May 2018

Dry Season is Coming to an End

Rainy Season Is Here

Project Update


Greeting from the Jess'

First off we want to say thank you all for your support. Both your monetary support and emotional/prayer support is what keeps us doing what we do! So again, thank you so so much! We are blessed by your wisdom and drive for Liberia. We pray that God will continue to bless you as you bless others and that His presence and peace will never leave you.
-With much love
     Jess & Jess

Personal Update

- Jessica has been battling some stomach issues for some weeks now. She has gone a while now with no issues but from past experience it can be a reoccurring thing. Please pray that this will be the end of it completely!

- Jesse has been doing a great job balancing ministry, business, family, friends, being a husband, and life in general. Would you pray for continued strength and endurance as rainy season continues.

- Our wonderful friend Brittany has traveled back to the states to prepare and deliver her baby. Her Husband, Jeremy, will remain in Liberia a little longer to help balance the work for their colleagues here. Would you pray for a safe delivery of their baby boy. Also pray for them as they will be separated and that can be an uncomfortable, stressful, and exciting time in anticipation for baby to come.

- We got a puppy! We named her Eve! The community refer to her as "the first lady."

- Both of us have committed to help start a boys and girls club in Kabeh's school, Kids of Peace. We hope to target issues that aren't often talked about in the normal Liberian family including: puberty, sex, who we are in Christ, and other personal struggles like corruption, drug use, and drinking, etc. Would you pray for openness and the opportunity to impact their friends outside of class.

We both will be traveling to the states in August 26- September 26.
Jess will be visiting her sister who will be delivering her first child. (A baby girl!) Jesse has to renew his electrical license by attending a couple of classes, otherwise he would completely lose it. We will carry back machine spare parts and tools that are necessary for our BAM (business as mission.) We do not plan on traveling quite as much as we have in the past once reaching the US. It's very hectic on both of us. We want to see all of you but we also understand that for our mental health and stress level need to be managed above all else. If you would like to travel to us we would love that! We ask that you would contact us this trip if you would like to visit with us in person. It can feel stressful for us to try and contact every single person that may want to see us, we never want to offend anyone by forgetting to meet them. So it would be a great help to us if you would be the one to initiate the conversation. I hope no one takes this the wrong way, if you have questions please feel free to contact us.
Thanks all!
Jesse and his helper Micheal working to wire up the girls dorm at Elwou Orphanage. It was one long sweaty day but to see the girls and women dancing and shouting that they now have light in their rooms and plugs-ins to charge their phones makes it worth it.

Thank you Lord

We recently had our home broken into. Well it's not exactly breaking in when you have a key. We realized that someone has a key to our home and entered while we were gone. We know this because when we returned home from an orphanage Jesse was helping to wire up, we found the door was unlocked. We have never given one of our keys out so we aren't sure how someone came to get a key. Maybe at one time before we were living here or while we were gone it's possible someone made a copy of the key and was waiting for the opportune moment to use it. By God's grace nothing was stolen. We believe the robber was scared away by our landlord who heard the noise of our door open and went to investigate. He didn't see anything suspicious but it must have been enough to scare the person off. Our room was thrown around in a rushed attempt to find some money but to our knowledge nothing is missing. The mattress was up, the closet doors were wide open, drawers ripped out, and suitcases rummaged through. No other room was touched.
We have a big pad lock that we are using in the time being until we can replace the old locks. We are not sure how much this will cost due to the way they secure the locks by welding them to the iron doors. We will also buy another pad lock just in case.
Overall We are in good spirits. It's laughable when you walk with God through situations like this. God has revealed that someone has a key and their desire was to steal money from us while we were away. We thank God that nothing was stolen but also that the person did not have time to lock the door behind him which exposed that he had a key. Also the person did not have time to put things back into order after looking. This way we knew exactly what they were going for. All of that work and nervousness just to end up with nothing. It's laughable really. How great it is to have a God who protects us from every ill-intention and how great it is to have a God who allows us to laugh at our enemies who rise against us.
This is Julie who came with us on our very first trip to Liberia! She is now staying at the Elwou Orphanage and as a missionary using every opportunity to point people to our Father in Heaven.
In this picture she is giving the little girl a malaria test which requires a finger prick.
Wiring the buildings together using the tree as a pole. The little boys staying at the Elwou love to help especially when they get to climb up the tree.
Due to donation money we receive we were able to hire a drilling rig that could drill a proper well at the top of this hill we live on! The well will benefit the Kid's of Peace School, the Bryant family (our landlords), Jesse and I, and the community. Thank you all who donated! They drilled 110 feet through solid rock all the way down! The drillers said we should start a water company because the water is perfect mineral water. Wow! God is good.
Jesse working hard on the Kingdom Earth Builders possible projects next dry season.

Mcgill

We are so excited to see how God has been working in Mcgill. At 20 years old he has understood what it means to be a missionary. It all started after he graduated last year, he wants to become a medical doctor but without any funding he found himself stuck at home with no job. (Which is very common in the youth here.) He became very involved in a young church plant and helped with worship. At that time we were preparing to leave for Grand Bassa County to start construction for a ministry there, Mcgill said he wanted to come along to volunteer and gain some life experience. We agreed and for 2 weeks he lived with us in a small rented house within the village. After the 2 weeks we were preparing to leave to start the next project while the guys on ground would continue to rest of the work there. Mcgill wanted to stay behind and continue on the work he had started there. We got reports of him doing voluntary grass cutting, even though in Liberia there is no free volunteering, but Mcgill did. He attempted to start a Bible study and when no one came he found out that no one was able to tell time very well. So he went to them, he and a friend would go door to door to gather them all together at one house so they could discuss and read together. He hit another road block when he found out no one could read. So on top of him teaching them about the Bible and who God is he was asked to teach them to read. What a weight for a 20 year old. He personally experienced evil spirits and dreams for the first time in his life. (which for those of you who know me know that that's my area!) He was very frightened and called us. We traveled back to Grand Bassa to discuss it with him to encourage and reassure him. He no longer wanted to stay in that same house alone but he did not leave the area. God is really developing his skills and building him up. We are so excited to see how God will continue to use Mcgill in the future.
We have a friend from YWAM here in Liberia who does DTS (discipleship training school) and when we explained it to Mcgill he said he would like to go there for training. The schooling is 3 months and costs $300 USD. Would anyone be willing to sponsor him? The $300 is mostly for feeding and housing but may exclude travel costs. If you would like to help Mcgill send us a message or email. Thanks!

Morris

Morris is a friend of ours who is a teacher at a school near our home. Morris is 24 and this past year was his first year of teaching. He attends our Bible study often and for the first time he came with a prayer request. He asked that we would pray for him as he was struggling with the corrupt ways that schools run here. He was very discouraged and even wanted to never go back to the school again. This school has been failing more and more each year and before he took a job there we warned him it would not be easy but it was the only school hiring at that time. Some of the problems he was seeing were students bribing teachers for grades, improper uniform, bold defiance, unjust punishments, and a student even came to school with a machete threatening to kill his teacher. He feels he has no authority in his classroom and the people in charge do nothing to change the condition in the school. One of the people in charge was seen beating teachers and staff with a switch. It's understandable that one may feel the need to not just walk away but run! We all prayed over Morris and asked that God would use him as the light in a dark place. We prayed for he and his students safety as well. 
Please join us in praying for Morris in this trying time.

