Author Archives: Touch A Life

Remember When | Breaking Ground

I remember when Touch A Life was looking for land to buy in Ghana and the search was brutal. Our organization had been working and partnering with other NGO’s on the ground for several years and we decided it was time to build our own care center. I was super excited to start this new journey of acquiring land which I thought would take only a few months. I quickly learned that I would need extra measures of patience and faith to acquire the perfect plot of land. Months turned into a two year journey as our team worked tirelessly surveying and negotiating for a clean land deed. I will never forget the day when our van pulled off the long and winding Lake Bosamtwe Road and headed down a bumpy lane toward a hillside of African bush. We got out of the van and started exploring the property as a couple of men with machetes were clearing a path for us to walk. I was trying to listen to the voices in my head and trust my intuition when all of a sudden I noticed butterflies around me and wild birds chirping. This beautiful lush hillside was gently whispering […]

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UN Day Against Human Trafficking

A Touch A Life child, Millicent, along with Sophie and Freeman spoke at a UN Against Human Trafficking event on World Day Against Trafficking, July 30, 2019. Below is her speech that she read before the Minister of state and many foreign dignitaries.   It is a great honor to serve as the voice for our fellow children in exploitative labour. I am happy to see this day where issues of child rights is the topic for discussion. Let me express our profound gratitude to Government and our leaders for educating our community about the dangers of child trafficking, child labour, child abuse and teenage pregnancy. Child trafficking is where parents are deceived and they give their children out to slave masters to use them for their own gain. Many children have been given out to traffickers and they have used them in fishing, farming, cattle herding and many others. Child trafficking and labour continues to be a major concern to us the children since it robs us of our childhood. Ladies and gentlemen, in as much as we want to learn and take over business in the future, we are saying give us education first and we will be […]

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Remember When | AJ

I remember the first time I traveled with Andrew Johnson (aka AJ!) to Ghana. He was a young college student with tons of energy and he hit the ground running. All of the older boys in our program immediately gravitated to the cool dude who knew his way around the soccer field. Soccer is the universal love language for most boys in Africa who daily live and breathe the game of football (sport using your foot to kick the ball, duh). AJ was always easy to spot because he would be the goofy American making everyone laugh. Still to this day the older boys in our program will ask our Development Director, Rachel, about her brother, Andrew, because he made such an impression on them, so much so that they consider him to be a good friend of theirs. What an inspiration he continues to be as they follow his latest adventure devoted to raising education funds on his trusted bike, Ferdinand. Today, I don’t know how to put into words the gratitude I have for AJ and his vision for Cycle For The Future. Who is this person who willingly is giving up half of his summer to bike […]

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My Heart Felt At Home

Where do I begin? “We were made to be part of a great adventure. One that is SHARED. We want it not merely for adventures sake but what it requires of us FOR others.” Art plays a huge role in my life and is constant thread in my own story. Three years ago it led me straight to my current job as a kindergarten teacher and to my friend, Nan Deal. As our friendship grew, she shared stories of her son, Connor Lee Deal, his passing, their grief, and the creation of the Connor Creative Art Center in Ghana. In an effort to understand my sweet friends grief on a deeper level, I devoured Pam Cope’s book, Jantsen’s Gift, and I was hooked. I wanted to go, serve alongside my friend in honor of her beautiful boy and wrap my arms around those kids. So, the question is – how can you condense a Grand Canyon type experience into a 500 word or less blog post? The answer is – you can’t. I do know that the Lord wants us to DREAM big, which was our art theme for the week. I think when we DREAM, it is like a love […]

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On the Edge

  I am on the edge of something that demands my attention. Have you been there? The edge is an uncomfortable place. It requires a leap of faith or backing up, because living there isn’t a viable option. When I was asked to prayerfully consider taking a trip with a select few on a vision trip to visit Touch A Life’s Care Center in Ghana, my heart leapt at the opportunity. This would be something that would fulfill a 13 year dream: going to Africa and searching out a calling I’d felt at 16 years old. However, my reality told a different story. Due to recent changes in our family’s dynamic, my team leader insisted I seriously consider raising support for my travel expenses, which was the LAST thing I wanted to do. She shared something that TAL’s Co-Founder Pam Cope had said to her in the beginning conversations: “You just need to get your feet back on African soil and watch what God shows you there. He provides big time. Just go, you’ll see.” With these words on replay in my head, constantly shuffling through my day, I strategically began sharing my story. I told of my hopes and […]

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Cycle for the Future – Week 1

WEEK ONE HAS BEEN TRULY AMAZING! Andrew (or AJ) has cycled 280 miles and spent 24 hours on his trusted bike, Ferdinand. The scenery is beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest – we’ve traveled through tiny towns, past lakes and over hills. Our awesome pop up camper has provided a simple shelter and bed at night. We’ve met many wonderful people along the way and have had the opportunity to share life and our mission with Touch A Life.   CHRIS AND PHIL We met Chris and Phil on our first night in Birch Bay. They offered us coffee and a time of prayer. Pedal the Pacific AJ met the girls from Pedal the Pacific on the route – they are cycling to fight sex trafficking and are following a similar route along the Pacific Coast Trail. THE SCENERY IS BEAUTIFUL HERE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST Here are just a few scenic views we have witnessed in the beautiful state of Washington.                   Are you just hearing of Cycle for the Future? Read more about their journey: here.

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Cycle for the Future

Let the Adventure Begin Starting June 1, 2019, AJ Johnson will be riding his bike across the country from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico (an approximate total of 1,800 miles) in an effort to raise $20,000 towards education and tuition for trafficked children rescued by Touch A Life. Follow them on their adventure! AJ is Going Big Why is AJ doing this? Why is he taking 6 weeks and traveling 1800 miles? It seems like a pretty big deal. Well, it is. AJ strongly believes in living a life that gives back and supports those in need. This is a tremendous opportunity for him to use his love for athletics, outdoor adventure, and people to help build toward the future. The futures he is helping to build specifically through this adventure are the children who are a part of Touch A Life. Touch A Life is committed to providing holistic, customized child care for the children in our programs, complete with regular medical and mental health assessments, art healing programming, and educational and vocational empowerment. By equipping them with individualized care plans, high quality academic opportunities, and critical life skills, these children will grow into healthy, community-changing adults, fulfilling our mission to RESCUE, RENEW, and RESTORE. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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