Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Videos: Post-war Liberia when we were there

I ran across these videos about the girls with whom we worked in Liberia, West Africa, in 2004 when we served with Samaritan's Purse. They were called female ex-combatants, a sanitized way to say sex trafficked child soldiers who were somebody's little girls. If you are interested in their lives -- or our lives in Liberia in 2004, these videos date to that period and make me wish for our second home.

Below: The volatile situation in which we lived in 2004 in Liberia.

The Demobilization process of adult and trafficked child soldiers while we were there in 2004.

Below: The boy version of the interim care centers for female ex-combatants which we oversaw in 2004. We cared for all the demobilized girls in two UNICEF-funded interim care centers and a third home funded by Samaritan's Purse and run by THINK, a Liberian NGO led by our dear friend Rosana Schaack. Amanda and I served as country directors for Samaritan's Purse with 80 Liberian employees in Paynesville and Buchanan.

Below: The chaos of Liberia that was 2003 and 2004 when Amanda and I were there. My first trip there was in January 2003 when I traveled with Marvin Bozard of Campus Crusade for Christ from Monrovia on the coast through Gbanga in Bong County, where Charles Taylor's plantation was located and al-Qaeda's #2 and #3 had been hiding, to Ghanta (Gampa) in Nimba County near the borders with Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire.

Below: UNICEF visits a girls safe home operated by THINK led by friend Rosana Schaack.

Below: After the 2005 election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as President, possibly 2006.

Below: The infamous warlord General Butt Naked (Joshua Blahyi) is now a gospel preacher who talks about Christian forgiveness and possible punishment for war crimes. A former witchcraft priest who served President Samuel Doe, Blahyi came to faith in Jesus Christ under the ministry of our friend Pastor Sydney Thomas' church in Oldest Congo Town. 
I first met Sydney at Amsterdam 2000 when he spoke to me, saying the Lord had showed him I would one day come to Liberia and minister there. I have been there in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007, living there most of 2004. I have preached at Sydney's church once. He is friends with Dennis Aggrey of Christian Revival Church Association, and he is the Every Home for Christ director for Liberia. I have never met Joshua Blahyi, the former warlord General Butt Naked.