Thursday, 10 October 2013
The Bible Club in Ballah Creek has been going well each Thursday, and the children are starting to be more attentive. We get between 40-50 children, and I’ve been teaching them the Child’s Catechism, memory verses, and a Bible lesson each week.
The Reading Clubs and Bible Club in Paynesville, all of which had decreased in attendance after the robbery, have grown steadily again. I’ve started meeting with the little children (pre-school to kindergarten level) twice a week for what I’m calling a Story Club – I read to them and teach them memory verses. These little ones are too young to come to Reading Club, and although they attend Sunday School and Bible Club, yet they don’t get much individual attention. We are studying the Christian soldier/Armour of God in Bible Club, and the Lord is giving great help in the teaching and the listening!
On a rather fun note, I’ve located a grand piano in one of the hotels in Monrovia, and I’ve arranged with the manager to bring my “piano” students to see it and try it out. They’re all very excited – none of them have ever touched a “real” piano before (we use keyboards for lessons). I give each of these students an individual lesson once a week, and then one Saturday a month we have a group class to do some singing, a lot of listening, and learning about famous composers, instrument families, etc. Each Saturday afternoon, I have a small group music class for some younger children who want to learn piano. Unfortunately, most parents in Liberia do not seem to get involved in “sending” their kids at set times to do things – if children come to Bible Club or Reading Club on time, it’s because they’ve remembered and come by themselves. That’s a generalization, but it seems to be true in most cases. In fact, very often kids miss a meeting because their parents have decided to keep them at home to wash clothes or have sent them to the market for something. Of course, we teach the children that they should obey their parents and help at home, but we do wish and pray that the parents will order their lives so that their kids can be free at the set times for the meetings. (These are all parents who, if you asked them, are very happy that their kids come to church, but it’s just the organisation that is lacking.) So, for these 10-11 year olds, I’m keeping them in a group to see who is serious and diligent and might be able to keep themselves to a schedule of lessons and practice, and then I’ll move those children on to the keyboard lessons.
We’ve been having some problems with our electricity recently. The main generator that we’ve been using in Dwazon for the past 8 months broke about a week ago, and they’re still working on getting it back into shape. Obviously, this is important not only for everyday “living” tasks, but especially for the security lights that are so necessary. Please pray that this issue will be sorted out quickly and properly!
We have a new arrival living on the compound now – a 3 month old German Shepherd puppy. We had always been planning to get dogs for security reasons, but since the robbery, those plans have had to be stepped up a little. We bought Bentley from an acquaintance here in Monrovia who had brought him from South Africa. This is an answer to prayer, since locating pure-bred dogs in Liberia is usually highly unlikely! We do need to get more dogs, of course – ideally, we would like one dog in each house and a couple more roaming the compound outside at night. We have been offered another German Shepherd free of charge from the UK (another wonderful opportunity, because he is a trained dog and is worth around £6000!!), and we are trying to figure out the best way to get him here. It’s not a simple matter (some airlines refuse to transport live animals to Liberia because of complications in the past – I suspect possible corruption issues, although no one has come out and said that), but pray that the Lord will make a way and provide the necessary funds for transporting him here.
Pray also for some people in our churches who have been unwell recently. One pastor’s wife has been very ill recently. She spent four days in hospital last week and has now been discharged, but she’s still not fully recovered, so please pray for strength to be returned to her. Another young boy from Sunday School will probably need surgery – I’ll be taking him to a hospital for screening next Thursday, and then we’re hoping that he will be accepted for surgery under an international team that comes annually to do free surgeries on children.