Friday, July 19, 2013

Showers of Blessings

rain I feel the need to write today to all of you, my supporters and partners, to share a testimony of gratitude for what God has done recently in my life. Many of you may know that as a Pioneers missionary, I am depend on financial support from individuals and churches for my personal needs and ministry here in Sierra Leone. Raising support is not always easy, yet I have found in these last three years that the process has been such a blessing to me though hard work at the same time. Relationships have grown and new ones have been made, and I love the fact that I feel directly connected to you all and that you all are directly connected to the ministry here. I say all of this to say ‘thank you’ because without your monthly support, I could not be here. I know that it is a huge sacrifice for some of you, but I pray continually that an eternal perspective will be the constant in our hearts and minds as we serve together.

Yesterday, I received three wonderful surprises. The first two being anonymous donations to Pioneers for me and the ministry here. One covered the cost to purchase some form of transportation here. Our ministry is expanding, and up until now, I have relied on public transportation which is not always reliable or safe. Many of you have been praying that God would provide for this need, so today I am humbled and happy to announce that your prayers have been answered. Another generous donation also was given to my general account to be used for ministry and personal needs. All I can say is that God is faithful! The third surprise came in the form of an email from an organization called Medsend ( This organization gives grants to pay for medical missionaries’ student loans while they serve abroad on the mission field. Medsend wrote to tell me that I was approved for the grant and for the next 4 years they will be making my monthly student loan payments. One word…HALLELUJAH!

Today in my journal they verse was from Colossians 3:15 which says, “As members of one body you are called to live in peace. And ALWAYS be thankful.” It is so easy to be thankful when blessings are overflowing, yet my prayer is that I will continue to be thankful even in those silent seasons where God is teaching me patience and utter dependence on Him. That is my challenge. Let us all be thankful for the blessings and gifts from God, yet let us even be more thankful for the Heavenly Giver.

I love you all and will write again soon. Please be in prayer for us this week as I will be meeting with several individuals concerning the beginning of a working moringa farm here in Sierra Leone. Love and blessings to you all. LG+LP

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Whole Truth…and Nothing but the Truth

chucrch Tree of Life began in October of 2012. I confess when I arrived in Sierra Leone that I never expected this to be my ministry. I am an ICU nurse. The adrenaline driven job is a stark contrast to my job now. How does one go from saving lives in the ICU to teaching about a tree in West Africa? I admit that my job is not as fast paced, yet still it is about saving lives. Many people still do not understand what I “do”. It is a common misunderstanding among churches and Christians. Many feel that missionaries walk around with their Bible, showing a film, asking for people to ‘make a decision’ by raising their hands, and then they dunk them and report of the masses who have now followed Jesus. I am not claiming that these venues are wrong. They truly have brought the Gospel to many areas of the world, but I long for the day that the Christian culture changes and sees missionaries in a different light and in a larger scope.

Some people do not quite understand exactly what our ministry is about here in Sierra Leone. Some may think I am a Johnny Appleseed just planting trees throughout West Africa. The truth is: I am a Johnny Appleseed church planter. ;-) Our classes teach about physical wellness and spiritual wellness. The first hour is dedicated to sharing Bible stores starting from Adam and Eve and ending with the Great Commission of Jesus to “go and teach all that I have commanded you”. The second hour teaches students how to prevent diseases that are prevalent in Sierra Leone and about the moringa tree. Our classes are predominantly non-believers and the questions and exchanges have proven to be powerful. It is rare you can have this kind of venue to openly share with people from all backgrounds the story of Jesus.

You may be wondering why I feel the need to write this. Well, simply because you are the ones who support me and you have the right to know. As people come into our class, they are with us for 6 weeks. It is during that time relationships begin. Trust develops and conversations begin. We have had over five conversions and one new house church emerge since October. My hope is quality, not quantity. It is exciting to me that people are learning how to live healthy lives, save children from dying from malnutrition by using moringa, and above all, they are receiving the Truth about Christ which is the ultimate healing.

This month I have a meeting with a man from Dallas Baptist University. This dialogue will be about beginning a working moringa farm that will teach people how to grow, process, sell and export moringa. It will give jobs and also be the base for our Tree of Life ministry. I also have had requests from Mali, Guinea, Morocco, Kenya and Rwanda expressing an interest in our curriculum and ministry. It is exciting to see the international potential this ministry has. Our goal – glorifying God and making Him known in all that we do and to the ends of the earth.

So for those who may not quite understand our ministry, feel free to inquire. But please know that our heart is to see the advancement of the Gospel and to see people living healthy lives all for the glory of God. I love you all and ask that you continue to pray for Tree of Life, our students, our future, our partners and our team. Pray we will ‘be’ much more than what ‘do’. LG+LP