As I write this, I pray that each of you seeing this blog over the next few days will read through the entire blog and act upon what you feel the Lord is calling you to do! We have an incredible opportunity before us and we are asking for your help!

Well, the opportunity if finally before us! For those of you who know us or have been keeping up with this blog, we have had a major struggle since coming to Liberia. TRANSPORTATION! I know this is not something that many consider to be an important issue when looking at ministry opportunities, but let me explain a bit more!

Spirit Liberia is focused on prison ministry, Church/Pastor/Elder training, agricultural sustainability projects, and humanitarian aid. Much, or most to be exact, of our work is outside of the main city of Monrovia. We are currently the only organization focused on reaching the interior prisons of Liberia with the gospel on a regular basis. And our success has been incredible, but is hurting because of our need for more suitable transportation.

Since moving to Liberia in August of 2009, about five months ago, we have had to survive by traveling around in a car that can seat only five people. A small hatchback that is falling apart at the seams (well - I guess falling apart at the "solder joints" could be more appropriate in this case!).

Also, the car does not have air-conditioning and as you can imagine in Liberia that makes travel very uncomfortable. We also have to travel around with the windows down which has become a very serious problem in the past month. Due to increased rogue (thieving) activity, Vanessa has been attacked four times through the window. People have jumped in the back seat causing a diversion for others to jump in the front window, on top of Vanessa, to reach for things in the car. They have stolen a cell phone, which we have not been able to replace yet, and it is a dangerous situation to say the least. Vanessa has also broken a fingernail in one mans arm as he had another cell phone in his hand. Thankfully God gave Vanessa a better grip than that poor man who has had to extract a fingernail from his arm!

Since being in Liberia (I arrived mid-December) I have personally had to push the car alongside Vanessa as we tried to "push-start" it. It has been such a difficult issue since moving here and has been one of the major hurdles to our ability to increase our travel to the interior for evangelism and agricultural projects. We have not even been able to take the entire family to church on Sunday morning together because of the size of the vehicle.

Lastly, the past few trips to the interior, for instance when we delivered all of the gifts to the orphanage near Ganta a few weeks ago, the trip cost us almost $800.00US because we had to rent a car for three days. It should not have to cost us so much to do ministry in the interior!

BUT WE HAVE INCREDIBLE NEWS!!! Just in the past few days, we have had a partner step-up and offer to help get our difficult vehicle situation solved. This partner has offered a matching gift of up to $3,500.00US for a new vehicle for Spirit Liberia. Now most NGO's (humanitarian organizations) in Liberia have at least one Land Rover which costs around $25,000 used. But we are not asking for this. We simply want something that can give us the means to continue what we are doing and be more effective at it and spend less money than we have had to lately to accomplish what we are doing.

We have done some investigation and found a Toyota 4-Runner, 1993, in good condition that we believe we will be able to get for around $7.000.00US. It has air-conditioning, and a few other things that will really enhance our ability to continue to strengthen our ministry here and protect us as we drive. We are asking for your help! Let me say it again, we are asking for your help! Will you please consider what you can do today to help?

This partner has agreed to match any gifts given prior to January 5, 2010, up to $3,500.00US. This means that your gift will be doubled. If you give $20, it will be $40 towards the vehicle. If you give $500, it will be $1000! What an incredible opportunity and a wondeful way to finish off 2009 knowing that we will be able to reach more people with the gospel in 2010.

Please consider immediately what you can do. We are so thankful to God for His provisions and we are believing that enough people will see this blog and act immedately to allow us to see this incredible blessing come to fruition.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Greg and Vanessa and the entire Spirit Liberia Team!


We made it!

We made it back from Ganta and had a wonderful and successful trip! We had a great visit with the kids at the orphanage and also visited 2 prisons. We stopped at the Sanniquelli and Gbarnga prisons and gave them some special gifts for Christmas. They were so happy and appreciative that we took the time to minister there and were thinking of them. This was such a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Christ.

I will post pictures soon. We are having internet and computer issues again, but I will do my best to get some cute orphanage pictures posted soon!

Merry Christmas!

The Bogdans



The other evening I was relaxing in my yard, lying in our Liberian made hammock. I was exhausted from hours spent downtown fighting the crowds to finish the last shopping for orphanage Christmas gifts. My big girls and some of the smaller kids were around playing and some pushing me in the hammock.

As we were chatting about the day another voice rang in……"Ah reechee-O!” is what I heard. I looked up and we all shouted “Bye, Massa!”. One of the kids opened the gate and out she went! This was Massa, the woman who hand washes the laundry for us. Yes, for all 13 of us!

