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The Terrys - Serving in Liberia

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Two or three graduations…

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Jennfier with some of her best students

It is graduation season in Liberia and we have been apart of several ceremonies and celebrations. The most fun was the graduation of Jennifer’s reading class. About half the class passed the test and received a reward, and seven students were chosen for a special reward because they worked hard all year and are now able to read some sentences. Our Valedictorian Folo aced his exam and is reading very well. The top seven students had a private party with popcorn and cool-aid, cartoons, dodge ball, and they each received a gift bag. This was a great victory considering all that Jennifer battled during the year. Most teachers are barely educated themselves and have no formal training on teaching small children. They teach by making students copy things from the board and remember them. There are no critical thinking skills, students are not encouraged to try and answer questions because if they get it wrong they are ridiculed, called stupid, and even beaten. It is not a healthy environment for learning. So Jennifer has worked hard, got knocked down, adapted, recovered, and finally succeeded at teaching some children to read. It was not easy, and I have nothing but admiration for her hard work and willingness to continue is spite of difficult circumstances. Not to mention caring for our extra children at home and all the other things she does on a daily basis. She really is an incredible woman.

I also went to Jacob Sumo’s graduation. He is the boy we are sponsoring in school. His mother died a few years ago, and his father cares nothing for the boy. So he came to us and asked if I would come to the graduation because no one else would go. So we rode in the truck and sat together for most of the service until he had to go sit with the other students. He is very quiet and doesn’t say much unless you provoke him. I always give him a hard time and tell him I can cut palm faster than him, so then he bucks up a little and says it is not possible. He is a good kid but is in danger of following his peers which do nothing but get in trouble. He is not a Christian but he has been going to church with me for a few weeks so please pray for him.

The third graduation was a funeral. A good friend and fellow preacher of the Gospel passed away suddenly from complications due to a reoccurring health problem. He died just minutes before we arrived to visit him on the 18th of June. He graduated from this life to life eternal. It is a great shock to the community, the church, and the school that he was over. He was a very temperate man, always taking time with people, and always teaching people the Gospel. He left behind a wife and six children. Like many others I was deeply saddened because I will miss him, but also very encouraged because he is at rest. He opened his eyes in God’s paradise and is enjoying the presence of our Savior. The day I breathe my last breath and pass through the gate of death I will see him again. Please pray for his wife and especially his children who are taking it very hard.

The late Pastor Thomas Varwulu on our last ministry outreach together.

IMG_0096.JPG   The late Pastor Thomas Varwulu on our last ministry outreach together.


Business as usual...

We have been continuing the work on the football field but have hit a few snags. The rain is here and we cannot keep up with cutting the grass. Keep in mind we don’t have a lawnmower. We have to cut it with whippers which are basically flat blades you swing back and forth. Kind of like a golf club but with a blade on the end. School is also out which compounds the problem because all my players have gone to the farm to plant crops. So I am working on the field alone most days which is an impossible task. I am going to ask the landowner if he will let me bring in a machine to finish leveling the field and hopefully he will say yes. He was pretty adamant that we do it by hand so please pray that he will let us level it with a machine. This will allow us to start planting grass so it will be ready in a few months when the rain stops.

We are in the rainy season so we cannot travel very far because the roads turn to mud and it is easy to get stuck. So we are gearing up for the next dry season. There are a lot of plans up in the air because of the death of Pastor Varwulu. but we have still been teaching in both Bellimue and Foequellah. Bellimue is getting ready to start building their permanent building soon so thank you to those who gave. We are also still teaching at the monthly leadership training seminar each month. I was tasked with teaching about tithing this past month. I was surprised to know that most of the people were not familiar with the concept. I really enjoy interacting with the church leaders and challenging them to live wholly for Christ. I also like challenging them on some of the church traditions they practice here. I am very thankful for the previous generation who came before us but unfortunately they have brought in things that have no foundation in scripture. Like making sure you are dressed fancy before you come to church. Most of the people barely have clothes let alone fancy clothes so they feel excluded from the service. So each class period we have a healthy debate and I always try and leave them with something to chew on. Eventually we hope to turn the whole thing into a set of seminary courses. Please pray the God will establish the work of our hands. Thank you for praying!

Please pray for...

The Varwulu family

The Lord to raise up pastors in Liberia

The monthly leadership training to be effective

Our protection, health, and provision

The supply of our teammates with new vehicles (they are literally falling apart)

God to use us to bring people to Him

Read more from the Terrys on their website: www.terrys4liberia.org

 

 

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