LIBERIA TRIP TESTIMONIALS
As I ponder our recent trip to Liberia, a few things jump out at me. First of all, the smile on everyone’s face at Mission of Hope all week seemed to reflect true joy and peace. This was different than our trip last year where they were uncertain about their future. With the help of our DMN donors and our friends at Church of the Open Door, we have been able to provide three meals a day for them since our last trip. This has done an awful lot for their spirit. Being able to re-roof both of the schools was truly a joyful sight. They shared with us how bad it had gotten and how much they had to sweep water out of the classrooms and sometimes cancel school. The highlight of the trip had to be taking all of the residences of the orphanage out to the ocean. Some haven’t been there for 15 years and others have never seen it in their life in spite of living 30 minutes away. Picking up Angel from her wheelchair and bringing her into the water full of giggles and smiles was truly one of the greatest joys of my life. God had sent us there to be his light, to be his love and I kept hearing the message all week just serve, just love. I feel it is a true privilege to be able to go on a trip like this and serve. Thank you to everybody that made it possible and thank you donors for all you do and all you provide.
In late March, I went to the Mission of Hope in Liberia, Africa. It was part of a mission trip sponsored by both DMN and my home church, Church of the Open Door. We arrived late on Friday March 22nd . I was surprised to find everyone who lives there waiting for us and greeting us. The next morning I got my first good look at Mission of Hope. I also started to interact and got to know the individuals who work and live there. Over my time there I found a community of people who cared about each other and tried to help each other in any way possible. I saw firsthand how food bought with funds provided by DMN and donors of DMN had changed lives in just one year. Many of those living at Mission of Hope have the same dreams and hopes for the future as I have. See, I am the first disabled individual to come to Mission of Hope from another country. My two highlights from the trip are talking to all of the students at the school at Mission of Hope. I was able to share some of my story and show the students in each classroom how I do things with my feet. The other highlight was the day at the beach I got to share with everyone on my team and those who live at Mission of Hope. I hope and pray that God will allow me to return there someday.
I like to describe Liberia as profoundly redemptive for many reasons. It was so encouraging to see the hope and joy on all of our friends’ faces as we hugged and laughed and cried and shared stories together. It was so encouraging to see the new light and energy in their eyes as kids, who last year would hardly speak to us, are now running around and playing and hugging and laughing!!! There is still so much work to do on the Mission itself but it was so exciting to hear about their hopes and dreams for the clinic and school that are on the mission. To be able to dream with them, as we seek to partner with them, in their hopes and dreams! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go and visit our family in Liberia! It was so good to be home again!
Mission of Hope for Disabled is a beautiful place full of beautiful people. However, amidst the beauty there is great need. But despite the hardships, Jesus still reigns victorious and so many of these people are an example to the Western world of what true joy is. On this trip I have the opportunity to experience so many things and meet some amazing new children that were brought to the Mission this year. One eye-catching experience for me, was that when everybody kept telling me that we kept our word of coming back. And it seems that this was not what they were use to - of people keeping their word and following through with their promises. Another amazing experience that brings joy and tears at the same time was when I met Wonyea (meaning “Good News”). He told me that he now has his own plate and he eats his food without worrying or hurrying. Which means, back home, he had 25 siblings and their food was put together in a big bowl. But because his hands are weak and little, he was unable to take much food in his hand or use it fast to eat. At the end of the day, he used to go to bed hungry. But because of you guys (our donors), he now lives on the Mission and is eating three times a day. I say thank you, thank you so much!