Reach Out New Country - Liberia
Over a decade ago I remember listening to a special guest speak at a men’s event about his harrowing escape from Liberia in the 1990s. A civil war was raging, and over 250,000 Liberians would eventually lose their lives in that country’s collapse. 

Four years after attending that event, news broke about the spread of a deadly disease called Ebola. Over the next three years, 10,000 Liberians would die from that outbreak. I remember watching the televised reports of Nancy Writebol, a SIM missionary, arriving in the US, and recovering from Ebola while being treated at Emory Hospital in Atlanta.
Flash forward to 2021. At the beginning of the year, part of our discussion with Reach Out’s Board of Directors involved plans for the future. We believed God was going to be leading us toward training opportunities in a variety of new countries in 2021. And although, at that time, Liberia wasn’t specifically on OUR agenda, it was on GOD’S!

In March, I was presented with the invitation to teach in November at the Evangelical Seminary of West Africa, in Monrovia, Liberia! God began to put all the pieces into place so that we could be a part of bringing training and support to church leaders in that challenging and desperate country.
A few statistics:

Liberia is the 8th poorest country in the world.
Corruption and sexual exploitation are rampant.
Per capita, Liberia has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Africa - 50% of 18-year-old girls have already had a baby.
Approximately 40% of the country’s children are actually in school.
64% of Liberians live below the poverty line.
1.3 million Liberians live in extreme poverty.
There are over 14,000 street children in just the city of Monrovia.
And 53% of the country is 19 years old or younger.

By the time the trip was completed…

*30 students/church pastors were trained in Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry at the seminary.
*125 leaders from 40 churches attended a one-day, Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry Forum.
*The seminary agreed to hosting quarterly zoom gatherings for us at their campus, for those implementing Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry. This will allow us the opportunity to intentionally walk with these leaders as they begin to put in to practice the action plans they created while being trained in Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry.

*Charles Juma and I were able to spend all week together, not only teaching in the seminary, but also planning and praying over our ministry’s approach to Africa in 2022.
And we were able to speak in a local church that I believe will be one of the catalysts for Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry in the near future.

Ten years ago, I never dreamed I would be walking the streets of Monrovia, where civil war had claimed so many lives and left a country in ruins. I never dreamed I would stand in the halls of the hospital that was ground zero in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. (I never dreamed Nancy Writebol would be instrumental in actually helping me GET BACK OUT OF THE COUNTRY due to COVID testing requirements that were daily changing while we were there…that’s a whole other God story for a different day!).  But God has dreams and plans that are far greater and expansive than ours are! 

Ephesians 3:20: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

And now, as we look back at 2021, we are thankful to God for actually opening the doors to FOUR new countries this year: Liberia, Niger, Honduras, and India!
Will you prayerfully consider financially partnering with us as we turn the page into 2022? We believe God is going to continue to reach more and more students around the world through the training and equipping of leaders and parents that Reach Out provides. Will you join us?
Jesus is Lord,