Author Archives: Touch A Life

Leap of Faith

Rob Bunch - Touch A Life

Have you ever asked someone when they are going to have children and their response is when we can afford them? I use to be one of these naïve people.  I always felt I shouldn’t have a child until I had the most stable job, owned a house, had a vehicle with the highest safety rating, and had at least half of their college tuition saved up. Well if I waited for all of those things to happen I still wouldn’t be a dad. Guess what?  Babies are expensive. Cribs, car seats, carriers, wraps, bouncers, rattles, clothes, socks, shoes, formula, doctor’s visits, diapers, and the list goes on and on.  Did I say diapers? We haven’t even gotten to the first birthday party with the really cute cake smashing and you probably have spent somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 on the low end. Have I gotten your attention? So you ready for this shocker? It doesn’t get any less expensive as they grow. In fact, when they become school age you might have to find another job, pull out a second mortgage or deplete your savings account to afford all the school supplies. I will never forget when my oldest […]

Read More >

What’s My Name?

“What’s my name?” A new volunteer will hear that time and time again during their stay at the Care Center in Kumasi. When I take teams, we always send out a master list of all the kids bios in advance so that the group can learn a few names + faces before they arrive. It will take time and effort to study their beautiful, little faces and find one thing that will set them apart from the other 82 children and teenagers. Remember the story that God will leave the 99 and go after the one? I think that is the scripture that I am reminded of with these children. They are all so beautiful in the eyes of God. He wants them called by name. The Touch A Life children come from horrific backgrounds and carry heartbreaking stories of abandonment and rejection. They have been orphaned or sold by their parents into a life of slavery. I ask myself: How does one find self worth in life again after watching money or livestock exchanged for their freedom? I don’t know. I personally cannot wrap my head around the betrayal these innocent souls have been asked to endure. Taking care […]

Read More >

What can I do that will make a difference?

For so many of us, that question stirs up a place of doubt and shame. We believe the lie, deep down, that we’re not unique enough. Gifted enough. Rich enough… to make a true impact. So we give up, allowing shame and guilt to whisper in our ears ‘not enough’ in new ways. What if we turned that question around? Turned it into a challenge. A kind of kindling that sparks new inspiration. For years I walked through my days with a desire to speak life into survivors and tell them how strong, worthy, talented and more than enough they are. But I didn’t know where to start so I did nothing but listen to the echo of “not enough” in my head. Until one day I decided something was better than nothing. Starting small was still a start. That’s when The Arise Box began. One Christmas, with help from generous donations, I filled 50 care packages and sent them to local survivors who were recovering in safe homes. In order to keep going, I began building a subscription box that used part of the profits to fund more care packages and empower human trafficking survivors. The Arise Box is […]

Read More >

World Water

Today is World Water Day. Clean drinking water is something that we take for granted every single day. Many Ghanaians do not have access to clean water or proper sanitation facilities, and many face water scarcity during the dry season. When we arrived in Ghana, we were cautioned against drinking any water that was not in a plastic bottle with an unbroken seal. Thankfully we were never in a situation where we did not have access to clean water. As we drove down the streets, there were men and women selling small plastic bags of clean water. Along each side of the street, there are trenches littered with garbage and excretion creating dirty, contaminated water. Unfortunately, many families rely on surface water to survive, leaving them more susceptible to water-related illness and disease. According to research conducted by Water.org, “seventy percent of all diseases in Ghana are caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.” Pam explains in her book, Jantsen’s Gift, why it is essential for the children and staff at Touch A Life to have access to a well. “Ghana is one of several nations where it’s possible to contract a disease called Guinea worm from drinking contaminated water. […]

Read More >

Street View

Ghana

My wife and I have friends who take Google Map vacations. They will get on their computer and explore some place around the world with Google Maps and then choose street view. It’s a fun game that they play, but they know that street view on Google Maps will never be like actually being in that place. It’s just a shadow of the real experience. Every time I have ever been able to travel, I am reminded of that reality. You will never know the power and beauty of a place until you go. And I am so thankful that I recently had the opportunity to go with a team to the Touch A Life Care Center in Ghana. Before we went, I took a few Google Map vacations through some of Ghana, but nothing prepared me for what I would experience when I was there. We saw sights that could not be properly explained as portrayed in a picture. We met people that were magnificently sweet, kind, and generous. The sights, smells, and sounds will always reside with me. So for the people of Ghana, and more specifically, the staff and children at the Touch A Life Care Center, […]

