A Prayer for You and Me: At the beginning of this year I reached out to God in prayer, and want to share my prayer with you, because it is a prayer not just for me but also for you. My prayer is that we would Trust God, and Possess the Passion to reach and grow a new generation of thousands of Liberians for Christ.
Lessons Learned: Our good friends, Ben and Lauretta Patterson asked us to return to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California to speak to the students before returning to Liberia in mid-January. On December 27th, we were preparing to leave Denver to travel to Westmont. En route, we were planning to make a stop in Palm Springs to celebrate the birthday of our daughter, Lily.
On our last Saturday in Palm Springs, I decided to cross one item off my bucket list. Tonzia, Lily and I decided to climb a mountain near Palm Desert, CA. We gathered at the foot of the mountain at about 9:30 am, ready to ascend. Our goal was clear: get to the top of the mountain within a reasonable time. We rallied our strength, flexed our muscles, and started out at a steady speed, but within 45 minutes, my strength and speed began to slip away. We had come to a “stretched path,” and the winding path came to a complete stop.
Soon my faltering steps turned weaker and weaker and then I became immobile. I heard the voices from the girls saying, “Daddy, you are almost there; you can make it!” But I had stopped moving. Tonzia, realizing my need for support, came and held me, blocking me from the edge of the path. We slowly sat down to ensure that I would not roll over into the valley below. Five minutes passed, and still there was no sign that I could get up.
I peered down into the valley hundreds of feet below, and then looked forward toward the climb ahead of me. I was totally exhausted and ready to give up. The only thought roaming through my mind was “stop this mindless effort, give up, and go down to safety.” While sitting on the ground, I managed to close my eyes and held my hands “palms up,” and prayed. “God, please help me to get to the top of this mountain.” My faithful Lord was closer to me than I realized, and the answer arrived. Then I experienced one of the most incredible moments of my life. A renewed strength swept over my inner body, and I got up and was ready to move again. Tonzia went before me and Lily guided from the rear, and with newly found strength and speed we reached our goal: we got to the top of the mountain!
In looking at this story, we can see that God uses this experience to teach us two essential lessons. First, we cannot accomplish great things without faithful partners. The
encouraging words, “You are almost there; you can make it!” from the two girls (partners) gave me new courage to rise again. Second, we are called to trust absolutely. We have the option to change a career path whenever we want, but we cannot change a calling!
Friends, together we can complete this journey and bring thousands of Liberian souls into His kingdom. I am passionate about this opportunity. I hope you will join us for the journey. On this journey, life will sometimes feel like you are on a “stretched path,” or that you could fall to your death as you take a risk or as you go somewhere to make a difference outside of your comfort zone. There is only one valid option: not to succumb to paralyzing fear and TRUST Jesus.
Westmont College: As we were preparing to travel to Westmont College from Palm Springs, we received word that due to the wildfires, extreme weather conditions, and the
devastation caused by mudslides, Westmont College was closed, and our speaking engagement was cancelled. We have been praying for all those who experienced difficulties and damage to their homes, and to those who lost loved ones. The people of Montecito have a long way to go until recovery is complete, and we encourage you to pray for those who live there as well.
The happier side to this story is that on January 13, Ben and Lauretta Patterson called us and suggested that we meet halfway between Palm Springs and Santa Barbara for a visit and lunch. We got in the car and drove to Claremont, California and were blessed to have a wonderful reunion with Ben and Lauretta.
Liberia: On January 23rd, Yah and I will be returning to Liberia. Because of your faithful partnership with CLTI, we’ve earned credibility and trust in both Liberia and in the United States. Doors are opening everywhere to provide quality education for young Liberians to transform their lives. We are working with young men and women to go deeper in their faith walk with Christ, and we are providing business loans to vulnerable women. Because of you, we are ready to launch the 2018 ministry season in the field, and anticipate great success.
A few days ago I received a phone call from Mrs. Amelia Kpoblie. She told me that Reaching for Academic Excellence (our after school study class) launched its orientation today. This year we have 580 high school students enrolled from 10 high schools. We have hired 13 teachers and 10 support staff. Classes will run from January 22nd through March 22nd. Our goal is to equip these students to successfully complete high school and become eligible for university admission. Schools with students participating are:
- Barry A. Wallace Baptist High School
- Methodist High School
- Youth Academic High School
- Hope Academic High School
- M.C.A. High School
- ULI Academic High School
- Lawrence Catholic High School
- Faith Academy High School
- Harriet E. Parkinson High School
- Christian Foundation High School
- Liberty Christian Institution
This year, participating high schools will cover the cost of school supplies, a cost of $600.00. CLTI will cover the cost of salaries for teachers and staff, which means CLTI will only need to provide $2000.
Join Our Journey: The Lord has provided all the remaining funding we need to make the final payment on the 5-acre plot of land. This site will be used to build a premier college
preparatory high school in the Ganta region of Liberia. From February 7-17 we will be hosting a team of 12 from Engineering Ministries International (EMI) from Colorado Springs. CLTI is privileged to partner with EMI. They will design a master plan for campus development that will ultimately accommodate 1,500 to 2,000 students, as well as a health center/clinic to be used primarily by students and staff, and secondarily by the immediate community.
There will also be plans for an access road, along with utilities for the school such as water, wastewater disposal and electricity, with a consideration for adding solar power.
The vision for reaching people for Christ in Liberia is growing stronger. Our hope and dreams move us into action to fulfill God’s will. We need your strong hands, and obedient hearts to keep us moving forward. Together, we are making an eternal difference.
Your partners in Christ,
Sei and Yah Buor
Can you make a generous donation today? If so, please click on the “Donate” tab above, or mail your donation to:
P. O. Box 1123
Carmel, IN 46082