Who am I?
- gordon elliott
- Monrovia, Liberia
- I live in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa with my wife and youngest son. We are recently arrived in Liberia where we are serving as missionaries with Evangelical Church Missions working under the Liberia Evangelical Mission. For most of the last thirty years we have served under ECM in Bolivia, South America. We are the happy parents of four children and the proud grandparents of two grandchildren.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Liberty School was a special project of our national church here in Bolivia. It was started some years ago under, shall I say, false pretenses. The brothers had the idea that a school would not only serve the community (which needed the school) but also would be a source of revenue for the church. So under those assumptions, the Liberty School was opened. Part of the expectation has been met. It has proven to be a ministry to the neighborhood. With monthly fees running less than $15, Liberty has been able to offer the poorer families of the area a private Christian education. The parents are happy with that. They like the values that the school has instilled in their children. But the other half of the expectation never came to pass. Charging $15 a student will never transfer into revenue. Rather than generating revenue for the church, the school has cost money over the years. (Now I could have told them that would happen but who listens to me, right?) So now the school is in a big bind. It needs around $50,000 now to do much needed maintenance and build a new classroom building. The church is struggling with what to do with the school. Do we keep it going or shut it down? One thing is certain, without an influx of money there will be no choice. Please pray for the leadership of the church as they struggle, wrestle, fight with the future of the school. Pray that if it needs to continue that somehow God will provide what is needed.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I was in La Paz a couple of weeks ago to do some business. I had stopped to allow a shoe shine boy to polish my shoes. (Shined shoes are a thing in Bolivia.) I began talking to the "boy" who was shining my shoes. Actually he was 18 years old and his name was Denis. He doesn't know anything about where his family is. At age 10 he was taken to a children's home to live by his parents. There, they were given an evening meal, a bed and breakfast in the morning. Then they were all turned out onto the street until evening. At about age 15 Denis left the home and began living on the street. Now three years later he is still on the street and shining shoes to earn enough to eat. He is going to school and hopes to be able to finish high school. He still has three years to go.
My heart went out to this young man. What hope does he have for the future? And then another thought came to me: where would our son be if he hadn't found us and become a part of our family? Would he be like Denis, living on the street, always scrambling for enough to eat? Thankfully, I don't have to know the answer to that question. What would have been is not in our realm to know. But what about Denis? Will he find something to give him hope? Will he come to ever know the love of God in Christ for him? Will he ever know that God will not kick him out on the street or abandon him? I can only hope so.