For the past 3 afternoons, we have been training our new team. Each afternoon, the neighborhood children fill the open windows of the church. Today, I realized as I was teaching our friends to tell stories, the children were really listening to what was being said. I began to demonstrate the story of Joseph to the team.
God gave me eyes to see what I would have missed. I stopped looking at the adults in the class and began to speak just to the windows. I gave the adults in the room an example of how to lead a child in praying to receive Christ and a little boy in the window asked Jesus to be his Savior. Silvana noticed a girl praying in another window.
How do I know this? I told the adults how we had seen hundreds and hundreds of children raising their hands, telling us that they had prayed with us, asking Jesus to be their Savior. As soon as the little boy heard the words in Bassa, he raised his hand. I wanted to shout! I was so excited.
The Liberians are doing amazing at the training. The heat is stifling and still they come. They never complain and they try so hard. Add to this blessing the wonder of this little boy trusting in Jesus. I love what God does!
Working in Ireland for the past decade has taught me a lot about how to work in the rain. These lessons served us well today. We were able to do the opening of the program and one song before it hit. Hundreds of children ran for nearby shelter, but were still close enough to listen. Many, many children circled around me and stood in the rain. I continued to tell the story, acting it out since I could not draw in the rain. It became a downpour and still they stayed to listen. I finished the story and 2 children told me that they had asked Jesus to be their Savior. Praise God! We were all dripping wet and really happy!
Hundreds of children stood in the blazing sun at one school watching the program. They clapped when they heard how Jesus walked on the water. They delighted in the puppets and were thrilled with Sam’s juggling. However, it is one little boy named Sam that I remember the most. I felt someone pull on my arm. Sam stood there smiling and said "Thank you." He was about 10 years old and had asked Jesus to be his Savior. He seemed very happy to meet big Sam!
We have never worked in a place like Liberia. Fourteen years of war has left the people of this country with horrific memories. It was a very brutal time where rape and murder were common. We were told that some children joined the fighting after watching their parents die at the hands of an opposing group of rebels. Others were kidnapped and forced to fight. Some of the children were taken at 13 or 14 years old, but some were kidnapped at 8.
Everyone that we meet has much to forgive. The brutality that has been described to us is hard to put into words. People were not killed; they were butchered. Our friend told us how his family and others hid in the bush to escape.
The war has left a terrible legacy. Everyday we see children in rags, some wearing only underwear, or nothing at all. The fortunate ones go to private schools and most of these are Christian, but they are not free. Few can afford this option.
There is so little here. We are in a town of 30,000 people on the coast. Buchanan does not have a single dentist. If you want a heart doctor, there is only 1 in the country. This help is four hours away. You must travel very bad roads and you cannot go at night. There are gangs of thieves that watch the highways for foolish people.
Near us, there is a water tower, but no one has running water anymore. All of the equipment is gone. The infrastructure of this country, roads, water, and electricity, was destroyed.
These are dear people and they are trying so hard. Please pray for us to have wisdom to make wise choices in the ways that we can help. Please pray for God to call Christians to serve in Liberia.
Love in Jesus, Linda for
Sam and Silvana Shaw
Ben and Loretta Munford- Our Liberian Friends