Today we are happy to welcome Morgan Booth to our blog! Morgan is a traveling nurse and a sweet friend of the Touch A Life team. She has traveled to Ghana with Touch A Life on three occasions and will be heading our Collegiate Internship in Ghana this summer.
When I think about Touch A Life three words come to mind: family, freedom, and hope.
Touch A Life was born out of tragedy within a family and now exists to serve and rescue children who either did not have family or their family unit failed them. Now those children have been brought into a beautiful local and global family.
I also think of family because my first and second trip to the Touch A Life Care Center in June 2013 and June 2014 was with my church family from Nashville, TN. This group was led by Jamie and Lauren Burton who had gotten involved with Touch A Life through a previous trip and the adoption of their son Micah. Jamie, Lauren, and I work with the youth group at our church as youth leaders, so I had the honor of joining the Ghana team as a leader and the trip nurse. Our entire team was provided with copies of Jantsen’s Gift to understand about Touch A Life and the work going on in Ghana. I have been on yearly mission trips since I was 15 years old, but I still didn’t quite know what to expect on this trip. It wasn’t a medical mission, a building mission or an evangelical door-knocking mission, we were going to simply construct a volleyball court for the children and spend time loving them for the week.
Our bus pulled up to the Care Center and a swarm of 50 children came running with the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen and arms open wide. I was blown away and that moment is frozen in time for me. How can children who have experienced such darkness, such tragedy, such pain at such a young age be greeting a bunch of strangers with such joyful abandonment, such trust, such grace? It’s because they’re free. To truly understand what it is to be free you have to know what it is to be captive, to be bound. Well, they do know those things, so they live in utter freedom now. Freedom from exploitation and freedom to be children. It was breathtaking. They inspire and encourage me to live in that freedom as well. The freedom that we have in Christ.
We spent that first trip working with the children to move sand, put up a net and construct the volleyball court (which they used as a wrestling dirt pile). We spent countless hours in Connor Creative Art Center reading, coloring, making bracelets and simply being together. I remember very clearly one afternoon asking one of the girls, “What would you like to do now?” Her reply, “Nothing. I just want to be with you.” Once again, I was blown away. But, we have crafts, bracelets, games, iPhones, music! You just want to sit together? These children don’t need to be entertained like so many of us, they simply want to be in relationship with you.
My second trip to Ghana we were told we were going to construct a sidewalk from the boys dorm to the bathhouse. “Great,” I thought. “No problem. It’s just a sidewalk right?” It turned out that our little sidewalk was actually a small road with three sidewalks and a roundabout. And the truck carrying the concrete bricks broke down halfway up the drive. Welcome to Ghana! What could have been a miserable project was fun and unifying as we worked side by side with the children and Touch A Life staff to complete the road!
Lastly, I think of family because of my most recent trip to Touch a Life in August 2015. I joined the Health Fair team led by Rachel Brown, Director of Project Development, and went from not knowing a soul to becoming part of an even larger family, one that extends all over the US and around the world. So many families were represented on that trip: families that fundraise and make sacrifices to bring awareness of human trafficking and sponsor these precious children. I witnessed sponsors meeting their kids for the first time and I watched as gifts were utilized in super creative ways.
Touch A Life’s high standard of care they have for their children and the amazing Ghanaian team walking daily with the children, by the children’s love for all of us – new and familiar faces, by our team’s love for them – all of it makes up the most beautiful family and fills me with hope for the future. Children are our future and these children are the future of Ghana.
When I was a teenager adult mentors came alongside me and provided great love, counsel, and wisdom, which changed my life. In response, I’ve tried to do the same and invest in children and teenagers in return. My journeys over the past 16 years and my experience with youth coaching the past seven years have lead me to an exciting place. What started as a conversation over dinner in Ghana with Rachel, inquiring about internship opportunities for a college student I know, led to me volunteering to oversee a group of interns at the Care Center for several weeks this coming summer. I could not be more excited for all of my loves and passions to collide in this way and I am humbled by this opportunity to serve! I am looking forward to the launch of this program because I believe and am passionate about guiding those who come after us and pouring everything I can into them. I believe in Touch A Life and their mission to bring healing and empowerment. I am passionate about bringing human trafficking and child exploitation, and enslavement into the light and ending it. And, I believe wholeheartedly in a God who can do just that.
Touch A Life Collegiate Internship
Touch A Life is looking for four college interns to serve at Touch A Life’s Care Center in Kumasi, Ghana, this summer. This year’s seven-week program will take place from May 20 – July 10 (dates may vary slightly depending on airfare). The program costs are $6,000, and this tax-deductible fee covers expenses including roundtrip airfare from the U.S., lodging at the Care Center, in-country transportation, all meals/groceries, and excursions.
The requirements for the Summer Collegiate Internship Program are as follows:
– Interns must be 18 years or older.
– Interns must have completed their freshman year of college. We accept collegiate freshman – seniors, including seniors who have recently graduated from college.
– Interns must have previously spent a combined total of four weeks abroad/outside of the United States. This can include service/mission trips, study abroad programs, and family vacations.
We will be accepting applications from December 1– 31. First, fill out the Volunteer Documents found here, as we are required to run background checks on all volunteers prior to their service in Ghana. Please submit those documents to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Potential Intern – Volunteer Documents.” Then you can fill out the application found here. We look forward to hearing from you!