Friday, 29 June 2007

Sally - arrested?

Sally was arrested (for the second time) on Tuesday lunchtime by a miserable Liberian policeman who obviously hates white women. His charge wasn't even genuine, but he expected Sally and the kids to accompany him to the police station where he could charge her for dangerous driving (in Liberia, where nearly every vehicle is unroadworthy and the drivers are not insured or licenced). Sally held her ground and refused to be intimidated, and more importantly refused to bribe him (which is really what he was after all along), and she was released after a short time. The very next day, the same thing happened to Casey, one of our house guests. I fear that law and order continues to be lacking in Liberia, and the police's new image provided by their shiny new uniforms has been short lived. Olly

The garbage dump

Today I visited the waterlogged garbage dump, only to find it gone! The Ministry of Public Works has removed it and replaced it with one of their famous yellow dumpsters. Where the garbage dump kids have gone remains a mystery to me - perhaps they can no longer live there anyway, because of the rains. A friend from the UK visited a massive gutted building nearby last week, in which there are dozens of internally displaced families and random abandoned children - perhaps the garbage dump kids have all gone there, out of the rain. Olly

Rainy season

Rainy season has really arrived. We have whole days when it rains all day long with no break. Our house is very dark and depressing, as we have no power for lights in the day time. The roof leaks in places, and everything is becoming covered in mould - outside walls are coated in grean mould, and the mould growing inside is black, and spreading over many things - furniture, books, even clothes in wardrobes! Evertthing is damp. At least it is warm. When I was at school I read a Graham Green novel about the same thing happening to some ex-pats living in West AFrica, not knowing that it was set in Liberia, and that one day I would be there too...Olly


Sorry that I've not been making recent blog entries. Our internet connection in our house has expired, and we are reluctant to pay $180 USD to renew it if we are to leave there soon. Olly

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Another blog

A friend of ours, a guy called Matt Oliver, has recently updated his blog to include an account of his stay in Liberia in late March/early April. Please read it - its a great incite into our lives here - Olly

Saturday, 16 June 2007

B & B

We have unwittingly opened our home as a guest house – one of Sally's gifts is, after all, hospitality. We have had 55 guests staying with us over the past five months, including several sick missionaries who sought refuge and the kind of support that only noisy families can provide, and many visiting missionaries from the UK and USA. They are all welcome, and we love the company. When can YOU come? Olly

Important news

We have felt for some time that the "fit" with Equip Liberia has not been ideal. Sally and I have a passion for investing directly into the lives of the Liberian people through programmes such as mentoring, discipleship, outreach, community development and other forms of practical assistance. The need Equip has in Monrovia is for a desk-based role. These duties are vital, but have felt limiting, and there is a good case to be made that they could be done by a Liberian, working for a relatively low cost. After discussing the situation with the Equip country director and his wife, and with our home church, we have agreed to resign from Equip, but, of course, remain friends and supporters of the Equip vision. The obvious question is, "where does that leave us?". We don't know all the answers, but we are committed to doing our bit for this country with its almost overwhelming spiritual, physical and social needs. We are already in the process of exploring options with other people and ministries, seeking a close match of vision and opportunities for both of us to express our gifts and heart for the Liberian people. We have many big decisions to make over the next few weeks, and a lot of hard work ahead of us which will inevitably include moving house yet again. Please pray for us. In human terms, we face an uncertain future, but we are confident of God's leading. Olly

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Land Rover accident

On the way home from getting Anna stitched up, I drove into a pot-hole big enough to swallow the front wheels of our Land Rover and bring us to an immediate halt. It took 12 men to help lift our Land Rover clear of the pot-hole - and to our amazement it was totally undamaged, thanks to a thick metal plate under the engine and steering mechanism. We are praising God for our battered old Landy - I can say with all authority that very few other vehicles could have survived that accident undamaged. Today Sally and I have whiplash, and Noah has a couple of nasty bruises. Olly

Anna's accident

Since the Mercy Ships crew arrived in Liberia in January, we have needed to call upon their help three times - when Noah had malaria, when Anna needed stitches in her eye-lid, and again this weekend when Anna split her chin open in a fall, and needed another six stitches. Thank you Dr Keith Chapman and Nurse Jo Postles. We are incredibly blessed to know you guys. These ongoing accidents and our increasing awareness of the state of the hospitals here are making us very shaky about staying on in Liberia when the ship sails in November. Only today we heard about a boy who died because a hospital gave him the wrong medicine - and this is not an uncommon occurrence. Olly