A Visit from Liberia

6 07 2011

Here is part of a journal entry of mine from January 13, 2009:  “This was a day I hope I will never forget as long as I live.  Surely, I experienced a bit of the joy of heaven.”  This was the day that I was able to visit the Wayzon United Methodist Church in Liberia.  In 2008, Questers raised enough money to build Wayzon’s church building, dig a well, support some pastors financially, and send numerous children to school.  Rev. Albert Barchue, the District Superintendant of our partner district, traveled with us to the Wayzon church.

I will never forget how they met us in the road.  Here is some of how I described it, “It was like something out of a dream…the people were all in the street waiting for us.  The first thing I saw was a sign that said, “Thank you Quest UMC,” and an old man dancing.  We got out of the van and the crowd surrounded us with hugs – especially the old man – who Albert told me bawled when he heard the church would be rebuilt.  It was his last hope before he died…When I spoke, I shared how seeing broken lives breaks my hearts, but God can take broken lives, just like broken buildings and make them new…I told them that the people of Quest are simply people whose lives had been broken, but are now made new, and out of our love for God, the one who made us new and loves us, we want to share that love with others.  I asked them to do the same.”  Reflecting on it later, I wrote, “It was the most amazing 60 minutes of “ministry” I can remember.  I am so blessed to be here.  I don’t think I will ever be the same.”  Writing about Albert that same evening, I wrote, “He feels like a lifelong friend already.  The partnership and camaraderie I feel with him goes beyond words…I would love for him to come to the US and stay with us for a while.”

Well, over the last two years since that day, Albert and I have stayed in contact, Quest has sent many more thousands of dollars to Liberia to dig wells (6 more), support pastors and sponsor kids going to school.  And, by God’s tremendous blessing, Albert was able to spend nearly the entire month of June in our area.  Albert shared a powerful message from God about the Greatest Commandments (Matthew 22) on June 5th – a day I, along with other Questers will not soon forget.  Then Albert was able to spend the next three weeks traveling around our district sharing about the work of God in Liberia.  I shared a tearful goodbye with Albert before he left.  He was overwhelmed by the blessing of God he experienced through the Quest family. He was forever grateful. Thank you, Questers and friends of Quest, for your prayers and sacrifices for God’s ministry both in Champaign-Urbana, and around the world.  I am so proud to be your pastor.

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