It seems so long ago that I tapped my fingers on my phone keyboard at Logan airport to share the beginning of another journey to Liberia. If there’s one thing a pandemic can teach is patience. After our February 2020 trip, I had hoped to return in the fall and perhaps again in winter to assist in the construction of our second school building as we increase our capacity through 8th grade over the next several years. But a ravenous worldwide virus prevented that. Another lesson more important than patience — it’s not about me. My Liberian friends — or more aptly my Liberian family — did not need me as evidenced in the beautiful building that over the last 5 months has come to completion.
This trip will no doubt be different than others due to the precautions necessary in a Covid world and, in part, because of the team going. Marsha, both friend and fellow Gbarnga Mission board member, is returning for her second visit. My sister-in-law, Sharon (more aptly my “sister”) is a retired teacher and intrepid world traveler with enough energy and enthusiasm for all of us. She drove to Boston to fly together with Marsha and me. Her early education expertise will be invaluable. Roxanne, Sharon’s friend and fellow member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (Garden City, NY), is joining us. She’s a registered nurse with a decade’s worth of experience traveling to serve on medical missions in Haiti (where I was first exposed to the two-thirds world of poverty). Roxanne will fly from JFK and rendezvous (had to use a French term) in Paris. I look forward to seeing how God will use us both individually and collectively as a team when we finally arrive in Gbarnga. Another lesson—it takes a team.
Thanks to all who have contributed financially, donated supplies, and prayed for us as we’ve prepared. Your continued prayers are appreciated—and needed!