On Thursday the 8th. of January I was in the kitchen at the Bissetts’ house when by chance or grace of God I met an American man by the unusual name of David. We clicked immediately. The Lord revealed to me that He dwelled inside of this man and within minutes we were speaking at length of the glory of the great Lord. This conversation continued until late in the night, culminating with much prayer and singing on the roof of the second guest house.

David Ward was on his way to Liberia to work in an orphan-age. He is with a group called Youth With a Mission. As I was listening to his detailed account of the situation in Mon-rovia and surrounding area, I knew I was to go there also. However I bit my tongue and controlled my anticipation, as I had not yet received an invitation. David was telling me that he was flying out of Abidjan in two days, the cost of his ticket being US$ 500. That is out of our budget, so I casually inquired if it were feasible to travel by land. He answered with a question: Will you come to Liberia? He was aston-ished that I would even consider it. He bashfully revealed that as I was praying, he had been asking God to send me with him. David also said that he had been praying for a kin-dred spirit to accompany him for the last few months! Having already departed from U.S.A., he was placing his trust in God to provide.

Well, I could no longer contain my emotion. I overflowed with compassion for those who suffer unjustly. I told David that I have been praying and fasting since well before we were married for a purpose in Africa: a job, something that I can do.

Tentative plans were quickly discussed. I left however with-out making a commitment, vividly remembering a discussion I had with Bruce Webb on our last Sunday in Leeton. Bruce made a fist with his left hand and covered it with his right hand. With emphasis he pushed this gesture forward, urging Lauren and I to make our decisions together. In this way we would be sure not to be pursuing our own will but to be rightly submitted together before God.

I gently inquired of my wife how she would feel about going to Liberia. One must consider that this nation has recently been torn by war. Hence over 600 youngsters live without parents. Lauren has also been longing for an opportunity like this, so we were together. The Lord commands us to honor our mother and father, so the next step was to seek advice. Stephanie has been to Liberia before; both Stephanie and Victor have extensive experience of Africa, so we presented our plans to them and received their blessing.

On Saturday the 10th, I accompanied David to the airport where I was introduced to Ed Koffi, the Liberian minister and his associates. Our intentions were presented to him, and he also was in favor, welcoming me warmly. I had looked at a map of the roads between Abidjan and Monrovia, so I asked how difficult he considered the journey would be.

From Abidjan the best route was to travel inland via Man. This leg of the journey presented no difficulty, but once we cross the border we could expect to be regularly stopped by police. The local tactic is to request to see your passport then demand money if you want it back! He also warned me that the boys (any male under 25) would also hassle for money. His advice was to give only a very small amount.

The local public transport is the same as in Cote d’Ivoire, but the roads are much worse and the price is about 5 times as expensive. It was going to cost Lauren and I at least US$ 150, not including extortion money. The situation looked a little grim. They inquired about our finances. I said we are not broke, but considering how far away from home we are and how long we have before our journey ends, we don’t have a lot to spare at that moment. David casually placed US$ 400 in my hand; no one else noticed. I thanked him but he was already busy talking to Ed. Praise God. We are flying to Monrovia one way. Coming back, they will drive us to the border.

The Lord says cast your bread upon the water and in many days it will return unto you. Gods word never fails! If we could we would like to ask you to pray for us. David has brought a laptop computer from the States. Lauren will be setting up a database with all the records at the orphanage and conducting computer classes for the staff. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but let’s just trust that the Lord will pro-vide. He has a habit of answering prayers thousand fold!