Sunday, September 1, 2013

Getting There…


From the first, “Go ye into all the world…” until today, missionaries have found a way to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations.  By foot, motorcycle, on horseback, in the air and on the sea they have travelled.


Today, I carried the message of salvation in a way as never before – for me.  You see, it rained most of Saturday night.  This meant that many of the streets were flooded and almost impassable.  The church where we ministered this morning was flooded all around the outside.  Where we parked, the water was about two inches above my ankles.  There was only one solution – take my shoes and socks off and wade water all the way to the church!  This, in itself, was not  so bad, but with flooding comes the worst of sanitary conditions because of the tremendous amount of raw sewage that is washed from all the outdoor latrines. 


IMG_2178 (Small)[3]      IMG_2186 (Small)[3]


IMG_2194 (Small)[3]     IMG_2195 (Small)[3]


 IMG_2204 (Small)[3]     IMG_2205 (Small)[3]


IMG_2304 (Small)[3]


How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!  Isa 52:7 KJV

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When Liberian Child Soldiers Grow Up

We have been in-country for about one month now.  In that month, we have both seen and heard things that are extremely difficult to understand.  How can a child be a soldier?  How can one man or woman commit offenses against another person so atrocious that you can’t even describe them?  How can a community of people recover from fourteen years of civil war?  How can a country's economy recover after almost total devastation?  How can there be electricity or pipe born water in most all of Liberia?  How can we possibly understand, and reach out to this post-war society?


I read a story in Newsweek that addresses life after the war for girls in Liberia.  I feel I must give you warning before you read it.  It is graphic, and you surely will be bewildered when you try to comprehend the essence of this truth.  This story, like Liberia, is not for the faint of heart! 


Click on this link to read, “When Liberian Child Soldiers Grow Up”.   When you finish, and you sit there wondering how such could possibly happen, pray for the people of Liberia.  Pray for Liberian Christians and churches as they reach out in an effort to bring deliverance from these events to so many.  Pray for the missionaries that have returned to help begin the process of rebuilding - not only structures, but lives.  Lives that have been all but destroyed by the evilness of men and women bent on total destruction.  Pray for the orphans that have been abandoned, separated from their families, and have no one to look to for help.  Pray for us, as we do what we can, trusting God that it will make a difference!


To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.  Isa. 61:3 KJV

First Trip Into The Interior

Fredna and I were able to travel with DeVane & Mary McGee to the interior of Liberia.  Destination – Pleebo,  which is over 740km from Monrovia.  We went to carry supplies for the re-building project of the Pleebo Bible Institute.


This Bible school was founded in 1953 by missionary James King for the purpose of training pastors and became a base from which the gospel was spread from southeastern Liberia to other parts of the country.  This school, later named the Pentecostal Theological Institute, was the first Pentecostal Bible training institution in Liberia.  These buildings, several damaged during the war, remain the only facilities for pastoral training of the Assemblies of God for Maryland, River Gee, and Grand Kru counties.  PTI has continued to operate in spite of the near devastation of all buildings.  Before reconstruction began in April of this year, students studied in a looted classroom building.  There is no electricity, no running water, and no computers. 

The students enrolled in this institute truly had, and still have a desire and a calling in their lives in order to endure these harsh conditions!  Below are “before & after” pictures of the work in progress today.


Staff housing


06 The staff house was looted, burned beyond repair by the rebels.  The walls had to come down and a new building placed on the foundation. IMG_4813 (Medium)     07 pleebo staff house for two families nearing completion (Medium)


Married couple’s dorm


03 Married couples dorms not burned but beyond repair IMG_4828 (Medium)     05 Married couples dorm with kitchen to the side.IMG_1377 (Medium)


Men’s dorm


01 Foundation of men's dorms destroyed during the war. IMG_4832 (Medium)     02 Front view of the men's dorm for 16 students and one dirty STL truck. IMG_1353 (Medium)


School chapel


Burned out chapel Pleebo 005     10 pleebo chapel (2) (Medium)



The years of war in Liberia destroyed so much - not only physical property, but, more importantly, people!  Over 250,000 people lost their lives, and upwards of one million people were displaced to other countries to become refugees.  Families were separated, children became orphans or child soldiers!  There is much to recover in Liberia, and only the grace of God will bring total recovery to the hearts and lives of this nation.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16 (KJV)

Friday, July 19, 2013

What A Difference A Week Makes!

