Our First 2 Weeks in Liberia!

Our first night in Liberia was complete with a tropical storm; loud rain drops pounding on our metal roof, lightning flashing in the sky, and thunder drowning out the sound of the waves crashing in our front yard. We spent our first day here taking in everything from the thick, humid, air to the complexity of spoken Liberian english. Several of the other missionaries stopped by our house to visit and welcome us. As the sun set after our first full day in west Africa, we were in awe of God’s faithfulness and goodness and our hearts were full of gratitude for our new home, the community here, and the work God has set before us.

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The past two weeks have consisted of :

  • getting adjusted to the weather! It is warm (usually around 85 degrees) and humid. Most days we can cool off in the ocean mid afternoon, and we are VERY thankful for that.
  • shopping in Monrovia- we have been introduced to several grocery stores, furniture stores, and the fruit and vegetable market on Randall Street (our favorite).
  • meeting new people- the missionaries here and Liberians. The community of missionaries has been a huge encouragement and blessing to our family. Our first week here, we had dinner at a different missionary family’s house each night. On Wednesdays, the SIM missionaries get together for “prayer and share”, a time to share and update the group on how everything is going, and to pray for each other. Several times a week Bethany and Bekah have gotten to go swimming with the other missionary kids. The Liberians we have met are wonderful; their smiles are welcoming and the way they speak Liberian english is beautiful (something we are each working on!)
  • using local ingredients to make DELICIOUS food.. Every Monday, a Liberian named Moses sells us a fish he caught that morning and it lasts for 2-4 meals. There is an abundance of pineapple, bananas, papaya, sweet potatoes, and okra. The grocery stores are mainly run by Lebanese and we have been enjoying flatbread and Middle Eastern spices.
  • attending the Liberian church service on Sunday mornings. There has been something so special about walking as a family through the forest behind our house to a bright blue church building where the church choir is leading worship and the congregation is dancing around, shaking each other’s hands, and praising Jesus.

Bekah is recovering from a cold that she got our first week here (fever and all) and her and Beth spend their mornings homeschooling (although we are still working on getting reliable internet) and have enjoyed many ‘hands on’ lessons as we are learning so much about the culture of Liberia.

Bethany has begun a few photojournalism projects- she had the opportunity to take pictures at Faith Academy, one of the village schools that is part of the SIM Christian Education and Teacher Training Project that Jenny Elphick is running. She also took pictures at the celebration of the 12th anniversary of ELWA Academy, the school down the street from our house. Bethany looks forward to helping tell the stories of what God is doing in Liberia 🙂

John started work at the hospital on Monday morning! Each morning starts with a beautiful chapel service.  The patients are often extremely ill and malaria and other infectious diseases are very common.  Despite this intensity, the team serving these patients, both Liberian and expatriate have been amazing to work with.  He feels blessed to be a part of this team.

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Thank you SO much for your continuous prayers and support. We feel incredibly blessed for the smooth adjustment from our lives in California to our new home in Liberia.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Our First 2 Weeks in Liberia!

  1. Thank you so much for the update AND the PICTURES!!! It’s countryside is lovely and the children are beautiful. Blessings and good health for each of you as you find your “spot” in this new adventure.

    • Teresa Sowa

      God bless you and your family! So glad to hear that you are acclimating well. Thank you for the update and wonderful pictures. Your family is in my prayers!!!

  2. Ginger

    What a beautiful tribute as you start your journey and new venture! Thank you for sharing this experience with us here. Beautiful photos.

  3. Debbie Harmon

    Thank you for the updates! I love hearing about your days and how Christ is working in your lives. The Fanks are amazing :). Blessings and prayers to you all.

  4. Sandra Yip

    Those photos are gorgeous! Isn’t it terrific having facebook to post updates. Praying for all of you.

  5. Brenda Tallent

    Loved reading about your experiences and the pictures as well. It is nice to live vicariously through your experiences and a humbling one at that. Thank you:)

  6. Art and Sonia Beals

    What a great series of chats and pics! We felt like we lived through a typical day. So glad that John is going to have his Okra! We sure miss you guys….every day….I’d take the boxes suitcases and bodies all over our house just to have you close tonight to see our Christmas Tree and decorations! Mom and I remember so well 1960 and our first Christmas in the Philippines. On Christmas Eve, Mom and I–carrying our pump organ and walking on the earthen “bunds” between rice fields, guided only by the moonlight through the Palm trees, we spent our first Christmas Eve sharing the joys of our Philippine friends. Now 53 years later, you and your family will be doing the same. We love you. Mom and Dad Beals

  7. lorinoc@gmail.com

    It sounds like you are transitioning well. I love the picture of the people riding on top of the van. Lori O

    Sent from my iPhone

  8. Ruthanne Rusnak

    OH how my heart yearns to share your experiences. Liberia looks more like areas I saw in Kenya (especially the women on the bridge and people perched on top of the van) than anything I experienced in South Sudan or Somalia in 1981. Thanks for the photos of your family and the Liberian people. I love the smiling faces.
    Stunning photos, Bethany, of the sea.
    Love,
    Ruth

  9. Trula Kinseth

    It gives us great joy to see each of you in photos, knowing you are happy and blessed in your new life. Thank you so much for sharing!

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