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An Ebola is Real sign in Monrovia, Liberia.

An Ebola is Real sign in Monrovia, Liberia.

As many of you may have heard from various news outlets, Liberia has declared a state of emergency for the entire country. All schools and non-essential government services have been shut down. There are curfews and restrictions on movements throughout Liberia. Most health clinics remain closed throughout the country, and as a result many more people are dying not just from Ebola but from malaria and other extreme ailments that aren’t being properly treated. In light of this desperate need, the clinic Liberia Now works with has decided to remain open to serve these Liberians in need of vital medical attention.

Any donation you make towards the Ebola Emergency Outreach fund will help this Liberian clinic to keep it’s medical workers safe by purchasing the necessary protective gear needed to combat the spread of Ebola through contact with patients. It will also be used to purchase scarce testing equipment that is needed to ascertain whether one has Ebola or not.

On top of this, Liberia Now is beginning a community outreach to the entire Virginia community where the Ebola virus has spread. Virginia is a suburb of the capital city of Monrovia and houses 50,000 people. Liberia Now will be distributing to every home in the Virginia Community a cleaning station for anyone entering a home. This cleaning station will allow every home to have a cleaning bucket for water and the necessary cleaning supplies to throughly rinse, wash and disinfect all persons entering their household. This is one of the primary safety precautions the government in Liberia is encouraging all citizens to do, but many don’t have the funds to purchase a cleaning station for their own home.

Please be sure to designate your online gift to the Ebola Emergency Outreach once the payment option appears. Thanks so much for your huge heart to help the Liberians who are in dire need of any help we can provide them during this crisis.

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This is the house where George's family lives along with five other families.

This is the house where George’s family lives along with five other families.

I’m going to go ahead and write this while the feelings are so fresh within me. It’s either that or lecture my kids who just came in fighting over which ipad game to play.

I just went with George to see where he lives. I now feel I can never complain about any discomfort in my life… ever. My heart is so heavy as I think about all the sweet, smiley faces that greet me on the street, living in such absolute misery. There is nothing comforting about their home. You could never call it your refuge. Every day is a struggle, with no hope of change in sight.

George’s home is right next to the church. These pictures could be duplicated for the entire area that the church ministers to. These are the homes of our sponsored school children.

When we drove up I thought, “It looks so old, so broken and dirty.” I assumed the entire building was his. However, I soon found out his mom rents one room here. She pays $20 a month to live in this one room with four adults and six children. Just recently George and his cousin got the landlord to block off a portion of a room for him and his older cousin to rent. There is no running water or electricity. They must go to the community pump daily to get their water.

As heavy as my heart feels after visiting George’s reality, I have a sense of hope knowing that George now has a high school degree. He is determined to get a degree in mining engineering and with that he can change the future of his entire family. It makes me think of what Mother Teresa was known for saying, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” The need here is daunting. I know Liberia Now is limited in who it can help, but when one child in a family gets educated it will change their family’s life and their future. The same way one micro finance loan can have a ripple affect for the owner, his family, his customers and employees.

I’m leaving Liberia encouraged by the progress I have seen here since I last visited five years ago. Yes, there is still much to do, but I’m going to look at this the way my Liberian friends do and say, “To God be the glory for the great things He has done!” Kelly Tippit

George with his mom and some family members in their 17 by 11 foot room which has been Goerge’s home since he was 7. The bed is a piece of foam. There is no door to the main house or to their room. They use a blanket to cover the entrance.

George with his mom and some family members in their 17 by 11 foot room which has been Goerge’s home since he was 7. The bed is a piece of foam. There is no door to the main house or to their room. They use a blanket to cover the entrance.

The hole in the ceiling which leaks during the rainy season (April-October)

The hole in the ceiling which leaks during the rainy season (April-October)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The common area for all the tenants to cook their meals over an open wood burning stove.

The same area that is used by all six families to wash dishes and their clothes.

 The common area for all the tenants to cook their meals over an open wood burning stove.


The common area for all the tenants to cook their meals over an open wood burning stove.

 

The public restroom for the two homes side by side, where all 11 families live, with no water or electricity.

The public restroom for the two homes side by side, where all 11 families live, with no water or electricity.

The toilet, which is just a hole in the ground and no door. Here you bring your own water to wash yourself.

The toilet, which is just a hole in the ground and no door. Here you bring your own water to wash yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ebola is real

One of several signs about Ebola you can find while driving through Monrovia

When I first visited Liberia in the summer of 2008, little did i know this war-ravaged country would capture my heart. That next year, I was part of a team that founded an organization called Liberia Now which is dedicated to bringing hope and healing to a nation a need. Ever since then, over the past six years, Liberia has consistently been in my prayers and thoughts.

