Prayer Trust Ministries

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Mission Report – Liberia April 2018
A team of 6 joined Rev Grace and Amos along with two others from04th April to 12th April
2018.

On the first day they all travelled travelled to address the community and deliver training to the teachers. However, before we left, we met with Pastor Deborah, another co-labourer with the Prayer Trust and a brother from Pastor Deborah’s church who was skilled in mechanised farming. We discussed how to best use 50 acres of land that had been acquired by Prayer Trust to be used for mechanised farming to generate revenue and create employment for the local residents. Then went to meet teachers from schools within the community and some members of the community that were assembled in the church. Upon arrival, they were met by dozens of smiling faces of precious children in vivid uniforms, the Principal of the private school and Pastor of the Church.

The team was split up into two groups, the teachers went to talk to teachers who were assembled from three different schools whilst some members of the team spoke to the community who were assembled in the church and waiting.

Bro A spoke about the importance of having a vision and understanding an appreciation of what God has brought the people through, as a nation. They are worthwhile as a people and God that had brought them through is able to provide for them and encouraged them to work as young, able bodied people. To look for the opportunities available and use what they have, bearing in mind that they cannot just wait for external aid or help as this not the case anymore. He spoke from his own personal experience having spent over 30 years overseas, but that, it doesn’t have to take them that long.

Bro M gave a scriptural perspective and gave the example of Joseph as a deliverer to his family (which eventually became a nation), after going through so many trials and he became a prime minister, and he said that God only needs one person willing to be obedient, pay the price of dedication and sacrifice for Him to work through. He also spoke to men that they should be working hard, whilst they are young, this is the best time for them to use their strength. He challenged the audience to identify where their passion lied in terms of creativity and interests, what their vision was, if they have a trade and whatever they could put their hands to. Br. Moses reminded the audience that from his limited research, Liberia as a nation had 36 mineral resources of the world’s 56 and that the land had abundance of potential that everyone could tap into. He passionately spoke about the need for Community action and progress but not individual focus. He shared with them that the early church grew and was seen as a positive role model to other neighbourhoods and cities because they worked together and had everything in common. He said that these are the same principals the world uses today. That most successful communities work together and pull their resources together to develop one another and each other.

Sis Femi asked them to look at what they spent their money on this week? That money had passed through their hands, that it is very important to keep some in the process of spending (save and invest), and honour the Lord with it. But also find something to do with their hands to invest the money.

While speaking to the educators, Sis. T and Br. J. spoke about the roles and responsibilities of teachers, students and the wider community and also the challenges faced by those groups and how they could find solutions to these challenges. They also talked about lesson planning but unfortunately the session was cut short by a huge downpour of rain, so everyone had to seek shelter in the church building (which was also leaking in some parts due to poor/ weak roofing).

During this time, Rev Grace went for a meeting with the Minister for agriculture with sis Doris.

They headed back to their accommodation and there were hundreds of people waiting to hear them speak.

Several members of the team addressed the people encouraging them in the word. It was awesome to see how receptive and hungry the people were! They were all asked (by the community leaders) to write their names and what skills or trade they wanted to develop, there were over 700 names People were still coming to submit their names and skills throughout the next day, just over 800 names had been submitted at the time the registry was handed to Rev. Grace.

A debrief meeting was held in the evening


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Day2 – 06th April

On day two they returned to continue to encourage the people in the community and also to complete the teacher training.

Br. A shared on laying a solid foundations and different strategies for building on the foundation.

Br. D shared his testimony of how he had nothing in his life and was almost giving up hope until Br. A showed him what and how to do fish farming. He encouraged the people to always embrace change and that sometimes it requires one to relocate so as to explore new possibilities. He shared that he had to relocate from the city to another location in Nigeria before new doors opened for him and his family. He also said that sometimes, it can be fear that holds people from stepping out to do what is inside of them.

Br. M spoke on innovative business initiatives/ ideas that the community could come up with, present to their local government representatives citing that though the government may be willing to help regenerate their communities, the solutions for what people wanted to see done should come from them.

Br. M also spoke about his experience of working in youth empowerment and professional development projects and how learning from each other’s experiences and brain storming the different skills set could enable people in the community develop sustainable projects that could help them to generate income and thus re-invest in the form of interest free loans for those that have business ideas which could benefit with small starting financial capital.

Br. M also encouraged the people to engage in volunteering their services which can help them develop new skills whilst support each other develop. He cited areas like child day cares/ play groups whilst some parents can do some food/ crop growing, others could try catering but also experiment with different dishes suggesting the use of the internet/YouTube as most of the young people he had seen all had smart phones. He challenged the young men not only look what they could benefit from others, but also look at what they can give back with the abilities and skills they possessed – no matter how little. He noted that he observed that apart from imported drinks in the shops, he had not seen anyone selling freshly squeezed juices and yet they had driven past many fruits

Br. M challenged the people not to look at what they don’t have, but how could they start from where they were to get to where they needed to be, reminding them that the greatest battle we can ever overcome is in our mind. He also reminded the people that for us to believe our identity in Christ, we needed to readdress our mind – that our battles are won or lost first through the mind.

The session was concluded with questions and answers on how to implement practical solutions to some of the challenges the residents were facing and how to develop, plan and implement sustainable projects that if successfully managed, it could encourage their local government to support. Residents were reminded that the government often has budget set aside for community development and regeneration initiative/ programmes, but that it would benefit them as locals if they stepped up to the plate and organised themselves. That way, their local MP would have something to present before the financial decision makers. This was well received by the people.

