Move In Day

After a bit of slow loading of the items we ordered yesterday at Eagle Electric, John 2 and I were on our way up to Gbarnga to meet Hawa Norris and finally get our official Gbarnga Lutheran Training Center, Inc. bank account at LBDI in downtown Gbarnga.  I slept on and off during the drive with my slumber frequently interrupted by new police checkpoints and “inspections” along the route.  I think they’ve added 3 or 4 more stops since last November.  Without going into boring – and frustrating – banking details, suffice it to say that 3 hours later we now have two checking accounts…one in US dollars and another in LD Liberian dollars. With Hawa using some of her connections and influence, we may have printed checks as early as mid-next week.


I finally arrived to a crush of Deanville children hugging me at the school around 3:30pm. What a great greeting!  And then there was the “greeting service” with Sumo, the Deanville choir, members of St. Mark’s, and miscellaneous community members. Because we’re having a celebration service on Sunday to dedicate the school opening, they’ve constructed a large shaded area with wooden poles and palms.  I sat at a special table facing the group as they prayed, offered greetings from various people (including the security guards!), thanked God for the progress, and shared songs with the choir. What a great way to return and feel loved up!

img_7982Afterwards, everyone helped unload the truck into the guesthouse. It felt like college move-in day as a line of friends carried boxes and suitcases into one of the guesthouse bedrooms for me to sift through over the next few days. I’m over at Phebe for tonight and the next few nights as I prepare our guesthouse for an extended stay (it needs a kitchen sink, propane cook stove hooked up, etc.) which I’ll start tomorrow.  Since everything was hauled out of the truck, I forgot to retrieve my newly purchased food stash so I could make dinner and breakfast so I had to stop at the market across from Phebe to get some minimal supplies (pasta, 2 eggs, rice, and a pineapple).  I’m sharing the same Guesthouse #11 with a young man, Lawrence, from South Africa who’s a microbiologist helping Phebe Hospital expand it’s lab capacity.

The biggest news I received today was when Sumo introduced me to his FIANCE!  Yes, Sumo is engaged to Amuchain Y Cooper (Amuchain is pronounced “ah-moo-SHANE”).  Here’s the happy couple…I made fun of her lack of smile but she’s been ill so we’ll let it slide.  They met while studying in school.img_8008

I’m off to bed.

5 thoughts on “Move In Day

  1. Get some well deserved sleep. Looks like you made progress at the bank, I think the last time you were there you spent 5 hrs……


  2. Jon…this will be my last comment befor we leave for Florida in the morning. We are grateful for the loving welcome you received, a welcome you richly deserved. You will be in our daily prayers and look forward to seeing many pictures when we return on the 21st. Stay healthy, enjoy the time with people you have so lovingly provided with a school and so much more.


  3. Another day fled with love and blessings. You have a whole other life and “family” in Liberia. Happy Birthday from me and Jordan. ( he and I are off to NYC for some fun today). Do they know it’s your birthday? Dohow do they celebrate.? I don’t know if they keep birthday records like we do. Jon, you are in my prayers every day. I’m with you in spirit but I wish I was there in person. Sending you my own crushing hug.


  4. Great to hear things are off to a smooth start. Happy Birthday! We hope you find a little way to celebrate even if it not with your My-T-Fine!


  5. Dear Uncle Jon,

    Happy Birthday! I loved reading about your move-in day, and especially the warm welcome from all the children. I hope the guesthouse project goes well! Sharon and I are thinking of you.



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