As I lay there and looked around at my kids enjoying the beautiful African evening I was again reminded of the blessing of God! He has brought us here! We are so honored that He has chosen us, sent us and is using us to do His work here in this most beautiful place.

On Thanksgiving as we went around the table all sharing what we are most thankful for this year the overwhelming response was “we are thankful that God has finally brought us to Liberia!” This place is our home now, and all of us love it here. Life here is hard, different, frustrating, fun, new and amazing! Our sweet kids who have been covered with rashes of all different kids, been chewed on by too many ants and mosquito’s, had malaria and a variety of stomach issues, who bath out of buckets with cold water unless someone heats it on the stove for them, sweat through the hot, humid African nights are MOST thankful that God brought us here (they were also very thankful for their sweet baby brother)!

Now back to “Ah reechee-O!” As I sat there thinking about this statement in that melodious tune that graces the Liberian voice I just chuckled to myself. I imagined some of our friends and family visiting us and hearing that and the confused look that would probably be on their face. “What is she saying?” would probably be their question! She was saying, “I am reaching” with the O added on the end in classic Liberian speaking style. She was saying, “I am going home now!” Everyone in the yard knew exactly what she said without even a pause. I just had to smile thinking over the blessing and joy we have in being given the great privilege and responsibility of raising our family on the mission field in Liberia.


Back in Ganta

Greetings from Ganta! We arrived in Ganta last night and are preparing to head over to the orphanage today! Thank you to everyone who stepped in and supported the orphanage Christmas project. We had such a great response that we had all of the kids sponsored within a short period of time and also had overage to bring extra food for the orphanage. Check back soon and you will see some sweet pictures here of the kids Christmas party made possible by YOU!

God Bless!

Spirit Liberia staff


Kid's Class in the Rock Hill Community

This past Saturday Macey Bogdan, our 14 year old daughter, put together a Saturday bible class for kids in our community (Rock Hill). She planned it, organized it and taught it. She did a great job and the day was a success. She intended it specifically for the kids who attend Pastor Richards' church but many more from the community attended, about 40 in all. She did a teaching on the birth of Jesus and Pastor Richards' daughter Rochelle helped read the story to the kids and make sure they were understanding. Macey created a coloring paper for each of the kids using a graphic software on our computer. Kylee prepared popcorn and juice for the kids which was served in a "small plastic", Liberian style :-) They also played some games, including a bucket toss. The kids gathered up all of the rubber buckets from our house (we had quite a few as we use them for bathing and laundry) and hand stitched some small throwing bags made from an old T-shirt and filled them with rice. It was a huge blessing to the community and our kids had a great time too!

Rochelle Richards with baby Matty on her back.
Group picture of the kids.

The bucket toss game.

The kids coloring.

Libby and Judah enjoying the class too!

Macey and Pastor Richards

Rochelle talking to the kids.

Kylee with Matty watching the class.

The treats all ready to go! The orange bags are juice and the blue bags are popcorn. They will bite a hole in the juice bag and suck it out. This is a typical way you can buy drinks on the streets of Liberia, even scalding HOT tea!

Dealing with Liberian kids in this type of setting often proves to be difficult. When handing out the treats they were hiding them and trying to trick us into giving them seconds.....Jacob (our oldest Liberian son) was there to be the sheriff and enforce the LAW :-) The kids can get pretty rowdy and they are rough too, so next time we will plan on having some more adult supervision to help keep the kids under control. At most events where there are kids you will see women patrolling the area with a switch in hand!
Good job guys! We are proud of your desire to join us in ministry!


Gbarnga Central Prison

During our most recent trip to Ganta we were able to stop and minister at the Gbarnga Central Prison again. It is along the same route we take to Ganta. It was a wonderful time of ministry! Below is the sign board that has some statistics from the prison.

Ministry time...this includes preaching, bible reading, questions, tracts, and prayer.

We gave farina again as a gift of love to the inmates. Food can be very scarce for the prisoners. They greatly appreciate this non-perishable food which they can eat as is or it can also be cooked. It is a dry product made from ground cassava. We add sugar to give it flavor.

I had the opportunity to spend time ministering to the only female prisoner at the compound. She is sentenced to life in prison for murder. Please pray for her, she needs God to convict her heart of the sin and she needs to repent!

Shad and I with Matty inside the prison.

The prison staff and me, Matty and our staff.

God Bless!


