Recently the Psalm 82:3 Mission team began following God’s leading to Buchanan City, Liberia. For many this brings a pretty normal question… “Why Buchanan?”.
For several years our focus has solely been on the orphanage home in Monrovia. It’s all we have come to know in Liberia. When we would arrive our driver’s would take us straight to the orphanage. For most of the week we didn’t leave the house walls and we spent countless hours with some of the most amazing kids on planet earth. If we did venture out of the concrete fence we did so in teams or pairs. Monrovia is a huge city, easy to get lost in, and very crowded. Traffic is a constant and in a way you just have to put your head down and walk on toward the specific things you are looking for. You can see the many needs in Monrovia, but you don’t feel the pain and challenges of what each person you see goes through. It’s also difficult to see how your team can make an impact in a place where there are literally hundreds of other groups doing something similar. We loved Monrovia, but we also couldn’t see a long term future and new ideas in Monrovia. Simply put… we didn’t believe God was asking us to stay in Monrovia and we needed to be open to where He would lead us.
So what do you do when all you know of a country is a place that God isn’t leading you to serve in? You ask Him to open new doors and open our hearts to His will that is always better than our will. Through those prayers he led us to ask our friends in Liberia about new options. Within a few days of these prayers it was clear and evident that Buchanan was to be our new home base. It began with two separate pastors encouraging us very strongly to go to Buchanan. Both of them were trusted voices and they confirmed quickly that there was a need to serve orphans and special needs children. Prior to our arrival we had an appointment with the city Mayor set for the day after we arrived, and Pastor Eric had been contacted by a land owner hoping to sell us 50 acres. (This was way beyond what we needed, but it was becoming clear that we weren’t in charge.) Excitement was growing and God was moving. We just didn’t know how big this was going to be.
Day 1 we met with the City Mayor. She loved that we wanted to serve, but she had some guidelines. Here they were… Must be Christ-centered, must be located outside the city, must be above reproach and prepared to set the example of orphan care in Liberia. These are all things we had already agreed on. Later that day we saw the land and felt an enormous peace about taking on this even bigger challenge.
For the rest of our time we traveled, we met people, we worshipped with Pastor Eric’s church, ate lots of meals together, and dreamed. At the beginning of our trip we were asking God to make it clear that He still had a purpose for us. By the end of the trip we were asking God to make it clear how He planned to use the 50 acres and Psalm 82:3 Mission to lead children and adults to a relationship with Him.
The needs in Buchanan are great! Looking at the faces of the people in the city and observing the reality of their lives brings your heart face to face (literally) with what living on less than $2 per day looks and feels like. These needs include: Medical, therapy, food, clothing, shelter, clean water, jobs, agriculture, orphans, special needs children, widows, and faith based resources.
The vision was clear to our team of 4. God was opening a door for us to serve the least by providing an orphanage village and community center that would become self-sustainable in 7-10 years! It was a big dream and well beyond our understanding and abilities.
What would God do when we returned home? Check back next time, join the journey, and choose to defend!