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The Terry Family - Serving Liberia, West Africa

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Weeks of Work...

The last three and a half weeks prior to January 3 have been a flurry of activity. Seven of our football players, our guard Joe, and our family have turned the dilapidated camp in Duita into a functional youth camp. We had to tear down the roofs of two bathrooms, paint and clean, fix the beds, repair all termite damage, run new wire, brush the property (cut the grass), replace all the window screen and wire, and fix the block work on some of the buildings.

Terry jan update 1

Now to some that may not seem too bad but you have to remember that any construction work here takes a lot longer and is harder. You cannot just go down to Lowe's and get what you need, you have to source your materials on the property. If you need sand, you have to drive to the river and dig it from the bank and then haul it to the site, and then unload it and sift it. If you need lumber you have to pay someone to cut down a tree, saw the wood into irregular 2x4's and such and then carry it to the camp from the bush (which we did). Everyday we would get up and get our supplies for the day in Gbarnga and then drive an hour into the bush to Duita, work until we were bone tired, and then drive an hour home. We worked everyday but Sundays so we could rest some (and because I was preaching). After all that we had two days to prepare for the campers to come. Needless to say it was kind of a mess for a first attempt, but praise God we were able to make it functional! We spent an estimated $1,600.00 in total construction costs before we began camp, and there is still a lot of work to be done. Please continue to pray for the youth camp and those involved. We are already planning the next one for the August school break.

A Rough Start...

As I said above, we had an exhausting time leading up to the camp. So when it came to the actual running of the camp we were shooting from the hip. A lot of our speakers were not able to come so I ended up speaking during most of the chapel and teaching times. Jennifer and the kids were mainly involved in keeping our sleeping area in order. Julia and some of the Liberians would walk about half a mile to get water in buckets and then carry them uphill to fill our water container for baths and cooking. Jennifer had to cook all her own meals on a campfire (because she has a fish allergy). We slept in hammock tents, had bucket showers, and brushed our teeth in the front yard. It was truly camping! It was a great learning opportunity for us. We saw how things were run and made plenty of notes, figured costs, and did our best to make it fun. The next time we will be better prepared.

Terry jan update 2

Despite being in different countries, camp basically runs the same. You have a lot of the same problems, and deal with a lot of the same kinds of people. You have your share of whiners, and tattletales; those who like to get into trouble and those who are really there to hear from God's word. We spoke with several campers about salvation at the end of camp and there were some who wanted to pray and follow Christ. One girl I spoke to had been dealing with the loss of her mother (she was about 14). I didn't know anything about it and was asking her about salvation. She said she wanted to pray and accept Christ. When she began to pray she just broke down and started to cry. She started apologizing to God and asked Him to forgive her because she was saying there is no god when she found out her mother had died. She said she wanted to live right and follow Jesus. I tried to comfort her a little and then sent her to Jennifer because she can sympathize better because her own mother died several years ago. Jennifer talked with her for a while and then invited her to the girls Bible study on Thursdays. We hope to see her in the future. Please pray for Madeline and all the campers who made decisions this past week.


Palala-la la-la la la la...

Palala is a city about 30 north of Gbarnga, and we always laugh and sing Palala-la la la la la la when we drive through. I know it is silly but it helps the drive time go by I guess. Palala was known for it's opium growing during the war, and still some today. The Baptist church there was recently built by a Chinese construction company because one of the employees is a Christian. The man convinced the company to build the church as a community development project and about 80 people have been worshiping there ever since. I recently was invited to speak there and found it quite refreshing. You see for the most part, planting churches is quite draining. You are constantly dealing with problems in the church and the community. It is like Paul when he admonished the Corinthian church. Palala is different. They have a great pastor, they are fund raising for their own projects, and they have a very compassionate, loving atmosphere. I was very impressed at the state of the church when I visited. The pastor was a member at Repentance Baptist Church and left to start teaching in the Palala area. I had a great time speaking to God's people there and they invited me back when my schedule permits. Please pray for the church at Palala that God would use them in their community to reach others.

 

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