Joseph

Joseph has been with us since the beginning of For the Lamb and he's still here working with us. He can run the block machine, meet with potential customers, run after materials, maintain the peace between worker spats, and can be the go between in communication issues. He also goes with us to different schools and business' who ask us for better self-sustainability and fighting against corruption. Joseph speaks Jesse's heart language, hard work and deep critical thinking. These two work so well together and sharpen each other on a daily basis. 

Bible Study

Bible study AH-HA's!
-Speaking out against (See-Sayers or diviners, and witchcraft)
-Speaking out against wrong doing and injustice
-Understanding women's role in the body of Christ and marriage
-What the gospel is
-Understanding other religions

This is one of our favorite parts about Bible study. When someone experiences an AH-HA moment about the Bible or God. It's when you see all the dots connecting. Or you see or realize something new that makes sense. We are blessed to be walking through life with this group!
Please pray for deeper understanding and for God's gentle hand to guide us through trials.
Our Bible study group prayed over a young man from Joseph's village who came into Monrovia for medical treatment. He is not a Christian, he cannot read, and from our understanding his liver is failing which is associated to a drinking problem. I cannot pronounce his name let alone to spell it but he could use your prayers for physical healing and that he would come to know who the true Healer is.

Could you help with these items?

Tools

(Donations or monetary)
We try to purchase what we can in Liberia in order to support the local market, but there are also things that we need from the states
- Masonry Saw
  • We need one or two good masonry saws and blades that we can use for our earth block construction work. This allows us to cut the blocks to the correct dimensions
- Trommel Screen/Sieve
  • In order to be more effective in sifting our dirt for block production we are in need of a trommel screen/sieve. If anyone reading this has ideas to build one or would like to help purchase one that would be wonderful!
- For additional Block production needs you can check out our website https://forthelamb-liberia.org/specific-needs
-
 

Other

-Reading / typing apps
     -Most of our Bible study group have a need to learn to type well. We have one computer they could use but we are looking for software or an app that we could download that could be a good guide. Reading and phonics are lacking so much in Liberia, everyone wants to be able to read better and understand clearly. Again any software/material/app that lays out a guide would be very useful!
-Teaching material
     -We have schools and teachers that are willing and open to try new things and different methods of teaching but their are little to no resources here. Worksheets, very very simple books, simple games, or puzzles, anything that can help a teacher to help his/her students to better understand.
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March 2018

https://mailchi.mp/e0368d5d3af8/jessicas-thoughts

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May 2017

Rainy Season in Liberia

A Fruitful Season

The team has successfully produced over thirty thousand quality compressed earth blocks in two counties of Liberia. Now they are entering in to a season of preparation for the beginning of the dry season in January 2018. The Lord is continuing to open doors and make new connections to establish the role of the 4TL family in Liberia. The rainy season has begun so the work is shifting from block production and construction to our consulting ministry where we are working directly with Liberian organizations with a vision and passion from God. We are working with them to help find new ways for them to thrive in their own spheres of influence without the dependence on foreign financial support so that they can be more effective in their own ministries.

Mixing dirt with shovels at Fairshake Village Campus in Grand Bassa County, Liberia.
Talking on the radio to encourage locals to get involved with the Fairshake Village project by giving whatever they can to the project. Most people expect to be benefited but we are encouraging volunteerism and community.

 

Testing soil in Bellumu, Bong County, to find the perfect dirt for quality compressed earth blocks for the construction of a church and much more at the City of Refuge Childrens Home and Hidden Eye College
Above is a visit to the Beulah Retreat and Development center in Bomi County, Liberia, to do the profiling for the foundation on the First wing of Beulah Mission School. The children are learning so much as we were able to spend time with them reciting bible verses and ABCs. The top picture is the beginnings of the sustainability agriculture projects for Beulah Retreat and Devopment center. Cafmacp is praying for financial support to finish the construction of the first school wing of the school where they have the foundation 90% completed and earthblocks already produced.
Some pictures with our boys at the Hearth of Grace School Campus in our community. These boys live and work on the campus in exchange for a full school scholarship to graduate high school. They are Learning leadership skills and how to serve with a grateful heart. These gentlemen are the reason we see hope for Liberia's future.
Working with Heart of Grace administration to help them operate more effectively and become more sustainable on a local level so they can continue to provide a quality, christ-centered education to the community of City View.
This is our visit to Zorzor, Lofa County where we assisted Help Encourage Liberia's Little Ones (HELLO LIBERIA) with a solar installation to help them bring in a little income through the sale of cold water. Winner is a young chimp who's parents were killed at a young age. He was our helper and also our entertainment for the stay in Zorzor.

Prayer Requests

  • Please Pray for the continued good health of the team in Liberia. So far there have been no cases of Malaria this year.

  • Please pray for safety as the team continues to travel long distances during rainy season to work with the various organizations and to prepare for production season next year.

  • Pray for God's hand on the board of directors as they continue to follow the Lords lead for the direction of 4TL

  • Pray for peoples hearts to be moved to support 4TL financially and become continued partners of the empowerment projects we are doing in Liberia.

2017 Financial Needs

The following is a list of immediate needs for our team. We are praying for the Lords provision and the Lords timing:

  1. Funding for a container to be sent with the new Block machine and parts: $8,000
  2. Tickets and transportation for our founders, Jesse and Jessica to return to the states this fall to spend time with family and travel in the states to do updates and vision casting. $5,000
  3. Ongoing support from individuals/families/churches/businesses for the ongoing operation of 4TL
If the Lord is leading you to join the team and support 4TL with your finances please click on the donate tab below or visit our website to learn more.

 
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February 2017

February Update

New Year, New Horizons

The year 2017 started off with a bang! On January 3 we began the block  production process in Bomi county for the Beulah Mission School operated by Christian Alliance for Missions and Church Planting(CAFMACP). This was a milestone project as it is the first blocks produced by this revolutionary machine in all of Liberia. By God's Grace we were able to produce a total of 15,000 quality compressed earth blocks for the construction of the first wing of the school. The vision for the Beulah Mission School is to be a beacon of light to the residents of Senjeh District, Bomi County, and beyond with Christ Centered Education and hope for the future of Liberia through raising up its little ones in the ways of the Lord. The 4TL team is so blessed to be able to play a part in this project. During our 5 week stay in the Bomi area we were able to connect with the workers and the surrounding communities in a way that we never really thought was possible. Through the physical work, God opened doors and broke down barriers for relationship and discipleship to be possible. Praise God!

Due to the machine sitting for 3 years in country before being used, we faced a few very serious rust and corrosion problems. Thanks to our team in the states and to Dwell Earth, we were able to receive replacement parts in no time to get the production back up and running. On the right is the original compression pin (generation 1). On the left is the new 5th generation laser clad compression pin sent to us by Dwell Earth. Praise God for His many connections and His provision.

