Don Bargh and I stayed at the ELWA Guesthouse in Paynesville just outside of the capital Monrovia. ELWA is a Christian missions organisation that has been working in Liberia for more than 50 years, and has a huge area of land from which they run a large Christian broadcasting network, a hospital, school, and which is used by other mission organisations. The guesthouse was basic but was right on beautiful private sandy ELWA beach. On the first Saturday we were able to witness around a dozen people get baptised in the sea. These were people who had come to faith during the Revival meetings that had been happening that week at the church where the SOM course was being held. That night we went to the last night of that weeks revival meetings and it was quite an occasion. It was held outside the church, which is in a very poor community, and over 400 people came. It started around 6pm and finished at 10 as the rains came.  Despite the constant onslaught of all manner of insects, to worship with 400 joyful, exuberant Liberians in that setting was a truly memorable experience. Sunday were involved in the 3 hour service, followed by the “ordination” of a number of church members into eldership, evangelism, pastoral and other ministries in the church, followed by communion, followed by a celebratory lunch. There was just time for a swim before it got dark.

The SOM school started well on Monday with 38 attendees, of whom half were from the host church and half from other local churches. There were a few pastors, several elders and most people seemed to have some sort of ministry in their churches. Pastor Davies had organised the school well with the resources he has. Because many of the students had to work we didn’t start until after 11am (they seem to start work around 5am?). But we continued to around 6pm and had good time for the teaching and very enthusiastic Q&A sessions after each teaching session. The students were very keen to learn and the times of worship were really refreshing. Don and I were very well fed with huge and varied meals prepared by the pastor’s wife, who was bit of a culinary expert. The numbers ranged between 36 and 44 and the teaching seemed to have a great impact. It gave them a forum to discuss many aspects of poor church leadership in Liberia, and to explore the foundational aspects of becoming a believer which was quite revealing. Pastor Andrew, who organised our SOM school in Ghana earlier this year, came to help with the school, and we were able to have good times discussing plans for the expansion of the Ghana school next year. Thursday night Don spoke at another Revival Meeting, I spoke Friday night, and around 20 people in total came forward to make a commitment, and a number of healings were testified to. On the second Saturday Don and I baptised another 7 people who had come to faith during the week. At the Sunday meeting at the end of our stay there were many expressions of appreciation given - we were given and had to wear some traditional Liberian shirts -  people then came forward and pinned flowers to the shirts -  I spoke - we then prayed over the various church leaders and had dozens of photos taken – by which time we had virtually melted in the heat and humidity.

Both Don and I were very grateful for the prayers for our health, safety and anointing, which we felt were clearly answered.

 

Graham Bower