Reflections on Global Evangelism: Mission Trip to Liberia '05

March 25 2009 / ShareHim in Liberia, May. 20 - Jun. 4 '05 #354
by Chapman Reeves

Personal Testimony of Chapman Reeves.

Why would five young people spend three week of spring break working in a hot, dusty, rainy, sometimes difficult place? The answer is the love of Christ which compels us!

Expectations – Things we don’t consider. As we began preparations for the mission trip to Liberia, I had been wondering when and how I would be able to share my testimony.
I was truly blessed while in Liberia as a boy growing up and now I would be going back to a land where there is no electricity, no running water, unsafe roads, coupled with the fact that it was the rainy season.

As a team traveling to Liberia, the challenges began with the major sponsors of this evangelistic series withdrawing their support. Preparation had been made for these meetings months in advance and the people were excited to hear that there would be evangelists coming from America to share the gospel with them.

Satan was so determined to prevent these meetings from happening, but God had counted his resources and knew that He wouldn’t be found wanting. The State Department had given a Travel Warning Advisory about traveling to Liberia; hence, the sponsors decided that it was unsafe. But all praise to God as the Global Evangelism Director Dave Dobias and I arrived safely in Liberia. With one evangelist already in the country, Satan would once more try to stop these meeting from being held. We later found out that the other three evangelists would not be making it in time due to a delay in their flight schedule.

We began praying that the Lord would truly bless despite the delays; we had orientation as scheduled and by God’s grace, were able to work out a schedule suitable for the three of us to alternate in speaking.

We had five sites: I took the two closest. Elder Dobias, always prepared to share the blessings of God with the saints, was sent to the furthest site, and Pastor Gbolo was sent to the other two sites. It was amazing as most people at the five sites waited patiently as we made it from one location to another. God blessed the start of these meetings as we began to share the wonderful news about Jesus. The love of Christ truly compelled us to share in a marvelous way. Many hearts were touched as our first appeals began bearing fruits.

The remaining evangelists were due to get to Liberia at 6:55 p.m. that first weekend. Their arrival at the Roberts International Airport was a certain kind of sacrifice in and of itself (at least for the three). Spending the week with only one’s carry-on bag is another kind of sacrifice. Their delay in Brussels had prepared them for the journey to Liberia as God was about to use them to do great things. Cold showers and long days of early rising and hard work would add to their story.

But the story is not one of complaining and misery, but of love and rejoicing. The five sites were now truly blessed with great and powerful evangelists filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We shared the message that “Jesus is coming again.” At each site was a growing church, new awareness of God’s rich blessings upon them, enjoying life’s little pleasures, fellowship, sharing, missions, health seminars, helping, little kids, singing, gifts, and so on. The women in Liberia were so excited to see two young women evangelists they began to shout “Women for Jesus, Lift Him Up.”

The Global Evangelism Liberia 2005 team was special in several ways. We had three first-timers! We had two sons of Liberia. We visited and helped students at the Witherspoon Elementary School in the Stephen Tolbert Estate which gave us a taste of the culture.

The primary objective for the trip was spreading the gospel and reaching Liberia for Christ. On our visit to the Witherspoon Elementary School, the kids performed a drama with narration in native attire. As always, the children were special, the needs great, and we returned with a renewed commitment that the gospel must go into the entire world.

All of us would like the gospel to go forward into the entire world more rapidly, but God’s plan is still the only plan--the gospel goes forth one person at a time! To whom can you take the gospel this week? Words! Words are unique, powerful. Some words bring one to immediate attention. Words alarm, amuse, slap in the face.

Words may bring reflection, introspection. The trip to Liberia accentuated words to all of us who went and they were “Jesus Saves.” Truly we saw and experienced that God’s word was not going to return to him void on the ear when one hears it. I have read the gospel shared in magazines, even heard it on TV, but its full force did not strike me until I heard it repeatedly in my everyday speech.