New Opportunities

God continues to amaze us with the many dots He is still connecting. Ever since hearing about the donation of the machine, our heart has been to share it with as many people, organizations, communities as we possibly could and multiply what God has given us. Without even reaching out at all, we were contacted by Ken and Carolyn Vogel who are building the Fairshake Village in Grand Bassa County, Liberia. Ken had known about the Dwell Earth Machine long before even I knew about it and was inquiring about the possibility of using it for their pastor training and community center project. After praying and seeking the Lords direction, we knew that this was definitely the work of the Holy Spirit to direct us to our next life giving construction project. So we said yes to God and made our way on Sunday, February 26th, to Compound 3, Grand Bassa County, Liberia. The Month of March will be another production phase where we will live and work on site with the locals. We ask that you will be in prayer for God to open even more doors and tear down even more walls as He did in Bomi so that we can love and disciple these men and women as we work alongside them to build strong Christ Centered foundations and provide opportunities and encouragement for relationships with Christ. Click here to view the latest video on the machine to Fairshake Village.
We live near the red dot in Monrovia. We are currently working in Grand Bassa County, the purple county. The project site is about a 50 minute motorbike ride from Buchanan.

Prayer Requests

  • Overall for the machine to work efficiently and properly
  • For our team and the workers safety, strength, acceptance, and wisdom.
  • Open doors to share the love of Jesus to the workers and community.

Praises

  • Safe travels to Compound 3 for J&J and the machine.
  • Down time spent with our missionary friends living in Buchanan.
  • The Fairshake Village Founders are great people and have taken great care of us while we are staying with them in their house.

If you'd like to stay updated on For the Lamb's adventures check out our Facebook page, Youtube Channel, and Instagram by clicking the icons below. Thank you for your support!
Below are some pictures of our daily surroundings, enjoy!

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NOVEMBER UPDATE 2016

Merry Christmas!

Looking Back

2016

We greet you all in the name of Jesus and would to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful belated Thanksgiving and celebrate with you during this Christmas and New Years season. This December the 3rd marks our 1-year anniversary of selling our belongings and moving to Liberia to share the love of our Father God with its people. It is a humbling experience to see how far we’ve come in one year by the Grace of God.
Just to list a few milestones for 4TL: In February we officially moved into our first apartment in Liberia and also our first apartment as a married couple; We connected with Change Agent Network which is now a major partner of ours here in Liberia; March-May we toured the Midwest, East Coast, and the South with our beloved friend and partner, David Snylder, Executive Director of Christian Alliance for Missions and Church Planting (CAFMACP) to introduce him to our partners, help raise funding for the construction of CAFMACP’s school in Bomi County, and to train with the Dwell Earth Earthblox Machine; in June our first board member, Jeff Sweeney came to Liberia for a whole month to see and experience the wonderful people here and to catch the vision and meet key partners for the future; in June we also, by God’s grace, were able to take ownership of the one and only Earthblox machine in Liberia thanks to Dwell Earth, Ricks Institute, and Bricks for Ricks foundation for the amazing donation; in August we signed our official partnership contract with CAFMACP; and in September and October we were able to assist CAFMACP in the construction of their temporary school structure that is now operational and beginning to provide a Christ-Centered education to 40 children in the surrounding area while CAFMACP raises funds to finish the main structure with plans of accommodating for 1,000 students. We can honestly look back over this year and say with confidence that God is making the impossible possible. That the Holy Spirit is ahead of us preparing the way for the impact He has planned for us to make. None of this would have happened without the obedience of those that heard the tug of the Holy Spirit to join the team with their finances and with their time, possessions, and prayers. We want to say thank you for everything you do to make our impact successful in Liberia.
 
November Update
 
This last month we were invited to be guest speakers at the fifth anniversary convention of the Christ New-Breed Church which was started under the umbrella of Change Agent Network and is now a major part of the spiritual empowerment in each of its 3 main schools. Jesse had the chance to speak in a breakout session to about 100 teens and also was the guest speaker for the Christ New Breed Church official business session. We were also invited to be part of the opening ceremony and fundraiser for an organization called Christ Community Women. Their mission is empowerment of women in Liberia to make a positive change in the country. Overall the month of November has been a planning and formation month, where Jesse and Jessica have been meeting with key beneficiaries of the 4TL sustainability initiatives through micro-loans, training, and advisory relationships.

 
Progress on the Beulah School
 
We are currently in the process of beginning to produce the earth blocks for the Beulah Mission School operated by CAFMACP. Originally, funds raised in the States this spring were going to construct the first permanent wing of the Beulah Mission School. Due to the rainy season, construction of the blocks and the school were put on hold until the rain subsided. After hearing the desperate plea of the villages surrounding the Beulah land to start the school this year, CAFMACP and 4TL prayerfully decided to meet the immediate need by constructing a temporary school building that accommodates up to 80 children.
This has allowed the school to operate while the construction on the permanent building is taking place. The remaining funds are dedicated to producing enough earth blocks for the entire K1-12 school building. Currently there are 4 enthusiastic teachers and 1 dedicated school administrator serving children from grades K1-2nd grade. The BMS is the first experience of school for a majority of the students now attending. CAFMACP projects that the temporary school will be at full capacity by next semester. Words and pictures cannot fully depict the joy that the students feel now that they have access a proper education.
Prayer Requests
 
Pray for the 4TL leadership, that they would continue to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in 2017.
 
Pray for the health of Jesse and Jessica as their bodies are still adjusting to the environment, different forms of bacteria, allergens, etc. Also pray against malaria.
 
Pray that the Lord would continue to touch and soften the hearts of the Liberians to be open to new ideas and for the continued opportunity to share God’s love.
 
Pray for our partners in Liberia (CAFMACP and CAN) as they serve their people and strive to make a change in their country.
 
Pray for the Beulah Mission School, the kids and the parents who now have access to a Christ-centered education. Also pray against spiritual attack as the villagers are known for their participation in “Bush Culture” (voodoo/demonic practices). Pray with CAFMACP for the means and ability to sustain the school operation locally.
 
Pray for current and future support partners, prayer teams, and volunteers of 4TL.
 

 Our prayer for you is that God would continue to reveal his blessings to you in this Christmas season. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks and gratitude for your involvement with 4TL in 2016. We look forward to all He has planned for the future. Thank you and Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

-Jesse and Jessica Phillips

 
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FALL 2016 NEWSLETTER

Fall 2016 Newsletter
            Hello from the Phillips’ in Liberia! Wow its been an eventful rainy season and we have plenty of stories to share. God is putting things in to place and paving the way for the empowerment of an entire generation. We are so excited and honored to have the opportunity to be a part of His story. As I am writing this I am overwhelmed with a sense of presence and covering from the Lord. We can literally feel the covering of prayer that you are all laying over us as we share the love of Jesus with the people of Liberia. In the last few months we have had the opportunity to partner and work with both Christian Alliance for Missions and Church Planting (CAFMACP) and Change Agent Network (CAN) which are both indigenous Liberian organizations working to impact the lives of their people. We feel that God is fitting us into a place where we can be an asset to organizations like CAFMACP and CAN to help them develop ways to become more sustainable locally which will help them to be more effective as well. As the year is coming to a close in the next few months, we would like to give you a quick update on everything that has been going on.










