Remember the office?

It's that time again! In December you all came together and helped us pay the first half of 1 years rent on the office/house! We were so encouraged by that. Thank You! The second half of the rent is due February 15 in the amount of $4200. We need you to come beside us with support! This is an URGENT and IMPORTANT need! This house is used as our office in Liberia which has been a huge blessing. It will also be where our family lives when we move to Liberia in April. We know the economy is difficult and that it is a huge sacrifice for many of you to give right now. We are feeling the crunch like everyone. Please pray and seek the Lord's will in what He would have you do. We are answering the call and taking the steps in faith, but we need an army of support behind us. With our move to Liberia and the costs of the ministry projects we desperately need YOU to help financially and in prayer support. We are looking for one time gifts and for people to commit to monthly support on all levels. Seek the Lord, and do what you can to help spread the Good News today! Thank you and God Bless!

You will find the original posts on the house labeled "WE NEED YOUR HELP" and "WE GOT IT"


Marathon update!

Sorry for the delay in updating about the Marathon! There has been so much happening that it totally slipped my mind! We have had several people ask how it went. Unfortunately, the muscle injury that Greg suffered 2 weeks before the marathon was re-injured the week before the marathon. We both felt it would not be a good idea to try even the half marathon. He was incredibly disappointed but we know that God is in control and we have peace about it. Thanks for your interest and support! Since we will be in Liberia soon he probably won't get the opportunity to try this again anytime soon!


More on the convention

During the convention in Kpoapa the guys called us and asked for prayer. In Liberia there is very open demonic activity and secret societies even in this day and age. During specific times in the interior villages the "town devil" comes out and these are activities of the secret societies. Anyone who is not affiliated with these societies are forced to go into their houses and stay there until the activities are finished. Our guys were there in the village for the convention when this occured. They asked for prayer and safety as they were in this area and feeling the darkness. They decided to take the day and go out to a different town, on the border of Guinea and Liberia, to evangelize. What satan intended for evil God used for good! They had a wonderful time ministering to the people there and then returned for the convention in the evening. Here is a report from brother Bestman on the evangelism from this trip.

During the period under review, with God almighty being our strength we were able to evangelized in a village in Lofa called Kokolu Zaza with about 25 houses and no local church. The method used at this village to spead the gospel was" one to one" by the grace of God 25 pieces of New Testiments and 41 gospel tracts were given out and willingly received. One of the recipients of the new testiment give her little sitting place for bible studies. This place I believe will accommodate about 20 persons at a time. Also while still in Lofa we were able to speak to individuals during the koo's (the group of hired men working to clear the farm). Please pray with us that God through the Holy Spirit will water the seed of truth planted in the lives of these people. -submitted by brother Bestman

Pastor Richards walking along with a woman telling her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Bestman, Mark and Pastor Richards as they prepared to return to the convention.

Shad, Pastor Richards and Bestman along with the border commander and some other men.

Pastor Richards ministering.

Mark and Bestman (in orange) doing one on one evangelism in Kokolu Zaza.

Shad ministering to a woman on the street.

Pastor ministering at the Border crossing.

Some interesting signs in Kpoapa, the town where the convention was held.


Church Convention Report

Spirit Liberia was honored to join with Full Gospel Apostolic Church in their convention December 31st through January 4th. This church is located in Kpoapa township in Nimba County just outside of Ganta. Pastor Richards, Brother Bestman and Brother Shad Flumo all taught at the convention. The theme of the convention "Forgetting those things which are behind" (Phillipians 3:10-14)
Topics of teaching included Christian Leadership, Christian Stewardship, Evangelism, and Family and Church Financial Management.
There were approximately 174 people in attendance. There were 40 people baptized including a 96 year old woman! I will probably do a few posts about this convention, a lot happened there and we have quite a few great pictures! Thanks Mark!

96 year old "mother" was baptized during the convention.

People praying before the baptism. (Pastor Richards is in the shorts and red striped shirt)

People waiting to be baptized and observers. (Mark is in the white shirt and jeans)


More of the baptism line

People lying on the ground after the baptism.


BONEWEN PRISON in Harbel, Margibi County

Our newest staff member, Paye Hallowanger, folding a John and Romans booklet to slip it between the bars.
Brother Bestman preaching in the prison corridor.

Inmates in their cell

Prison Staff and Superintendent with Spirit Liberia staff
Paye giving some soap to the Prison Superintendent

Giving soap to the inmates

The Central Prison in Monrovia is undergoing some building repairs so we are not able to visit that prison until the repairs are completed. Normally we visit Central Prison 1 time weekly. The guys decided to go out to the Bonewen Prison in Harbel (which is in Margibi County) this week instead. I think it is about a one and a half hour drive. The ministry was wonderful and they were warmly welcomed. They were able to hand out 1 bar of soap to each of the prisoners and the staff at the prison which was greatly appreciated.
You may notice Pastor Richards is wearing headphones! We gave each of the guys an IPOD Shuffle for Christmas and he is obviously enjoying it! We had to laugh when we saw this :)



Today we went on a walk through the village that surrounds the compound I am staying in. There were three other Americans with me – a man and his wife and a single mom, all of whom are adopting children. This was their first chance to get out and about to see how the average Liberian lives. Needless to say, it was very educational for them and, even though I have spent much more time in this country than they have, it is still amazing to me.

