I returned from Liberia Thursday, April 12. I returned knowing what question would be asked: How was your trip? And in one word this question is expected to be answered. So I thought it over on my journey home. How was my trip? My answer is this: Good.
I’ve been on trips that have been so spiritually exhausting I’ve come home feeling as though a demon is getting a piggy back ride. Liberia was different. 75% of the population is Christian. Not once did I feel darkness or oppression. In fact, when I stepped out of the Monrovia airport two African men embraced me exclaiming, “Sister!” It was Brother Morris, the manager for Psalm 82:3 Mission, and Pastor Erik whose church and school Psalm 82:3 Mission walks alongside. They welcomed me into their homes with such hospitality and generosity I was humbled. Brother Morris gave up his bedroom and bed for me to sleep on. Pastor Erik had us in his home for every meal. His wife Bennedah prepared them and insisted we eat before her.
All Liberians were this welcoming. They rubbed our skin and touched our hair—“So soft.” The children of Morris’ village ran behind our truck each time we appeared. They gathered on his front porch every minute we were present. I walked with them through their village learning all their plants and fruit trees. I painted their fingernails and massaged their arms like my dad has done for me saying, “I’m squeezing out all the bad.” From then on all the children stuck their arms out at me “Squeeze my bad mama Kamra!”
The children at the orphanages were the same way. They gathered around our feet wanting us to touch each one of them. We visited God’s Heritage Orphanage, Father Koko’s Orphanage, Affa House Orphanage and the Old Folks Home of Buchanan. At each place we shared the wordless gospel of Jesus, played games and sang songs. We also provided them with week’s worth of rice.
For two nights we helped Pastor Erik bring his crusade to an end at a village he had been preaching at for a week prior. There I witnessed 13 people come forward to accept Jesus as their Savior. The following morning, at 7am, eight of them met us at the ocean to be baptized.
Meanwhile, the paperwork for Psalm 82:3 Mission’s land was completed. We successfully purchased 50 acres just outside Buchanan city. We had a celebration there for the local townspeople to attend. We served rice and had a time of dedicating the ground to the Lord. Immediately following my team hiked the fifty acre border line so that building plans can be finalized. An orphanage, a school, a soccer field, a rice field, a plantation, an elderly home, a guest house for Psalm 82:3 Mission workers and a medical clinic are part of their vision.
Work is just beginning for Psalm 82:3 Mission. A team is returning in June to begin work on the land. A medical team is going in September to give free examinations to the children at the orphanages. I also plan to return to see this mission through. I want to see the transformation of the land and the impact it will have on those surrounding villages. While I was there the only hospital in Buchanan caught fire twice. The patients had to be taken on a two hour journey to the nearest clinic. Psalm 82:3 will provide a place for sustainable agriculture, education, opportunity for adoption by Christian families and this much needed medical assistance. After seeing the Bassa people firsthand, I know now how much this ministry is needed. I have decided to be a monthly sponsor of this organization. I know where the money is going. I know they are teaching Liberians to fish, not just handing out fish (as the old saying goes). Indeed, even these 50 acres will be worked by Liberians and eventually returned fully to their possession. So I implore you to search your heart; ask God if this is a ministry you too can support. Even the smallest amount matters.
You have already supported this mission once before by providing me the funds to take this journey. Some donations went straight to the mission because I had raised a surplus. This money was spent on the rice rations, supplies for the orphanages and into the land fund for the clearing of the land to begin. So I say thank you. Thank you for giving me that opportunity to learn of my brothers and sisters in Liberia. Now I know how to better serve them even while we are a continent away. It touched my heart to see those starving children, children without parents or medical therapy to work their retracting muscles. Watching them scarf down their free food and moments before see them worship God with zeal are conflicting images I’ll never forget. I was convicted regarding my own guarded praise in the American church. I was convicted of gluttony and the selfishness our culture fosters. This is why I say the trip was good. I have learned. I have grown. I have moved my feet around the world and am revived to keep up the pace. That’s the irony of hard things: Satan can use them to beat you; God can use them to tenderize you.