Fast forward to today. Kelly, the kids and myself have spent the past eleven days in the midst of the worst Ebola outbreak ever, with Liberia being the epicenter of where this deadly disease is seemingly spinning out of control. I never would have dreamed we would have been in the middle of this Ebola mess, but I am thankful that my family is here during these days.

I am thankful because it is giving us a small taste of the kind of fear and uncertainty much of the rest of the world has to deal with on a regular basis. I am thankful because it has caused my own family to go to God with their own fears and then for the peace that surpasses all understanding to become a reality in my own family’s hearts and lives during these dark days. I am thankful because it is helping the entire Tippit crew to place themselves in someone else’s shoes for more than a passing minute and for it to really sink in how hard life really is for most people on planet earth. Don’t get me wrong. I despise this horrific disease and all the heartache and havoc it is causing to too many lives. I loathe the fear and panic that is just beginning to set in here. But in the midst of this unfathomably horrible outbreak, I am thankful for the invaluable sober reminder it has been to both me and my family.

We want those of you to know who pray for us, that we are ok. We genuinely believe that the threat of one of us catching the virus is miniscule. We are being wise by limiting our contact with others and the kids feel completely safe as no one is being gripped by fear. The Liberian government is quarantining many of the Liberia communities where the Ebola virus has had the greatest impact. The community we are living in is not one of those. Also, we are scheduled to leave Liberia saturday night and feel like there is no environment we will be in between now and then which will put our family at any risk.

Corey and the kids leading worship at the kids camp

Corey and the kids leading worship at the Scholarship kids camp.

The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus did change many of our plans for this week though. Unfortunately, we were only able to do a portion of the kids camps we had planned because the Liberian government recently mandated that there be no public meetings in the country for the time being. We also had to switch our flight out of Liberia to another airline as the airline we were scheduled to fly out with has suspended their flights in and out of Liberia. The health clinic which Liberia Now works with has temporarily suspended admitting new patients as health facilities are one of the places where the virus is most likely to spread.

Obviously, if we would have known ahead of time that in the two weeks we were scheduled to minister in Liberia that the Ebola outbreak would begin to spread out of control, we never would have come to Liberia during this time.. But we are here and I am grateful for all the amazing works God has and is doing in each of our lives during these difficult days. Please be in prayer for our dear Liberian friends here who can not just leave the country like we can and escape the threat of Ebola. Pray for their safety and for supernatural peace to guard their hearts and minds. Please pray for the victims and communities where this evil disease has ravaged too many lives.

Also we would covet your prayers for our family’s and the City Church team flights out of Liberia . Pray that we would be able to get out of the country and into the next country we are scheduled to minister in. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your encouragement and prayers!

Dave Tippit, Executive Director of Liberia Now

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George and Braden

Braden’s buddy – George

The first thing I noticed about him was his perfect and beautiful smile. Sweet George drove 2 hours, along with several other wonderful people, to pick us up from the airport. He has been with us every minute since that night. George is quick to serve us in any and every way. He’s the one walking us to the car with the umbrella, taking our plate after we eat, ironing our clothes off the clothesline, keeper of the gate where we stay, and most importantly-our live in nanny for Braden. The two of them have become quite the buddies.

One of the best things about being in Liberia this year is living with some of our African friends. It gives us a chance to get to know them better and spend some fun time with them. The other night we taught our subdued friend, George the game of Pit. We got to see him get a bit competitive and be the first to ring the bell and yell, “Corner on the Market.” Right now as I type this he is playing a game of soccer with Dave and the kids on this beautiful rain-free afternoon.

I’m always intrigued to hear the Liberian’s stories. They consistently have a smile on their faces, but most have seen some very hard days or more likely years. Our good friend George is no different.

George is 21 and the eldest of four. Being the only brother he takes on the responsibility to care for his sisters. When he was just eight his dad was taken from him by the rebels as they were fleeing their home during the war. A few days later they found him dead on the side of the road. This began a long hard journey for his entire family. After the war, George and his family lived in a one room house with his aunt and her three kids. This was their home for about 12 years. They have recently moved into a two room home.

George’s mom could barely find money to feed her kids, and many days was unable to. George got use to living life hungry. His dream was to go to school, but in order for this to be possible his mother would have to pay his school fees. She knew this was impossible for her, but she always told George, “God will make a way.” George and his mom prayed every night that God would provide a way for him to go to school.

