Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Come to my house."

“I want you to come to my house,” he said. I think it was the third time he had asked me. I was a little apprehensive to leave the meetings the other times. This time seemed to fit the schedule better. The young man of about 12 had got permission from his teacher to skip school in order to attend the pastors training seminars. He was very egger to learn but had to look over my shoulder at the Bible I was using, because he didn’t have his own and all three of the loaner bibles at the church were in use.

 Because of his eagerness to learn and my connection with him it seemed right to give him one of the Bibles I had brought with me from the US. I had just finished writing his name and an inscription on the inside cover when he made his request again, “I want you to come see my house.”   

 Shadrick’s father doesn’t have a job. He hunts and sells bush meat in order to support his family. Their house is a small structure made of sticks and mud, with a dirt floor. It’s night time and the family has one small battery powered LED light, and a radio. Two of the children who I thought were Shadrick’s close friends turned out to be his siblings. He has five all together. His father is impressed with the Bible I gave him. He tells Shadrick to be careful with it or someone might run off with it.

 I couldn’t understand why, if stealing bibles was so common, anyone would buy a used Bible. Wouldn’t it be obvious with Bibles being in such scarcity that no one would sell their old Bible but give it a Christian sister or brother in their church? Christians should not buy goods that they reasonably suspect are stolen. But that is not the main thing on my mind. I realized this family only has one Bible, the one that I just gave to their middle son. I do not have enough Bibles to give them anymore. Had I realized how big the family was before I might have given the Bible to their father for the family to share. All I can hope is that it doesn’t get stolen and that Shadrick does share it with his family so they can all be blessed by the hearing of God’s word.

 The need for bibles is great all over Liberia, especially the more rural areas like where Shadrick lives in Grand Gedeh County. Bibles are one thing I am told, that the Foreign Mission of the ALCA is always in need of funds for. Their Bible found in constantly depleted because the need is so great!  T
his story from Liberia is just a snapshot of that need! (email foreignmission@comcast.net if you want to donate for Bibles)

Ryan Kandoll

Picture is of Shadrick with his Bible and at least 3 of his 5 siblings.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014



While in Ghana waiting for the Pastors seminars to begin in a couple of days and while we wait for Pastor Dennis Hilman, we, Marilyn Hilman, Verna Maki and myself, Pastor Bob Maki took a side trip to Central Ghana to a place called Cape Coast Castle. 
It is a former British military fort located on the Atlantic Ocean and was used from the 1700’s to 1843 as the place where captured Africans were brought in chains to await transportation to the slave markets in the USA, or the Caribbean or South America. They were plundered from their homes and loved ones, chained and shipped under very inhumane conditions to unfriendly and very strange to them, places and forced to work as slaves for the remainder of their natural lives in mines or plantations with no hope of ever returning to see their families. When they were kept at Cape Coast Castle, it was in dark dungeon type rooms, where they were chained together with no sanitary facilities but forced to use the floor. There were hundreds in each room enduring the extreme heat and filth.  Most would spend several months at the castle.

When the slave ships would come, the slaves would be marched in chains through a door which has become to be known as “The Door of no Return” to be loaded as cargo, in chains in the holds of the ship for the long journey to the new world. Once through that door there was no chance for them ever to return to a life of joy and fulfillment with their loved ones but only the lonliness and hopeless thoughts of an unknown future.

I considered if Jesus had never come from the glories of heaven to this sin cursed earth to purchase you and me, hopelessly lost and condemned ones, shackled and in our chains of sin, existing in darkness and filth awaiting a horrible future in an unknown place we would be even as, or worse then those poor souls described above. But we can rejoice because God has so loved us. That he sent His only begotten son to purchase us with the dearest price that could ever be paid; even His own blood so that we would not perish but we would have eternal life with Him forever. May God be praised.

Pastor Bob Maki