Friday, August 5, 2011


Change.  Ok, let's be honest-everyone who LIKES change raise their hand.  Seriously, we all know that change is inevitable but not easy!  I am not a huge fan of change, I get set in my ways and unless I HAVE TO for the betterment of the planet or my over all life-I will not change.  Case in point...last week I had to change email addresses for work, which meant opening and using the microsoft outlook icon that has been in cyber slumber on my desktop.  Ugh...However, I am blessed with a techie friend, Joni, who was willing to walk through the painful steps with me.  Poor Joni...she had no idea that I would turn into a groaning, grumpy, kicking, complaining, deep sighing 30 something-who was acting like a 5 year old who didn't want to put a dress on for church (flashback!).  But I did it...(well, Joni did really :).  In her words "Bev, you really don't like change do you!"

Change plays a huge role in our projects.  How?  Our projects are guiding people through the many different changes that they are going through since the end of the war.  Changing behaviors towards water and sanitation, changing attitudes towards woman and learning, changing farming practices to yield more rice, changing attitudes towards donating blood, these are just some of the changes our projects are bringing to Liberia.

Changing health and hygiene behaviors..

Changing the attitude towards donating blood!  SP staff member Danielle and I donating at the recent Monrovia blood drive.

As we all know change takes time.  There have been many stories of how people's attitudes have changed, like the village who forgave the rebel who had burnt their community (see earlier blog 'The power of forgiveness').  But that change comes from God changing people's hearts-and that is the true change that we want to see throughout Liberia.  A change of heart.  Last night I overheard President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (on our security guards radio) say:

         "The change we must make must begin in our hearts"

True change comes from within-how many times have we heard that?  Even though it just sounds like another 'saying' it is true-unless we have a change of heart-it will be hard for us to change our actions.

Training is going AWESOME!  This weekend Jeremy Kilday is down for our monthly program managers meeting. Jeremy is the project manager for our construction project at African Bible College University, in Yekepa.  I had a chance to to talk to him about the race-he is running the marathon-and the changes he has made to train and the changes he has seen at ABC University (one of our SP projects). 

Bev: What made you want to run the marathon?
Jeremy: This is my first marathon.  There are a few reasons I decided to run in this race.  I’ve thought about running one before but never thought the timing was right.  I’ve wanted to run it to see how mentally tough it actually is.  I tend to try to test myself and my resolve whenever I get the chance.

What it came down to for the Liberia Marathon was my staff.  I am working with over 60 guys.  They are hard workers and have earned my respect time and time again.  Several of them are working to raise money to go to school.  While running one evening,  I thought the marathon would a way to raise support to help those who had passed the entrance exam to attend ABCU.  It is something I can do to show my appreciation for their hard work and give them something back for the time they had given to re-build the University.

Bev:What are some of the changes you had to make to train for the marathon?
Jeremy: There have been a few changes that have taken place to help me train-including a better diet and focus on my daily and weekly schedule.  The major change I have had to make is my mornings.  Instead of rolling out of bed in time for devotions, I am up before 6am and getting ready to go for my run.  Once the sun comes up, I am off with one of our current students, Samuel, who will be running with us on the 28th.  That brings me to another change...I have gone from encouraging Samuel to keep going our first week running together, to trying to stay in step with his pace!

Bev: What are some of the changes you have seen at ABCU?
Jeremy: The changes at ABC are pretty big.  On Aug. 28th the same day of the race, the University will start all four classes, Freshman to Senior for the first time since before the war. The campus has come from destruction to reconstruction-and now into a phase of growth and expansion.  I'm glad to be a part of this phase and to see the excitement of what possibilities the future holds for the University, the students and the staff.

Change is not easy.  But when we have a change that starts in the heart-it can be easier. We can't change people only God can. God is using the staff of SP Liberia to bring change to Liberia-to transform and change the hearts of people!

I will be posting more pictures of our staff in training and of Jeremy as he tackles his 20 mile training run on Saturday!  Stay tuned...

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