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The Harvest Granger team arrived safely back from Liberia after a fruitful trip that was shortened by the Ebola scare. Our time was filled with ministry. On our first night in Liberia we had an impromptu worship and dance time at our guest house at ELWA where we were staying.
Our guest house was approximately two blocks away from where American medical missionaries Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were working.
Saturday was Independence Day for the county of Liberia.We toured Monrovia in the morning and put on a program for about 150 children in the afternoon at the church in Paynesville. Micah Klutinoty practiced with the choir on Saturday night in preparation for Sunday's service. Then it was back to ELWA for a refreshing swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sunday we started the day with a baptismal service at ELWA. Roosevelt David was at our door at 7:30 beckoning us to come quickly as they were at the lagoon at ELWA. Matt Mendenhall, Micah, and Kevin had the honor of baptizing our African brothers and sisters.
Church was a treat! Micah was able to join the choir as well as to bless us all with a song (at a moment's notice.) There are several videos posted on the new Harvest Liberia Facebook page (facebook.com/HarvestLiberia
Monday we hosted Uncommon Leadership at HBC Paynesville. It started raining at midnight and didn't stop until noon on Monday. It is difficult for people to get around during the rainy season, but there were almost 80 leaders from Liberia HBC's as well as other local church leaders. Matt Mendenhall spent the day leading and teaching this very eager group. We witnessed an amazing movement of God as we worshipped and learned together.
By Monday evening things related to the Ebola situation had gotten progressively worse. On Sunday, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf closed the borders. The smaller regional airlines stopped flying (due in part to Patrick Sawyer flying to Nigeria while contagious.) The store had a vat of water/chlorine solution that we had to wash our hands under before we entered. The leading Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone died. We were hearing from people back home who were very concerned about us being in the country. So we changed our plans and flew out Tuesday morning.
We never felt in danger from Ebola, but it was clear that our ministry had come to an end and staying posed too many risks. Leaving was the prudent thing to do. In fact, there is now a travel advisory in effect to Liberia from the United States.
God blessed us with many other amazing ministry moments. We saw God at work and we were able to encourage our brothers and sisters in Liberia.
As we mentioned earlier, we are excited to announce the new Harvest Liberia Facebook fan page (facebook.com/HarvestLiberia
). We are also working to update the Harvest Liberia Website (HarvestLiberia.org
). We would love for you to tell your congregation about these ways to keep up with the ministry in Liberia. We will let you know when the website updates are complete.
We would encourage you to be praying for the congregations in Liberia
. They had a period of fasting and praying to God for protection from Ebola. Moses has shared how the situation in Liberia is making daily life more difficult for the people on many levels. We hope to speak to him again soon and to update you with his latest reports from Liberia.