Saturday, June 27, 2015

Praying for Freedom!

I've been reading a book called "The Color of Grace" by Bethany Haley Williams. I'm not very far into it, but I have throughly enjoyed it. I'm enjoying it enough that it's getting precious real estate in my carryon bag to Liberia on Monday! That's saying something!

When I read the quote above, I thought about myself. I thought about how I don't want to go limping or hobbling back to Liberia, but that I want to go back dancing!

I also immediately thought about the people of Liberia. They really are wounded warriors. They are some of the strongest, most resilient people that I have ever met. As a matter of fact, that's one of the things that draws me to the people of Liberia time and time again. I honestly think that if I had to go through what most Liberians have gone through, well....I would have given up a long time ago! I honestly don't think I would have survived the war, and if I did, I don't know how I would survive the aftermath. Top that with poverty, sickness, corruption and oppression. And then throw in Ebola. I don't think I could do it. I'm amazed at how my Liberian friends press on. And they press on with incredible faith and a hope for things yet to come. Liberians belong on the hero list.

Would you join me in praying for the people of Liberia? That they wouldn't walk around as wounded warriors, but that they would rise above their current circumstance and dance! Dancing and freedom is wonderful, but even more so, I want to see them dancing in the freedom that only comes from Christ! And I feel called to play a tiny role in helping people find that freedom through Biblical counseling. 

I will be using the Restoring Your Heart (RYH) curriculum to facilitate RYH groups. These groups will be powerful times to share life and talk about past hurt and trauma. Pray for healing and freedom for the women that will participate in the RYH groups. I will also be using some materials from The American Bible Society (ABS) called "Healing the Wounds of Trauma." This will be used with both adults and children. Would you also pray about what counseling will look like in Liberia? 

During these next 10 weeks, I will be 'testing' both curriculums. I have been translating the RYH curriculum into Liberian English, so I will be sitting down with Liberians to get their feedback on the current draft. This material is much more in-depth, so I will also be figuring out how much of the material Liberians grasp. I will use the ABS books to work with children, and will use the adult book as "lighter material" and then will direct people to RYH groups afterwards. Or at least this is all my initial plan.

So you can also be praying for God's wisdom, guidance and discernment for really planning and implementing the counseling aspect of The Green House. I truly believe in the healing power of both curriculums! RYH helped me in my own journey, and I have supported, watched and facilitated others through their own healing journeys. I believe that things like forgiveness and healing are desperately needed in Liberia, and that by walking others through the process of forgiveness, freedom and dancing will come!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Liberia Update--Leaving June 29th!

It's been a very long time! And things are getting very exciting around here. So I'm breaking the silence. I'm leaving for Liberia one week from tomorrow!!!!! It's been a long time coming. There's so much to say and do and plan for and pray for. But I'll begin with a short update and some prayer requests. Thank you all for being a part of the journey! Greater things have yet to come!

A Long Overdue Update

Dear Friend,

It is with gratitude and great excitement that I write you today. After being in the States for 14 months because of the Ebola outbreak, I am finally returning to Liberia! I am leaving for Liberia on Monday, June 29th. I will be in Liberia for 10 weeks, and will return to the States on September 9th.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support during this difficult time of waiting. God has truly answered our prayers--Liberia is Ebola free!

I look forward to sharing the next chapter with you. The task feels overwhelming, but I am so excited to get back to Liberia among my neighbors and friends. And I truly believe that God has amazing things in store for the people of Cooper Beach!

Please connect on social media to stay the most up-to-date while I'm in Liberia. I will be posting photos, prayer requests and giving you glimpses of what life in Liberia is really like.

More than anything, I need your prayers! You will find specific prayer requests below. Thank you for your prayers, love, financial support and encouragement!

With gratitude,

How You Can Pray

Join us in praying for BIG things!

  • Travel logistics: I'm flying standby to Brussels. My mom (coming with me for one week) is flying standby all the way to Monrovia. Pray for empty seats!- Easy adjustment to all things Liberia--jet lag, heat, rain, water, food, chaos, etc.
  •  Good health: Rainy season means malaria season...and I don't want to go there agin!
  • Transportation: I will be at the mercy of taxis, motorbikes, friends and the kindness of strangers. This is not ideal, especially during rainy season. Pray for provision for daily needs, but also provision for the long-term need of having my own vehicle.
  •  Leaving: I've been home for more than a year. I've been enjoying my family. I've been comfortable. Now I'm leaving 3 nephews behind. It's going to be harder than usual.
  • Loneliness: That's my biggest fear...being in Liberia by myself. Pray that God would provide community, friends and people to connect with. I have many Liberian friends, but most of my American friends are no longer in Liberia, or have left for rainy season. Sometimes you just want to speak English and talk about things you miss from home!
  • Safety and Protection: Physical safety. Protection against the enemy.