July 2014 Newsletter
Mission Team Testimonies
Cheyenne getting time with Brenice
July Newsletter 2014
This month, I want to share the experiences of two of the team members who recently traveled to Liberia, but first, I'd like to encourage you to pray for the children and adults in Liberia who are right now facing the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Please pray for them as they face many unknowns, that they would be given the peace of God which transcends all understanding and that they and their families would be protected from the disease. This is a frightening time for people in Liberia, and we pray that the church would be a place where they find hope in Christ.
In May, Cheyenne Coad took her first trip to Liberia, while Robbie Rogers was returning for the first time since being adopted from Liberia eleven years ago. It is beautiful to me that the Lord deals with each of us so individually as He opens our eyes to see what He sees, and as we follow Him in obedience!
In January I asked the Lord to reveal where and when I could go on a mission trip. By February I was planning a trip to Liberia; sometimes He answers sooner rather than later. I have anticipated a trip to Africa for over a decade and when arriving in Liberia I was overwhelmed with an inexplicible joy. I admit I was weary to go on a trip with a group of people I had never met, but at least I would have my sister. This experience was the first time I had spent an entire week with my sister as we are from different marriages and she's much older than I, but The Lord gave us this special time together and I am so thankful. Throughout the week I actually enjoyed learning about the various personalities, walks of life, and how God’s road led each individual person to Liberia. The team had a smooth trip and worked cohesively to accomplish many tasks in a short amount of time. I was blessed to be a part of such a special team and hope to see them all again in the future.
My focus areas included VBS, sponsorship letters, and supply distribution. I loved every minute of serving, even though at times we were all hot and exhausted. The Lord provided strength and patience above all measure. It was really special to see the faces of the 3 adopted children return to their birth country for the first time in years. While at the DHCV I witnessed devotions, prayer, and the word implemented in the children and staff’s daily lives. I was amazed at how much scripture they have memorized and how often they pray together. My favorite part of the trip was hearing their sweet voices sing each morning right after the rooster awoke me around 5:30 am. Although I am not a morning person, I was thrilled to wake up and worship with the children. I was blessed to be a part of the ministry the Lord began 10 years ago, and seeing how He is faithful to continue His will with support of believers from the church body. I am really excited to one day return to Liberia. Truly, if the Lord would see fit for our family to move there today, I would go. We started sponsoring a sweet boy through the ACFI sponsorship program and are excited to watch Him grow up. I am forever grateful that God gave me the opportunity to share my faith and passion for The Lord with those in Liberia as they seek His face. Liberia will always have a piece of my heart!
Robbie plays soccer with the boys
My focus areas were sports ministries, Vacation Bible School, and maintenance. Though we were not able to do everything we had planned, we had three-day sports ministries planned for the kids, and soccer was the main focus. On Friday we had a mini World Cup for the little ones and the main event for the older guys. I gave them jerseys, which they were excited to receive and everyone came out to watch them play. It was an exciting event. For VBS, we went to the dorms to read bible stories, sing Biblical songs, and play games.
My team was awesome. We each had different talents/experience that we contributed to our time in Liberia. We got along well and had a great time with each other. By the end of the trip, everyone had nicknames. It was fun to get to know each other and interact in that way.
There is a sense of community, a sense of pride, and a sense of joy that is so rich in the culture of Liberia. People in Liberia live for the moment and they rely on their faith to get through the next day. The people are so welcoming and they wanted to go beyond their means of living to make our stay memorable.
I am a fellow Liberian; therefore the way of life in Liberia did not surprise me for the most part. I thought things would be a lot better than what it was when I left 11 years ago, but it is definitely a slow process. One of the things that shocked me the most was seeing how unmovable the faith of the people of Liberia is. They barely had anything to wear or eat but their faith could move mountains. After all the things they have been through, after all the things the country has been through, they still have joy and it was exciting to see.
Liberia is part of me. I still have friends and family in Liberia and I want to do whatever it takes to help them. I one day plan to sponsor and adopt a child from Liberia. I was given love and a chance that got me where I am today, and a chance to be a DII college grad, and I want to do the same for the children of Liberia. I have big plans to go back, take children off the streets and help them prosper in the sport they love so dearly, soccer.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Cor. 4:16-18
God, help us to fix our eyes on you, that we may be renewed day by day… that we may live by faith and not by sight, as we see the Liberian believers doing despite their hardships. We are thankful for their example to us!