"While attending a conference in 1999, Jeff Miller and Matt Garrett met David Banini, a pastor from the African country of Ghana. A few months later, the two friends traveled to Ghana, not knowing much about where they were going or what they were going to do there. They only knew that God was calling them to go. While in Ghana, they were overwhelmed, not only by the needs they saw, but mostly by the love and hospitality shown to them by everyone they met. On returning home from a subsequent trip to Ghana, Jeff shared with Matt a vision God had given him for an "orphanage" or some type of home for needy children. They anticipated fundraising events and a lengthy property search. Much to their surprise, within mere weeks 7 acres of oceanfront land was donated and construction of The Father's House began shortly thereafter.
During construction, a weekly feeding and Bible teaching was begun and quickly grew to an average attendance of 300 children! Each Saturday, children from the local area poured into the courtyard to sing, clap, dance, and praise God as they learned about Him and His unending love for them. The large majority of these children are from homes where voodoo and "traditional religions" are actively practiced. After the Bible lesson, a hot meal was served and the children played for hours on the beach in front of The Father's House. Through the weekly feeding, we were able to form relationships with those in the community and learned of many needs which we are able to assist with as well. Although we no longer have the weekly feeding, Father's House continues to do community outreach in various ways. The Father's House is located in the village of Tegbi, just outside Keta, in the Volta region.
In Ghana, it is customary for extended family members to care for orphaned or neglected children. As the building neared completion in late 2009, we found ourselves faced with the realization that perhaps a traditional "orphanage" was not really needed. As we prayed and sought God's direction about which children would call The Father's House "home", we learned about the horrors of child slavery in the fishing villages on Lake Volta, just a few hours to our north. Children as young as 4 years old are taken to fish on the dark waters of the lake. Most often, they are "sold" by mothers who feel they have no other option. They are deceived by fishing masters who come to rural areas, claiming they will take the children, usually boys, and teach them a trade. They promise the children will go to school and that money will be sent home in payment for the work the child does. Many mothers believe they are sending their children to a better life, but these promises are never fulfilled. Approximately 7,000 children live in horrendous conditions in the island villages of Lake Volta, often working 16 or more hours a day. They are not allowed to attend school and most are fed only one small meal a day. It is not uncommon for children to become entangled in fishing nets and drown.
In January, 2011, a team traveled to Lake Volta and rescued eight precious boys from a life of slavery and brought them home to The Father's House. They are now being nurtured, physically and spiritually, in a safe and loving environment and are being taught that they have a Father who loves them and built a home for them. We have faith that God will redeem their lost years and that He will use the strength of their character to one day change their nation and the world.
These eight are only the beginning!
There are a lot of empty rooms at The Father's House and many more children who need a home where they are loved, safe, and FREE!"