Day Two - Trip to Liberia

These photos are of the old Church building. The last service here will be Easter Sunday!

Well, if you read yesterdays post, you know that we had an absolutely wonderful welcome. The Liberian people are so incredibly giving and sacrificial - what a lesson we could all learn from them.

Today we spent the entire day with Pastor Charles and his wife, and several of the church members and pastors. We first had to go to buy Jacob and I some clothes since the luggage was not found yet and that was the first true experience of Liberia I have had. When I was here a year ago adopting I did not have the priveledge of shopping in Monrovia (well, most may not think of it a priviledge but I did). If you have ever mixed the smell of rotten sewage with dirty people then add a bit of garbage and old smokey clothing together you have not experienced life - at least not like Liberians do. Downtown Monrovia is congested with people and there are no traffic laws or regulations at all - you just drive - and as quick as you can. So explain to me why it was that I loved every minute of it and I will give you a prize - not sure what but I sure would like to know...

So we finished our clothing shopping spree and headed to look for a generator for the church. I realized as we were buying it that Vanessa decided to stay behind with Pastor Charles wife and the kids and I did not have enough money - so we went back without the generator to meet our wives and children for lunch.

We ate a wonderful lunch at The Cape Hotel restaurant - which I would highly recommend to anyone who plans to go to Liberia - then went over to the Embassy to check in.

After leaving the Embassy, we went over and saw the offices we are renting which are absolutely gorgeous and the land we purchased close to the sports stadium which has just been renovated. Liberia looks so much different than it did even last year when I was here. Things are really moving in the right direction!

We then went over to see the GSA Road Churches. First we visited the current structure they are worshiping in. I have not seen such a delapidated building in my entire life. I will post pictures of it as soon as I download pictures from my camera (it is late and I have terrible jet lag). It is falling to pieces - literally. They had tarps (or tarpolines as they call them here) covering a good portion of the ceiling, which has decided that it needs to fall to the side. The walls are probably at about a 10 degree angle to one side and I would guess with the next heavy rain the roof will complete its descent and come tumbling down.

Then we went to look at the new building that Spirit Liberia has donated funds for. What a blessing it is to see first hand the glorious work that God is performing in our midst! They have completed the structural part of the walls and have half the roof completed. With the next $1,000 we give to them they will complete the roof and then be able to complete the walls. It looks incredible and is only about four minutes walk from Rock Hill - which we were able to see today as well.

I am telling you until you see this with your own eyes no video will do it justice. I touched the hands of little boys who had hands harder than mine because of the work they perform at such a young age just to survive. I saw girls running around with nothing more than a ragged t-shirt on. I saw women with items (larger than I could carry comfortably) walking past - and with a smile on their face. But they were dirty - suffering - weary - and left wanting. They were kind and compassionate - running just to shake our hands and tell us Thank You for our help. It brings tears to my eyes still as I realize that they believe I am the one doing something special - when I all I can see is the special people they are to me. In my eyes, I see Christ through them. I see Christ sitting and glaring at me for my lack of compassion, lack of patience, lack of effort, and simple lack of love. I may be doing a good thing - but the people are the special ones.

We all need to pitch in and see these people restored and see the true blessing that God can be to each one of them in some special way - whether it be by building a church, digging a well, teaching someone to read, or simply being there to touch them with the love of Christ. What a day.

By the way, for those of you reading this with interest in the GSA Road Well or GSA Road Church, they currently have no water besides water that is almost a 30-minute walk. Pastor Charles lives in Rock Hill - right in Rock Hill - and his young boys walk sometimes twice a day with eight gallons of water in a wheel barrel 30-minutes each way. They NEED this well dug and they need it soon!

For the church, it is coming up quickly but we are still about $2,500 short on the project and could use every gift of any size to get this church completed. Most of the people in Rock Hill - which is a large community - are not saved and desperately need Christ. What better way to bring Him to them than to get the GSA Road Church completed, get the well dug, and show them the love of Christ first hand.

I give praise to God for his grace and wonderful steadfastness to allow Vanessa, my children, and I to experience this wonderful work and be a part of seeing it be completed!

I will not be posting again until Thursday because we will be going to Nimba County to meet with several churches and see that area of the country. We are going to the AFRICAN BUSH! I cannot tell you how excited we all are. I look forward to telling you all about it when we get back to Monrovia.

Please pray for our protection and for our children back in the states. We miss them greatly and cannot wait to share our experiences with them soon!

In Christ,



Donna Barber said...

Why do I like it so? Because in the mist of it all- I see hope. I feel hope. It is God inspiring and an honor to say "here I am Lord- Please send me"
I am reminded of what Mother Teresa said- " There is no such thing as doing Great Things in this World; We can only do small things with Great Love!"

Brandi said...

How could I have missed reading this until now?! aagh! Why do you love it? I'm not sure b/c I'm SOOO jealous reading about every single detail and Loved every minute I spent there so I'm the same kind of crazy as you!

Tell them, we're almost there with their well! I am praying desparately that you will be able to announce it Easter Sunday morning!!!

Lots of love to your whole family!