We have been in Liberia now for going on six months. In those six months we have participated in a variety of events and experiences. We have had "good" days and "bad." We have had times when we wanted to return to Bolivia where everything is normal and familiar. Other times Liberia is home.
|I've decided that green isn't my color.|
|Palm Butter is a Liberian favorite.|
How to shape a ministry is a thought that has been on my mind since arriving. And how to shape it from scratch. Literally, the mission had nothing when we arrived, not even a pencil, so we have the responsibility of building a ministry that will outlive and outlast our time in Liberia, that will provide a solid foundation for those who will come after us.
One thing that I have learned during my experience in cross-cultural ministry is that people are more important than programs and equipping more important than buildings. That is not to say that neither programs nor buildings are important but is to recognize that unless we are able to impact people and equip them to serve others in ministry, programs and buildings are useless. But if they are used to build relationships and equip people for ministry, then they have a vital role to fulfill.
So far we have become involved in a couple of things to help build relationships and to equip. Niki invites the pastors' wives to our home each month for a time of fellowship, sharing and relationship building. The pastor's wife plays a very important and unique role in the Liberian church. She is considered the mother of the church. As such she fulfills a role of encouraging and welcoming the other members of the church. She may be actively involved in the teaching ministry of the church or as a part of the worship leadership team. Niki has the opportunity to encourage these women, to help foster relationships between the group of wives and to equip them with teaching and ministry ideas that they can use in their churches.
|Niki watches as the ladies draw a picture illustrating the pastor's wife.|
|We had one afternoon with both pastors and wives. Pastor Bill and Marthaline are from the Careysburg church.|
|Working on a class assignment.|