One week… that doesn’t seem like a long time.  But when you traverse almost 8,000 miles and ONE week, it could be much more than you think!
Just last week I was enjoying coffee each morning that was brewed in a Keurig coffee machine.  If I didn’t get a cup at home, then I would drive through and get a pretty good cup of Joe at my office in town – McDonald’s.  Less than I week ago I could have enjoyed a good cup at Heathrow International Airport, if only I had known then what I know now.
This was last week…
Washington Coffee
One week later…
Brewing coffee
The coffee only serves to accentuate the difference in life at home and life in Liberia.  They are as vastly different as Keurig and an old-fashioned percolator coffee pot.  It dawns on me that some of you probably have never seen a percolator before.  My dad made coffee in one of these when I was a young boy.  In fact, my first cup of coffee was probably brewed in one of these fancy pots.
Yesterday, we drove from our house to see where a certain church was located.  It was probably less than 5 miles away in distance, but it took us an hour to get there.  We went through a market where there were literally thousands of people, cars, and motorcycles!  The truth of the matter is that it was really a dangerous place to be.  We were pressed in the traffic – bumper-to-bumper and side-to-side.  Motorcyclists expertly (and some not so expertly) weaved their way in what few and extremely small open places there were between the cars.  And the people, aye there were so many!  I was pretty nervous and vowed to NEVER travel that road again, fully knowing that I may have to some day! 
As we sit here this morning, enjoying our devotional and coffee, our prayer is for each one of you to enjoy God’s peace, joy, and happiness.  That you will find your fulfillment in Him.  And that you, too, will realize that although the coffee may be brewed in drastically different ways, it still tastes good (or “good-O” as they say in Liberia), and so does life!  Oh, and we must never forget that those thousands of people in the market – they  need to know Jesus – the reason we are here!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

“Over 20 Years!”

Last week Fredna and I had the privilege of meeting with the Liberia Field Fellowship of the Assemblies of God.  In the meeting room, at a hotel in Dallas, Texas, we sat with veteran missionaries DeVane and Mary McGee, and candidate missionaries Justin and Jessica Lattus.

Liberia Team

DeVane & MaryThe McGees have just returned from Liberia for medical checkups, and they are staying with their daughter and her family in the Hurst area before returning to the field in early July.  DeVane and Mary have spent many years in West Africa, serving in Sierra Leone and Liberia.  They have also served with ICI (International Correspondence Institute, and Africa’s Hope.  In January of 2011, the McGees volunteered to take up residence in Liberia with the assignment of reestablishing relationships with the Liberian Assemblies of God, as well as beginning the process of helping to rebuild what had been destroyed during the 25 years of death and destruction.  DeVane and Mary will complete their term of commitment in January of 2014, then return to the USA.


LattusMissionary candidates Justin and Jessica Lattus have recently felt the call of God to dedicate their lives to foreign missions service.  In approximately 12-18 months, upon completion of their itineration, they will join the team already on the ground.  In their own words, “God called us to abandon our non-Pentecostal upbringing, our professional careers, and the lives that we had created, in order to go and serve Him in the mission fields of Liberia, West Africa.”  They have two young children, Savannah and McCoy.



jimmyDuring the meeting the General Superintendent of the Liberian Assemblies of God phoned DeVane from Liberia.  While talking, DeVane told Rev. Jimmy Kuoh that the AGWM Missionary Team was meeting together in Dallas, Texas.  Over the speaker on the phone, Rev. Kuoh greeted us warmly and thanked us for committing ourselves to come to Liberia and to help the Liberian Assemblies of God.  Then he said, “This is the first field fellowship meeting of Liberian missionaries in over 20 years!”


