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)