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October Newsletter

  • LICC College Fair
  • Ruth & Russ Schwartz visit
  • Farming God's Way Saves Lives
  • Agriculture Research at the ARC
  • A Call for Prayer for Liberia
  • Hope in the Harvest in the Philippines
  • Prayers/Praises
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LICC College Fair

We strongly believe that the education being offered at LICC agriculture department is some of the best in the entire country of Liberia. Many people who come and visit the school and see all the facilities, sit in on the classes, review our curriculum, talk to our students, also agree with this assessment. But, still not enough people know about LICC as an option, even people within the local community of Ganta.

Therefore, the school decided to host their first ever "LICC College Fair" in order to invite the community (specifically prospective students) to the campus for the day to introduce them to the programs and opportunities available at LICC. We worked with LICC to help do some of the planning. Much to our delight, we had over 500 people attend that day, most of whom came and toured the agricultural facilities! Please pray with us that these students would see clearly the amazing opportunity they have here at LICC, not only to become professionals in their chosen discipline area, but also to grow as leaders as they are discipled within a community of faith here on campus.

Russ & Ruth Schwartz Visit to Liberia

Russ & Ruth Schwartz (advocates and partners of HITH and LICC for many years) arrived safely in Ganta on Saturday evening Oct. 12 after a fairly adventurous journey up to Ganta from Monrovia. The windshield wipers and clutch were acting up most of the trip but God protected them as the final push of the clutch happened while driving through the gate to the ARC compound.  This was their 5th visit to Liberia.

 

This photo captures how Russ spent most of the first two weeks, busily working on preliminary research for his upcoming 2020 capstone project in the Capella University School of Education which is going to investigate and test the possibility of more online learning opportunities for our LICC students and teachers. He also spent time helping the missionaries work on some formal agreements and advising them on the physical design of a chocolate factory building. He also accompanied members of the LICC Agriculture Department to a farm in Gbarnga (pronounced “bonga”) to see how one agriculture graduate was using what he had been taught on his own farm.

                                       

Ruth worked mostly with Prince Kpewoan in the finance office at LICC.  She was able to make good progress and gain a better understanding of the finances and begin to form some thoughts on helping the school to create better policies and procedures for the financial processes. The finances for all schools in Liberia have been increasingly difficult as the economic conditions have been deteriorating for the past several years so the challenge was to model good practices no matter the conditions.She also worked alongside Holly Sebald at the Women’s Resource Center and helped the women sewing on various projects.  Since sewing has been a big part of Ruth’s life, she really enjoyed the hours spent with the women.

 

Living in Liberia with heat, unfamiliar critters, different food and a culture that is so different is always a huge challenge.  But when God calls you, He is faithful to give grace, comfort and strength from the smallest details to the huge seemingly insurmountable issues.  This trip has once again shown both Russ & Ruth that God’s immense love and grace are sufficient!

Farming God's Way Saves Lives

– Pastor Bill Sebald

Farming God's Way addresses the needs of both  body and soul with great zeal.  The foremost FGW champion at the ARC is our field technician, Michael Dahn.  Together with Michael, we addressed the physical and spiritual needs of the people in Vonzua, Liberia, last December.  We just got news from the local pastor that 2 Muslims that attended that workshop have become followers of Jesus Christ and members of the local church.  We plan to return to Vonzua the first week of December for more FGW training. 

 

Our joy was tempered by tragic news at almost the same time.  Michael was driving a motorbike on his way back to the ARC and collided with another motorbike.  Michael and the other driver hit head to head.  They both were knocked unconscious and hospitalized in a coma.  There was little hope as Michael did not respond for 5 days.  Then God, who is rich in mercy, answered our prayers from his throne of grace.  Michael opened his eyes that had not even responded to light.  He now speaks, drinks, and eats, though only awake for short periods of time.  Recovery may be slow.  We don't yet have an indication of the extent of brain damage.  The other driver is also slowly waking for short periods of time.

 

Our God and Savior cares for all of our needs, body and soul.  Michael's faith is shining like the sun.  He said to me, “Pray more, I love it when you pray for me.”  Then he told the nurse, “I am praying for you and the doctor that God will help you do a good job and I can walk out of here.”  Now for my prayer request:  Please join us  in asking God to heal Michael so that he is well enough to go back to Vonzua on December 3rd.   I believe that Michael's testimony of how God saved his life will have an even greater impact on the eternal destination of  those who hear. 

