Day Eight - Easter Sunday

This morning as we waited for our driver to get to the hotel we became very discouraged. He was almost an hour late and we thought for sure we were going to miss the church service at GSA Road. But thankfully everything worked out.

When our driver went to get us this morning, he realized someone stole his battery out of his car (as they would say in Liberia - a criminal of course). So he had to run around and try and borrow a battery from someone. He could not go to a store because everything closes in Liberia on Sunday. So he found a friend that gave him his battery to his car for the day.

When he finally got to us, we hurried to the church and made it just in time for service (I think they were intentionally extending the bible study time waiting for us). When we walked into the broken down bamboo hut, they ushered us straight to the front area where they had seats for us.
The service started and it was a wonderful time of worship - just like the crusade. Lots of dancing, lots of singing, clapping of hands, and praising the Lord. They really get a workout praising the Lord - you have to love just watching them (we are not much of the dancing type - who knows, maybe they will change us though).

Before Pastor Richard came forward with the message, Pastor Charles stopped the service and asked Vanessa, the kids and I to stand. They moved our chairs to "center stage" right in front of everyone and had us sit back down. Then Pastor Charles, as only he could do, gave a long speech about how thankful they were for our help. He talked about the help with their churches and others and went on way too long...

Then he pulled out a certificate and gave it to us to thank us for our help. It was so sweet. But it did not end there. Then we had a "robing" service. If you don't know what this is, it is one of the highest honors that a Liberian can give someone. They had, as a church, gone out and purchased native garments, for Vanessa and I in the country fabric. It is very expensive - probably about $50 per gown. And they had this huge procession and clapping and drumming and dancing - you get the point - and we were robed. The women of the church also got Vanessa another dress and flowers and asked her to be a part of the womens ministry of the church - what a huge honor they gave us. This was an incredibly humbling experience.

We thought that after returning from the bush that the honoring ceramonies were over. But the New Assembly - GSA Road branch church really did an amazing job. We do not deserve even a second of their time. We don't deserve to be honored in such a way. We pass these honors on to you and want to let you know that each of you who are helping Spirit Liberia deserves a piece of the honor they gave to us. We are just the vehicle God is using to do His work. Your help, your prayers, your time - that is what deserves the honor! Due to your faithful support, we were able to announce that we will be able to put in a fresh water hand-pump well in the Rock Hill community! This community, where the GSA road church is located, has no fresh water. They have to send their kids or walk themselves about 30 minutes each way to carry their water for the day. This will be the first fresh water well that has been in this community since the war, or ever! Pastor Charles says this will be historic for the people here. Pastor Charles lives in this community, so this well will be a huge blessing for his family as well. They have a 13 year old son who is special needs, and he helps carry the water for the family, but soon his trips will be shortened! The pump should be installed in the next month (as soon as the driller can fit us in). We want to say a special thank-you to Brandi McElheny for all of your work in raising the money for this and other wells. You have been amazing. This was the last Sunday in the old church made of bamboo. The new Church should have the roof finished by this next Sunday and they will be able to worship there before the rainy season! We still need to raise money for the walls/flooring, but we are getting closer! Please keep this need in your prayers.

After the service we visited with an American family who came to Liberia with support from their church. They don't know anyone here. The felt the Lord calling them to come minister to the people of Liberia, so they came. They came with their 10 children. They are living among the people and asking God to open the doors where He will. They do a lot of street evangelism and it has been very successful. Please keep them in your prayers. Their names are Dan and Stacy Gjerstadt. They are beautiful people who are fully depending on God. Meeting with them was a blessing. They have a family blog, http://loveforliberia.blogspot.com/ . This gives you a great window into their lives here in Liberia.

That's it for today. Thank you all for your prayers and support! We love you all.


Brandi said...

Praise the LORD!!! Whoohoo! I just LOVE the people of RockHill in general and am excited that their community will have fresh water. I'm also thrilled for Pastor Charles that his family will have water, bascially right out their doorstep! Can't wait to see pictures of this church!!!


Donna Barber said...

I am so glad you looked up the Gjerstad family while you were there. I knew you both would have much to talk about!! We are glad to have been able to help put in a well at Rock Hill. It is something I have wanting to see happen for sometime and was glad to be a part of it. How exciting for this community.