This past October 2018, I was able to accompany two sets of volunteers on their first trip to an African country. One team set foot for the first time in Accra, Cape Coast, Juapong, Frankadua in Ghana and another team set foot for the first time in Monrovia, Congo, Virginia, Paynesville, Providence in Liberia. This accompaniment is part of my role, as the Director for Short-Term Mission at IM; a role I was called to only eighteen months ago. This ministry of presence and intentional accompaniment is made possible in several ways; teams intentionally budget the cost of my travels or donors send support for such type of team leadership for global short-term missions. It is a blessing to walk alongside people who notice, stop, listen to their hearts and hear God’s whisper and are transformed by God’s grace and testimonies of His imprint in distant lands. Every time, I am able to accompany others who may be responding to God’s call or desiring to humbly serve alongside our global servants or partners, I live an Emmaus Walk moment. My heart is grateful for these divinely appointed moments.
The team of six women I accompanied to Ghana came from Charlotte (NC), from Friendship Missionary Baptist church. The women were members of Rovaughna Richardson’s Missionary Partnership Team(MPT), on their way to bring prayers, joys, collected supplies and love to her. It was their first trip to Frankadua where Rovaughna is on a five year term assignment at the Baptist Vocational Training Institute. The team led various workshops at BVTI, sharing of their best self and skills by sharing about self care, spiritual development, etiquette and God’s love. The team engaged the students, teachers and staff in personal conversations while lifting up the fruit of Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The team learned about fashion design, catering, carpentry, cosmetology, weaving but most importantly each member lived the ministry of healing and reconciliation that is felt throughout the school campus. It permeates inside and outside of the “Counseling Shack.”
The couple I accompanied to Liberia came from Baltimore (MD), in response to attending the Hear The Call retreat this past July at Green Lake(WI). We were blessed to have Rev.Dr. Charles Jones, Area Director for Europe, the Middle East and Liberia as well, helping to establish local partnerships and strengthen current relationships. We were blessed to live Numbers 27:16-17. The school officials, administrators, teachers and students at Ricks Institute were the primary hosts for this short-term mission in Liberia. Knowledge was imparted, shared and conveyed in many ways, settings and by-ways. Feet were washed, prayers were lifted at a Tuesday morning worship service; coconut water, cassava fish, plantains and potato were consumed; but most importantly encouragement was delivered because hearts, ears and hands were opened for peace, joy, love and faithfulness. Righteous leaders were met and all hearts were transformed.
Many blessings were shared in Ghana and Liberia. We are the salt of the earth, called to be God’s instruments of peace, mercy and love locally and globally. Thank you for your generous support to God’s mission.