It is amazing that God is now assembling a team of missionaries, along with partners across America, in order to stand with our brothers and sisters in Liberia to rebuild what has been destroyed, to train pastors, and to help meet the needs of so many.  It is amazing that God has included Fredna and me in this ministry and joined us with this great group of people!


"The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone…”  Isa. 9:10

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

“God Is Good”

It seems to me that the expression “God is good (all the time)” has gone viral on a worldwide scale! When I was pastoring in Texas – I heard it. When we were serving in Namibia, Africa – I heard it. From the southern-most part to the northern regions in Malawi, East Africa – I heard it. I see it on Facebook and in blogs. I hear it recited on Christian television, even on television newscasts that are reporting natural disasters and catastrophes. I like hearing it because I know that truly God is good! Having said that, I will admit that there are times that I hear this expression that I feel a bit uncomfortable. Maybe uncomfortable is not the word to use – maybe uneasy would be better.


In the past couple of weeks we have seen the devastation of many tornados from Texas to Ohio. While I was watching the news reports covering the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, I heard two interviews of people that were directly and indirectly affected by the storm. One woman gave, first-hand, the story of her survival and the total destruction of all that was around her. She lost EVERYTHING during the few minutes that the storm was on the ground in her location, but she told how blessed she was to be alive. In another story, a lady who lived just two streets over from the first, told just how blessed she was that she lost nothing during the storm.

Hearing these two stories, I began to have that uneasy feeling that I spoke of earlier. Two completely different perspectives of the storm, two completely different extents of loss and suffering. And yet, both spoke of the goodness of God and how blessed they were. The truth is, they were both blessed! The difference was that they were defining it differently.


How do we define God’s goodness and blessings in our lives? The man that has much might see God’s goodness in a different way than the man who has little. This reminds me of a church service in rural Malawi, Africa. Truthfully, it could have been in almost any church service in Africa, for that matter. The choir stood front and center and began to sing, “You Are Faithful O Lord”. When you watch this video, you will not see what I see, nor will you hear what I hear – for I have been there, and I know something about the people in this video. For one thing, their worldly possessions are meager at best. Most of them only have two changes of clothes. Please notice the fresh creases in the pants and shirts – and yet you can’t help but notice that most of the clothes do not fit nicely. There are few affordable department stores in which to buy “fitted” clothing – only bundles of clothes that people like you and me donate or discard.


The members of this choir and church do not have regular jobs that bring in a weekly salary that allows them to own a car, home, or furniture like you and I may. For the most part, they live in a two or three room house built of sun-dried, hand-molded bricks with a grass thatch roof. No air conditioner, no electricity, no glass windows. Many of these folks have lost more than one loved one to the bite of a malaria-carrying mosquito.

And yet they sing of the “faithfulness of God”! It is only when you know their story that you feel the full impact of the meaning of the faithfulness of God. You can see in their faces the true depth of gratitude to a just, loving God – even though they don’t have the material blessings of most.


The real truth is this: no matter what your position in life, no matter what you have or don’t have –

“God Is Good!”



Mitundu A/G

Friday, March 8, 2013

Teaching Missions



Fredna and I will be teaching Introduction to Assemblies of God Missions for the North Texas District School of Ministry this weekend.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to share from our own personal experience stories from the African field.  It surely makes teaching easier when you have actually lived the material!

All Church Ministries Conference




Fredna and I were honored to present the Nuts & Bolts of Missions at the 2013 All Church Ministries Conference at SAGU this past Saturday.  We presented in two different sessions.  Our participants included Missions Leaders from various churches within the North Texas District.  Each of them were able to gain insight as to how “missions” works within the local church.  And how the AGWM missionary works together with that local church in order to build the kingdom of God around the world.