THERE IS POWER IN UNITY & PARTNERSHIP!
By Dennis Aggrey
There is a saying, “Together we stand, divided we fall.” Jesus prayed for a united church. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in three, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:23)
Partnership . . . to sustain in times of weakness.
“But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side and the other on the other side: . . . And Joshua overcame Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” (Exodus 17:12-13)
Partnership . . . gives success in battle.
“So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.” (Judges 20:11)
God has greatly blessed our CRCA Organization in a short period of time. This is no doubt due to the faithfulness, prayer and fasting of our church members and partners working together to help fulfill the Great Commission. This demonstrates the power of partnership that exists between all CRCA churches, partners abroad, Christian organizations and individuals. We are grateful to God for his blessings, and appreciate very much the joining of many hands. To God be the glory “. . . for without him, we can do nothing.” (John 15:15)
Africa (Liberia) has been referred to as the Dark Continent by many western missionaries for many years. It has been described as a place of sexual immorality, witchcraft, corruption, and the poorest continent where nothing works. But I can boldly say The Light (Jesus) is repelling the darkness. In Liberia, like I say many times, “The Lord is restoring the years the locust have eaten . . . .” (Joel 2:25)
Although the focus of an article on the www.npr.org website does not focus on the spiritual aspects of Liberia, it shows God’s hand moving in Liberia. The article 'Looking to Escape the Recession? Try Liberia' says “If you want another perspective, try the World Economic Outlook, published by the International Monetary Fund. The report lists one country with a bright forecast, Liberia. Gross domestic product there is predicted to jump from 8.6 percent growth in 2008 to 14.3 percent this year.” Not only is God faithful in keeping his promise of restoring the years the locust have eaten economically; He is also blessing CRCA Ministry in many ways.
CRCA ACCOMPLISHMENTS: October, 2008 – February, 2009
• November 17-20: Pastor’s training was conducted in Voinjama with over 70 pastors in attendance
The pastor were taught how to teach through telling Bible stories in their own dialects. Our facilitators were Rick and Laura Leatherwood, John Mark Sheppard, and Dennis Aggrey.
• November 24-26: Follow-up Storying Conference was held in Monrovia with over 90 pastors in attendance.
• December 1 -5: CRCA School Principals and CRCA Leadership Retreat was held in Jawajeh.
• October – January: The Jesus and God’s Story videos in the Gola dialect were shown 48 times with over 9,600 people watching. About 3,100 made professions of faith in Christ!
• January, 2009: The Jesus and God’s Story videos in the Lorma dialect were shown 10 times with over 3,000 viewing and 1,060 receiving Christ!
Perhaps many of you have heard the story about a town called Malawu which has been the center of ancestor worship and witchcraft in Liberia. Since our visit there with the Gospel, things have changed. Our first visit to Malawu was in September 2008. By December, the average church attendance was 135. During the CRCA Annual Conference in January 2009, 18 members of this church attended the conference. At the conference, it was unanimously agreed by the CRCA women to host the 2009 Women’s Conference in Malawu. There are many other towns where the Gospel is taking root and repelling witchcraft, such as Kpassagizia and Bokazia. These people have “. . . turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” (I Thessalonians 1:9)
• By November 2008, CRCA had planted 29 churches with 48 pastors and evangelists. By the end of January 2009, God has blessed CRCA with 36 churches with 52 pastors and evangelists. In addition, there are also 13 Preaching Points (meaning there is not a pastor or evangelist based there; a pastor goes there weekly to conduct Bible studies). Of these 42 pastors and evangelists, only 16 of us are paid monthly. The commitment of these people proves their genuine faithfulness. As a result of the Storying Pastors’ Conferences, over 78 community Bible studies are being held every week
• November – December: CRCA fed over 2,500 children nutritional meals three times weekly and taught them Christian lessons.
• December 27 – January 4: CRCA Annual Conference was held in Tumukolia. Over 800 CRCA members were in attendance. Four of our friends from one of our partner churches in the US, Liberty Baptist Church in Chelsea, Alabama, served as facilitators. At the opening of the conference, Rick Leatherwood spoke on sexual purity. Two of our evangelists relinquished their positions because they are living with women to whom they are not married and with whom they have had children; a step forward in pursuing holiness without CRCA.
• January 2009: Ten of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary students were deployed to work alongside CRCA pastors. Great results and testimonies are coming from their six weeks of service.
• January 2009: Mrs. Yassah David joined the CRCA staff as Project Manager.
• November – February 2009: Church construction in Monrovia and Peter’s Town is going on.
• The sustainable projects, such as vegetable gardening, animal husbandry, fish ponds, guest houses, etc., are ongoing activities of all CRCA churches. The intent of these projects is to help churches be self-sustaining in the future.
This report is just “the tip of the iceberg” of all the good things God is doing for and through CRCA and its partners. There are many other Christian organizations in Liberia that God is using to bring His Light to the darkness. There is HOPE!
• Helping to meet the financial requests of smaller churches who would like to construct their own places of worship
• Developing understanding among partner organizations of the need to allow CRCA to follow God’s vision of being sustainable, empowered, and self governing, and the importance of CRCA’s involvement in all decision-making that affects CRCA.
• Making the time to write newsletters
• Stretching to all the places that need evangelism and are inviting CRCA ministries
With God’s help and the power of partnership, our accomplishments will continue and our challenges overcome.
CRCA Contact Information:
13th Street, Sinkor, Cheesman Avenue
1000 Monrovia, 10 Liberia - West Africa