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CAFMACP & BEULAH

       When we first arrived in Liberia for our first trip in April of 2013, members of the CAFMACP team were the first people waiting for us at the airport. Our relationship with Pauline Scott and Pastors David, Jorgbor, and Willie continued to grow when we (Jessica and Jesse) raised a small amount of money to return in 2014 to help CAFMACP continue their work at the Beulah Retreat and Development Center in Bomi County, Liberia. The Ebola outbreak directly following our trip in 2014 made us desperate to do whatever we could for these people that we loved like family. It was out of that desperation that we felt God leading us to start For the Lamb as a way to be an asset to CAFMACP and other indigenous organizations that truly want to make a change in their own country and reach their own people for Christ.
          The Vision of Beulah came from Pastor David, the Executive Director of CAFMACP. Their vision is to build a hub in the interior where CAFMACP and partners can help to bring development to Liberia by 1.) providing Christ Centered Education to the children of the surrounding communities, 2.) attend to physical and spiritual health of the people by providing a clinic and prayer center, 3.) Build and operate a pastor training center which will teach both theology as well as vocational skills such as carpentry, farming, plumbing, etc. 4.) Provide an agricultural center where food can be raised right on the property for sustainability. We as For the Lamb want to lift CAFMACPs hands at Beulah by helping Beulah in its sustainability initiatives. We are using the Vermeer Dwell Earth block machine to help with low cost construction, and working on planning for  the future agricultural projects. In the last 3 months we have agreed and signed an organizational partner contract, helped in the construction of their temporary school which is providing Christ Centered education for Kindergarten through Second Grade and have started the plans to start the brick making process for the beginning of the permanent Beulah k-12 School.

Change Agent Network



   Change Agent Network is an inspiring organization that was started out of the chaos of civil war from a Liberian Refugee named Eric Wowoh. CAN's mission is education. They are targeting the mental, physical, spiritual, and relational poverty of the country by connecting global partners who give one time high impact donations to construct the schools and then charging a daily low fee payment per child to operate the school as a locally sustainable entity. CAN has built over 20 school across Liberia and operates 4 of them as an organization. Their focus is Christ Centered, Locally Sustainable education. 4TL is partnering with CAN to help them find and implement more ways to make the schools locally sustainable as well as empower the community to do the same through agriculture, renewable energy, micro loan programs, and low cost, sustainable construction with the earth block machine. We (Jesse and Jessica) recently helped CAN by leading a team from Dallas, Texas to their school in Central Liberia called AAA. The teams goal was to set up the electrical wiring for the school that would be powered by the newly donated generator. Jesse is a licensed journeyman electrician so he was so excited to get to work with the two men to energize the school. Jesse's main job was to be the bridge between the American electricians and the local electrician on the ground. Without proper training of the locals, the system can only be fixed by flying someone from the states which is time consuming and extremely costly. Jesse is and will continue to work with the Liberians on the ground to ensure that they understand the system well and can operate and fix it on their own. Jessica was a host for the two women that came along as well. Her job was to be the cultural and language bridge between them and the Liberians as they carried out their ministry. Jessica helped the team to be more effective by helping them to understand culture and also the dos and don'ts of ministry in Liberia. We both look forward to working closely with CAN in the future.

Jess and Jess



       Jessica and I are really finding our place in Liberia. Our apartment that we rented about a week before returning to the states is slowly becoming more and more of a home. Our landlords consider us their children and always do whatever they can to help us out since we are constantly traveling places. Jessica is learning to cook all kinds of Liberian dishes and because we have limited electricity and no refrigeration, we have been forced to cook Liberian dishes and we're loving it! Potato Green soup, Cassava Leaf, Palm Butter, and the list goes on and on. Jessica is becoming a real Liberian cook! We are beginning to make a lot of friends in the community and finding ways to share Jesus through relationship. I had the opportunity to be the guest speaker at the 842 computer school graduation in our community and got a chance to speak about sacrifice, remembering where you came from, and knowing where you're going. There are several people in our community that we are helping to set up some kind of business to have an income and also have a sense of self worth and dignity. We have been extremely busy helping CAFMACP with the Beulah school project and occasionally lending a hand to CAN in some of their projects. We are so excited for the year to come and look forward to seeing 4TL become more involved in sustainable projects throughout Liberia. One huge praise point is that we have finally, after months of praying, been able to purchase our own motorbike which seems like a small thing but here in Liberia it is huge! The road that we live on is very difficult to travel via car or truck, the traffic in the city is always jammed. The motorbike has made all of those problems disappear. What used to take hours can now take a fraction of the time not to mention the savings in fuel. We have been praying for this bike for months now and just haven't had the funds to make it happen. The beginning of this month an anonymous donor give exactly what we needed. We didn't even have to ask. it was an amazing blessing and will definitely make our job a lot easier here in LIB. 
The beginnings of the Beulah Temp School Project. Digging foundations
The framing of the 4 classroom school using local materials and zinc roofing and siding.
The finished school with community members and students posing for the opening ceremony
CAFMACP breakfast meeting with 60 member churches present to hear about all God has been doing at Beulah and discuss how they can all get involved.
Two volunteers from Milestone Electric company in the middle. Jesse on the far right. Momo (Bong county CAN director) right in the center.
Raelyn with Milestone Electric on the left with Theresa Andrews on the right. Prince is helping them with some of their childrens ministry 
Daryl and Chad, the two electricians sent from Milestone Electric in Dallas, with the help of Qoiqoi getting power routed into the Library building of the AAA school.
Mrs. Ireta loving on the kids at AAA Academy and sharing Jesus with them.
We were invited to a friends home for lunch and they taught us how to weave country cloth!
Jesse handing out diplomas after being the guest speaker at the 842 Computer School graduation. He's sporting his new Liberian shirt.
Jesse Sporting his new rain suit for the rainy season! It's definitely a must!
Jessica learning how to slice fresh Sweet Potato greens.
Please be in prayer with us as we begin block production for the Beulah School. There are a lot of unknowns involved with block production and construction. We will continue keep you updated as the project progresses!
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US 2016 UPDATE NEWSLETTER

Update on the Phillips' US visit this Spring
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FEBRUARY 2016 NEWSLETTER

February 2016 Newsletter!
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JANUARY UPDATE

Greetings from Liberia on this warm January morning. It is 8 am and I am sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee watching as the community is waking up. As I sit here and think about all of the things I should be writing, I get to remember how good our God is. Looking back is one of the best ways to keep pressing forward. Its a reminder of all the the things God has brought you through, and it strengthens your faith to move through some of the things you’re worried about in the future. For us, there are many things to be thankful for and we’d like to share a few of those thing with you.

In early January we were able to take a 6 day construction team to the Beulah Center to put the finishing touches on our administrative building and also do some painting on the first Child Rescue Home. It was such a blessing for us to be able to go as it was our first time back to the community since the ebola crisis. Even though the bushhad grown back up around the houses, we were so excited to get back to work. For the first several days, we split into teams.

Some of us worked on hand cutting all the bush around the two houses and the new well pump. The specialized workers got right to it laying the plastic tile in the bedrooms, finishing up the plumbing, and tiling the front porch and kitchen area. Also Pauline, Jessica, and I worked on painting the first Child Rescue Home.

Jessica used some of the mornings and evenings to record a series of interviews introducing Pauline and Pastor David. Keep an eye out for those. once we get them edited you’ll be the first to see them. Day 4 and 5 was spent knocking out the old concrete windows and installing security bars and glass windows. And day 6 we were all finished up and headed back to Monrovia.

