WARNING! The following email is very graphic and not appropriate for children. Remember that I am working in a place where there was 14 years of Civil War. These children did not have the choice to not read this email. They suffered and lived these stories. So that you can better understand and pray for these little ones and their parents, I hope you will choose to read these stories. I pray you choose to suffer with them and rejoice with them. Remember Jesus never turned away from others pain. He is our example.
I LOVE THIS STORY
I am telling stories every day with my friend, Pastor David. The children simply cannot understand our English. Their English is very different so he puts it in what he calls “our simple Liberian English”. As we were choosing the story this morning, he got very excited and jumped up in the air. He shouted, “I love this story”.
We decided to tell the story of an American Indian Chief and the Bible story, Joseph. Both stories speak about forgiveness. We always challenge the children to put their trust in Jesus so that they can know the God who forgives. Many children, teenagers, and adults here have seen horrible things and desperately need to forgive or their lives will remain shattered.
Pastor David told me a story about the war years. He and his family were traveling with a group of 200 people when a rebel group stopped them. In front of everyone, even the children, they hung an enemy in the air, stretched between 2 trees. Then, they split him in half. They cut out his heart and ate it. They believed his heart would make them powerful.This belief is still held by some in Liberia. Often, the rebels would attack the mothers in front of the children. Once a little bigger,a child would often suffer the same fate as her mother.
How can you speak to such deep pain? How can you offer comfort? There is absolutely nothing I can give or nothing I can do that will help. We are all powerless in the face of such evil, except when we depend, rely on, lean on God our Father. As I walk in the forgiveness that Jesus gives me, I can tell the children about the wonderful peace that He offers them. My friends and I can testify to the life changing power of the cross. Such terrible evil can only be fought with great light. By God’s grace we have great light! Pastor David will take over leadership of the Buchanan team. Pray for him! He told me that he wants very much for the children to understand God’s forgiveness.
Every day we are standing in hard places, but we are never alone. Stand with us in prayer!
A DRUM OF BOILING WATER
Thomas is a very dear brother who walks humbly with God. He always makes sure that he takes the most uncomfortable seat in the van. His focus is on others.
Now, he is a man of great faith but that was not always his testimony. His parents never took him to church as little boy. Then the war came, and he found himself captured by rebels at the age of 20.
They took his clothes and tied his hands behind his back. In front of him was a big fire with a 55 gallon drum of boiling water. He watched as they threw another man into the drum and he cooked alive. Thomas heard his screams and knew his life was about to end. He did not know God.
Suddenly, a man drove up in a car and ordered the man to free him. They obeyed. Thomas had never seen the man before in his life. He gave him clothes and told him that he needed to go home. Then, he drove him home. We both wondered if the man was an angel.
When he arrived at home, his whole family was weeping. His sister had seen him on the side of the road waiting beside the drum. They all thought he had been killed. They could not thank God because they did not know Him.
The war ended and his father started going to church. He became a follower of Jesus Christ and told Thomas that he should come to church with him. Four days later, his father died and went home.
Immediately, Thomas started going to church. At the age of 30, he was baptized as a believer in the one true God and His only Son Jesus Christ. Now, his heart’s desire is to tell children about Jesus so that they do not have to live so many years without Jesus. He will be part of the new Monrovian Puppet Team headed by Pastor Ben.
If you gave to make this trip possible, you answered the deepest prayer of my friend’s heart! We will leave an entire set of equipment that can be used to lead this generation to Jesus! Thank you!
Linda for Sam, Silvana and David and our 2 Liberian teams.