REPORT #1 - January 19, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Another IEL engagement is underway, and we eagerly anticipate joining our teammates in Liberia. Elijah and Leon flew to Monrovia last Saturday. Kiersten, Eric, and I will travel this weekend.

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We are moving into Phase II of our program. In addition to the mid-year math testing and laptop refreshes, the big event for this trip will be the launch of the Youth for Christ program in Sinoe County. We’re very excited about this IEL-YFC partnership that will strengthen the spiritual “shape the heart” component of our program.

Many forces are at work. Would you pray fervently for us over these next three weeks?

Please pray specifically for:

  • 500+ students to attend the YFC Launch in the Greenville City Hall, January 26.
  • Seven YFC clubs to be started in Sinoe County Jr & Sr High Schools.
  • Successful Phase II kickoff of the Samuel Morris Scholars Program in four “focus” schools (where we are testing a new model for greater effectiveness).
  • Successful reimaging of 400+ laptops and more than a dozen RACHEL servers.
  • The technology to work well for the MAP testing of nearly 500 students.
  • Recovery of laptops stolen from two of the schools.
  • Affordable housing and office space for the IEL-YFC team transitioning to Greenville.
  • Positive response from four Liberian corporations to IEL funding proposals.

Your prayers are more important than you know. We’re grateful for your partnership.

Gary, for the IEI/IEL Team


REPORT #2 - January 25, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s Wednesday evening. Our IEL team has had a good start here in Greenville, Liberia. The technical work of reimaging laptops and servers is finished, and we’ve nearly completed the mid-year math testing (picture on the left). We have had some great fellowship with the Youth for Christ (YFC) team from Monrovia. They’ve been with us for the past two days preparing for tomorrow’s launch event. Today they held their second training session with the high school “Ambassadors” (picture on the right) who will lead the YFC clubs in the various schools.

Elijah was quite sick when he returned to Liberia 10 days ago, and it progressively got worse during his first week here. Greenville has very little in the way of health care, and I was prepared to bring him to Monrovia. However, fervent prayer went up on his behalf, and by the time our team arrived Sunday night he was on the upswing. He is nearly recovered and back in action. Today he shared from the Samuel Morris Life Lessons book with the students at Sinoe Multilateral High School, the largest public high school in the county. The topic was on challenging others by speaking the truth. 

Please pray for the YFC Launch tomorrow afternoon. All the schools in town are being dismissed at 11:00 am so students can make their way to the Greenville City Hall. The program will start at 3:00 pm.

Yours for a great cause,

Gary and the IEL team


REPORT #3 - January 26, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Everyone was out of their seats with cameras popping. It was the finale of several competitions held at the IEL-YFC partnership launch this afternoon at the Greenville City Hall.

Regardless of culture, an eating contest is always a hit. The boy in the middle decided his spoon was getting in the way, dug in, and ran away with the event.

It was a wonderful program, with over 250 in attendance. All nine junior and senior high schools in Greenville were represented. On stage were the IEL and YFC teams, along with a number of local pastors and school administrators. Pastor Theo Kloty, YFC’s director of training, delivered a strong message on using one’s talents for the glory of God.

Leon and Eric will fly back to Monrovia tomorrow morning, and then on to the U.S. Sunday evening. Pray for Leon who just started a round of antibiotics for a bad cold he picked up over the last couple days. Also pray as we continue to look for suitable housing and office space for the IEL-YFC team. Options are limited in Greenville.

Your support means a great deal,

Gary, for the team


REPORT #4 - January 30, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

I’m proud to introduce to you the IEL-YFC team that has been working so hard for the success of the Samuel Morris Scholars Program. The names in yellow are the IEL team. Most of us have been together since 2015. The YFC staff drove down from Monrovia and have quickly become valued partners. Theo and Samuel will be spending extended time in Greenville, training student leaders and developing YFC clubs in the schools. We’re calling them “Samuel Morris Y-Clubs.” Six of the schools are holding their first club meetings this week.

Joe and Owen were not in the group picture. Two days earlier we deployed them to Juarzon, a remote town two hours away in the interior. For this coming semester, Joe has been assigned full-time to Juarzon Central High School and Owen to Whylie Christian Academy in order to provide better support for these schools.

Today we drove out to Juarzon and visited Joe and Owen. They are doing great in their new assignments. Above you see Joe working with a classroom full of junior high students. This is a remote area and a tough assignment even for Liberians. Lodging accommodations are rough, and there are no stores to purchase even the most basic essentials such as bread, toiletries, or medicines. Be praying for these guys!

Leon and Eric’s flight out of Monrovia was canceled Sunday evening. The aging runway at Roberts International Airport is being repaired, causing a disruption in flights. Never a dull moment in Africa! Pray that Brussels Airlines can fly them out tomorrow night.

Yours on behalf of children in Liberia,

Gary


REPORT #5 - February 2, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Would you pray fervently for Liberia?

St. Paul Parish High School is where Gabriel is assigned for the coming semester. Every day the children at St. Paul look out on this view. This is the only Liberia they know.

This is the digital classroom Gabriel set ups every day.

These are the precious students that fill the classroom. They struggle to read. They struggle with math. Most have never held a textbook in their hands. Most have come to school without breakfast. Their stomachs are gnawing by the morning recess break. Most go home to broken family structures. The challenges of today make it hard to even think about tomorrow.

It will take a miracle for this war-torn country to put the pieces back together. But God is the God of miracles.

Would you pray for Liberia?


REPORT #6 - February 6, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Our team is safely home from trip #9 to Liberia. Following is a brief summary of the eight items for which we requested prayer.

Bold = Answered, Italics = Keep praying.

1. Excellent attendance of 500+ at the YFC Program Launch in the Greenville Hall, January 26. We had an enthusiastic YFC Launch with over 250 in attendance (short of our goal, but still a good crowd and successful event).

 

2. YFC clubs to be started in all seven of our Sinoe County Jr & Sr High Schools. Answered! Five of the schools held their first official club meetings last week. An unexpected provision is Thomas, a new math teacher at Juarzon Central High School. Thomas is from Ghana, loves the Lord, and is eager to lead the YFC program in his school.

 

3. Successful Phase II kickoff of the Samuel Morris Scholars Program in our four “focus” schools where we will be placing a full-time IEL staff person. Answered! Joe, Owen, Shadrach, and Gabriel were all deployed to their schools.

 

4. Successful reimaging of 400 laptops and more than a dozen RACHEL servers. Answered! Leon’s technical tweaks have significantly improved performance of the digital classroom laptops.

 

5. Successful mid-year MAP testing of 500 students in nine schools. Answered! Testing went smoothly.

 

6. Recovery of stolen laptops from CWA and Methodist schools. One laptop was recovered. Keep praying!

 

7. Affordable housing and office space in Greenville for the IEL-YFC team. We are working with the SCAA and TU on a plan to use the Samuel Morris Center for this purpose. Additional funds are needed to prepare it for occupancy. Keep praying!

 

8. Positive response to four funding proposals IEL has presented to Liberian corporations. In process. Keep praying!

 

We are privileged to be playing a small part in God’s plan for Liberia. Thank you for your prayers and financial support.

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.
— Zechariah 4:6

Gary, for the IEI/IEL Team