: For We Are God’s Helpers. Please pray for me as I journey off to help God’s people in Ghana and begin the next chapter of my life.

God bless you and please check back!

Another Day In Africa

Welcome back!  So much has happened since I last wrote. Two weeks ago my fellow Lay Mission-Helper, Diane, and I moved into our home. We a...