The Terrys - Serving in Liberia
This past month I was scheduled to speak at two conferences. The first was a small gathering in the village of Konea where Dr. Steve teaches once a month; and the other was a youth conference in Ganta. Conference time in Liberia is very important for many reasons. It is the main way people from other cities and villages get to meet and find a potential husband or wife, it is something to do that is different from the mundane daily life here, and it is for some a chance to hear different teaching about specific passages of scripture. In Ganta, people from about ten different areas came together to hear teaching about Ephesians 6. Youth conferences are usually more focused on gathering socially than anything else. At times it was quite comical to see young people showing off to get the attention of others. There was one young man who came in everyday dressed in his best clothes with the biggest bluetooth headset I have ever seen. The purpose of course is to show how important he was. Truth be told, we all have done similar things in our lives when we were young. I guess when you get older the foolishness of youth becomes more evident. For three days I drove to Ganta carrying some of the boys from the football team with me. On the last day two of the boys were planning to stay the night and get into trouble. They told me they wanted to stay when we were getting ready to leave. There are some who come to conferences with the sole purpose of having physical relations with whoever they can. I was suspicious that was the purpose of their sleepover so I began to question them. They said they wanted to stay but could not give a good reason why. I was very uneasy about the whole thing so I made them come back with me. One of them was our late pastor's son who is a very good kid, but he was wanting to stay with a couple of known troublemakers. I just couldn't let him do it. The Bible often speaks about being a father to the fatherless, and in this culture whether the dad is in the home or not there are thousands of children who do not have a godly guiding influence in their lives. I do not have to explain the depth of depravity that results from this; just read the newspaper and you will see the same things. Most families who have good parents will only council their children and if they don't listen there is usually no punishment if their actions don't effect the parents in some way. Fast forward ten or twenty years and you have a culture that does pretty much what it wants to do without the fear of consequences. The Bible says Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; (Prov. 29:18) meaning people without the revelation of who God is and what He expects will do what they want without the fear of consequences. Our own nation is in the process of casting off the cords of Christianity and we are forsaking the revelation God has given to us about Himself. If we continue down this path our nation will be a lot like Liberia, and without the revelation of who God is and what He expects both nations will suffer the same fate. Please continue to pray for our late Pastor's family and especially Val. Please pray for God to open our eyes in America, and that He would open the eyes of the Liberian people.
The Children's Camp in Dwita
They need something...
It has been a rainy month. It can rain several times a day now making everything hard. But the rain has also given me some time to reflect and look to the future. We came here with the purpose of reaching the youth of Liberia with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that is what we are trying to do through the football ministry and day camps we have held. But I believe we need to have a bigger vision. It is not enough what we are doing. We need a place for the kids to go that is not only awesome but is teaching them the truth of the Gospel. As you read this, most children in Liberia are roaming the streets with nothing to do. There is nowhere for them to go so they basically walk around and often get into trouble. I would say they are almost desperate for something to do. I recently had to change the tires on the truck (they were just about worn through) so I told the kids in the yard when I brought back the spare tires, we would hang one on the tree to swing on. Day one we had about five or six kids, day two we had about twenty, in the pouring rain, for a tire swing. I believe we need to find an area to have a club for the children to come and play and receive the teaching of Christ. Think of all the things kids in America get to experience on a daily basis. There is nothing even close for Liberian children. The idea that keeps coming to me is a club for children sort of like the boys and girls club in America or a YMCA except not as fancy. A centrally located place where children can come and be taught the Gospel and play. I don't know if we are able to do something like this but we are looking into it. I am still praying for an area to open up for us. We are planning to have a children's camp in January in Dwita (pictured above). They have a facility there where we could do something like this but it would mean moving to Dwita. I was hoping for something closer to the city, but if God sends us there we will go. Please pray with us about this and we will see what God does. Also pray for the football ministry, we begin conditioning next week.
Murphy is still apart of our tribe here and he has made some improvements. He no longer wanders off to do his own thing anymore, and he even asks to go different places now. So we are making some progress, but he still has a long way to go. He acts very much like a spoiled child and will have a very bad attitude if he doesn't get what he wants. What he really wants is 24 hour access to the pantry and no rules. He wants to rule the roost here but we ruined his plans of course and hold him accountable for his actions. He is not a bad kid, he just has had no training for 10-12 years. So to put him under any authority is going to be a challenge. It is also hard for him because he is caught between two cultural influences. Our family does not operate like the families here and that is what he is used to. We try to treat him like one of our own but it is hard because we do not know what his future is with our family. We just get up and take things one day at a time. Like any child, he goes through phases; and his latest phase is to shut down completely when he doesn't get his way. He will walk off and not talk to you or answer your questions. We are giving him a dose of his own medicine currently but we have to be careful because we don't want to take the form of his previous family who completely ignored him. Please pray for Murphy and for us as we try and train this child.
Please Pray for...
God to reach more people here through us
For the football team
Murphy and the other children who come to our house
For God to give us direction about a kid's club
For the safe return of our teammates next month
For vehicles for Jamey and Steve (they are in bad shape)
Wisdom for the church in Bellimue as they seek to finally build their building.
Praise God for...
His continued provision and protection for us
The ability to purchase much needed tires for the truck
The health and well being of our family
Another successful leadership workshop (rain or shine they come)
Salvation in Christ
Thank you for praying!
Read more from the Terrys on their website: www.terrys4liberia.org