We did have some issues. I’m sure your looking at the last paragraph and thinking, “Wow that went smoothly.” wrong. We came across quite a few bumps on the road so to speak. The main problem we had was the old Nissan truck. This truck has served its purpose time and time again. It was donated to CAFMACP in 2008 already in very used condition. It has been used on all of the construction trips to hall materials, sand, water, and people. It has kept us equipped, hydrated, and supplied. But I’m afraid the January trip was its final voyage for CAFMACP as we had several breakdowns and setbacks due to the truck not working properly. Day one was the first encounter when the the truck broke down on the trip to Bomi and turned a 2 hour trip into an 8 hour trip. Then, once the truck was in Bomi, it broke down again to the point that it couldn’t be moved until a mechanic came to fix it. Once fixed we wanted to test drive it and 100 yards down the road, yep you guessed it, it broke down again. In one weeks time we spent at least 500 dollars on this truck and its no better off than before. I was so irritated that i kept telling them we should just burn the truck right there. That was the joke we had was that nobody should let me near the truck or I would burn it. We finally had a mechanic come fix it AGAIN and then drive it back to Monrovia. This left us with only Davids personal minivan to get us up steep, eroded hills and across half broken bridges. There were a few times where we had to get out and walk up the hills because the van couldn’t make it. So yes there were some snags, but we kept pressing on and were able to get a lot of work done! Praise the Lord!

So we got back to Monrovia and immediately started looking for another vehicle. We all agree it was a huge need. Now we had a Toyota land cruiser in our sights, and we already had the money raised between the UK and the US. We went to test drive it, and were very disappointed with the condition. It was difficult for us to pass since a Land Cruiser is a very good vehicle to have for these roads, but it just wasn’t in a good enough condition for us to be able to buy it.  So we looked elsewhere and found a beautiful Toyota Tacoma with about the same asking price. Last Thursday, by the grace of God, we bought CAFMACP a new and improved pickup. It has already served in helping us to haul some materials for the ELWOU orphanage.

ELWOU orphanage is very near to our hearts because it was the first place we stayed and served when we made our maiden voyage here in 2013. We met Eleanor, and her son Jus, and the children and have been in very close contact ever since that trip. Eleanor and Jus run an orphanage and school on a very limited budget. They care for around 20 orphans and run a school for many more children in the community. When we came in 2013 they were making small amounts of bread in a hand made bread oven just to be able to get by. Now, with the help of a church here in Monrovia, and another Missionary friend, They have been able to build a fully enclosed kitchen for their bread making. They now bake 200 pounds of dough into bread on a daily basis and sell to more people every day. The profit is being used to help run the orphanage and also pay a full time teacher and principle for the school. Jus and a friend of his have also started doing an optional bible school on Saturdays for the kids in the community. We were able to go spend a day with them and use the new CAFMACP truck to haul chairs and tables to the school.

We are so excited to get to be a part of what God is doing through ELWOU and it is exactly what we are trying to do as For The Lamb. To empower the people of Africa to reach their own people and to be self sustainable. Such an amazing story that we get to be a part of and will continue to help with. We also got to spend a week with our missionary friend Pauline from Scotland! Pauline lives right in the middle of Monrovia, which for us is a totally different world compared to little New Sharon, IA.

We went to a couple restaurants and spent some time on the beach. It was nice to see the “other side” of LIB (Liberia). The three of us also encountered many uncomfortable situations that we haven’t come across while living with David. We had some close calls with “Car loaders” who are men that help taxi’s and people load the cars full.

They are great when everyone is fighting to get in the taxi’s but they are also known for their sneaky and quick hands. We saw many beggars and people with missing limbs. Also, we heard many interesting comments directed at us that made us walk away a little faster. We were stopped several times by cops who wanted “Cold water“(bribe). Pauline is an experienced “Liberian Woman” who helped us discern between the good and the bad in Monrovia. Overall, it was great spending time with a friend and a good learning experience.

Prayer Request:

Please pray for us in the month of February as there are many partnership opportunities that we will be looking into. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would go ahead of us and prepare the way and put things into place for us to follow.

We are working on getting Pastor David’s visa to come back to the states with us and it is a very complicated and difficult process. Many people get turned down so we just ask that you would be praying for the Lord’s favor on the interview coming up tomorrow. That the interviewer would be a Godly person that would be understanding and that the process would just go smoothly.

Pray for us as we look into renting a home of our own. We want to find a happy medium between being secure but not being secluded. It’s very difficult because we want to be a secure as possible, but we also want to be able to connect with neighbors and the community to share the love of Jesus.

-The Phillips

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas from the Phillips! We had plans to head to the beach at about 10am, but we are on Liberian time so it turned into about 11:30am. We loaded our food and drinks into the mini van, packed ourselves in, and then tried to start the car. Tried. Turns out while Nosh (an adopted son of David and Wilma) was washing the car he ran the battery out by listening to music. haha! So another 30 minutes and we got the battery charged and headed to the beach with only a few other hindrances. 

The beach was amazing! Jesse and I agreed it was probably the nicest place we’ve ever been. We swam, laughed, and of course played Frisbee. We enjoyed some COLD PEPSI, yes, COLD POP!! We had BBQ chicken, french fries, potato salad, and even cake! What a refreshing day it has been! Ma Wilma, Hannah, and Pinkie worked very hard to prepare a very nice meal for us, and it was delicious!

I told Jesse today, “Well, if we are going to be away from family on Christmas at least we’re on a beach!” We shared with David our family traditions for the season and that’s when it really sank in that we (by we I mean mostly me, Jessica) are homesick. Even in the sadness that comes along with the distance we are blessed to be able to have video calls. Our hearts are with our families that are also seeing Christmas a little differently this year. We love you all so much!

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2015 AWAKENING DREAMERS CONFERENCE

Yesterday marked the end of a 3 day national conference held by CAFMACP at the Whole Gospel Church in Monrovia. Before we made the decision to come to Liberia in December, we had no idea this conference was going to happen. The minute we called David and announced our decision, He was very excited to tell us that we would be able to attend this years conference. To be very honest we had no idea at the time what that would entail. Now, after experiencing the Holy Spirit, God confirmed with us that this is right where He wants us.

The theme of the 3 day conference was called Awakening Dreamers. And let me tell you. Many people will remember this conference as a turning point in their walk with God. All of us can say that we have dreams and visions for our life. Most of those dreams that we have are personal dreams, dreams of prosperity and wealth. Maybe dreams of personal success in a career or with your family. But some of those dreams are put there by the creator to instill in you a desire to be a part of His plan. This conference was geared around finding those dreams and drawing them out to be used by God. We had an amazing praise team that led us to a time of worship and helped to create an atmosphere for the Lord to speak. We also had a prayer team that covered this conference with a blanket of prayer several days before, and even during our time together.

