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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