Read More >

Bakery and Maintenance Update

Papa Ken's Bakery

At Touch A Life, we are constantly striving to make improvements at the Care Center that help us to be self-sustaining. This type of sustainability is important as it helps us to stretch our funds further and better empower the children and staff in Ghana. It allows us to be kinder to the environment and, above all, it helps us to be the very best benefactors of the funds we receive from you, our generous and loyal friends. You have contributed steadily to our Maintenance Fund, which gives us the ability to continually make upgrades at the facility that benefit the children, the staff, and the environment. The bakery is a project that we are specifically excited about from a sustainability perspective. Over the years, we’ve tilled the soil on our land at the Care Center and planted crops that yield delicious fruits and vegetables, which we can then use to prepare nutritious meals for the children and staff. Head houseparent Mr. Morgan has led the charge in choosing Ghana-appropriate crops, like corn, okra, peppers, and onions, to plant and grow. We also raise chickens, which we use for food. The next step was the bakery, which gives us the […]

Read More >

Rachel Reflects on 10 Years

As I write this, we’ve embarked upon a new year: it’s 2019 already, and I marvel over the ways my life has changed, morphed, and grown over the past decade. I graduated from my beloved alma mater, Pepperdine University, in 2008, and in the midst of a nationwide economic downturn, I struggled to find ways to put my hard-earned journalism degree to use. I took interview after interview only to learn that most media companies had hiring freezes and wouldn’t be on-boarding new employees for months. Looking back, I see how God orchestrated this moment so perfectly for me. While in that tumultuous time, I felt frustrated and discouraged. I took on several part-time jobs, cobbling together a way to pay for living expenses while continually on the hunt for a full-time opportunity. There was an underlying sense of peace, though, knowing I was doing everything I could to take the next step forward. In the meantime, I had met Touch A Life’s Co-Founder, Pam Cope, on Pepperdine’s campus the month before I graduated. She spoke passionately about the work Touch A Life was doing, and she made an open call for students to join her on a trip to […]

Read More >

Food in Ghana

THANKFUL. This word that has crossed my mind frequently since returning home from my visit to Ghana. The joy that radiates from Ghanaians conceals the hardships that most of them face on a daily basis. Little access to clean water, children working the streets, and the piles of waste along the road were my foremost concerns as we traveled through the different towns from Accra to Kumasi. It is hard to comprehend how societies live in these conditions, yet be incredibly joyful and thankful to be alive. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I made a few dishes for my friends and colleagues to try, I was not certain that one friend in particular would be open to trying these dishes. To my surprise, and I believe hers, she actually enjoyed some of the food, mainly the Red Red (not surprising). We discovered that there are many delicious and unique Ghanaian dishes. The dish that we all fell in love with is called Red Red, a dish composed of black eyed peas cooked in palm oil with fried plantains. A few other dishes that we tried and enjoyed were: Jollof Rice, Fufu, Kontomire (a spinach stew), Tomato Gravy, Turmeric Cauliflower, and […]

Read More >

Awakened to Give

Born in Ghana, I moved to the United States at the age of eight. I call both countries home. I went nine years without visiting Ghana before my most recent trip. This was not my intention, by any means; however due to life’s various demands, time inevitably passed. Returning home to Ghana for a philanthropic project had always been a dream of mine, but I naively imagined it to be an insurmountable task. Needless to say, it was a dream come true to be chosen to partake in a mission trip to Ghana called Kool Doctors Giving Back. This opportunity occurred due to a partnership between my dental office, Kool Smiles, and Touch A Life. At the end of my trip, I was asked what my expectations were prior to the trip and whether my expectations were met. As I reflected, I realized expectations can sometimes turn you for a loop. I had no idea I would leave so awakened by lessons of perseverance, vigilance, and faith after working with the children of Touch A Life. The way the children received our dental team was warm and inspiring. The little ones rushed to give us hugs, several young boys and […]

Read More >

Build a Better World

There is something special about Back To School that brings this mom back into alignment and balance as a parent. I love summer, but after a few months of late night binge eating and movie marathons I start to feel sloppy. I find myself craving structure and productivity, and I begin making peace with the fact that summer fun may need to start winding down. Back to school is the reset button for the universe to become responsible citizens again and find purpose in everyday life. I personally have great expectations about this upcoming school year. My two youngest children Van and Tatum will both be entering their sophomore year of college hopefully equipped and ready to tackle another semester. The first Touch A Life high school graduates will be pursuing their dreams of applying to colleges. Last but not least, drum roll please……..A brand new primary STEM school just 10 minutes down the road from our care center in Kumasi will open their doors this fall. Bernard Fianku, our Ghana Country Director and Education Advocate just received confirmation that all 32 of our students who applied to attend have been accepted. Nothing brings me more joy at this time […]

Read More >

Archives

open all | close all

RSS