One day, George went to church and heard Pastor Gyamfi talk about a scholarship program that was coming to their church. George hoped that this would be God’s way of allowing him to go to school. He applied for a Liberian Now scholarship the first year it became available, and was accepted as an 8th grader. He couldn’t wait to tell his mom the great news! God had provided a way, just as they had believed He would.

George and two other 2014 Liberia Now graduates

George and two other 2014 Liberia Now High School Graduates

As of this June, George is a Liberian Now high school graduate. His passion is physics, and his dream is to come to America to get a degree in mining engineering. He knows that Liberia has some mineral rich soil and he would like to come back and help Liberia to become a better nation.

He can’t put into words how much Liberia Now has changed his life and has opened the door to make his dreams come true. I’m thankful for ministries like Liberia Now who make something as basic as an education a possibility for kids who otherwise would grow-up in a world without hope and little room for dreams. I believe it’s determined, smart, hard-working young men and women like George, who are going to help this nation see a brighter tomorrow.    By Kelly Tippit

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Every time I travel to Liberia, the experience inevitably teaches me something new. One lesson that I have been taught by the Liberians on multiple occasions is the declaration of Psalm 28:7.  An undeniable fact about Liberian believers is that “the joy of the Lord really is their strength.”

scriptureWhen Liberians buy into something and get excited about it, their exuberance is highly contagious. One can’t help but be challenged by how they give all of themselves to the worship of God. Whenever I get the privilege to experience this firsthand, I become acutely encouraged in the entire fabric of my being.

Below is a short video clip from the most recent pastor’s conference that Liberia Now conducted in Monrovia. Click on the link below to get a glimpse of what I am talking about.

 

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brent.png.opt269x269o0,0s269x269In February, three pastors from Bandera Road City Church led a church leadership conference for eighty pastors and wives. Liberia Now has sought to train the same group of pastors and churches over five years to make the greatest impact possible. During the three-day conference, they explored the heart, their marriages, their personalities, and the skills of great leaders.

It helps tremendously if great leaders have great marriages. As pastors and wives have grown in their marriages, people in their communities have noticed the changes. One pastor told the team that his church had doubled in size because of the changes that occurred in his marriage due to the conference. And he said that many of the new people in his church came from non-Christian backgrounds.

pastors-conference2These pastors have led their churches to become more focused on the mission of the church, which they said is to reach lost people and help them believe in and follow Jesus Christ. They identified Grace-Barriers that might keep unbelievers from coming to church. They also discussed creative Grace-Bridges that might connect the timeless message of the Gospel with their unique culture and people. Exciting times.These pastors have led their churches to become more focused on the mission of the church, which they said is to reach lost people and help them believe in and follow Jesus Christ. They identified Grace-Barriers that might keep unbelievers from coming to church. They also discussed creative Grace-Bridges that might connect the timeless message of the Gospel with their unique culture and people. Exciting times.

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Pictured to the right is City Church Community Pastor Miriam Callahan with conference attendee Lydia Wessah.

Please join Liberia Now in praying for these pastors and their churches.

Brent Saathoff

Lead Pastor, City Church

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dirty-water-2What if?…What if you couldn’t read these words?…What if… five dollars seemed like a small fortune… What if…your baby girl had a deathly high fever…and you couldn’t do anything about it?…What if…instead of savoring that Latte in the morning…the brown liquid you swallowed every day was dirtywater?…What if…only fifteen out of every one-hundred people in your community… actually had a job?… What if you lived “in the land of the free”…but all these things were true too… What if?

While some of these questions still linger in Liberia today, they actually were extremely prescient and relevant to the Liberia of the mid-2000’s. But slowly the times are a changing. Liberia has begun to enter into an era where genuine hope reigns supreme.

In 2006, a Harvard-trained economist, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became the first female elected head of state in African history. This fellow follower of Christ has received resounding accolades of affirmation throughout the international community. The verdict has been that her wise and tempered approach to good governance and realistic reconstruction of this war-torn nation is putting Liberia on a hopeful path.

hope-africa-2.png.opt468x229o0,0s468x229Out of the ashes, out of the chaos, out of the heartache, a masterpiece is beginning to form. Liberia Now desires to be part of the solution of seeing this country realize a more hopeful today. Liberia Now seeks to holistically address all the major channels of Liberian culture by linking the Body of Christ and the international community-at-large with the needs and opportunities that exist in Liberia today. We hope you will consider joining us in seeing these “what if” questions turned into oh, wow — living, breathing miracles of today.

