LDS brothers' Eagle projects take them to Ghana

Published: Wednesday, May 21 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Sterling Tanner, president of the Forever Young Foundation, knows all four Ballard boys, and he traveled with three of them to Ghana to deliver the supplies they collected.

“It has certainly been wonderful to see the Ballard family so fully give their hearts to Ghana through these Eagle Projects,” Tanner said. “It was gratifying to see the growth in these young men as they served their fellow man. It was equally gratifying to witness the appreciation of the Ghanaians, to see their gratitude as they understood that people half a world away cared enough about them to share their time and resources with them. The blessing of a project like this is two-fold. First, the value of the school and medical supplies cannot be overestimated when you consider how little these schools and children are accustomed to having. Second, the pride and confidence that accrue to the staff and children of these schools is substantial — they feel special and important, knowing that people from the U.S. have chosen them to be the recipient of their benevolence. Forever Young is honored to be able to play a small part in helping to facilitate these projects.”

While all four sons have earned their Eagle Scout awards, the Ballards continue to serve in a variety of ways.

Originally, the Ballard family — including two daughters, Mary Katharine and Eliza, ages 12 and 10 — planned to travel to Ghana this summer.

Those plans were put on hold, however, four months ago, when Craig and Melissa Ballard were called to serve in the Oregon Portland Mission of the LDS Church for the next three years. Craig Ballard will serve as mission president.

Four of the six Ballard children will be going to Oregon. Bowen will soon be leaving to serve in the Chile Santiago West Mission, and Truman will attend the University of Utah when he returns home from his mission.

At some point, the Ballards would love to go to Ghana as a family.

Mary Katharine and Eliza are hoping to do their own project for the children in Ghana and carry on the Ballard family tradition.

“My daughters are begging me to go,” Melissa said. “We would love to have them do a project of their own and learn for themselves the impact one person can be in the world. They’ve watched the service their brothers have given to the children in Ghana. All of us can make a difference — one book at a time.”

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