Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Seeing Liberia for the first time

This is what MOST of the houses looked like. . .except this one is very large. The other houses were the thatched roof kind with what looks like weaved mats as the walls (see the pic below that is blurry b/c we were driving and most "towns" like this had tons of people and I didn't want to be the rude American sticking my camera out the window to photograph them). These were the 2 most common houses that we passed, our WHOLE journey into town.

This is a billboard on the road. Next to it was one with a man beating a woman that said, "Your woman is your friend, not your enemy". Notice the dirt road (see pic below)and floor and the trash everywhere. People everywhere. The villages don't seem to be organized here in the "city". Apparently they are more in the bush. There just seem to be people and shanty's everywhere and people selling things on the side of the road. . .mostly hair places and food stands.

These pictures are the nicest places we passed. Right by the embassy. Now, I'm sure there are really nice homes behind the compounds for UN workers and diplomats, but you can't see behind the huge walls and barbed wire for security.

Ok, today we flew into Liberia. I was so excited to touch down. I leaned over my travel mate and stared out the window during our whole descent! I can't believe I am here. We met a lady on the plane who runs a school and has invited us to come visit this week which will be cool. The Liberian people are really nice and so sincere. I told a couple of people in the airport that we were here to adopt a little boy and also research organiations and what we could do to help Liberia. They were so sweet and most teared up and said that was so nice.
The poverty. Oh my, I don't know how to write about this right now. I cried on my way into the city most of the time and prayed a lot. I prayed for God's provision for them. And, asked how He wanted to use us to be a part of that provision. It truly is what you picture when you think of Africa. Thatched roof huts alonside tin shantys. My heart just broke watching the children walk with big buckets of water. We did pass a lot of "ministries". Even the ministries took place in shantys with a wood sign that said "medical clinic". I want to take a picture and put it next to a shot of Orlando's brand new Winnie Palmer Hospital. Seriously, you guys, look around you right now. Do it. . .do you see walls? Do you see a roof over your head? Did you take a warm shower today? Are you clean and well fed? Most of these sweet people do not see the same thing as you. Most of Davis' family probably lives like that (I didn't hardly see anything eles). And, I know I don't know the half of it. I'm simply writing about what I witnessed in 45 min in a taxi. We are going into the Bush to see a village later this week. . .I know I will learn much that day. . .I don't even know how to process this. I spend so much money so carelessly. Did you know that school here costs $400 for a year? For most families that would be a 3 months salary. That's why the kids can't even afford to go to school. But without it, what then? The problems are so big and I have no clue where to start. For now, I'm practically interviewing the Liberians I have contact with to see what they believe are the needs of this country and what they would do to meet them. Pray for guidance and discernment. Pray God will give us a clear calling on how to be involved. I do NOT want to be a family that gets home and forgets all about our plans to help Liberia. Everything in me wants to move here and make a difference. . .however, maybe God can use me more in the US. . .I'm so conflicted and so pained and want to be exactly where God wants me so that He can be glorified. Oh Jesus, what are you doing here? You are destroying my heart in a really good way. Change me, Jesus. I don't want to forget these sights when I get home. I don't want to EVER utter to my husband or my friend, "I really need a bigger house". Give us direction, Oh God. Use us to bring your hope, your provision, your love and your character to these people whom you have locked our hearts with.
Ok, I'm sorry, but sometimes blogging, since it is online journaling just has to break into prayer. I'm back to you guys now! Please pray for the following things this week:
We will be meeting with a number of NGO's (non governmental organizations who do relief work) to find out about what they do.
We are also traveling to "The Bush" otherwise known as Interior Liberia
We will be (apparently) speaking at a church on Sunday
Pray for guidance and wisdom. Discernment to ask the right questions.
Also, continue to pray for our paperwork to be completely finished and for us to find favor with Alma. We covet your prayers and are so very grateful for the support system we have. There are many families that do not have the support of their church, family or friends and we have such amazing support. We love you guys,
Brandi (and Greg)


Jess said...

Is it odd that I so want to go there? You can count me in!

Lindsey said...
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Lindsey said...

Brandi, your words bring tears to my eyes because I can feel your heart through them. I am praying for you. For Davis. For your paperwork. And for Liberia. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

Jocelyn said...


I'm praying for a smooth process. I am so happy that you are traveling and getting Davis home!

You have my complete support and I can't wait to speak with you when you come home!



Kristen said...

My sweet friends...Rob and I have been reading your blog daily. I think of you all through out my day. My heart swells as I remember the first time I went to India, and how overwhelmed and burdened I was. I am praying for you both, Davis and that the Lord would use the emotions your feeling.
Dumptruck sends his love...oh and your not getting him back!! He's ours forever....

Denise said...

I'm so glad to see that you've touched down safely. I'm sure Greg can breath a sigh of relief (somewhat). Thanks for the consistent updates and pictures. I appreciate your sharing the journey with us. Kam and I are praying for your family. It is exciting to see what God is doing in you through this experience!

Missy said...

Oh Brandi, I know exactly how you feel. It's hard to come back to the US and live the same way you used to. I found it very hard not to be overly critical of spoiled Americans who had never witnessed what I saw in Africa. Also, I was very intolerant of any complaining from my children about food, clothes or any minor day to day inconvenience. My son was complaining about us having to wait so long in Urgent Care the other day, and boy was he sorry. I think the whole waiting room heard my sermon to him. Oh well, they probably needed to hear it too :o) I'll keep praying with you until you are safely home with your new sweetie pie. Love, Missy

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Thanks for sharing all your emotion. It's like watching a really good movie. You draw me in and make me cry. I love your heart and how your passion is contagious! Keep coming with the posts.