Agriculture Research at the ARC

-Nathan Glenn
In the LICC Agriculture Department, seniors are required to plan a scientific study, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions from that data, and write a journal article that reports their findings to the greater science community. Current senior and prospective bachelors degree candidate, Fennie Glee, seen here in this photo, is celebrating the completion of her data collection. The purpose of her study is to evaluate the effect of feed protein level on egg production and hatchability rate in Pekin Ducks. After analyzing the data, Fennie concluded what you might think would be the case--the feed with the most protein produced the most eggs. However, that same feed showed extremely poor hatchability results, while the feed with the medium amount of protein produced great results when it came to hatchability rate. Fennie’s next step--discuss these interesting findings in her journal article. Data and conclusions from studies like this one add to the Liberian agriculture body of knowledge--an important aspect of improving Liberia’s ability to feed itself. More important than the results is the encouragement that comes from the answers discovered, and the curiosity that’s nurtured by the questions formed. Everyday our lives are full of little experiments called experiences. Just like in scientific research, God reveals Himself and His truth through those experiences a little more each time.

A Call for Prayer for Liberia

Over the past few weeks, there has been a recurring prayer request that has been brought up over and over again by our staff during our morning devotions. Pray for Liberia.
 
Pray for Liberia, that God would continue to hold this country in His Hands. For many of the people in Liberia, it feels like the country just continues to plummet deeper and deeper into corruption, poverty, sorrow, chaos, illness, hurt, brokenness, etc.

Health workers have been on strike all month for lack of pay and resources, students and teachers are striking for lack of pay, and people are striking because one of the radio stations (that was notorious for criticizing the government) was shut down by the government. There are debates heating up as the discussions on the war crimes court continue to go on. The rate is climbing and the value of the Liberian dollar continues to go down while the price of food and other goods stay the same or increase.

The country is hurting right now and everyone is feeling it.  It is overwhelming and it is hard to see the way out with our own human eyes, so we know that our help must come from above (Psalm 121: 2-4). "For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" (2 Chronicles 20:12) Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers. (Psalm 61)

Hope in the Harvest in the Philippines

By Travis Sheets
...still a little jet lagged!  Many of you might recognize the name, World Mission Builders (WMB).  World Mission Builders is the mission that I spent 7 years with building up churches and constructing church buildings around the world.  In years past, WMB has really focused in building up the church in the Philippines and as a result, the churches are flourishing.  
Ed Thomas, the founder and Director of WMB, asked Hope in the Harvest to take a look at the possibilities of agriculture development in the Philippines to help lift up some of the pastors and their families that usually have to rely on an income outside their position with the church.  Upon my assessment, the Philippines has more resources than many countries to be a successful location to promote Farming God's Way.  Brian Smith plans on being our first Farming God's Way facilitator on the Island of Cebu this coming January.   
 
On a side note...while I was on the Island of Leyte, I was asked to review a partially built church building and give some feedback on its status.  Upon the review, I recognized that the foundation had been complete which is usually the most time consuming and difficult part of the construction.  Ed, who was on a different Island, asked me if the building could be finished if he were to send money for materials.  There were several Filipinos from a neighboring church willing to volunteer their time, so Jim Bowyer, a fellow American, and I took on the task.  We were able to complete the church building and dedicate it within the time we had.  I also had the opportunity to baptize 7 individuals while I was there.  What a blessing. 
This month we had 454  children and 87 adult visitors to the ARC.
Prayer/Praise
  • Pray for God to provide someone with skills in maintenance to come and help us at the ARC. Bill and Nathan are spending a ton of time working on fixing machines and address mechanical issues and if we could have a full-time person to help with this (even for just a few months) it would be an incredible blessing. We are praying for a missionary to come maybe for a few months to help with some training and/or a Liberian who is gifted in this area. Please pray with us!
  • Pray for LICC that they would continue to grow and expand and that God would bless us with more students, specifically students who are able to pay their school fees.
  • Pray for the ongoing agricultural research at Liberia, that the work of our students and staff would be something that can be passed on to encourage and support farmers throughout Liberia.
  • Praise for Ruth and Russ' visit! We pray for them as they continue in their work in helping to build up the school.
  • Prayers for our field worker Michael as he continues to recover. We bless God for his life and pray for complete healing!
  • Pray for Liberia in general, things just continue to look bad but we know that our God is good.
  • Pray for the work in the Philippines, that seeds planted there would continue to grow!  
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