The people that we are working with are men and women of great faith. We are traveling with 3 pastors, David, Thomas and Ben. They see the work with children as very important ministry and so our 3 friends supervise and work in the ministry.
They all tell stories that are hard to hear. Each of them had different experiences during the 14 years of Civil War, but all their stories had one common thread. They all walked through those terrible times by holding on to Jesus.
Pastor Ben and his wife Loretta told us about the terrible day that the rebels came to their town. Every one ran away and in the confusion they little boy, their only child, was lost. His mother found him a day later, but it was 4 days before his father knew he was safe.
This was only the beginning of their troubles, but as they shared their stories, they always testified to God’s faithfulness. When they had nothing to eat or to wear, they said God always provided. Ben and Loretta and their son spent 10 years in a refugee camp on the Ivory Coast. They told us of how so many people responded to the Gospel that it seemed there was a revival happening in the camp. In the midst of so much pain and loss, people turned to Jesus for peace and hope.
Ben and Loretta challenge me to love Jesus more. Please ask the Father to give all of us great faith. Please ask God to give us all the best words to explain Him to an ocean of children.
My heart breaks for this place. Every puppet show is packed with children. Please pray for this ocean of little ones to find the answers to their problems in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God can be the Father that they do not have. Only He can take away their fear and heal their broken hearts. In Jesus, they will never be alone!
IT’S DIFFERENT HERE
1 – The children are very creative. They don’t really have toys, but an empty plastic bottle can be used as a ball. One little boy took an oil bottle and put wooden wheels on it so it could become a truck. Many children race wire rims down the road, rolling them with a stick.
2 – Here I am Dabo which means grandmother in Bassa. I am often introduced as “our mother” which is very sweet. Once, I was called “the puppet mother”. That one made me smile.
3 – Everybody carries everything on top of their heads. Even small children carry loads that I cannot believe.
4 – Businesses here have odd names to me, but I like them. We saw the “God Forgets No One Phone Charging Booth”. We saw a store named “God Is In Control Business”. I don’t know what they sold. Then, we passed “Divine Favour Medicine”. As we passed all of these interesting places, we saw “God Bless You Hill”.
5 – Fufu is everybody’s favourite food. It is made by soaking the casaba root for 2 days. Then there is a lot of pounding and mashing. Finally, it is cooked and looks something like cream of wheat, but very firm. You pour soup over it and serve fried plantains on the side. This dish requires lots of work!
6 – Gas stations exist here in Buchanan, but they have no electricity anymore. Before the war, they worked. You see gallon sized glass jars displayed full of gas and they pour it in by hand.
7 – Houses are often made of mud bricks. A few that we saw were poles with a tarp stretched across them. Often the roofs have rocks to hold the roof in place as nails are expensive. Rocks are free.
8 – Nicer homes are made of concrete blocks. Sometimes, they plaster over them.
9 – Most people walk. At rush hour one morning, we saw 1 truck, 2 cars and 3 motorcycles on the main road. At the last census, there were over 150,000 in the city.
Ask the Lord every day to give us patience and love for each other and those we seek to serve.
A BIG, BIG, HAND CLAP
Ben often tells the children to give Jesus a big, big hand clap. You can join us by clapping for Jesus because He is doing great things in Liberia. We have seen hundreds and hundreds of children put their trust in Jesus. I am amazed at all the Father has done!
Linda for Sam, Silvana and David