Friday, April 9, 2010

What a Week!

We're back!

I want to thank all of you who kept us in your prayers over the past week. It was quite a journey, and as usual, I have plenty of stories to share. But for the sake of time and YOUR interest, I will share pictures and you'll have to ask me in person to share my stories!

Here's a picture of the "team" in the airport in Chicago, waiting for the adventure to start. If you notice, my son, Christopher, and Nate are holding hands. There is actually a long story to explain that one, but you'll have to just take my word for it - those two are goofballs! But you can see the excitement and anticipation on their faces...they were not disappointed!

This was taken at Moses' church in Paynesville, which is basically a suburb (if you want to call it that) of Monrovia. We were trying to teach a song here - by the time we got out the puppets, there were about 150 to 200 children in the small church. Needless to say, they were fascinated by the puppets - they had never seen anything like that before.

Here is a shot that shows the kids working the puppets. It wasn't overly difficult, except that it was 110 degrees in the church and about 200 degrees inside the puppets! Roosevelt, the man who is the principal of the church's school, was so excited about using the puppets - he carefully watched what we were doing and told me that he would use these puppets to tell many, many stories and proclaim the name of Jesus to the children. What more could we ask for?

The next two pictures were taken at the Harvest in Buchanan. Buchanan is the second largest city in Liberia (behind Monrovia) and is a pretty rough place. The kids on the team were a bit taken back by how hard the people were in the city, but once we got to the church, the love of Christ flowed from the hugs, smiles and greetings of the believers. That calmed all of us down. Dave and I led conferences for the men and women respectively, both in Monrovia and in Buchanan, and here you see us teaching. We did not need interpreters, which is an incredible blessing, and I believe that both groups really soaked up the teaching. They are spiritual sponges and it is a joy to teach people who are hungry to learn and grow.

I taught on roles of the husband and wife, focusing on how God instructs women to treat their husbands. I told the women that even in America this teaching (mostly of submission) is not quickly embraced, but it is not my teaching, but God's. I also talked about the biblical call to forgive and talked them through the put off/renew/put on concept of change. In Monrovia, I also discussed sexual abuse recovery, since so many of the women had been violated during the recent civil war. These were precious times of teaching and I would ask that you keep the women of these two churches in your prayers, as they try to act on what they learned. When I was done teaching, one woman stood up and said, "It is not in the African woman's heart to submit. But this is God's Word and God's plan for our lives, so we must obey." It was truly a new concept for them to love their husbands sacrificially, follow their leadership, complete them as wives and respect/cheer them with edifying words.

Everywhere we went we were mobbed with children. There are hundreds and hundreds of children with very little to do, so when there is a commotion over at the church, they come running! The high schoolers were so good with the kids - they played "football" with them (soccer), as well as basketball, painted their nails, blew bubbles, made bracelets with them, Alex did about a million back flips to entertain, sang with them, took Polaroid pictures to give them, jumped rope, etc. They sweated much, laughed even more, and teared up when it was time to say good bye. I was very pleased that they displayed a true servant's heart with these children, often having to entertain a few hundred children for a couple of hours while Dave and I taught the adults.

And finally, this picture was taken the morning we left. This was a typical breakfast at the hotel - and egg, toast and a slice of cheese. It was really fine and so much more than the average Liberian ate all day.

Thank you again for your prayers. We felt the prayer cover greatly and really had only one scary incident, but I'll save that story for when I see you! The Holy Spirit is alive and well in Liberia, and it is my pleasure to report to you that God changes lives wherever He touches. The common bond of Christ surpasses culture and continents, and I want to give all the glory for any good that was done to the One who holds the world in His loving and gentle hands.

Thank you, Jesus, for this wonderful opportunity, and may Your name be continuously praised!


  1. Awesome!! Truly...awesome God, awesome experience, awesome children of all colors.

  2. Such a blessing to see your smiling faces, and those of the people you were ministering to. Thank you for sharing! What a life changing conference that must have been! Now the battle begins....better get on our knees over here!

  3. What an exciting trip that must have been. Love looking at the pictures of the children and all the smiles. God is Good!!!

  4. I agree, Nancy - God is matter what, He's definitely good! The Liberians have a song about God being good, and to hear them sing with such joy and passion, amongst such poverty, was quite a testimony!

  5. Awesome post...can't wait to hear all the rest of the stories. So amazing to see our God working though all of you during your trip. How great to see the instant response of the lady to obey the Word. Not something you see all the time. I will keep them all in pray as they begin to apply it to their lives.

  6. I miss Africa. You truly see, very unlike America, the joy of the Lord oozing out of our brothers and sisters there! I was almost tearing up, the manly man that I am, looking at the picture of the kids remembering the children that I played with and entertained for hours in Uganda and Kenya. I'm so glad that yall's trip went well and I bet the students who went with you now have a refreshed and broken spirit for our brothers and sisters out there.