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    March 2013 Newsletter


    The new Trade School at the Deaf Mission  

     I know many of you who receive this newsletter live in warmer parts of the country. I, however, do not. It is the end of March, and here in Minnesota we just got another 5 inches of snow... on top of the 8 inches from last week... on top of the 12 inches from the week before. All I see is white, and honestly, I'm ready for green. I'm ready for spring blossoms and sunshine on my face... I'm ready for the promise of a new season. I can't tell you how grateful I am that our God is a God of the new season for each of us... the author of new mercies each morning, fresh grace, and beautiful new beginnings. Hosea 6:3 states, "Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

    Our Liberian friends are in need of new seasons as well as... seasons of healing and blessing in the midst of hardship, times of refreshment for those who are weary, and moments of rest following on-going labors. So many long and difficult projects have been undertaken in the last few years, and several have been completed! This month, with a team having recently traveled to Liberia, I'd like to share with you a few highlights of their time. This should also serve to update you on projects that many of you have been involved with in prayer, support, or financial gifts over the past few years. (Thank you!!) The remainder of the newsletter has been written by Becky Lloyd who recorded these things in her report upon returning to the states earlier this month from a mission trip to Liberia:

    We were a team of seven, three Deaf and four hearing. The love, hospitality, and service our Liberian brothers and sisters showed us throughout our trip was so special and words cannot express our gratitude for each act of kindness shown to us.
    In 2010, I began to ask God to send Deaf people with me to Liberia. I knew my limitations as a hearing person and so desired for the deaf children in Liberia to meet those just like them. God handpicked this team and He accomplished things through each of them beyond what I could think or imagine.

    Joint dedication for the two new facilities 

    A radio interview was scheduled (where Deborah Kropf would translate for Phillip Easterling, and I would share about Signs For Hope information). Promoting the equality of Deaf people and the dedication of the new vocational trade school at the Deaf Mission were to be their focus. Liberians still call Deaf people "Deaf & Dumb," a term that was also used in the US until the 70's. The radio interviewer was shocked to find out that deaf people are not dumb, but mute instead. He was fascinated by the fact that Phillip was a full-time Deaf pastor and had traveled extensively worldwide to share the gospel with Deaf people. The Liberian term for the Deaf, Bobo, also carries with it negative connotations. It will take some time to break the Liberians of their negative thinking about the Deaf, but this trip was an eye-opener for many and we pray this new revelation will spread like wildfire across their country.

    The joint dedication ceremony of the Trade School at the the Oscar and Viola School for the Deaf and the sports complex at DHCV had been moved from Friday the 15th to Saturday the 16th, as there was still much work to be done on the vocational trade school. Many were involved with trying to complete the school and put a fresh coat of paint on the original dorm/classroom building. (The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the trade school was such a blessing.  Hearing Brother Ed Kofi dedicate the building to God for His purposes for those children, deaf and hearing, that would be trained there in the future was awe-inspiring.

    Vandora Henderson visits with her sponsored child 

    We were additionally blessed to be able to take part in the 8-day ACFI Annual Conference in River Cess County. Over that span of time, over 500 people from all parts of Liberia, and even from the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast took part in the conference. The plan to have Deaf team members taking part in teaching was Brother Ed Kofi's idea. They teamed up to lead the ACFI pastors, elders, and evangelists for their training. All of the ladies on our team were included in the training for the ACFI woman as well. The women were so impacted by the testimonies of Elaine and Libby (the two Deaf women on our team) as they shared their hearts and experiences growing up Deaf.

    We were able to distribute the sponsorship packages at the Deaf Mission, take photos and have them write thank-you letters to their sponsors. Katie, another team member, tried to distribute sponsorship packages at DHCV, but many of the children were not there as it was school break time. (Those packages were left with an ACFI staff member, and will be given out as soon as the students return from break.)

    Thanks to Becky Lloyd and all of her team who traveled and loved on our Liberian brothers and sisters, who sought to refresh them and encourage them as they enter yet another season of serving the Lord!  Thank you to all of you who partner with us in obeying God to care for those who need help and hope from the body of Christ! 

    With JOY,
    Corrie Luebke
    Sponsorship Coordinator

    [Posted: 03/19/2013]

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