Day Four - A Glimpse of Heaven!

Wow! When we finally thought I had experienced just about everything there is to life we moved one step closer to heaven! I cannot express in words what we experienced today. God's mighty hand is at work and we are in the midst of it. What a true honor it is to write to you today about the churches we visited in Nimba County.

I apologize that these posts are getting on so late. The wireless here is really giving us problems and we have been going non-stop until 10PM-11PM at night and back up early the next morning. As I was typing in the post for Day Three I fell alseep at the computer three times before I gave up and went to bed for the night.

But back to the good stuff. So after the long, almost deadly trip to Nimba County, we had the pleasure of visiting our first church. We have never more in our lives been treated with more respect and honor than when we arrived at our first church. Unfortunately we arrived almost a day later than when we had planned due to the accidents and problems getting there. But we made it none the less. As we arrived, there were many people who began gathering around the car and I was truly suprised at how many people there were. Then we moved on to the church and the crowd kept getting larger and larger.

When we finally made it to the church building, the church people had an entire "program" ready for us. They sang, welcomed us, and then did something I will never forget. The pastor said that they would like to give us a small token of their appreciation. Now since many or most of you have not ever been to the bush of Africa, and especially the bush of Liberia, you cannot imagine how poor these people are. I felt terrible that they were giving us anything. But the pastor reached behind a chair in the back of the church area and turned around holding two beautiful pineapples and a chicken. Now I am not talking about a "ready to freeze" chicken. I am talking a full grown, down and dirty LIVE chicken. It's legs were tied together but the poor chicken was not happy about it. He came over to us and plopped it right in my lap and gave the pineapples to Vanessa (or maybe Jacob or Macey, I am not sure because I was just staring at the chicken). Even though it is quite funny, you can imagine the sacrifice that this was for them. This chicken could have been dinner (or two) for the family that gave it to us. What an honor. So they continued with some more speaking and singing and then asked me to stand and talk. I was quite speachless to say the least.

We then asked that all the children come and sit in the front in pairs because we had brought some huge pixystick candy for the children to share. BAD IDEA! We would give it to one of the "pair" of children and they would dart out of the church and head for the hills - of course with their "paired" child right on their tale. It was a mad house. But what a treat.

So we quickly moved on to the next church. When we arrived at this Church, it was dusk, and a heavy rain bean to fall as soon as we drove into the village. We all got out of the car and rouded under a small "pavillion" type area and talked with the people. They were so sad that the rain was falling! One of the men from the church was actually crying because he so much wanted to do the program they had prepared for us and Pastor Charles told him we had to leave. We promised to come back first thing in the morning and it seemed to satisfy them. As we were driving off, some men were riding up on a motorbike, they saw us leaving and were yelling," what is happening!". They did not want us to leave! Pastor Charles assured them that we would be back in the morning and all was well. What an amazing honor. Just in our presence these people are seeing and feeling the hope that God has not forgotten them. Indeed He has a plan for restoration! There are a total of four churches in Nimba County we are working with and we had to see them all in a very short time, because of the long drive back. We had to be back in Monrovia by Thursday for the three-day crusade we were having.

The next church was the same, and the next the same after it. We could not believe the honor these people were showing us. The second church we were given a GOAT - and yes, of course, it was alive. And it was a big smelly male goat. Beautiful in its own way but what an honor. A goat could have fed a family for weeks! These are such special people. Man are we touched and blessed. All in all, we were given by the four churches:
- 11 pineapples (which are the best pineapples we have ever eaten)
- 2 chickens (which I am sure will be very tasty...we gave them to Pastor Charles)
- 2 goats - a male and a female which we will be sending to Bong County to have them paired and raised!!! We now will be starting a goat farm...or maybe a goat stew company if they are not good!

What a trip, what a trip! These Liberian people are the kindest, sweetest people we have ever met. Most of them were dressed in their best clothing (which sometimes didn't amount to much) and on best behavior.

Now for the coolest part - most of the churches were given land by the town chiefs while we were there! One of the churches was given a deed, in writing, for 10 acres to build the church, dig a well, and whatever else we want to do! Praise the Lord! He is working. One of the other churches town elders took us out to a plot of land, and gave us the scope of what he would be giving us. It is a prime piece of property right on the way into town with a small creek running through it and some high ground for building. It is absolutely gorgeous. He said that after we build the church and he sees we are moving forward he will also be giving us another larger piece to do agriculture and foresty projects on. I cannot tell you how excited we are. It has absolutely been a trip blessed by the Lord.

The picture of the little girl was too adorable. This little girl of probably four years old or so followed us around the entire village. She was small, probably had Downs Syndrome, and was the cutest thing we have ever seen. She cherished her little bible so much. It was always tucked under her arm like in the picture besides when we were in the church "program". She pulled it out and was thumbing through it like the adults. Then one of the older children sitting behind her tried to grab it and she screamed and put it back under her arm and ran out of the church. She really loves her bible!

The gospel is moving forward in the bush of Liberia - thank you all who are making it a reality!

In Christ,
Greg and Vanessa

1 comment:

Brandi said...

Oh how cool!!! You better be getting good footage! I can't wait to see who we can do a well for next! I'm dying to know who I'll be aching over for the next month! Don't forget anything!