Continuing The Work
Continuing the Work...
The people in Bellemu have been working hard for several months digging sand and making block for the church building. They are nearly complete with the block and are going to start gathering crushed rock for some of the poured concrete work. We are set to have the ground breaking meal for the church in just a few weeks. I have been trying to get the church plans finalized and I have also done some cost projections. The total cost of the building should be somewhere around 3,500.00 USD to complete the project. They have already spent close to 1,000.00 on cement for block making and money for the land purchase. The remaining $3,500.00 is needed to pay for the builder, wood for the roof structure and doors, iron re-bar for the poured concrete work, nails, and additional cement. There are also elements in the church that are to be left for the congregation to complete on their own, like the concrete for the stage, steps, and a porch.
We are giving them a basic structure to meet in, it is up to them to finish the work. So far they have been very frugal. They have worked to burn coal and made and sold mud block to help provide some money towards the project. They are doing what they can to contribute but they need help. So, If you are interested in helping the people of Bellemu build their church building please send me a message, we would greatly appreciate your help. Also, look for a video on Facebook (coming soon) about the work that is going on; and please continue to pray for the people in Bellemu.
Football prayers answered...
Our team, Royal F.C. has entered our first tournament. We are competing against seven other teams in the Gbarnga area for the championship of the Well Done Foundation Peace Tournament. I can tell you it is anything but a peace tournament. It is more than just football too. Because I am a white coach for a Liberian team, everyone is trying to cut us down. We played our first game on Sunday evening and all I heard was people talking about "the white man's team." They do not take us seriously and they all say they are going to beat us 10-0. We played our first game Sunday evening against Luther F.C. We immediately scored a goal about five minutes into the game. They tied us before half time. It was an extremely rough game. The ref was not calling hardly any fouls. The second half Luther F.C. scored again. They were leading us 2-1 and we battled up until the 85Th minute. When the ref gave the five minute warning, I took my hat off and prayed, "God please let them score a goal!" I didn't know it but later Ojuku told Jennifer, he prayed before the last free kick for our team that we would score. He said he prayed, "Lord if you love this team will you let us score." With about a minute left in regulation time they kicked the free kick. It dropped right in front of the net, and the shortest player on the field jumped over two of the tallest defenders on the field and headed the ball into the net. GOOOAAAAAALLLL!!!! Our team went wild. We tied the game 2-2 in the last minute of play. The player who scored the goal ran to the corner of the field to celebrate and promptly passed out. Physically exhausted and dehydrated, he came to after a few cups of water were poured on his head. I held his head and and told him to look into my eyes asking, "are you OK?" He looked up at me and winked, smiling and just shook his head yes. Even though we tied it was a great victory for our team. We are tied for second place in our group. Next week we have our hardest game. We play G.T.U. or Great Tigers United. We have played them twice already and they beat us both times. I normally do not pray for us to win or lose because I want the players to focus more on personal character and sportsmanship. However, I will be praying for a win against G.T.U. I would also like to ask you to pray for our team. Pray we would continue to have good character and fair play on the field, and that we would beat G.T.U. Like I said, it is more than just football. It is validation for everything we stand for. I do not allow players to play who involved in wicked behavior. If I know about it they are benched. If they have bad attitudes, I make them sit. We preach the Gospel and stand for truth, pray that God would allow us to be victorious over those against us. Also, please pray the lost players on our team would see God's hand in this tournament and be finally willing to come to Christ.
We have been in negotiations with our landlord about our second term lease and it looks like we will be moving. According to our contract, the landlord must offer us the property first and under the same terms as our first agreement. They have rejected our agreement claiming that they did not know what they were signing. If we were in America we would easily win our disagreement because of the contract signed. However, in Liberia, it would just cost us a lot of money and the one who paid the judge more would win. Our landlord will only agree for us to stay if we pay more rent. We cannot agree to these terms for a couple of reasons. One, they are not honoring our initial agreement so why would we enter into another agreement that he may or may not keep. Two, When we took control of the property, it was literally falling apart. I made a special trip to Liberia just to fix the property for my family because it was unlivable. Since that time we have substantially improved the property with running water, electricity, and many cosmetic improvements. The total cost of our renovations has surpassed the amount listed in our rental agreement. The problem is they said they will not recognize some of the improvements because they are considered "luxury" improvements. So, our options are to pay more or walk away. We have decided to walk away. Within days of these events, we were offered two housing options better than our own. One house belongs to a missionary that is leaving the field, and the other belongs to a missionary who has already left the field. Both houses are fenced in, are bigger, have running water, and have solar power. Both rental terms are better than our current house. All we are required to do is maintain the property, with no rental payment! The only substantial investment will be replacing the batteries for the solar system (maintenance). It is amazing how the Lord provides! So over the next few months we will be packing our things to put in storage at our new house until we return. We praise God for His care for us throughout our time here, and for His provision for the future!
Reading with Jenni...
I have teamed up with another missionary to start reading classes and tutoring two days a week. Since arriving in Liberia the condition of the educational system has been an area where we wonder what we can do to help. I grew up with many Christian teachers who loved, cared for and wanted the very best for their students. It is sad to see the kids here who don't have that anywhere in their lives. Currently, we have about 35 students. Each class time has Bible teaching, reading lessons, and homework help if needed. We don't have a long period to work with the current group of students before our furlough, but I pray we can at least create a small foundation and help them to understand that we care about them. I have noticed that most of the older girls we invited did not want to come to a class, but instead asked to just keep coming and working on reading etc. here at the house. I saw the same in the schools, the girls did not speak up with answers, or questions once they reach about 3rd grade. Please pray for wisdom as to how we can use these classes to share God's love and how to pursue this ministry in the future.
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