From January 1 up to today, March 16 equals 76 days. How much can you pack into 76 days? A LOT! Really, I mean a whole lot! In fact, it is unbelievable what you can do in 76 days.
In January, we traveled to Assinie, Coté d’Ivoiré, to attend our West Africa Retreat. We joined colleagues from Mali, Senegal, Coté d’Ivoiré, Togo, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Benin. Other special guests included, Africa Regional Director, Greg and Danna Beggs, and Africa Oasis Project representative Mark Alexander. This was a great time of refreshing and renewal. It was good to be together, pray together, and dream together for West Africa!
We returned to Liberia with only enough time to take a good deep breath before traveling to Gbarnga for our semi-annual Assemblies of God in Liberia General Conference. This year’s theme was Focus 2020 and emphasized missions and church planting. The goal of the national church is to plant 650 new churches by 2020. I was both privileged and honored to be the keynote speaker each night during the conference. The last service of the conference, Sunday morning, a special offering was received for the work of missions and church planting. This offering was the largest offering ever received in the history of the AGL according to most pastors. It was an unbelievable conference filled with a spirit of faith, confidence, and the power of God.
In early February, we traveled to Sierra Leone, where I serve as Team Leader. We met missionaries, Brant and Joanne Jordan, who have just arrived as the latest addition to the team. Later in March another couple, Danny and Cindy McCollor will join them in the work. While in Freetown, Sierra Leone, I made a wonderful discovery… Baby Ruth! Sure enough, I found the candy bar, Baby Ruth! I was beyond ecstatic!!
The first of March we embarked upon a trek that has taken us to the hinterlands of Liberia – the Interior. Upon our return to Monrovia – sometime in early April – there will be four new Assembly of God churches. This trip is challenging in so many different ways it is difficult to explain. But the rewards are tremendous! We meet so many friends, make new friends, discover churches and ministries that we did not know existed. We are privileged to both see and experience what our brothers and sisters endure on a daily basis. The experience makes us happy and sad at the same time. And, as always, Fredna is able to find a baby or two – or twenty or… - to hold! And this makes her happy.
Today marks 76 days since January 1. Maybe we will get to rest a bit during the next 76 days – or maybe not! As they say here, “Only God knows!”