Liberia: God's Remote Outpost

EDITOR’S NOTE: I asked Ray Zuercher of our global missions team to write about his most recent trip to Liberia, Africa. Your prayers and financial support are truly making a difference in far off places like Liberia.

 

GREY SMOKE drifted across the hood of our Land Cruiser as we crawled across what passes for a bridge in this part of West Africa. It was the dry season in Liberia, the time of year when local farmers cut trees and burn parts of the rainforest to grow crops for their families and livestock. It’s never really dry here, but when the rainy season returns, every aspect of life becomes more complicated, including taking the gospel to the Gola, an unreached people group.

This trip into Gola territory held several objectives. First, to spend time with our missionaries Eric and Pam Buller. My wife and I have been long-time advocates of their ministry, but it had been over a year since my last visit. Their mission base near the village of Jawajeh is remote, but the pandemic had further isolated them, even from other missionaries. They were looking forward to having my company.

Another objective was to do an onsite walk-through of their new training center before their pilot group of pastors. Eric and Pam established this remote outpost to train pastors and send them out to plant churches among the Gola. They call this new facility Bu Daya, which fittingly means “God’s Garden.” Here, indigenous leaders will be trained in theology and agriculture. Teaching sustainable farming methods means pastors can pass on Biblically based agricultural practices—ones which work in harmony with local resources instead of cutting and burning every year. Most importantly, every pastor will leave Bu Daya equipped with excellent discipleship training. They will have the knowledge to plant churches and shepherd their people well spiritually.

All of these reasons were worth the transatlantic flight, yet God had one more outpost for me to visit.

Not far from the Bu Daya training center is the small village of Lowah. The local chief told me that 450 Gola live there. Recently, one of the Lowah families offered the Bullers a large vacant home. Abandoned since the Ebola outbreak five years ago, the house has remained in remarkably good condition. Eric and Pam saw an opportunity and graciously accepted the generous offer. With the help of local tradesmen, they are working to convert the home into a medical clinic. Once open, the primary focus of the clinic will be maternity and newborn care. The facility will be staffed around-the-clock with midwives. There is even a place for women to stay during their last month of pregnancy. Too often, expectant mothers do not receive adequate prenatal care. Without proper care and information, some mothers wait too long to go to a hospital. At times, women end up delivering alone on the road. This clinic will work to prevent death in childbirth and improve infant health. “This clinic is definitely something God is leading us to. We cannot even imagine the ripples it will have to further the Gospel,” Pam told me.

This clinic and the pastor training center are just two of God’s remote outposts providing creative and sustainable ways for the Gospel to be taken to those who have yet to hear. Through prayer and financial support, Journey Bible Church continues to hold a significant role in securing the future of these ministries.

Ray Zuercher
Global Missions Team

Learn more about global missions at Journey Bible Church.

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The new medical clinic in the village of Lowah.