During the teachers’ continued training, Br. Jand Sis. T discussed teaching strategies, assessment for learning, peer teaching, growth mindset and the importance of vision. They also cast the vision for fundraising in the community to provide places to sponsor school children. They committed to sponsoring a place for one child provided that the teachers and community were able to sponsor a child (1:1). The cost of sponsoring a child for the whole academic year was less-than $75.00 (school fees, uniform and study materials)

At the end of the teacher training, Br. J & Sis. T gave out the donated books and study materials to which the teachers were so grateful for, and promised to use the learning outcomes to empower fellow teachers.

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Day3 – 07th April

They met with the congregation and local residents at Pastor Jalla’s Church – United Evangelical Christian Fellowship.(A Prayer Trust Affiliated church.)

The host pastor welcomed us and introduced Rev. Grace who – after sharing a few words, introduced the mission team and the purpose of our meeting with the brethren and community. The brethren were encouraged (by the mission team) to rise above their circumstances and also reminded that everything they need to develop (individually and as a community was within and among themselves.

They were reminded about the importance of having a vision, making clear and working in partnership to manifest their vision (individually and collectively as a community.

Later on in the afternoon, they visited the 50acre land that Prayer Trust Ministries acquired. Rev. Grace shared with the team the intended purpose for the land (Short, Medium and Long term goals)

There was a debrief meeting in the evening.

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Day4 – 08th April

On Sunday, Rev. Grace and the mission team met with the Honourable Matthew - MP for Pobolo County who shared his vision for women empowerment in Pobolo as one of his main priority. The MP informed the team that he recognised a massive gap within the community in-terms of inequality and identified that the women in his county were way behind and needed a lot of help in order to bridge the inequality gap.

The team shared potential training opportunities that could benefit the communities and also enable them develop sustainable project initiatives. Rev. Grace shared Prayer Trust’s Vision and informed the MP that since Pobolo was next door County to Bumi, it was a great opportunity for collaboration with the MP.

In the afternoon, Rev. Grace, Rev. Amos and the mission were invited to Kingdom Harvest Ministries under the leadership of Pastor Deborah (one of Prayer Trust Board of Trust Members). Rev. Grace and the mission team shared as led by The Lord but the focus was on developing the individual self in light of The Word of God and working together as a church in their community to bring about transformation.

The brethren were encouraged not to focus on their present circumstances but trust that God was able to pull them through. However, they needed to rise and be proactive in identifying the various skills and abilities they had individually and then work toward developing themselves as a group.

Pastor Deborah, informed Rev. Grace and the mission team that there were so many training needs put forward by members of the church and community and also reiterated that people had actually volunteered themselves to be trained in order to up skill themselves so as to make a difference in their personal lives and community.

There is a desperate desire from the people to rise out of the ashes and that there was a high unemployment rate among the young people.

Rev. Grace was informed that the MP for VOA was waiting to meet with her and the mission team. Although this was not a pre-arranged meeting, the MP had been in the community when local residents turned up on day1 of our visit and had been briefed about the initiatives Prayer Trust had shared with the local residents and the encouragement people felt should opportunities to develop and retrain individual skills become available.

The MP was interested in learning how his office could work in partnership with Prayer Trust to address some of the most pressing needs of empowering the community to help improve the standards of living. The MP gave his fully commitment to Prayer Trust that he was willing to do everything possible to support the work Prayer Trust had started in his community and also promised to see how best to raise funds and make necessary resources available (in-terms of training facilities) to make training accessible for the local residents. The meeting lasted for just over 3hrs.

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Day5 – 09th April

This was a day of rest. The team also visited Bomi county to witness the new foundation that had been laid for the caretaker’s apartment and the school children classrooms that had been rebuilt from the mission team’s collective sponsorship. Later the team visited an orphanage that was being taken care of by Sis Doris – a sister that has committed herself to look after abandoned children who survived the civil war and recent Ebola outbreak.

We were briefed about the challenges and struggles the orphanage were experiencing and what Prayer Trust was doing in supporting the work on ground. However, it was evident that there was great need and support required, which Prayer Trust alone could not offer. But with God’s help, Sister Doris believed that help would come.

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Day6 – 10th April

The team travelled to where we were to stay overnight prior to addressing the brethren of New Destiny International Chapel and local residents. Unfortunately, , one of the vehicles suffered a punctured tyre. Thankfully, by God’s grace, there was no accident. After a long wait for the repair of the spare tyre, we journeyed on.

At the hotel, we met with the resident Pastor of New Destiny International who welcomed us and informed us that he and the church were looking forward to hear from the team.

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Day 7- 11th April

The team addressed the brethren at New destiny International Chapel together with the local residents in the morning

The team encouraged the brethren in The Word of God and shared practical ways how people could work as a community to develop sustainable projects that could help improve their standards of living. The brethren were reminded that it was important to forgive and put the wrongs of the past behind them, but could take the positive lessons learnt from their past experiences and build afresh. The congregation was reminded that they had everything they needed to rebuild their lives, homes and communities. However, it required them to Look up to God who would, through His Word open the eyes of their understanding to understand what they ought to do. They were reminded that the key to unlock one’s potential was to know what his or her purpose in Christ was.

Also in attendance were two government representatives who expressed their gratitude for Prayer Trust’s desire to bring positive change in the county The representatives gave their commitment to fully support the initiatives Prayer Trust had and promised to report back to the MP so as to explore ways to work with the local residents to enable them improve standards of living while creating sustainable projects to foster employment opportunities. At the end, the congregation had an opportunity to ask questions. This was the case with previous meetings was well.

The meeting was concluded shortly before 2pm. We were served with lunch by the host Pastor of New Destiny International Chapel and shortly after we returned to the hotel to pick our luggage.