Monday, February 4, 2013

Liberia Day 5- On to Tiah Town

Had more trouble than usual waking up this morning, but got another hot shower in and was slowly getting dressed when breakfast arrived at 7:20.  I don't know why it was so early today, but people seemed to think we should've been ready.  As Randy says, whenever Liberian culture seems perplexing, "This, too, is Liberia."  He picked up the phrase from a local newspaper columnist.  It was pancakes again, though without honey this time, which allowed for bare-handed eating.  We packed up our bags and are waiting to begin a two night journey into "the bush" to visit those who need to be re-evangelized following the civil wars.  One of the things I admire about Matthew and leaders of the EC Church of Liberia is their desire to evangelize the least reached, especially when you consider just how logistically difficult it is to reach those people.  The vision, however, is clear, and the passion is tangible.  While we are waiting, I have been able to catch up on this journal and now, possibly, get some reading done...

Well, I didn't get much reading done.  We began our journey to Tiah Town shortly after I put my pen down.  We took two trucks on the journey, Abraham's and another on loan from a government official which featured air conditioning.  We have been very fortunate to experience the refreshing effects of A/C everyday of this trip so far.  The journey was supposed to take about 4 hours, but much more time elapsed after shopping for supplies in Buchanan, repairing a flat tire, and a few other stops.  We eventually made our way to Tiah Town, deep in the "interior" of Liberia.  This village has only been accessible via automobile for a few years, due to a logging company constructed road.  Prior to this development, it would take a two day arduous hike through the jungle.  We stopped at one town on the way, to get the flat repaired, and watched some kids swimming in their local stream (I sincerely wanted to join them), and prayed for one of the women of the village who was ill.  She was the mother of a member of our entourage.  Upon our arrival at Tiah Town we were taken to the Duane Ray EC Church, a rather rustic structure and welcomed enthusiastically by the community.  Though they are a tribal, rural community, they seemed little different from other Liberians we have met and also have some command of English.  Their pastor is soft-spoken, articulate, and exudes a wise spirit.  He gave up his home for our place to stay.  The many young children were kept at a distance from us, but their curiosity was such that they would peak in windows occasionally or gather in a crowd in the doorway.  One of the better photos I got so far was at such a moment:

It was boiling hot in the hut, but much more comfortable outside in the shade.  We were to have a service in the evening, which was much delayed by supper and visiting.  It was dark (probably after 8 pm) when the service did start and it was spectacular in every way.  The people of Tiah Town sang beautifully.  There was one girl in particular, who led the music, and she had a stunning voice.  Matthew later explained that in their way of singing the chorus might remain constant, but the verses are always changing.  He said that as she sang in Bassa, she explained the oneness of God.  Randy preached from Isaiah 6 challenging everyone to respond to the call of God to serve both near and far and many of us did respond, including me.  In the dark of the church that night (there was almost no light besides a small led), God was worshiped.  It was one of the more powerful church services I have ever been a part of.  I even tried my hand at the drums, as Janga had at Conference.  After worship, we had tea and headed to bed.  It was pretty sticky in the room, especially with door and window shut to keep critters out, and Bishop Hill sleeping next to me, but I took a melatonin and hoped for the best.

No comments:

Post a Comment