Hello First Baptist Church! Thank you for your prayers, messages of support for us, and your care for our families who were back at home in Canada. Dr. John Potts has been documenting his experience through daily letters and several of you followed along with my blog as well. I'll try not to repeat too much from those posts, but give you an idea of the things we saw and did in the town of
I know that people often have questions about where Liberia is, and why we go there. Liberia is located in West Africa, neighbouring Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. You will likely recall the Ebola outbreak of 2014/15 which caused further political and economic strain upon the country. Beginning with the military coup in 1980, through the years officially labelled as the first and second civil wars of Liberia, until the UN Peacekeeping Mission began in 2003 the people suffered greatly. Hundreds of thousands died and many more fled as refugees trying to escape the unspeakable violence. The scars of those years of conflict run deeply in the nation. The population of the country has grown rapidly since peace returned, which has provided new challenges. With half of the entire population aged 18 or under, there simply aren't enough trained adults able to provide the leadership that is needed.
There are three main areas to the work that we undertook in
Dr. John Potts and RN Spencer Willis provide the medical care in a very well-run, but under-resourced, medical clinic in the town. They are able to provide a true Canadian system of healthcare; giving care that includes minor procedures (removing scar tissue and other lumps and bumps with local anesthetic), hernia and other minor surgeries (in the hospital in the nearby city of Tapeta), and dispensing medications all at no cost to the patients. It is a blessing to the entire community, and many people travel from miles away when they hear that the Canadian Medical Team has returned to
The third area of work that we undertook, Community Development, was largely overseen by Rev. Bob Swann. In 1980, one of the jobs that Bob oversaw at
Two years ago, one of the projects that Bob coordinated was to replace the metal roof at the Hope Baptist Church in
Although the school still continues to struggle in a variety of ways, we are able to see the growth and development of the whole community. There are many more businesses along the main street of
All three phases of the work in