The last two weeks here in Monrovia have proved to be most fruitful, bearing fruit that lasts. Initially I was amazed, disgusted and frustrated no end with these Liberians who are our hosts. It appears to me that everyone is having a fine ol’ time living it up on the US$15,000 per month that they receive in foreign aid. Many people sit around and do nothing all day yet they poo right out the front gate on the beach. Their children walk through broken glass, effluent and household waste on the way to school!

The leader and so called “Visionary” Ed Kofi works tirelessly at raising more and more money. Every single night he and his evangelistic team head out with a band to “preaching points” near and far. The first night I was here I was asked to preach so I spoke on the secret places in the heart that we can conceal from our fellows but not from Him. We danced vigorously and sang songs to the Lord. I had the uneasy feeling that I was Ed’s white man, part of the show.

At every one of these meeting Ed explains how expensive it is to put fuel in his 5Hp.generator, he asks them if they have enjoyed the music, he says “praise the Lord”, everyone says “amen”. Ed says “I can’t hear you”, and they respond louder, then louder still. He politely gestures to the box in the center of the clearing in the crowd and to my amazement everyone comes forward and throws money in. The box of-ten fills to the brim and needs to be pressed down. Shortly after this everything is over. (Granted, the single Liberian denomination is a $5 note worth 12 American cents.)

Just a couple of subtleties that I have noticed: when Ed says how much fuel the generator uses, the amount is not always the same. When we were at the home church he used the same generator argument concerning the big generator that runs the whole compound. He also promised renovations. This generator is often forgotten about and is left running all night and after two weeks we have not seen any changes. US$1.50 buys a gallon of gas and that day US$750 was col-lected. There’s plenty of money around.

At school assembly Ed praises up his staff for being strong and doing “the Lord’s work” in these times of financial dif-ficulty. He says “I know that many of you have not been paid for a while but it is a tremendous thing that you are doing for the youth of Liberia.” Then he speaks about the war injustices and suffering and how we have to rebuild a broken Liberia and everyone feels patriotic and resolves to struggle on. Then in front of everyone he pulls out a small wad of money. It’s American money, everyone gasps. Then with a tear in his eye he hands it over to the principal. They all cheer and clap, full of emotion. They love him, their be-nevolent leader.

We are provided for here because we are David Ward’s friends who says he would have a very hard time if he didn’t have some white companionship. Ed and David are very close according to David. David does much advising about practical matters but so far nothing’s changed. Ed wants David to be in the USA raising funds for the great needs here. David says at the moment he would not feel right in his heart about doing this. He can see the way the money is being spent. David Ward has a very big heart; he really means well. Constantly he is giving to people. He was ap-proached by a young boy with a story of having lost his par-ents in the war and having no one and nothing. Abraham asked David if he would help him start a business. So David purchased a box of biscuits from a wholesaler for US$20; he gave half to Abraham and we worked out how much the boy would need to sell them for to make a profit. Half a box would sell for L$500, L$100 being Abraham’s profit. (US$1=L$40.) Abraham was then to return to David, give him L$400, and he would receive the second half of the bis-cuits to return when they were sold. David would get his money back and use it to buy from the wholesalers again. We have not heard from Abraham for
over a week.

The poorest conditions amongst ACFI benefiters are at the orphanages, where at the moment there is no water supply because it is too difficult and expensive to repair the well pump. On top of that, the latrines don’t work and haven’t worked for months. Besides, not many visit the orphanages much and what is out of sight is out of mind. American churches have donated two vehicles, a two wheel drive and a four wheel drive ute (pick-up—-if you’re American). The four wheel drive was sent for the orphanages. It does make supply runs to them but most of the time it is here to be used by anyone who has authority. Once it had the entire soccer team on it. Both of these vehicles are regularly massively over-loaded. The small one can take up to 18 people but its exhaust scrapes over bumps in the road, of which there are many. Both of these utes travel every night to the preaching points.

What you may ask am I doing here? These people give us free food and accommodation, so I feel obliged to earn my keep. We have installed the solar power system that was found in the container, established a fully-equipped office with “clean power” 24 hours a day. Lauren has had some success in training one woman to use the computer. She now is entering orphan files. Maybe these can be of use in the case of overseas adoption?

I dug a large pit and put the rubbish that was strewn all over the beach in it. I have been collecting poo and disposing of it. The adults say thank you, but the children help me. I am attempting to educate them to “Put Poo in Pit”. Today I am painting a sign that says just that. This is not of my benevo-lence, this is my duty because they provide for me.

The ocean is beautiful and clean (most of the poo is on the sand) so we swim every day. The water is very warm com-pared with Australia. I have read a book that I found in the warehouse. It’s the life story of Oswald Chambers. Excep-tional!

My guitar skills are coming along. I am reading “Bruchko” The story of a young American man who was captured by a group of Motilone Indians then proceeded to bring them to the love of Jesus Christ. Some may feel discouragement at our small efforts compared with the spiritual greats that I’m reading about. Does the toe desire to be a foot or the eyelash an eye? The Lord has a marvelous plan for us. I consider it a great privilege just to be known by Him and to know Him. I must be the David Fisher that he has made me to be with all my heart mind and soul for Him. It is all for Him. Knowing Him surpasses all church building projects. To abide in His Love is more important than to improve the living con-ditions of the poor.

Psalm 42:8 “By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me- a prayer to the God of my life. “Oh, how He has blessed me; how He has filled me with joy. As I go to sleep He places his arms around me fills me with love and I yield to him like an infant. God embraces me and I nestle into the love of the Almighty. He puts a beautiful song in me, a prayer, an original. So sweet, so lovely. I am at peace and I rest with my God. In the morning we are still together and I realize I have been singing all night. I awake. I’m alive, so very alive.