(Fumbisi, Ghana, West Africa)
Salamatu Maria Kanbong was born in Vienna, Austria, but there has never been any doubt in her heart, of her roots. Having left Ghana to live in Vienna, only a short time before her birth in Vienna, her parents struggled for many years as her father attended college and ultimately received his doctorate in economics. A chieftain of their native village, his drive was to improve conditions in the impoverished area and, upon completing his education, he returned to the growing village of Fumbisi, Ghana, West Africa. Having been left behind in Austria, Sala remembers the constant struggles as she and her mother and sister made Vienna, Austria, their home. But the seed had been planted in Sala's heart and as she grew so did the seed. A reunion with her father, sixteen years later, caused the seed to become a full-blown blossom in her heart, for the children of her native land. As they visited with each other they realized the vision they both shared could finally become reality. With her connections in Austria and his vast knowledge and connections in Ghana, they knew the time was now to step out in faith in bringing their dreams to fruition.
Meanwhile, as God improved the 'fatal' illness for which her father had come to Vienna for medical attention, his heart was also turned to the Lord. This was a paramount moment for the leader of a village steeped in generations of ancestral worship and voodoo. But they made valuable use of their time together, and the plans both had already begun came together and catapulted the founding of Fumbisi Christian Children Foundation.
Their first trip to Fumbisi was in October of 2003, with four faithful and determined 'stewards of God's children' arriving just behind the huge container that had been shipped a few months earlier. With a donated van, piano, sewing machines, clothes, and food, they set out to bless the village of 20,000. A plot of land was donated upon which to build the Fumbisi Christian Children's Center, eventually serving as a kindergarten, clinic, school, and orphanage. But this first team was not to see their dream fulfilled on this trip. Much is needed, yet, to the completion of that plan, although many souls were saved on that five-week trip, a cross was raised in the village, and huge donated tents set up to serve as class rooms, as the first missionaries to that area introduced the TRUE God to the natives.
Proving to be a great 'scouting' trip, as well, and returning home with more first-hand information, the team is preparing for a second and much more productive trip the next year. Construction and evangelism crews will be recruited, as much will need to be done. Also blessed with a sense of urgency - in redeeming the time before the Lord's return - Sala is dedicated to the completion of this project, empowering the villagers to the teaching and continuing the evangelism they are being taught. This project is a catalyst to the encouragement of the rest of Ghana, as a light to the nations. Keep these dedicated souls in your prayers.