On Day 1 Pastor David Snylder, founder and executive director of CAFMACP, opened up the conference by teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit in the entire scope of ministry. In Genesis when God created the earth it was in a state of emptiness and void. The Holy Spirit hovered over it and then God said let there be light…..And there was light! You see, the Holy spirit was present and active in the creation of the world, and in acts we read the the Holy Spirit was also present and active in the creation of the church and is still active today. We should not act unless the Holy Spirit moves. The Holy Spirit takes chaos and brings it into order. He talked about the fact that the church (I’m talking about the entire body of Christ here) is broken. The very thing that God wants to use as an instrument of reconciliation can’t even reconcile itself. We fight and disagree and say things like “my church does this.” And its because the church today is afraid to give full control to the Holy Spirit to bring chaos back into order. He then began to touch on the fact that we must be discontent with the chaos in order for the Holy Spirit to reveal the realities of God. God’s discontent with Adam being alone brought eve. Noah was grieved or discontented with the lifestyle of the people. Lot was vexed or discontented. Paul writes about pressing forward and taking personal responsibility and being discontent with the things of the past. The reality is that the church ( entire body of christ) is dying but the church is not crying. And until we, as a church, cry out to the Lord and say, “Lord! We are not content with the lifestyles of our people. We are not content with the ways the we treat our own brothers and sisters in christ. We desire to follow your lead and bring us back into alignment,” we will continue to face the same issues and tests, and we will get what we need from the Holy Spirit.

We were then very blessed to hear Bishop Nathaniel Zarway teach us about how to have the unction to function. His first passage was Luke 3:21-22. He said only wise men will open there riches to Jesus and follow His purposes and only fools will try to stop it. He talked about prayer and described is as being like the master key in a hotel. Prayer has the capacity to open every door. And it was not designed to make us beggars, but to enhance our relationship with God. He talked about Jesus’ baptism and how while He was being baptized, He prayed and heaven opened up. Prayer opened heaven. He then began to speak against the mindset of Liberian people. He said theres a difference between depending on Above, and depending on abroad. Receiving from abroad is a blessing, but the bible says the best blessing is to GIVE. He spoke about the need to start relying above rather than abroad. I think that is a message for all of us.

The blessings continued on day 2 with Reverend Foday E. Karpeh speaking on The church and the state: God’s plan for the nation. He laid out Gods expectations from the church. 1.) Vision and Calling: Spiritual diet of having Sunday Service, Childrens Programs, Womens Group, etc… is not part of your vision and calling. Daniel brought an entire nation to their knees and he had no church but he had a vision and he had a calling. Where there is vision, there will be provision. 2.) Ministry Context: quality not quantity. if your don’t understand your context, you will wish for things you are not called to do. 3.) Anointing: All throughout the bible kings were anointed for a purpose. We must find what our anointing is and use it. Its like a doctor being a specialist. If you break a bone, you don’t go to the brain specialist. We then heard from another speaker talking about the Fathers and the Sons of vision. When you lack vision, you fall for anything. Esau exchanged his birthright. You always want what others have, and you use everything you have in one day without thought of tomorrow. He spoke of Joseph when Potiphar’s wife pulled his garments off, he ran saying, “you can take my garments, but you can’t take my vision!!!” When he was thrown into jail, he said with his actions, “ You can put me in prison, but you cannot imprison my Dream!” I someone out there can proclaim that now as they struggle through hard times but will not waver because they have a vision from God.

Day 3 was a day of impartation. The Holy Spirit sat in the church like a fog. Pastor David spoke on the power that we have within us. His main points were how we can take the anointing from in you and bring it on to you to do ministry. First you have to know how to pray. Prayer is powerful and the Lord hears our prayers. Second, you must know how to fast. In Exodus, it talks about how some demons take fasting and prayer in order to get out. Next, you must know how to praise and worship God. In 2 kings, their worship brought the anointing. Last you must know the word of God. As we began to praise and worship God, the Holy Spirit freely sat upon us and we were blown away by what He did. As we sang people began to come forward and kneel and press in to hear from the Lord. As David prayed over people they were being slain in the Spirit and many people received anointing and healing. Tongues were spoken, people were freed from their chains, and we gave glory to God!

We finished out the conference with Pauline giving a presentation on the work of CAFMACP and how far we’ve come. We had a projector, but it was overheating and we had difficulty showing all of the pictures but we were able to get the point across. We wrapped everything up with acknowledging the Lord and thanking the many people who sacrificed to put everything together. Pastor Willie, Pastor Jorgbor, The Whole Gospel Church, and many others.

Let me tell you something else. These people know how to give! Every day there was a laundry basket set out in the front of the church. And by the end of every day it was almost half full of cash. These are people that make an average of 1 US dollar a day. But they realize the importance of relying above instead of abroad. Yesterday the Holy Spirit came like a fog. People were slain in the Spirit. And a lot of people included me received an impartation. I’m beginning to understand where we are going to fit in this program. The Holy Spirit is bringing it all to alignment. Hold on to your britches people. We’re going to be going for a ride and I don’t know where God is taking us but I know that He is going to provide. Where there is vision, there is provision.

Keep praying and He will tell you the same thing. Our heavenly Daddy’s hand is moving! All I have to say is hold on! Get in the boat and buckle up. The Holy Spirit is coming like a wave to push us out to sea. It might be a bumpy ride but it’s gonna be a good one. And at the end of the day, God will get the glory.

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A DAY IN LIBERIA

Today I boarded a motorbike with Pinkie, who is David’s niece. Pinkie was the most popular person there due to my white skin. Haha! I followed her through the market as we stopped to get small portions of fresh fish, dry fish, pork, and chicken(wings and feet). We also got potato greens, an onion, and of course peppers. I bought a piece of fabric to wear as a skirt like the Liberian woman. They call it Lappa. We got back to Pastor David’s house and started to prepare potato green soup. I helped the little bit I could (which wasn’t much). It was actually very delicious! I also walked with Pinkie to what they called the “Store” which was a small shipping crate somewhat set up as a convenience store. They had some essential items that are common for cooking in Liberia. Pinkie shared with me that she is 19 and will finish high school next June because schools were closed due to the ebola crisis. She moved in with David and Wilma after her mother passed from high blood pressure. Such a beautiful young woman to learn from and spend time with.

We also ended out the day playing Mexican Train. It was a nice time bonding and laughing together. It was an awesome way to get to know everyone! None of them knew how to play it, but by the time we were finished they were all pros!

Jesse attended a bible study at the church with two men, Sunday and Abraham. During their walk to the church they were able to talk about Jesse’s career in electrical wiring and they were so excited because that’s what they want to learn! They’re both 21 and will be going to school to learn the trade but asked Jesse if he could teach them. They’re going to come to the Beaulah Center and help Jesse do the work. This will give Jesse a chance to not only teach what he knows about electrical, but also have some really good peer relationship and be a spiritual mentor. Jesse is very excited to get to know Sunday and Abraham more.

As you can imagine it will take us quite a while to get adjusted to living in a completely different culture. Everything is different and strange to us. Its uncomfortable. There is so much that we need to learn in this first 3 month period. Right now we are like babies.We cant speak or understand liberian english very well, we are accompanied by someone everywhere we go, Its hard to sleep at night because of the extreme heat and unfamiliar noises, and we don’t know our way around anywhere. We are slowly picking up the Liberian english and should soon be able to speak it a little bit. As we get more comfortable with our surroundings here we will start to adventure a little bit more and be able to talk to more people. Pastor David, Wilma, Hannah, Nosh, and Pinkie have been very welcoming and accommodating. They’ve been helping us to learn slowly and have been very patient with us. Please pray that in our season of learning that the Lord would help us to be like babies and learn by making mistakes. And also that he would continue to be with the Snylder family as they help us to become Liberians.