More on the trip....The Guinea Border

We had the opportunity to minister at the border between Liberia and Guinea. There has been a lot of political unrest in Guinea recently so we felt like this was a really necessary part of the trip. We were invited to come and give a message for the staff devotions at the border post. What a blessing! Please keep the situation in Guinea in prayer. The situation is very serious.

Pastor Richards teaching.Evangelizing and handing out tracts.

God Bless!


Excuse the interruption......

But Daddy's Home!!!!!

Greg has been back in the states for a while and we are so happy to have him back with us! I will get back to posting on the Ganta trip soon.

Everyone worked hard to get the yard and house ready for Greg's arrival!

Paye sweeping up the clippings.

Shad mowing in the front yard.......the area where we had a green mamba fall from a tree last week!

Mark cutting bushes with a cutlass inside the yard.
Pastor Richards mowing inside the yard.
Bestman raking clippings.
We had a wonderful time of ministry in Red Light market this past Friday. The whole staff was able to be there along with Greg and me. Red Light is a market area not far from where we live. It is a very notorias place that is crowded, smelly and known for thieves! We had a hard time finding an area to preach this night but God worked it out and we had a good number of people who came and heard the preacing of the Gospel.

Greg, Bestman and Pastor Richards crossing to the area where we would be preaching.

Greg preaching.
Bestman preaching.
One of the cuties that was in the crowd :-)


Full Gospel Plantain Farm

During our visit in Nimba county we were able to go to Kpoapa village to see the new plantain project that we have sponsored for Full Gospel. They are doing well and we were so excited to see the plantain farm!

Just arriving in Kpoapa

Walking the trail to the farm

A young plantain tree

Some general inspection and discussion by our staff (You can see the larger plantain trees in the background).

The men!

The women and kids!

Me and Mrs. Valentine along with people from the village and some sweet gifts they sent with us! They gave us some wonderful squash (pumpkin), corn and cucumbers.


Spirit Liberia Hits Walmart

We had the incredible priviledge of setting up a booth outside of Walmart at Happy Valley and I-17 last Friday in Phoenix. It was a wonderful day of being able to talk to people about what we are doing in Liberia and how they can help. Praise God we were able to raise more than we had anticipated and Walmart has given us approval to be there nine of the last 13 weeks of the year!
I want to personally thank Marcus von Tobel and his son Anthony. I know for sure that Anthony has more guts and persistance than I will ever have and if it were not for him I am sure that our giving would have been about 1/2 of what it turned out to be.

We also had Vanessa's mom, Shirley, come and help out for a bit. It was such a fun day.

If you live in Phoenix and would be able to help out on a Friday between now and the end of the year please contact us to let us know at 1-877-236-9687.

Blessings to you all!


Visit with Full Gospel Orphanage, Nimba County

We had such a wonderful time visiting with Pastor Valentine, his wife and all of the kids at the Full Gospel Orphanage! We were able to bring them some used soccer items, play a movie for them with the projector that was provided by Fresh Start Fellowship and we also erected a sign identifying the well and the orphanage. They are such precious people we just wanted to stay with them! Please keep them in your prayers as they have a huge task in caring for the 30+ kids in their care. They have been doing all of this without outside help. The government here is beginning to develop some strict guidelines for orphanages and they are finding it difficult to meet some of the new requirements. I looked over the process and it does seem to be extremely difficult to fulfill these new policies. Please pray that God would open the doors for them to continue this special work and meet all of their needs.

While we were visiting with them we were able to get profiles and pictures to help with the Christmas program we are doing for them. We are looking to have each child in the orphanage sponsored ( for $30 to buy them shoes, clothes and some fun things) by Christmas. We will be taking another trip out there in December to deliver the gifts and also to aid with teacing for the church's yearly convention! We are so excited :-)

Picture time!!!!!
This is a semi-group photo of the kids :-) There were some that were not in the picture.

Movie Time! We played a Max Lucado film for the kids......the Hermie and Wormie series which teach great character values through biblical principle.Me and my boy! This is Darcy and he is my special little guy out in Nimba county. He lives at the orphanage. This is him all dressed up in one of the soccer outfits we brought. I think we gave about 25 uniforms and 10 pairs of cleats, socks, shin guards and 6 balls. They loved them!

Pastor Valentine holding Matty.

A group picture of all of us with Pastor Valentine and his wife in front of the new sign that we brought. You can see that Matty was NOT happy!

Left to right: Pastor Valentine, Mrs. Valentine, Shad, Vanessa, Pastor Richards holding Matty, Bestman and Mark in front.