Liberia Visitation 2016
This is an excerpt of the report sent to the CLC Mission Board – I had the pleasure of working with Pastor John Hein and Alvin Jask in Liberia recently arriving there Nov. 1st and leaving Nov. 11th.
It was decided to have the sessions of study for several days on the 45 Colloquy Practice Questions with the following: Joseph Kiwalazu, an independent Lutheran pastor formerly of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Marvin Johnson, who is Alvin’s brother in law(though he did not attend much), Samuel who has a school (and several of his teachers attended also), Alfred who is a pastor and has a school, whose wife and several teachers attended also. Ultimately we got through 21 questions with this group and we finished the remainder with Joseph who will lead the ongoing study. We went around allowing them to answer the questions which we then added to with our comments. In addition on my part I went over and handed out studies on: Justification, the Kingdom of God, Predestination, Hermeneutical Principles, Romans Passage/Principle Quiz. I left from my material the following for Joseph to lead in study: Millenium, 16 Prophets Overview, the Will of God, Understanding Prophecy. John went over the material from Mueller’s ‘My Church and Others’ and 14 pamphlets for Joseph to use when we met with him from 9-4 on the 10th.
In Monrovia this was the big thrust the first week. We began with devotions on the three days of the group study. Those who attended did not seem to have much if any disagreement, but only learning to understand. In discussions with the participants in the study it was decided to have Joseph lead the continued study under John’s direction through phone talks and emails. It was a good discussion. The men participating in the study will then have to decide if they agree with the CLC teachings and want to have fellowship.
Nov. 3 – John conducted a Thanksgiving service at Alfred’s school where they also have church. It was our service so there was no conflict on fellowship. I also preached on Three Unlikely Heroes – Ebedmelech, Esther, the Slave Girl at Naaman’s. We came to this school last year also. It has to be remembered that Alfred’s wife had been a preacher, but stepped down from that which is very positive. It also needs to be remembered that they would like to have support for their school. Some days later after instruction 24 adults and children were baptized there by Pastor Hein.
Nov. 6 – Through Alvin’s contact the three of us were interviewed on a Sunday morning radio talk show on our church and purpose
We audited the worship service at Joseph’s church after which we explained about our Lutheran church to these Lutherans. We did not kneel when they did for prayer and of course did not take communion showing how we are separate until we find agreement on God’s Word. The position of women in the church was discussed in detail in application among others. Joseph said he would be detailing to the congregation what we teach and hope they would make a decision by the first of December.
Nov. 8 We had made a six hour trip from Monrovia to Bopolu. Through Alvin’s contacts there a lot happened this day. In the morning John and I gave devotions at a Secondary School. I spoke on my Swiss Army Knife with its 10 attachments as an example of the Bible which is what we need in every situation and should carry with us wherever we go. There was a definite need for Bibles there. Later we gave a devotion at the Bible school that Alvin attended as a child. I spoke on the white star and five colors to remind us in this life of what Christ has done for us. I first asked how many students had Bibles and found very few hands raised among the 80 or so students. A definite need. An impromptu meeting was then decided upon at the school’s chapel church to meet with interested pastors at 2:00. Seven men and one woman came. We had a good discussion with the deacon and evangelist of the LCL congregation as well as with several of the men, both pastor, evangelist, and teachers of the school of our teachings. They would be interested in us holding seminars there to present our teachings as we did in Monrovia last year. It was thought that maybe 100 would come. There is a dreadful lack of true Bible knowledge among preachers. The old saying for Africa goes here also – Christianity is a mile wide, but an inch deep. So if there can be support obviously from the board work could be done here, though more time and effort would be demanded beyond what is now expended. In the evening we went out to the village of Lowomah and met in the village meeting open air roofed area with over 50 of the people. There is a church here connected with the Bible school group in Bopolu. The preacher of that church asked many questions and was interested in coming to a seminar as well as having us speak in his church. We both gave devotions, with mine on two parables, the five brothers and the peacock’s wife falling ill. Bopolu is where Alvin grew up.
We should thank the Lord that He has given us these opportunities to witness to His love for sinful people. A great need seen was for Bibles. We could easily give out 3-400 Bibles to those we came in contact with.