Traveling overseas to teach isn't just about delivering better, more beneficial training. It also allows deepened relationships and friendships with the brothers and sisters we serve. One of our dear friends in Liberia, Roland, started as a trainee in one of our programs. Now he is a leader at the college in Liberia!
One Saturday evening while we were in Liberia for training, Roland spoke of Liberia's history and the ways that the Liberian civil wars (1989–1997 and 1999–2003) have affected the nation.
The cost of war? His generation essentially lost their childhood to the wars. Going to school only resulted in hiding in the bush when rebel soldiers came to their village. Roving gangs of soldiers would take everything of value, and then set fire to everything else. Families were destroyed. Even children were not exempt. Some were conscripted into military service, where they were forced to commit the same kinds of atrocities they had been hiding from not long prior. And even when the fighting finally ceased, the pain was not over. Many had no homes, businesses, or farms to return to—they were all destroyed during the war.
Christians in the West sometimes speak about living in "a fallen world." But few of us have experienced trauma and brokenness to this degree.
The Liberian civil wars have been over for nearly two decades. Praise God, the time has brought much healing—but some deep scars remain.
God has granted TLI a remarkable opportunity to help by equipping Liberian pastors to proclaim the reconciling message of Jesus with greater clarity and faithfulness to Scripture. Only the gospel has the power to bring true healing to Liberia's deep individual and cultural wounds. As pastors rightly teach the Scriptures and faithfully proclaim the gospel, God is transforming Liberia. Pray with us that Liberia might experience the reconciling hope that only Christ can bring!