Friday, February 24, 2017
Water tower at various stages: Jan/Feb 2017
Excited for the next phase of construction at Auntie Margaret's ... tower & water tank! So sad that a tree was in the way, but Tom assured me there was no choice but to remove it. Some of the kiddos provided an audience!! Hahaha! As always, deeply grateful for the Jeff City West Rotary Club, MO!!
Oh WOW! Progress at the orphanage today in only 6 hours of digging ... through ROCK!! Way to go Sankoh & crew!! Some are digging while the others get the rebar lined out.
Simon is not happy about losing HIS TREE! He used to sit in the low branches and sing!! He's a rapper, and he can shake a leg (dance) too!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Sankoh and his crew!!! Tom loves these guys!! They have lots of fun on the job site as they work! So dedicated, and always trying to keep the standard high for the safety of the children who will live in the dormitory! We are so thankful for each man and his family!
We had a candlelight lunch on a plywood & cement block table! Prayer, songs of thanksgiving, and fried chicken!! It was a big hit!!
Various Christmas greetings posted on Facebook December 2016
Love these goofy guys!!! What a privilege to serve alongside them in ministry! It's wonderful to have Juine, Tommy & Esther with us for our dinner out as we celebrate all that God has done over the past 6 years. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all our friends and partners around the world! Our very best to you this holiday season! JESUS IS IT! Period!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Sulaiman and his cutie twins, Ibrahim and John! He and wife Gbssay have 5 beautiful children. Since May 2008, we've had 22 teams with 95 individuals serving on one or more, and Sulaiman has been there for every one humbly meeting needs! A true man of integrity with an amazing servant's heart! My HERO!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Abdul Carew and Isaiah & Lucas!! Carew (pronounced Kay-Roo) joined us in July 2013 as daytime security guard 5 to 6 days each week, 12 hour shifts! Tom describes him as, "One of the most loyal and hardest working men he has known IN HIS LIFE!!" The responsibilities he has for keeping the grounds, fueling generators, and a dozen other duties are done with a smile on his precious face! Not one complaint ... EVER! He and his wife Adama have 5 daughters. Since May, he has become best buddies with the 3 Herrera boys! What a dear friend he is to us!! Blessed!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Desmond and Mark! These young men have served with us for years as nighttime security, and occasionally during the day. We have known them to be strong in their faith, dependable, loyal to their families, and such fun to be with! We are so thankful to have them in our lives!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Alicious Vandi! What a blessing Vandi is to us!! His quiet and gentle spirit, his compassion, and his passionate walk with Jesus are an inspiration to everyone who knows him! When he stands to teach God's Word ... what strength, what power flow through this genuinely humble young man!! Vandi has become a son to us, and we could not be more proud of him for his determination to live for Christ!
Posted on Facebook November 30, 2016
I’ve struggled for almost 2 weeks to find the words to express the emotion I felt as Alie led Bible study at the Ministry Center in Waterloo on a recent Saturday! What do I say, or not say, about this young man? In 2012, I don’t believe there were any among the street boys that compared to this rough, tough guy. Getting him to smile was nearly impossible.
In February 2013, Alie was set to attend our first youth camp for 27 boys that made up the beginnings of a sponsorship program that would provide an education for those willing to be placed in caretaker homes for supervision. We had no idea what to expect from the boys, but the potential for questionable behavior during the camp was high. The boys were transported to the facility, and within 2 minutes of stepping out of the van, Alie had walked straight up to the sons of fellow missionaries and threatened them! I knew then that we were in for a long 4 days.
The incident with Alie was not the only thing we had to deal with as a result of that camp. A couple of boys brought drugs into the compound. Two others were in a feud which they settled once they were back in Waterloo, and let’s just say that knives, police and a hospital stay for one were involved. Another boy brought a friend to the facility a few weeks later, they scaled the wall topped with razor wire, stole the bikes of the missionary family, were caught by police and spent 2 days in a jail cell. Nothing about working with street boys has been easy!
I can’t say that I had seen much change in Alie as he prepared for his second youth camp in February 2014. The thick shell that he seemed to have around him simply would not crack even with the love and attention of Charles and the volunteers who were pouring their lives into the boys. One of the team members for this camp was a pastor from Mississippi who works with inter-city gangs. By the third day, Pastor Devon came to me and said that God had spoken to him about one face among the 27 boys. He pointed to Alie and shared that he felt impressed that this young man would someday be a leader among leaders in Sierra Leone!
I’ve held onto these memories over the years. As I sat under Alie’s teaching recently, I believe I saw the fulfillment of the vision for this amazing young man that God gave to Pastor Devon almost 3 years ago! Snapshots of that rough, tough guy came to mind. I remembered the doubts I had as to whether he would even last in the program. I thought of my own life, and of how very aware I am of the absolute meanness that lies in me apart from Christ! How could I ever despair of a life given what Christ can do if only He is given the chance?!?! It was a truly humbling experience for me to be taught God’s Word by Alie!
Join me in praying for Alie that God will have His way in this young life!