Dear Partners in Ministry,
Thanks to your prayers and support, I am pleased to announce a very fruitful and successful trip to Monrovia in March! If there is one thing I have learned is that my expectations rarely match up to God’s plans but that His plans are better than anything I ever expect!
It was amazing to be back on African soil again. My heart jumped when I saw it from the plane and again when we touched down! At the orphanage, the children threw themselves into my arms and I could not believe that it had been an entire year since I had been there! There were a few new faces: Sam, Prince, Jacob, Melvina, Princess, Nehemiah and little Eleanor. Through some generous donations, I was able to meet a lot of their needs and was even able to treat them to some pizza, which most had never heard of let alone tasted! The children are growing and Eleanor’s challenges are mounting but she continues in her quiet spirit and great faith in God!
I met a new orphan group this year, Sisters Helena and Edwina who are running the Jahzjet orphanage and school. They have 28 “home” children and a school. Helena’s husband died in 2005 and she struggles to keep the ministry afloat. I spent time at both orphanages ministering to the children and in the schools. We sing songs, tell Bible stories and get lots and lots of hugs. Many, many little hands touching you, inspecting your white skin and smooth hair! Even though they are cared for to some degree they are not nurtured and are constantly seeking affection(which I am happy to give them)!
On this trip, I met Pastor Guanue Gbendah. He, his wife and 4 children planted Temple Baptist Church in Johnsonville, outside Monrovia, in 2002. They are Liberians who fled to America during the civil war. Pastor Gbendah attended Bible College at Crown and surrendered to be a missionary back to his own people. They run a no-fee school and a Bible Institute. He allowed me to share my testimony with the ladies from his church and his Bible Institute students. We also paid several visits to a local girls shelter. These young girls have been rescued from horrible situations and some have children. The Bible-based program allows them to receive an educations and learn a trade such as sewing, baking or cosmetology. I was able to share my testimony and the gospel with them as well.
I find myself humbled and feeling very unworthy to stand before people who have experienced such tragedy in their lives. Women who have watched their family members and husbands brutally murdered, women who felt the best option was to drop their children in the rivers rather than allow them to suffer through the civil war, women who don’t have the resources to feed their children a meal each day. “What do I have to say to them?”, I ask myself frequently. God continues to reassure me to share my testimony. To tell them what the Lord has done for me. The response is always overwhelming. The Lord never fails to encourage me through the comments and testimonies of those I have the opportunity to minister to!
Pastor Gbendah and I agree that the ministry the Lord has laid on my heart will greatly benefit and complement what his ministry has been doing in Monrovia since 2002. It is very important to ensure that I am working under the umbrella of a sound local Independent Baptist church and pastoral authority. The answer for these women and children is first and foremost a relationship with Jesus Christ and then a sound home in the body of Christ through a local church family. This was my earnest prayer as I prepared for the trip and God answered my prayers and met my expectations abundantly more than I could have imagined!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. I am blessed with a full schedule through May and into June and more to come in the fall! Another church and a family has taken me on for support! Please continue in your prayers! They are precious to me!
Your Laborer for Christ in Liberia, Julie Alexander