-Jessica

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END AND BEGINNING

Its finally here! The moment we’ve been longing for. For the last 3 years we have been working towards the vision of living in Liberia and doing ministry with our African brothers and sisters. There really are no words that will come close to describing how we feel at this moment, but I will give it a shot.

Last goodbye to a wonderful home

This last week has been difficult, but exciting. We spent the first part of the week packing up all of our possessions and moving out of our beautiful cabin. I know it sounds very weird but, to be honest, that was one of the most difficult things to let go of for both of us. That little safe haven was built with my own two hands, with the help of so many of our friends and family members. We wrote scripture throughout the building process and prayed over every inch offering it to the Lord and asking for his blessing and protection. We never thought we would have to say goodbye to it after 3 years of beautiful memories and cozy shelter. Our plans were to keep the cabin and be able to have a place to stay when we are home, but about six months ago God asked us to really offer it to Him and say goodbye.

Jessica and her mom, Julie

Throughout this last week we have celebrated with family and rejoiced with board members that Gods promises are being fulfilled. I’m sure that everyone can imagine how hard it is to say goodbye to our families. We were showered with love and support from all sides as we got to sleep over with Jesse’s family on Tuesday night and Jessica’s family on Wednesday night. We were caught off guard with a surprise Christmas party because we won’t be around for Christmas. We got to wear our Santa hats and make sugar cookies and just laugh and enjoy our family. Such an amazing way to go, not mourning but celebrating, tears of happiness because of God’s amazing purposes.

Jesse and Mama Ju

We are sitting in Chicago O’Hareairport waiting for our 13 hour flight to Brussels and then another 8 hour flight down to Monrovia Liberia where our Liberian brother, David, and his daughter, Hannah, will be waiting eagerly to take us home. We are expecting great things as we make this step into God’s plans for us. “Great things” doesn’t always mean financial abundance, personal success, or even safety. God asks for all of us to be obedient. If you can look at what you are doing and honestly say that it is out of complete and utter obedience to our creator and king, the one who has saved us from our own sin, then, by biblical definition, you are doing great things and the Lord is with you.

Making Sugar Cookies and getting flour on eachother

So as we move into this next phase of our life, and also the launching phase of For the Lamb Ministries, we can be thankful that the Lord has blessed us and has prepared the way thus far. And because of that, we know that He will continue to go ahead of us because He knows we will follow whole-heartedly. Please be in prayer that we will continue to have the ability to quiet ourselves to listen to Gods still small voice, and the courage to follow Him wherever He may lead.

If you are reading this and you can sense Him tugging on your heart, we encourage you to join this community of believers who are pressing on whole heartedly For the Lamb of God no matter what the cost! We would love to share with you how you can be a part of God’s vision in Bomi County Liberia, and how He has already put together a group of schmucks and nobodies to carry out his perfect purpose. Our next contact will be from Monrovia, Liberia. Until then, God bless and stay salty.

-The Jess’

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BENEFIT CONCERT

The Benefit Concert on Saturday night was an absolute success! We want to thank everyone who made it out to the Rock center to join us for worship and just to hang out. Jessica and I were blown away with how many people came to support us and learn about what God is doing. We had some awesome bands volunteer to play with us and create an atmosphere of worship. Big thank you to Red Letters from Oskaloosa, "The Pilgrim Kid" Micah Leaverton, 12 Baskets Full, and 4 the Lamb Worship who did an amazing Job!

We were able to set up several different stations for you all to learn about African culture as well as learn a little bit about what we will be doing over in Liberia. One of my favorite stations was the bucket station. People had a path that they had to carry a 15 pound bucket/basket on there head without dropping it. This was to explain the fact that many women and children do this on a daily basis for several miles just to be able to provide for their families. Even our Liberian brother David commented to say it was his favorite station.

A huge thank you to everyone who came out to our event! We couldn't have asked for a better send-off! Please continue to pray as we prepare to leave on Dec. 3 in just 8 short days!

If you'd like to give a one-time gift or support us monthly please go to the "Give" tab and follow the instructions there.

-The Phillips

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LOVING ARMS

We were so blessed Sunday morning by a covering in prayer. As we got the chance to share our vision with our home church, Third Reformed, we were shown the love of a family who care for us and are eager to see God carry out His purposes with us. We were brought to tears when our spiritual family laid hands on us and prayed blessings over us as we launch our ministry in December. We are so excited and expectant in this next season to see what God is working out. And to wrap it all up, we heard from the Harvest House in Sully, IA and they will be buying our portable home and using it for their ministry. There is no other place we'd rather have it used. Praise God

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NEW NORMAL

I imagine as you read this title you think I am referring to the Jess' ...but I am not. This actually is an understanding Pastor David has realized based on his people. People that feel that scarcity, and hardship, and poverty is normal. Please be praying that they will have a renewing of their minds and hearts and a grasp of how deep and wide and high is the love of God. So deep that He wants them to be filled to the fullest measure ...John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." These people have been robbed of their homes, their health, their dignity, their families, their heritage. I pray for joy & peace to overflow as they begin to live as God intended. Not in fear, not in desperation, not in lack ...but filled with the gracious goodness of our Lord in Spirit, mind and body. Living with a new hope, a new direction, a new zeal. We pray that as they see the light of Christ shining through these that love them it will be a Beacon to lead them into a resurrected hope. As I write I am certain my children's hearts are breaking as they say good bye to the people of Bomi. They will return to Monrovia this afternoon. The truck was repaired and made it back on Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately by this time they had made four trips to the river to haul water already. It is about a 20 min walk one way. The contractor acquired extra help for the last two days which was so needed with them being behind schedule due to the water shortage and worker shortage. The first building is completely finished and they will complete the second next week. They plants are doing very well just not established enough for to transplant to the aquaponics system yet. They have a gentleman from another village that will be care-taking the garden for them and Pastor David has been taught how to set up the aquaponics once they are ready. Jessica and Pauline traveled to each of the surrounding 3 villages. They continue to establish relationship and carry love of Christ to their brothers and sisters. Jesse did hear back from the Water for Life team and they will be in Bomi next week to do the sight survey for the well drilling. What a gift that will be! By tonight I hope they will have ability to have pictures uploaded. As you drink that cup of fresh water from your faucet today will you give thanks As you eat from that table a full portion will you give thanks As you drift off to sleep in a bed of comfort will you give thanks And as you rise tomorrow morning with the Hope and promise of a Resurrected Savior and a sacrifice paid for you will you give thanks and praise and honor to Jesus ... and remember the people of Bomi and the work yet to be done to take the hope, the light the love of Christ to all nations.

