Roof damage on an ACFI building
“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46
Ed Kofi, the founder of ACFI and with whom we partner to support Liberian children through the sponsorship program, recently returned from Liberia. The following is a short summary of updates from his time there, followed by some information about the movie, Facing Darkness, which was set in Liberia.
- Ed reported that the annual ACFI Mission conference was a wonderful success! Many Liberians came and gathered from outlying areas to participate in the event. God’s word was preached and twenty-nine people were baptized!
- During his one-week mission out in Lofa county in the bush, a new church was planted which has around 90 people already attending.
- A recent tropical storm caused significant damage in Monrovia and surrounding areas, including the location of the two mission homes we support. Several dorms subsequently have badly damaged roofs and the deaf home lost about half of the wall that was recently built to protect it. There has already been a generous donation to ACFI that will be spent to make repairs to these facilities, but any further financial help towards that goal will be very much appreciated.
- Another great need that has come to our attention, via Ed, is that all three of our college students have come to a point in their education where they require personal laptops to continue their studies. A used laptop can be bought in Liberia for around $300, and new laptops can be bought for around $500. If you desire to help with this specific need or with the tropical storm repairs, please go to http://www.africanchildsponsorship.com and view the "donations" tab. It would be a huge blessing to their goal of further education to have this need met.
- Ed has been back home in North Carolina for a few days. Though he was not feeling well during his time in Liberia, he is quickly regaining strength. Please pray for his complete healing, as you also pray for his wife, Cece. She is having some trouble recovering from her knee surgery, but is continuing physical therapy.
In closing, I wanted to comment on the recent movie, Facing Darkness, produced by Samaritan's Purse. Beginning in June of 2014, the Ebola epidemic claimed the lives of over 11,000 West Africans, the majority of them in Liberia. The movie highlights the stories of their medical team, including Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, and shares the journey of helping to stop the terrifying outbreak. Throughout the whole movie, glory was given to the Lord for his mercy amidst such fear and death.
I would highly encourage you to see it when it becomes available on DVD. Not only is it an incredible testimony of God working in the earth through his people, but it also is an excellent way to peek into the culture and lives of the Liberian people, and into the realities of a reactive population torn by war and fear, and crippled at times by misinformation. I think it is a beneficial way to learn more about the culture and people that you have supported by being part of this sponsorship program or by donating your resources. I sat in the theater and fought back tears, simply because I was transported right back to the sights, sounds, and scenes of Liberia. The language, the Liberian handshake, the beautiful faces… the sweat, the red dirt, and the joy and dancing in a Liberian church service… so many images that I would love for you to experience. (*While it is a difficult movie to watch on many levels, it is tastefully done.)
Dr. Brantly mentioned that people ask him if it was his faith that saved him from dying of Ebola. He replied that it was his faith that placed him in harm’s way in the first place… that "faith doesn’t make us safe.” “It’s because of our faith – our faith in Jesus Christ – that we go to these distant corners so that we can be a light in a very dark world,” he concluded.
I pray that we, as God’s people, would be ready to do just that… to step out of what is comfortable, and into the hard places God is calling us – that we might be light and hope in a dark and fearful world.