Jessica and I have just returned from our first trip to Liberia and we have now seen first hand the effects of the war. We have driven over the bridge in Monrovia that the infamous RPG shot was fired by the child soldier. We have seen the church that was used as a place of refuge by hundreds of people, only for them to be mowed down by machine gun fire. We have seen poverty like never before, a dead man's body lying on the streets, and amputees from the civil war. We have seen Boy's Town which is a section of town that former child soldiers have homelessly congregated and due to drugs and violence, no one dares to enter. We have driven through Irongate where, during the war, skulls piled up and as individuals were forced to proceed through the gates your fate was to either purchase your own bullet for death or otherwise be hacked to death by machete. We have driven past neighborhoods that if you pay 5 US dollars you can buy a baby.
Part of me hates to share such things because I fear that I am exploiting their hardships, part of me would like to insulate you from knowing that these places exist, and part of me would like to selfishly live out my days tucked away in our comfort zones here at home. But here's the thing: it's not up to us. If we believe the words of the Bible, if we have given our life to Jesus, if we consider the Great Commission in Mathew 28:19 as a command to obey rather than an option to consider, then we have no choice. I love this quote from our Pastor Tommy Hall; "The Gospel message is not a trophy to win but a message to share."
God has called us to serve Liberia with a variety of compassion based ministries and the fields are ripe for a harvest. The war has turned the country of Liberia into ashes but in Isaiah 61 God says that He desires "to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."
I entitled this post "through our eyes" and the opening paragraph is shocking, much like realizing that all of the buzz words such as child soldiers, cannibalism, and human sacrifice are very much a reality. To be honest, there were moments that we questioned if we were tough enough to survive in Liberia but God stirred our hearts with the fact that we were seeing things through our eyes and He wanted us to look through His. And through His eyes, the masses of wandering people with vacant expressions became warm and loving individuals, horrors of war became opportunities for God's goodness and mercy to reveal itself, poverty became an opportunity to deepen our dependency on God instead of our checkbook, and compassion based ministries became an opportunity to show, teach, and preach God's unending love.
We have been
fortunate enough to be called by God to be His hands and feet to these
people. He has equipped us with a background in agriculture, emergency
medicine, and working with children. Through our obedience and His
power, lives will be changed for all of eternity. A harvest of souls is
underway and we are literally months away from moving to Liberia. If
you have ever desired to prayerfully and financially support a ministry
such as ours, I beg you to consider partnering with us.