Since my arrival back to the States two months ago, I have seen on every hand in Liberia evidence of the tragedy of war. Yet the leading of God in winning souls for His kingdom is evident there. Despite the severity of the physical loss, life hurries on in hopes of the future. New lives are being Born Again because of the power of God. People are suffering the tragic loss of most, if not all, of their material possessions. People are forever touched by the loss of family and friends. People lives were now changed by the power of God due to us being there. Liberia is filled with people who have experienced tragic losses that may require years for recovery. As we spent the last week in Liberia, one young man by the name of Gabriel who was living in our compound was touched repeatedly.

Through the power of God, and with the leading of the Holy Spirit, Gabriel was so moved that despite his past, he decided to give God a chance and start a new beginning.
No greater loss can be suffered than to live without Christ. No greater tragedy can occur, no hopelessness looms larger. In Liberia, on every hand, were people touched by war but they had come to realize that Jesus makes a difference in the circumstances of life.

Knowing full well that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, they discovered that Jesus offers love, joy, peace and happiness. The good news of the gospel is that in Christ, we are all one! In Christ Jesus is our help, healing and hope. Will you go forth with that message of hope?

“Go and make disciples, baptizing them...and teaching them . . . and I will always be with you.” My friends, the real treasures in Heaven will be people (you and me). How do you store up treasures in Heaven? It’s not something that you can upload or download. It’s people being prepared for the kingdom of God. Let us not ONLY get ourselves ready but help others to be ready before Jesus comes.

Can You See What I See? Regardless of how many times one makes the journey, a trip to Liberia is a study in contrasts -- internal contrasts as a gracious, traditional people meet a rapidly changing world -- contrasts as third world poverty meets a world of abundance. Everywhere one looks are contrasts. I believe few sponsors realize the immeasurable good they are doing unless they have personally visited Liberia. The Witherspoon
Elementary School gives the students in Liberia an opportunity, and also gives us an opportunity to share Jesus’ presence in the lives of people desperately in need of His Spirit and Love.

I especially appreciated the observation of one of the student evangelists who traveled with us. “People in Liberia are different than Americans. In America we are always looking up at those above us on the economic ladder wishing we had more and wondering why we are not so blessed. In Liberia people look around at the countless neighbors who have so little, and are happy to have what they have as a blessing from God.”

Despite the challenges many people face, lives are being touched daily and works which are bearing precious fruit for the Savior and for eternity are evident in Liberia.

Our last day! Wow! Our last day was really hard. We tried not to get attached, but you can’t spend three weeks loving the people of Liberia and their wonderful kids and not get attached! We spent all afternoon at the Paynesville SDA Church because almost all of us felt called to go back for the final message. Paynesville, being the largest church, made it unique for all five sites to combine and meet there. It rained and poured but the people waited patiently as we all came together from all five sites to celebrate the climax of the “Jesus is the Answer Crusade” and to share the message of HEAVEN.

When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be. Naomi and I shared our personal testimonies about how the Lord worked in our lives to get us to be a part of the meetings, and the other three - James, Andy and Sireasa - shared the message of HEAVEN in sermon. Naomi and Sireasa put together a mass choir from the five sites and they all came and sang together. We told them that when we got there that that was our last day and they were kind of bummed. We just made sure we had talked to all of them about Christ. This was great because the kids seemed shy at first, but later they really opened up. There were many strangers that came to us wondering why we were visiting Liberia. We got to share with them what church we were from and the reason we were in Liberia and how much the kids meant to us. They seemed really open to the fact that Adventist Christians were there to share the gospel, so I hope that was a seed planted!

This trip has been fantastic! I have a real peace that God’s will was worked there and that we aren’t going to have any regrets! God has moved in Liberia as in time past and I am so glad that I got to be a part of it! A special thanks to my Burnt Mills Church family who were constantly in prayer for me and our team while in Liberia. I have two trips planned in October and November for a Global Evangelism Trip to Nigeria and to Romania. Please continue to pray for these meeting that the Lord of the Harvest will gather souls to be won for His kingdom.
Can we improve this page?  Yes  No