From Yekepa to Ganta: Stop #2

The (rough) City of Ganta

With the familiarity of Yekepa behind us, we traveled over two hours to the admittedly rough town of Ganta. Ganta seems to be one of those sorts of places where you feel slightly uncomfortable during the day, and once night falls, you should probably just stay indoors. We arrived at our hotel, the Alvino, and were met by Rachel, who informed us that “this was her palace.” We shall use that term loosely from here on out. The ‘palace’ was supposed to have 20 rooms reserved for us, all with working a/c, but due to “construction” (or so Rachel says) they only had 14 available, and only about half those had working a/c. The rooms themselves weren’t too bad, although some in our party did take issue with having to take a “bucket” shower (a bucket shower is when there is a large bucket, filled with water, sitting in the shower basin, and you take a smaller bucket, scoop the water out, and pour on to yourself… voila! a shower!). Most rooms even had one or two fans, which was great when they actually had the power turned on.

"Rachel's Palace," a.k.a. Alvino Hotel in Ganta, Liberia

The BUCKET Shower

Because we had more people then they had rooms, we had to send several of the dirt-bike squad guys back to Yekepa to stay at ABC. Continue reading

At ABC University in Yekepa, Liberia

(These blog posts are all after the fact, considering we basically ran out of internet after our first few days in Liberia. I had hoped to keep everyone up to date AS WE WERE GOING, but alas, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men…)

Yekepa, Liberia

AFRICAN BIBLE COLLEGE in YEKEPA, LIBERIA

For many people in our group, I’ll bet that staying on the ABC campus was one of the highlights of our trip. It was pretty incredible to witness what God has done (and is doing) to restore their campus after laying in ruins for 15 years of civil war. We were told that when they first returned to the campus, after the war ended, the jungle had grown up so tall that they couldn’t see the buildings from the road. And whatever “buildings” WERE left, were completely destroyed and stripped of everything.

But, thanks to the Grace of God, and the generosity of others (primarily Samaritan’s Purse and The Grove), ABC in Liberia has, in crazy-fast fashion, rebuilt and restored ALL the original buildings AND are building several brand new facilities!

The New Chapel at ABC

The new Communications Building being built at ABC

However, as awesome as the campus is, and all the work that’s gone in to rebuilding it, what really stood out to us was… Continue reading

How About Today, eh?

Highlights from the various teams from Thursday:

Leadership: Early this morning, Palmer and the Leadership Team went to a town called Karnpleh to encourage and minister to over 50 pastors and church leaders from the surrounding villages. It was a great time of ministering to the saints and helping to equip them to stay strong and stay focused.

Dirt Bike Squad: Leaving early this morning, the DBS made it to 3 different villages today with deliveries of shoes. They came back with incredible stories of being welcomed like dignitaries. The local people would sing and dance for them, and present them with gifts of food. The DBS guide (a student from ABC) would go in to the villages and go home by home to gather everyone, and tell them what we were doing. There is also rumor of a couple spills on the bikes (one even caught on camera, but that hasn’t been released to the public yet), but everyone is just fine. This new, crazy hair-brained idea for a ministry is turning out to be Continue reading

The Calm before The Storm

Rain? Check.
Heat? Check.
Humidity? Double check.
Bugs? Check.
Potential for deadly snakes? Check.
Good food? Check.
Amazing scenery? Double check.
Smiles and laughter? Check and Check.
Incredible people with unbelievable stories? You got it.. check and check.

These are but a few of the experiences our Liberia team has engaged with these past two days while on the campus of Africa Bible College. Let me update you on what the teams have been up to: Continue reading

The Journey TO Liberia

(Edit: originally written last night, Tuesday night, but the Internet never came back to life, so I’m uploading this morning)

Well, after over 50 hours of travel (28 in the air, the rest in airports and layover cities) our team of 30 has arrived in Monrovia, Liberia. For the most part, all travel was smooth and enjoyable… Okay, at least smooth… Here’s a few highlights from our traveling escapades:

- we managed to check almost 60 pieces of luggage, all between 49.5 and 50.5 lbs. The over/under for how many would get lost was 3.5 and most people were taking the over (more on that in a bit). Sidenote: shout out to Michael Effinger for overseeing this endeavor

- on our first flight, to D.C., the flight attendant came on the loud speaker and announced, “we’d like to welcome our special guest flight attendant this morning, Mr. Dustin Nelson!” Who knew he had such skills in rolling a cart and handing out beverages??

- no matter what seat is originally assigned to Shane Jones, he never ACTUALLY ends up there. One flight saw him switch six different times before he found a seat to his liking.
Continue reading