Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Today I went to New Kru Town for Good Friday service at Julie Redman's friend Mark Nimley's church. It was an awesome experience. But I have to confess, I was fearful traveling into New Kru Town. It's the most poverty I have ever seen. I think my fear is based solely on the unknown. Fear that someone will jump me and rob me. I was confessing that with David Felando and he said he experienced the same thing the first trip here. Every Liberian I have met have been wonderful. So we travel about 45 minutes by taxi to get to new Kru town and when I arrive and get out of the taxi, Gabriella starts crying hysterically. I don't know if it stirred a memory in her or what but she was genuinely afraid. But after about 3 minutes she calmed down. We arrived at church ( a one room church with about 10 rows of pews) at about 11:15. They were having a time of teaching - like sunday school. Service started at noon. Fortunately I'm getting back in the hang of this infant thing, but i brought a couple diapers, toys, and a change of clothes. Gabriella's first poop was in church, when we were all on our knees in prayer. Since everyone's head was bowed, I just changed her right there on the pew. The pews are wooden, but only 2/3 wide as what I'm used to in the states. My butt kept getting numb on them. Julie experienced the same thing. I'm used to having room to slouch. But I was asked and gave the opening prayer/invocation for Good Friday service. So that was a privelege. They were very welcoming at the church. Mark and his mother both attend the church. Church lasted until 2:30.

As I looked outside occasionally during church, i noticed these children ages 6-8 carrying 6 foot timbers. Not sure if it was for play or for a home, but this one little 6 yr old was balancing one on her head and dragging one in her arms. Then I saw another boy come by with just a t-shirt on and another in just his birthday suit. Just outside the church was the well - a busy place as each family was drawing their water. The other thing I noticed is that even though Liberia is a dusty dirty place, these women had on these beautiful white (I mean the whitest white) outfits and hats or headdresses. Most of the ladies in the choir had flip flops or sandals on, but each one’s toe nails were painted. For how poor, they were all dressed so nice. And then when it came time for offering, everyone gave. And as I observed, I probably gave the most monetarily, but like the woman who gave two mites, I know that each of them was probably giving sacrificially out of their need, while I was giving out of my abundance. The only thing different than the states, is it’s quite common to make change out of the offering plate. Do that in the states and people will think your robbing the church.

After church we headed to Rock Hill. The pictures above are the children from Rock Hill. I started by taking a picture of two, and soon the kids came running. They loved having their picture taken. And especially after I showed them the back of the camera and they could see their picture, they all wanted their picture taken. They were all so beautiful. We took a walk with Pastor Charles as we toured the whole town and got to see the new church they are building as well as Pastor Charles house. A couple serving with Spirit Liberia is helping to get a well built there. I just loved the children and could have taken anyone of them home. Rock hill is a very difficult place to see. My worse day is nothing compared to the work they do pounding and mining for rock. The top workers just make pennies per day (20 to 40 cents I think) if they can sell their rocks. I saw a group of teenage girls walk through carrying big boulders on their head and then someone else breaks them into smaller and smaller rocks. I saw another part where they burn tires – so this thick black highly toxic smoke – to heat up the rock to make it easier to break out of the earth. It’s a tough tough life is all I know.

This evening I got a scare. I layed down with Gabriella at 7:30 to put her to bed. She did not want to lay down. Meanwhile I had a headache and so I did want to lay down. I was falling asleep faster than her. I opened my eyes to see her asleep sitting up. So I layed her down next to me and I fell back asleep. I wake up about 10 and she’s gone. Didn’t think anything of it so I go out by Julie and ask her if she has my daughter and she asks “are you serious?” and I said “She’s missing”. So I run back in the bed room and her she was tangled in the mosquito netting asleep on the floor under the bed. Don’t know if she fell out or crawled out or what. But I put her back in bed without waking up and that’s where she is now.

Well there is no electricity on the weekends, so the next update will be on Monday. Have a great Easter!

1 comment:

Brandi said...

Thank you for your update!! Thanks especially for pictures of the sweet children in RockHill. We only have $135 left to go before a well in RockHill!! We are so praying (and really do believe it will happen) that they'll be able to announce it Easter Sunday morning!

Praise Jesus! I'm so glad you guys are there and really enjoying everything Liberia has to offer!