Despite travel restrictions and the challenge of raising support during a global pandemic, 27-year-old physiotherapist Kara B never stopped trusting in God’s perfect timing.
“Raising support during a pandemic when people had less financial security was very challenging, but seeing how God worked it out has really grown my trust and faith,” she says.
When SIM UK had to hold its summer Orientation for new workers online, Kara took it in her stride and remembers it as a blessing.
“Being able to meet members of staff made me felt better connected to the organisation and I enjoyed learning about spiritual vitality and resilience as I waited to leave the UK,” she recalls.
“Throughout the months of uncertainty, I was also grateful for the support and encouragement of my church and for the prayers of my family, friends and SIM.”
Before leaving to join the SIM team in Ghana, Kara worked as a physiotherapist on the Covid wards at Barnet Hospital.
“God’s peace during my time of support-raising was a great blessing and doing virtual Bible study with some of my oldest friends during lockdown helped me process some of my feelings during the hardest months and maintain a healthy and consistent relationship with God,” she recalls.
Kara finally arrived in Ghana in January and although her new rural lifestyle is a far cry from bustling city life, she remains excited about pursuing her passion for cross-cultural mission during her two-year placement in community health ministry.
“After I arrived, I had to quarantine for seven days and after another negative swab, I was able to leave the compound.
“After two weeks, we then drove up to Tumu, where I’ll be living. It took two days and we drove through six regions and many villages, where I saw the lush green landscapes of the eastern region change to the dry charcoal dusted fields of the upper west region.
“My first impressions of Tumu were that it was larger than I expected and the goats and the sheep look alike! But the climate is so dry that it doesn’t just affects my body, but also the food.
“I know it will be a challenge adjusting to the climate, which will impact my capacity to do things, as well as life’s new speed, however, I’m looking forward to meeting new people, making new friendships and learning how to prepare local dishes.
“I’m also excited about understanding the culture more and joining in with what God is doing here. I’m learning the local language and I plan to go out every day to practise what I learn as I greet people and start a conversation with them.
“My work in community health education combines my health background with discipleship and I’m open to God using my fondness for youth work and creativity. My time in Ghana will also help me to discern if God is calling me to come back for a longer term.”
Art and poetry is an important outlet for Kara, who is sent by St Barnabas Church, north London, and much of the self-taught contemporary visual artist’s work is coloured by her deep Jamaican and Ghanaian roots.
“A good friend encouraged me to use my passion for art as one way of raising some support during lockdown and I found using my creative skills very liberating.
“Art is also a great tool for whilst I have a very basic grip of the local language and I can use it to bless others, as well as a way for me to process what God is showing me.
“This is just the beginning of my art journey and of course, my paints and sketch book have come with me!”
By Kerry Allan
- For Kara to adjust and transition well as she joins the SIM Ghana team.
- That new relationships will lead to good conversations and opportunities for Kara to share the gospel.
- For Kara to be sensitive to how God wants to use her skills in Tumu; to bless his people and to draw them closer to him.