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PSALM 91

Received a text on the 17th that simply read "Praying Psalm 91 over this day" Will you please join us in lifting this prayer to the throne

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ONE BODY

1 Corinthians 12:11-20 All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when. You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive. I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Greetings brothers and sisters from Bomi, Liberia The last few days have been unproductive and frustrating. It is terribly hot which really limits the amount of work...as well as workers. On Tuesday none of the crew from surrounding villages came to help. This was in part due to a "meeting" called on Monday by Chief Morris asking for more help. The workers seem to feel that Jesse and Jess and Pauline, because they are white, are the "bosses" and have much money, They have therefore been a bit manipulative in trying to negotiate wages and conditions. Pastor David spoke clearly to the crowd assembled that he is the leader and that each plays a vital part in bringing the fullness of this vision to completion. He encouraged the villagers to be confident in themselves and their abilities, and to look to the gift they are providing their people. I am reminded of how too often here in American Churches we become divided in our sense of belonging and value. We feel un-validated, unappreciated, unsupported. We begin to look for fault in our brothers and sisters in an attempt to find goodness in ourselves. Paul clearly speaks against this to the Corinthian church. Please be praying for unity of believers both near and far. That we all would stand confident not in ourselves but in our Lord Jesus and all that He has called us to be and do. Trusting that He will give us the ability to carry forth His Story to all the lost and powerless that He came to seek and save. The plants in the nursery have already sprouted and are doing well. Today was to be fishing day to stock the aquaponics tank. A large concern currently is again related to the need to have the truck back. They are out of water and without the truck to haul from the river it will be a long day hauling by hand in buckets. Sure wish Ray was with them. He would have it fixed in no time! This of course has slowed the plastering work done on the buildings. Jess and Pauline took the motorcycle on an adventure to the nearest city Tugemborg. Pauline is a bit of a city girl and the long days in the bush become quite wearing. They were interested in finding a book on learning Gulla the dialect spoken in the area. Many of the women have been teaching them as they work. They discovered the journey was not as simple as it sounded. Carrying the moto across bridges... pushing it up hills... I forgot to mention Palm Sunday was celebrated by dancing around the village of Bugbay with palms singing praises... I love how literally they take Gods word and how un-abandoned they worship. I remembered the story of David dancing through the streets... and Mical being furious...feeling like he had embarrassed her. How would you feel if your pastor asked you to dance around the streets of your city singing praise? Would you feel uncomfortable?...feel it wasn't traditional?... feel it wasn't necessary to change how you normally worship? As you continue in your Holy Week reflection may I challenge you to ask God ..."What would you have me do to speak peace, and love to my people" The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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DO YOU RECOGNIZE HIM?

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior

do you see Him...do you recognize the very Spirit of God working and present all around you?

we have been studying the story of the Road to Emmaus from the book of Luke during Lent. we read of the very disciples that had walked and lived with Jesus for 3 years not even knowing it was Him when he walked right beside them following His resurrection. we are learning how the followers looked downward, and backward, and even forward but not inward. Not into the very word of God and heart of God to find truth and hope and life.

Pastor David spoke concerning this very thought... in Isaiah 43:10 God  proclaims "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing." not living in the expectation of the past, or pondering the history ...The vision for this land was first planted back in the 1970's.  For 40 years they have waited, watched, and anticipated the fulfillment. In our "microwave society" do we even know how to wait?..for anything... let alone God? Pastor David and Pastor Willy two of the leaders and visionaries of the CAFMACP team are both in their 50's and realize they will probably not live to see this vision come to pass. Yet, they are excited to know that God has placed the Jess' there to faithfully see it through, to walk with their people and serve them bringing Kingdom life.

David was very thoughtful and called ahead to have the crew set up the outdoor shower and have water boiling so that they could take a shower after the long bumpy ride in the back of the truck. The women of the villages were eager to greet them the next morning with water on for Paulina and Jesses coffee! They are recognizing the powerful message of trust that the people have experienced since they returned as promised. Both are enjoying reconnecting with "family" they haven't seen in a year! The chief who oversees the construction greeted Jesse with "Banya, welcome" (this is the nickname they gave Jesse last year-- it means "naked one" because he always works with his shirt off.

Yesterday was so meaningful and the presence of God so near. The chiefs from surrounding villages, government officials as well as the CAFMACP team set the cornerstones claiming the 50 acre property. Each stone was set with fervent prayer as well as anointing oil placed in each hole before the stone was set. A gentleman from one of the nearby villages was also present. He was a witness to the man who originally commited the land for the orphanage. He is now blind and as they lifted Praise to God tears poured down his face. " I saw this land when it was jungle...now I cannot see but know that God is here. His spiritual eyes are very keen...do you see Him? Reminded me of the story of Simeon and Anna as they waited for the Messiah.

Materials this far have cost $4,000 this includes fish and rice(100 lbs) to feed themselves and the crew during their time there. They have hired 7 men to help with the building projects. The crews have been busy laying conduit, running wire, plastering, hanging doors and windows as well as framing the ceiling and pouring the floor in the 2nd building that they worked on last year. Jessica and Paulina are preparing the soil for the garden and then will do the whitewashing when the buildings are ready. The seeds they purchased cost $200 US dollars! Definetly looking into some alternatives for next year to get seed there. Jessica will plant cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, tomato, corn, and watermelon. They also found fish (Tilapia) for the aquaponics system. Jesse hopes to begin construction this weekend.

Night before last after their time of study Pastor David asked Jessica to close in prayer. Sweet Jessica with her beautiful quiet spirit ...very peacefully lifted the name of Jesus in thanks for His provision, blessing the land He has provided and peace for His people. As the amens were spoken Pastor David replied. "It is good to pray quiet sometimes too!!" The African people know how to shout to God with shout of glory but Miss Jessica is teaching them about the "still, small voice" thanks for being a blessing Jess.

The team will remain in Bomi until the 19th. They will return to Monrovia for Easter Sunday and then spend 3 days at Eleanors orphanage helping with projects to make their life more comfortable as well as sharing the love of Jesus in story and song.

Praying you have many God sightings ... be present, and watchful,

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HOW DO WE LOOK LIKE JESUS?

This was the title to Pastor Davids message this morning. He spoke on the early church and how they were mocked for following the belief of Christ...people knew they were followers by their actions...they didn't have to ask if they were followers they knew because they "looked like Jesus".He closed with prayer for the Western Churches. David strongly spoke to his people about guarding their hearts against the "love of money" and continue in devotion to following God in all that He is doing in them. He sees the time of the restoration of their country and wants to keep his flock grounded in the love of God.

Jesse was very excited because he got his Toms fixed yesterday for .50 ...wedding shoes are like new and ready to be share the pathway of peace with his brothers.

Yesterday they worked with a merchant at a hardware store that is originally from India. After hearing their story he is devoted to help with supplies and would like be involved in further progress for the orphanage. If you enjoy reading I highly recommend a book titled "The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant" Had been a long time since I read it( clear back to CO days!) and revisited as we continue to pray for the church plant that Jared and Jess are involved in Chicago...anyway good lesson in understanding the role that merchants play in strong missions.

They will finalize the purchasing tomorrow and then head for Bomi. Prayers please as mentioned yesterday their truck is not running well and they also will need to rent another truck to hall all their materials ....keep in mind these are not big four wheel trucks...little Toyota trucks. It is about a 2 hr trip and on very treacherous roads.  They will be there until the 19th finishing the two existing buildings inside; piping wiring, kitchen, and doors, as well as painting. Jesse also spoke with the director of Water for Life concerning the drilling of a well. He has agreed to drill the well for free!!  Such a blessing.

They will return to Davids church for Easter Sunday...what an experience that will be. The 21st -24th will be spent in Monrovia at Eleanors orphanage helping her with repairs and projects still needed to make their life more comfortable. She currently houses 26 children.

As the Jess' would say until then ....Stay salty

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