Children of Zwedru

Children of Zwedru
At Church - July 3, 2010

Welcome to the Liberia Mission 2010


We are pleased to have you visit our Blog. Our team is extremely excited about our upcoming trip and we are anxious to share our adventure with you. Meet our Team:

Tom - Mission Director

A little history of Liberia:

Liberia is located on the west coast of Africa between Sierra Leone to the north and Cote d'Ivoire to the south. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and it has been through some extremely turbulent times over the past 20 years. It concluded a 14-year civil war during the mid 1990's and it still has not recovered from the devestation to its economy, infrastructure, the loss of jobs and the thousands of lives displaced and lost. There is no running water, and no electricity. Any electricity is provided strictly by generators for individual buildings, therefore the majority of the people are without. The unemployment rate is around 85%. Life expectancy is a round 45 years old. AIDS is one of the primary killers, along with many other diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, polio and typhoid all of which run rampant in part due to the its climate in which is receives over 14 feet of rain during the rainy season from May to November. It is clear that the Liberian people are in desperate need of assistance and our love.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Liberian Adventure- Volume 1

“On the Road to Zwedru”

We apologize for the disjointed nature of this post, but we were really pressed for time and upload and download speeds are poor.

We left for Liberia Tuesday the 29th around 6:15 PM after an hour delay. As a result we missed our connecting in Frankfurt to Brussels. However, we arrived and managed to get on the next flight to Brussels then onto the Ivory Coast and onto Liberia. The remainder of the flight went well. We landed at Roberts field Airport outside Monrovia around 8:15 PM and got through customs with little fanfare. We exited and immediately hit by humidity you could cut with a knife and the smells of burning wood and coal. It is the winter season and it is already dark. Despite the dark we were able to enjoy the sites of Liberia, people fill the streets and highways, walking, driving and at a crazy and chaotic pace. We arrived at St. Teresa’s Convent which was our hotel for the evening. We got to bed around 11:30 PM.

We awoke and were served breakfast. Some of us went into the city of Monrovia to shop for a few staples. After some bickering we managed to complete it and get on our way. We left the convent around 10 AM for our 10-15 hour drive to Zwedru and it was hot and humid already. We took the inner city route which took us through the Red Light of Paynesville. This is essentially a 2-3 mile market road with every vendor of every type you could think of. Cars, motorcycles and people on foot. It was the most chaotic thing we have ever experienced. It is bumper to bumper traffic with tens of thousands of people driving and walking. Kids walking up trying to sell gum, candy, roasted corn, pillows and more. Our driver just weaved in and out as fast as he could. Soon the clouds came and a heavy downpour for about 30 minutes. Most people ran for cover but not many places to go, most continued their routine. We eventually made it through the Red Light and were finally out of Monrovia and on the highway to Zwedru.

Now comes the interesting part, a very narrow 2-way road with every driver going 60-70 miles per hour weaving in and out with no signals. Actually, they honk whenever they pass. Needless to say our driver was laying on the horn the entire time. We passed through numerous villages/towns/cities they all seemed to blend into one, but the sights and sounds never changed. Children and adults filled the streets selling our begging. It was very exciting.

Though the road so far is paved it is rutted and our driver spent much of his time on the left lane just honking for the other cars to get out of his way. The pedestrian definitely does not have the right of way. After 5-6 hours of driving we eventually took our first turn and made it to a new Start-up Nazarene church which the children greeted us with excitement. We left there and darkness eventually hit and we were hit with 2 flat tires on 2 of the 3 vehicles we were driving in. At around 1 AM Friday July 2 we arrived in Zwedru. Rev. Tim Eby greeted us with semi-hot hamburgers and fries. After showing us to our rooms we crashed for the night.

Friday, July 2 we awoke to a great breakfast and to sunshine and more humidity. We started the day with another flat tire and made it to the work site around 10:30. Tim gave us the tour and we began laying block for the center.

I will try and attempt to post again this weekend. John Dionne the “Zwedru blogger”.


God’s Humanity

Humanity. In a sea of humanity we travel. From Boston Logan, through the airports of the world, we were awash in this sea. And in that sea we have found that this mosaic comes in so many colors. Yellow, brown, fair skinned white and deep, beautiful black. And no wonder. We are God’s prize piece of artwork, hung in the galleries of the cultures of the world.

For us, we have touched this humanity, God’s humanity in the welcome of total strangers in an airport far away. The immigration woman. The drivers who transported us in the dead of night. The pastors who keep saying “Thank you” to us. Pastor David in Ganta city with a smile of joy and the children who stood and screamed with delight as we changed our second flat tire…at 9:00 PM, in a far away village on the road to Zwedru.

We have touched humanity. We have touched people. We have touched cultures. We have touched one another. And in that we have all been touched by God. That ought not to be surprised. John the Apostle describing the entry of Jesus, His redemptive invasion, into our world said this: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.” (John 1:14) One translation says Jesus “moved into the neighborhood.” And in so doing He showed us the way to eternal life. And that is what we have done.

We have walked into the neighborhood of God’s humanity. And we will never be the same.


In HIS Adventure,

Pastor Geoff


  1. I am so happy to hear that you have reached your destination. thinking of all of you constantly. post pictures if you can. good luck in the days ahead. lots of love and prayers....

  2. Glad you made it safely! Backing you up in prayer. Please give Ann a hug for me. God bless you all!

  3. We are so glad to hear that eveyone is safe...Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you..Take Care

  4. Keep the post coming, your family and friends are leaning on every word, living the experence with you. Thank you for share your world right now with us. We are praying, we are getting picture of others waring the braclets and praying all over the US. Know you are dearly loved. blessings Kathleen

  5. Happy that you arrived safely. It was nice to hear from you. I pray for all of you. Say hello to John, Tom and Ann and the rest of the crew. Love, Mom

  6. Today I am concentrating my prayers for all of you on the subject of STRENGTH. I believe your commitment to this mission is strong. As each day’s demands unfold, however, you will need mental and physical strength to accomplish the tasks. Peter reminds us where our strength comes from: “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” (I Pet. 4:11) So, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” (Ps. 105:4)
    I pray that as you assume your tasks, you will celebrate the source of your strength. “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (2 Sam.22:33)
    How assuring to know that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” (Isa. 40:31) So, as you face each day, may your spirit echo the Apostle Paul’s confidence: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)

  7. Hi Tommy D!!! it was a dream to hear your voice today!!! It made Mason soooo happy!!!! I love you very much and we send all of our love and prayers your way!!! we are praying for the whole team!!! happy fourth of July. You are missed!!! Give all of those special children in Zwedru plenty of love from us!!! You are all doing such a wonderful thing!!! I love you.

  8. Hi My sweet husband!!! Today Mason and I sat and looked at our wedding albums..she nearly jumped out of her seat with excitement when she saw your picture!!!! It brought me back to that day!!! I thank God for you every day!!! I love you!!! God Bless you handsome...sorry this is so mushy people...I just love my husband!!!!
    Blessings to all of you!!! i love you John and Annie
    Love Bethany

  9. John, Tom, Ann and the rest of your group,

    This is such a wonderful thing you are doing – Excellent Job!! Thank you for sharing the details of your trip. I find it very interesting… I wish you all good weather, safe conditions, and much progress!!


    Steve Bazzocchi

  10. We are so glad their is another posting, John was having trouble posting.But the posting is here!!!We are glad that your work is going well!! John,,,,,Ethan,Kendall,Dave and especially Me, think about you all the time!!!Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!!!! Our Love to Ann and Tom!!