The Bishop’s Blog: Getting Back To Basics in West Africa (Day 5)

So…(ever notice how often we begin a statement with, “So”?)…I’ve been on the ground here in Liberia for 3 days now (it’s been 5 days since I left) home and the mission as been blessed. There have certainly been a few unexpected rough moments but by God’s grace it is well.
After landing on Friday night, going through Immigration, getting by lone piece of luggage and passing through Customs (which was literally a wave and a smile—I’ve learned to keep moving and only stop of an inspector asks you to!), I 
was suddenly outside in the not-too-warm Liberian are and quickly greeted by Bishop Wennie,  Pastor Topoe and Pastor Kolubah. (Bishop Wennie is the president of the Liberia branch of the fellowship, Pastor Topoe is the secretary and Pastor Kolubah is one of the newer members of the fellowship. I actually learned that I would be ministering at his church on Sunday…more on that later.)
The trip from the airport was uneventful—oh, except for the accident aftermath that we happened upon. A car that had passed us on the road (going too fast for the still-slick-from-rain road) had apparently lost control (probably having to swerve unexpectedly since even at 11PM in the pitch dark there are people everywhere darting in and out of traffic in cars, motorbikes and on foot). The car was wheels up and a crowd if at least 50 people had surrounded it. It wasn’t clear if they’d reached the passengers or not.
Once settled in at the hotel (they’d given my room away!—but provided me a different one at a discount), we had prayer, reviewed the agenda for the next day (Saturday, 10/14) and then I was alone. In my room…in Africa…by myself. Definitely His grace.
It was midnight and I was pooped so I decided to wait and unpack tomorrow—and then found myself unpacking any way! That’s when I found the card my Lady Jai had snuck in my garment bag. It says, “Just before you go to bed tonight, look out your window. See that one little star shining down just for you, Handsome? Every time it wrinkles, it’s me saying I love you, and I miss you, and I can’t wait until you’re here with me again. Love, Jai.” What a special way to end my travel day!
Saturday’s highlight was a long (2 hour?) drive out to see Elder Sam Ogunwumi. This was after a loooonnngg rest—I didn’t wake up until 11:51AM. Sam has had battling health challenges for several years now and can no longer get out much so I make it a priority to see him every time I come to Liberia. I told him that with his father in heaven now, he is the Chief Ogunwumi and we must hail the chief! He and hus wife, Victoria (see picture), were happy to see us—as was a room full of ladies who’s happened to be visiting at the same time: his sister Joke  (aka Rachel) and nieces Kemi and Patience. It was a nice visit with one main topic of conversation: The Presidential Election! Liberians had gone to the polls just 3 days before my arrival and they were eagerly awaiting the results. Would the winner be George Weah, a former soccer star or the veteran VP, Joseph Boakai? (Time will tell. We got the official word today, Monday the 16th, that Weah and Boakai will are headed to a run off next month. Should anyone be surprised, though? With a field of 20 candidates It’s gotta be next to impossible for any one candidate to get 50% of the vote + 1.) We continue to pray for a fair and peaceful process and transition of power. 
Church! New place! Life Today Outreach where Bruel Kolubah is the pastor (see picture) recall that he was one of the people who met me at the airport). The service was great. I minister a “remix” of my sermon “God sought”. Referencing John 4:23’s mention of Father seeking true worshippers, I exhorted the people that Worship Overcomes Whatever (aka WOW!). They were beside themselves! From the pulpit to the door all I heard as I was leaving was WOW! That was kewl!
After returning to the hotel for what was supposed to be some rest but would up being work time, the time quickly came to leave again. This time we were headed out to Dwarzon to check on the Faith To Face property. We purchased five lots of land here in Liberia about a decade ago but we still need to develop the property. Much to my surprise and dismay when we arrived I found that a makeshift road was now going right through our property! This is what happens in this part of the world when property is left undeveloped for too long. The plan? Finish building a 6 foot high  concrete fence around the property (which will include the road so it will no longer be accessible via our land!) and getting down to the business clearing the land (which is about an acre) and building! Needless to say we’ll need YOUR help so please do donate!
We left Dwarzon and headed to Graceland where Bishop Wennie’s new home is nearing completion. It’s a mini-mansion complete with a prayer room, conference room and 7 or 8 bedrooms each with their own bathroom (including a suite for me!) I can’t wait to see the finished work. They hope to dedicate the home in February when Bishop marks his 1st anniversary as Bishop. 
It took about an hour and 10 minutes  to reach the hotel after leaving Graceland. More work, more rest!
Today, we get down to business. I met with the executive leadership team of the OHM Fellowship here in Liberia. I shared with them the 2018 theme: Getting Back to Basics. Back to Basics was a focus at my company in 2016 and it was kinda kewl to have the Lord impress it on me as the OHM theme and focus for 2018.
The meeting with the leaders was great (see picture—Pastor Topoe, Bishop Wennie, me, Pastor James Payne and Pastor Benson Ayenje).  Tomorrow I meet with the entire General Body. Tonight…Revival!
It was great being back at Overcomers tonight to kick off there 21 Day Revival Encounter. My sermon, “Neighbor, you’re in danger!” (if you don’t learn and apply the word of God). There was a wonderful teaching anointing on me tonight; I could actually see the word reaching the people. In the midst of the teach, though, I was led by the Spirit to ask if anyone present had hearing problems. No one did but rather than assume that I’d missed God (which has certainly happened from time to time!), I encouraged the ministers to be ready to pray for healing when those with hearing problems showed up later during these 21 days. Do you not know that after I was escorted to the Bishop’s office following my closing prayer that 4 people came forward with hearing problems?!?! Apparently they’d had trouble with my accent so hadn’t understood that I’d wanted to pray for them earlier! God, you are truly amazing!
Back at the hotel for three hours now…how is after midnight already. (Well, this blog has taken up an hour or so!)
Night night…
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