Good morning. This was the second email I sent out as I attempted to let our American prayer partners see the beauty, surprises, and challenges we saw in Liberia. Thank you for allowing us to serve together on His team.
Thank you for your prayers. They sustained us.
After the first night, we were able to move into the hotel that had originally been reserved for us. While the view was terrific, some of the other amenities such as running water and toilet paper were difficult to come by.
We found many places in Liberia did not have access to running water, including the schools and some restaurants. After 5 hours and repeated requests, the water in our room was turned on. That second night we learned that sleep would not be a part of our visit to Liberia. The hotel was next door to a very popular and loud nightclub, Calabash. Our windows rattled and our room rocked until 3 each morning. The air conditioning worked, thank you, God.
This may sound like a list of complaints; it is actually a short list of what you prayed us through. Thank you.
Ollie picked us up early and we headed to a soccer stadium with Amos, Darius, and George where Dave conducted a day-long soccer coach clinic. I am learning about the impact of soccer as a ‘door opener’ and unifier. Dave’s licensing as a Class A soccer coach is a big draw for the clinics and tournaments he organizes.
The moving parking lot of cars, kekehs (three wheeled taxis), and motorcycles was terrifying chaos until we recognized that the weaving in and out, ‘talking’ with the horns, nods and hand gestures all contributed to a magical and certainly amicable dance. We saw only one accident during our time there, and it was caused by road conditions, not traffic. Nonetheless, we were delighted to be passengers, not drivers.
Poverty was apparent everywhere, though we saw no people begging or unengaged in trying to earn a living. An estimated 64 percent of Liberians live below the poverty line, of whom 1.3 million live in extreme poverty. According to the World Food Programme, Liberia ranks 182nd of 187 countries in the human development index.
Ollie, Roy, and I left the soccer clinic to drive to a Christian radio station for another interview. Next to the station was the Harvest Intercontinental Cathedral. Ollie is full of surprises, and we learned she is an ordained reverend at the church.
And still the day was not over. We reconnected with Dave, Amos, George, and Darius after the soccer coach clinic and drove out to see the property that has been donated to Ollie to start a second Beautiful Beginnings School. Though it has no electricity or running water, it is easy to see the potential the three buildings have for housing a dynamic K-5 committed to raising up the next generation of leaders in Liberia.
Thank you for your prayers.
Writing in her diary, Anne Frank reflected:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”