 

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Liberian-MapA few years ago, my father who is an international evangelist, received an interesting e-mail from an unknown pastor in Liberia. In the e-mail, this pastor expressed his desperate desire to connect his people to Christ and knew that in the midst of this horrific civil war that the time was ripe for an eternal harvest. After scouring the internet for international evangelists who may be able to come to his nation in need, he ended up deciding upon contacting ten different globally-minded ministries. He contacted all ten, yet only one ministry responded back to his plea for partnership during those dark days – Sammy Tippit Ministries.

Sammy-preaching-Liberia.png.opt245x329o0,0s245x329As a result of this correspondence, my dad ended up sending one of the STM staff personnel to meet with this pastor in a neighboring West-African country. As they discussed the possibilities of pursuing future ministry missions together, this pastor received word that the rebels had come to the community where he lived and that his house had been taken over by these insurgents. Throughout this period, this man – pastor Emmanuel Gyamfi displayed such a powerful presence of the peace of God upon his life that my father was convinced that he was being called to go to Liberia. It ended up taking Pastor Gyamfi a month to return to his home where fortunately he found his family unharmed by this foreign invasion.

Not long after that, my dad went to Liberia to preach the good news about the person and promise of Jesus Christ. God moved and lives were forever changed. A couple years later, STM ended up going back to conduct more meetings and to follow-up on what God had previously done in so many lives. When my parents returned to Liberia for a second time though, they found that Pastor Gyamfi and his wife Ruth had been busy. Through some outside help, and by using the savings that his wife had built up, (she works for a foreign shipping company), they had built a medical clinic to service the Lower Virginia community consisting of about 50,000 people. They were using Mrs. Gyamfi’s monthly salary to provide as much medications as they possibly could, though the demand always outnumbered their supply.

Gyamfi-family-pic.png.opt385x289o0,0s385x289My parents were moved by the compassionate heart of sacrifice and the culture of excellence that they saw displayed through the lives of the Gyamfi’s and the medical clinic itself. They came back burdened to do more. So they decided to ask my wife and I along with my sister and her husband if we would like to, (as three separate, but connected families),  provide the financial support for all the malaria treatments in this particular clinic. We all answered with a resounding yes to this invitation.  In the years previous to this question, God had been working in our personal lives and in our particular ministry callings about becoming agents of Shalom (caring for the whole person – physical & spiritual).

Then my dad asked me what I thought about the seemingly improbable idea of making a long-term physical and spiritual investment to target the entire nation of Liberia.  I began rigorously researching the possibilities and potential pitfalls associated with such a proposal. Soon thereafter I shared this far-fetched vision with my good friend, Allyn Anderson and he was immediately in. My dad also shared this same vision with one of the STM board of directors,  Brent Saathoff who readily resonated with the purpose and possibility of such a wild and wacky adventure.

Mosquito-drugs-pic.png.opt397x265o0,0s397x265After much planning and preparation, a few of us from representing various non-profit organizations decided that an exploratory trip in July of 2008 would be the first step in this long Liberian journey that awaited us. During this fateful trip in the summer of 2008, we were able to meet with dozens of pastors, local community leaders, and various government officials (mayor, county commissioner, the highest ranking Senator in the Liberian Congress and even the Vice-President of the country of Liberia who is also a believer). Out of that, a long-term plan was birthed between our Liberian partners and us few Americans. Our plan was to begin with one community – the Lower Virginia community which consisted of 50,000 people. In 2009 we formed an entirely new 501-c3 and in the spring of that year, we kicked off this campaign by inaugurating assorted projects which pertained to these various areas of need. Over the past four years since then we have expanded our various outreaches and have been apart of impacting over

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35,000 lives. By the grace of God and according to His perfect timing, our prayer is to duplicate what has been done in Lower Virginia throughout the various fifteen regions of Liberia over the next generation.

Early on we decided to name this organization Liberia Now because we believed that though our American forefathers helped to create this nation, never has there been a time in the history of Liberia that our distant cousins need genuine partners more than now. Please pray with us for Liberia, not next year, but now.  In some ways, this dream seems daunting and fanciful, yet in other ways it feels like we have been plucked and placed into the territory of the unknown, into the terrain of a fantastic faith adventure.

 

 

MLK-quote1.png.opt548x547o0,0s548x547Pray that the God of today will be present in all that we plan and do right now. We hope you will partner with us in this peculiar quest where the past, present and future all collide together to form this baffling invisible reality known as faith.

A fellow partner,

Dave Signature

 

 

Dave Tippit

 

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