Posted on November 7, 2017 Sweet Okra Soup

Dr. Karyn Carlo share a few reflections about their short-term volunteer at the Liberia Baptist Seminary.

One of Karyn’s students tell her that there is a saying in Liberia, “sweet okra soup does not stay on the rice a long time” meaning even brief experiences have an impact. The last four short months we have been here in Liberia are a great example. We pray we have had a positive impact on the students and the larger community of the Liberian Baptist Theological Seminary where Karyn has taught classes in Baptist history and polity, Systematic Theology and Theology for Social Justice while Roberto worked with the community on various renovations and repairs to the campus buildings, most notably the women’s dorms. But this was far from a one sided transformation. The two of us have learned so much, not only about Liberian history and culture but also about what faith looks like during very difficult and challenging times. So many people have opened their hearts to us, trusted us with their most precious life stories, and helped us to clearly see Jesus in their faces. We now are blessed with what we believe will be some lifelong friendships. God willing, we hope to return in 2019 and continue this partnership of teaching and handiwork ministries. This, like many of our journeys of service and discovery, was made possible by becoming short term volunteer global servants with American Baptist Churches International Ministries. We remember when we first began to discern our own calls as “retired” (putting that in quotes since we are more active than ever!) people. We could not even imagine the challenges that lay ahead of us as we crossed so many geographic and cultural borders. But it is all so worth it. God goes with us wherever we go. If you are discerning a similar call, we want to encourage you to say a prayerful “yes” because, wherever God sends you, the deep joy of a purpose filled life awaits you. See more entries at our Facebook page:

The Short-Term Mission team at International Ministries accompanies all volunteers from their offices at Valley Forge. You are an extension to the ministry in action from everywhere to everyone. Thank you for your hands and feet of service. For more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact