This is Trina Schmitt (the white one) with her friends Famatta (the girl) and Charlie(the boy). Trina has been here for about a year and she's leaving at the end of the week. (boo hoo!) Trina came to do youth and children's ministry. She led a girls' Bible Study, organized a teen sport time on Friday afternoons, helped a local church launch their children's Sunday School and Junior Church programs, spent time in a village helping the pastor and his wife in their kindergarten school and sharing the word of God with people, and lots of fun stuff too. We went to her church today for their good-bye program and it was pretty teary. But as several people said, it was also a celebration, because the purposes for assigning her to that church for the year were accomplished in wonderful ways. Just having someone there to help train teachers (even though she didn't feel she was equipped in that) stimulated the church to get a shelter built for the children's program. The youth group was going through a transition in leadership and she was able to encourage the new leader to be active and develop the program. In conjunction with her girls' Bible Study, she organized a retreat that the church is planning to continue holding. Though the church will miss her a lot, they are equipped, encouraged and completely able to carry on these ministries on their own.
ECF's first Children's Christmas Program
Trina's time here really illustrates for me the role that missionaries still have to play in the church in Liberia. Liberia's churches have many strong believers, who love the Lord and are willing to serve Him. Sometimes they need tools and skills. Sometimes they just need help getting something started because they feel inexperienced or inadequate. It's amazing what can happen in a year - how the ball can really get rolling.
So thanks, Trina for coming! We know you would give the Liberian answer: Thank God. And we do. We know He was the one who sent you and He kept his promise to complete the work that He began in you, and through you. Bon Voyage and a bientot (that means see you soon!)