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

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