Friday, February 20, 2015
First we are thank-full.. Since American Thanksgiving Sunday, when I stood to say “Thank-you” to New Hope Church for the response of God’s people, I have seen so many answers to prayer. God has not forgotten His promises to His people, even with Ebola.
In our Christmas letter we wrote, “The Ebola Crisis has taught us many things and revealed many of the continued challenges of our work in Liberia.” We have a stronger understanding of the power of prayer and that Faith does overcome Fear. Christ tells us we are part of his flock, so we can be brave because we have a Defender and others who stand with us. (Luke 12:32)
We are aware that Liberia is a country with many needs. Without Jesus Christ to lead and guide us we can easily be overwhelmed by those needs.
James came home from Liberia singing
“You call me out upon the waters, The great unknown, where feet may fail.
And there I find You in the mystery, In oceans deep My faith will stand.
…..Your grace abounds in deepest waters; Your sovereign hand Will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me You’ve never failed and you won’t start now.
I can not imagine the deep oceans that God took James through during his time in Liberia but I know that without a willing heart and obedience to God’s call we can not know the blessings of growing in our faith. The great unknown of our lives is truly in God’s hand.
James arrived in Canada November 29. He was physically and emotionally exhausted and took three weeks of quarantine time to rest. Dec. 18th he joined with the family in Richmond and we had a quiet Christmas.. January 15th he flew back to Liberia. Our last week together was full of friends and family and the surprise decision of our son Joshua to join his Dad in Liberia for two months.
Joshua left for Liberia February 5th, with cake in his bag for his Dad’s 55 birthday. Joshua says it is strange to be in a country where you can’t shake hands or show physical affection. He is helping with our building project at the community center and doing repairs at the house. We are thankful for his willingness and enjoying his enthusiastic approach to all our technical problems.
Noah moved to Chilliwack February 7th. He is staying with our friends, McGladderies and attending Sardis Secondary. We drove to Chilliwack in a rain storm and he just covered his head and went to sleep…I pondered saying goodbye to another one of my children, worried that my tarp would fly off, trying to keep focussed on the road ahead. Life is full of enough practical and present problems that we have to trust God with the big ones like the future and safety of our children. I am so thankful for how He provides for our children and keeps assuring us parents that He loves our children more than we do.
William and I are spending our last couple weeks in Canada. March 5th is our departure back to Liberia. We hope to complete a full term of three years on the field before we come back.
Dr Jerome and Maureen, and their team in Thunder Bay, Fellow EFCCM missionaries, are helping to purchase, pack and put together items for Liberia. We hope a tractor will go, some needed tools for our building project as well as items for our friend Frieda Schmidt’s who runs Trinity Dental Clinic in Liberia.
Our focus this year will be on the pastors and community leaders whom we have been working with. Ebola is still present in Liberia and so this will be a consideration in all we do. We will also be looking toward 2016 and beginning a preschool program in our community. This will work in compliment to our Adult Education and literacy programs.
A great challenge in the country presently is that of families sending their children back to school. Schools have been closed and need repairs, students are wary of returning because they fear Ebola, parents do not have resources to pay school fees are a few of the problems. There is also the ongoing needs of those who have been unemployed by the crisis or had their income reduce because markets went flat. James still has many requests from those in need of food and continues to give rice and supplies out. He is also assisting families with school fees.
Please continue to keep Liberia and the Ngendas in your prayers.
*garner is to gather or collect, and to reap for storage