Most of the people in this village are unemployed and many children do not go to school. The unemployment rate is greater than 80% in the country and while elementary school is free, parents still need to pay for uniforms and supplies, which many are unable to do. The people try to scratch out a living through small time barter, subsistence farming, or most often, doing without.

Our tour guide was Augustus, a very strong, energetic, and friendly young man of 18. Augustus led us through the village, introduced us to his people, and explained to us what people were doing. For example, there was an older woman pounding a rice meal and banana mixture using a large bowl and stick and then placing it in a Dutch oven-type cooker to bake banana bread. We saw the small little fish pond that had 4- to 5-inch long fish that would provide the evening meal that night. Young boys who ran up and down the path past us announcing what great football (soccer) players they were. And the young mom who volunteered that we could “carry” her daughter to America with us.

The Liberian people want to work although they haven’t had a lot of chances and don’t always know how to handle opportunities that are given to them. While government support is crucial and necessary, there is something priceless about Americans who are willing to see Liberians in their villages and look for ways to help. Not so much through handouts, but with genuine concern and a willingness to take the time to teach. These things can’t be accomplished solely with a checkbook – they need hands and feet and faces.

~Tod Whitwer
Adoptive parent of Liberian children and Strategic Development for Spirit Liberia

Well, there will be some hands and feet going to their aid very soon! If fact, there will be MANY hands and feet! Our family will be moving to Liberia full time as missionaries in April 2009. We are so excited to follow Gods leading of our family to Liberia. We need all of you to stand behind us in prayer and in finances in a BIG way! This is a major life change for us.

God has given us a great love and compassion for the Liberian people. Our hearts are already there, and we are anxious to be re-united with the people that we love. The process of clearing out our house and preparing travel documents has begun. This is an overwhelming task and we are taking it one step at a time. Please pray for an easy transition for our kids, health, safety, and most of all that God would move in a BIG way! We have total peace in knowing we will be in God’s will, but that doesn’t mean things will be easy. We know Satan will be on the attack and we need to be fully prepared spiritually.

Thank you so much for your support and partnering with us in this huge opportunity God has given us. We are completely humbled and honored that He is allowing us to go to Africa to do His work.

We have some big needs financially and we need YOU to come behind us with your support. God calls some to the mission field, some to support those on the field in prayer and financial support. Please consider what part you can play in this wonderful opportunity God has placed before you to help spread the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a nation in GREAT need. You will be blessed. Thank you!
~ The Bogdans


Evangelism Ministry Pictures!

These pictures are from the street evangelism we are doing weekly. We preach and then distribute tracts. It is going very well and people are very interested in hearing the gospel and eagerly accept the gospel tracts. There is a high illiteracy rate in Liberia and there is also a language barrier. English is the spoken language but it is very different from the English we speak here in America. We are working to develop a tract specific to the Liberian culture and speech. It will be very pictorial and easy to understand even for people who cannot read, or read well. We are so blessed to see what God is doing through this outreach ministry. Thank you for supporting the spreading of the Gospel in Liberia!

Agricultural Projects Inspection Pictures

These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago when the guys were out inspecting the agricultural projects that have been sponsored by Spirit Liberia. We provided tools and seed and the churches are doing the work. These pictures are from White Dove ministries and Pillar of Fire End Times Apostolic Church. Both of these churches are located in the general area around Monrovia. We are very pleased with their progress and are excited to see what harvest time will bring!

An Interesting Liberian

This blog was written by Tod Whitwer, a friend of ours who is partnering with Spirit Liberia. He is helping with strategic development and also will be running the Marathon with Greg. On that note, I would like to request prayer for Greg. He was training yesterday and pulled a muscle in his calf. His is limping around and we are concerned that he will not be healed up in time for the Marathon, which is on January 18.

Here is a brief insight into an interesting person in Liberia. Thanks Tod!

Your first impression of Kofi is his eyes as they relentlessly jump from place to place only briefly stopping to gaze into yours. He has a nervous countenance, seemingly lacking confidence, almost timid. He is very short and almost everybody towers over him. Yet, he is very engaging and you are drawn to him as if you suspect there is a deeper story to his life.

Like many people, your first impression of Kofi (pronounced “kō-fee”) is probably wrong, as this diminutive man is better known in Liberia as General Kofi. He was one of the most feared fighters during the long civil wars in Liberia and he fiercely defended his people and remote rain forest from outside invaders. While he was not willing to aggressively pursue the war outside the boundaries of Grand Bassa and River Cess Counties, he was ruthless in repelling anybody who entered into his peoples’ lands. Reputedly, even Charles Taylor feared General Kofi and it was partially through capturing Kofi that Taylor eventually won the war.

Kofi does not brag about his role in the civil war, nor does he shrink from it. He matter-of-factly states that he did what he needed to do to protect his people from the war that they did not want to have anything to do with. Simple as that.

And now that the war is over and the country is ravaged, he lures you into listening to him, almost as if you are in a spell, as he talks about what needs to be done for his people and country. His eyes drill into you and he speaks excitedly about opportunity and education. But his call to action does not come from a prospective of entitlement, but from the basis that his people must look for ways to improve themselves through their own actions and by taking advantage of their abundant resources. Not as individuals, but collectively in their villages, tribes, and single united country.

He is very passionate and it is very easy to see why he is respected and loved. You sense that he is going to be one of the reasons that Liberia escapes its long, dark nightmare of civil war even though he was one of those who contributed to it.