GBRANGA, Liberia (BNc) by Ken Hargesheimer — I went to teach organic, no-till farming and bucket-drip irrigation to farmers. I showed them how to make a solar cooker and a village clothes washing machine. The trip was funded by a US government program.
The villages were north of Monrovia over the world’s worst highway. There is no highway maintenance; not even a highway department.
I had emailed three brethren that I would be bringing them Bible DVDs, etc. But now I was four hours away and had no way to locate the brethren in Gbranga.
On Friday, I walked to the outdoor market to buy some bananas. Every evening I had seen four men sitting at a table playing a dice game. I decided to go over and see what it was.
I walked up to the side of a player, and there was a man standing on the other side of him. That man said something to me, and I answered. He said he spoke French, and I said I speak Spanish. I walked around and stood beside him.
He said, “I am a Christian. Are you one?” I said, “Yes and I will go to my room and get you some Bible DVDS.”
I returned and handed the DVDs to him. He said, “I am a preacher of the church of Christ.” I said, “I am a member of the church of Christ.” He grabbed me and we hugged.
The church meets in a location about a 15-minute walk up the highway from my motel. “God moves in mysterious ways …”
There are four congregations in the city. One has 250 members. I worshiped two Sundays with the one near the motel where Sam Chelley preaches.
They use a sweet cracker and flavored drink for communion. I suggested that they buy wine and dilute it with water. I found Lebanese flat-bread in the supermarkets in Monrovia which they can use for communion bread. In fact, I ate a beef sandwich made with flat bread for lunch every day in Monrovia.
I passed out Bible DVDs in Monrovia and Gbranga to individuals on the street, in homes, in businesses, and to churches.
I walked into a large Baptist center two blocks from the office in Monrovia and handed a Bible DVD to the lady at the desk. She placed a DVD player in front of her, and she and a young man were watching it when I left. Liberians are very electronic savvy.
During my living and traveling in 23 countries, I have never seen such interest in the Bible and Bible DVDs. It is unbelievable. I hope and pray that the government aid program will send me back to teach more farmers.
The Booker Washington Institute wants me to return and spend some time there. It is a high school and they have a farm for training students in organics but no-till, permanent beds, and bucket-drip irrigation are new to them. I have asked the government aid program to send me back.
George Tengbeh, of the school of evangelism, was in Monrovia and came to the hotel. I gave him many DVDs, charts, etc., for the school library. I saw the church building when we passed it on the highway. I learned that they have a Christian school, grades 1-12, and teach agriculture.
They have 8.5 acres of land. He wants me to return and set up a model farm for them. This I must do. I can help make the school self-supporting. I will take them seed for new crops, as I did for the four villages I taught in, which will give them additional markets. He called me on Friday asking me to return and help with the farm.
The graduates could become model farmers with model farms. Farmers in Liberia are decades behind other countries I have taught in.
A congregation in Monrovia has purchased 50 acres of land, up north, to begin a school of evangelism. I could set up a profitable farm there. Liberia imports everything.
I pray that some congregation will send me back, so I can take thousands of Bible DVDs and distribute them everywhere, give hundreds of them to all the congregations to distribute in their area. People would see them in my hand and ask for one.
Liberians, in the towns, all have cellphones. Even in the poor villages, one or two people would have a cellphone. When I return, I want to show DVDs in the villages on farming and Bible. The whole village will come.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us