Most of my reflection has been on the amazing, crazy, busy, fun, hard year that we have had at SP Liberia. Let's give a quick picture re-cap and trust me when I say that this is just a snap shot of all that went on!
Early in the year we had some SP UK staff come and see us...
Just before the Festival we had a SP media crew come out to film some of our projects...CLP!
Some guests had too much fun with the bunnies! :)
We had a kids camp team from our own Salmon Arm Broadview church come-we had so much fun!
Those are just a few of the visitors we had-and what they did. I am so thankful for every single one for taking the time to come and see what SP Liberia is doing and what they are a part of. I hope and pray that their visits changed them-and that they can share the story of what God is doing in Liberia with their friends and families. I know that everyone who came impacted our staff and the Liberian people they met-so thank you!
Then there were the projects...we were busy-oh!
Anita-part of our HIV/OVC program-her and her mom were one of the highlites of my year...
Bunnies were born!!!
This day was a hard day-but one that I will never forget-being able to spend time with on of our beneficiaries at the foya hospital
Latrines were built...
This is the house that recently burnt-I was able to go there last week to take some pictures and see the brother of the house owner.
Goats were born!
We didn't let anything stop us from getting to our project sites!
Christmas came early for some special kids...
Fish was harvested!
This is seriously just a drop in a bucket of all that was accomplished in 2011. As I reflected on the year (as I was daydreaming at the Library!) I remembered many moments that really impacted me-both happy and some tough ones. Like the story that Joni posted on her blog about a young girl given infected blood at a hospital and is now dying of HIV-she is 16 years old-loosing 4 our our Liberian staff members in the first few months of the year to sickness...but you know what-God saw us through and continues to also shower us with moments of joy. When a CLP lady first learns how to write her name, the smile and laughter of a child receiving a shoe box, people running to receive God's amazing grace, the excitement of a fish harvest and so many more.
Coupled with all of this- I ran. I ran a lot. Our staff ran with me too! It was worth every painful, joyful, sweaty step! Running-yes, running often got me through many of the hard days-I vividly remember the run after meeting and hearing Anita's story-how I cried through that whole run. I started this blog (painfully, but still did) because I was running with a purpose-a purpose that I wanted to share with you. All of you were a huge part of 2011-your support and encouragement throughout the year was so inspiring-I was overwhelmed by your words and responses-thank you!
2011 was a big year. For me personally it was a huge year (hello 40!). I ran the London marathon-not very well but I ran it-it was amazing. Tomorrow I defend my PhD-a journey that has helped be better at my job and strive to never forget of being a good steward in what I do. As many of you know-I don't do things just to do them-I don't run a marathon to just to run, I didn't undertake a PhD just because I want people to call me Dr. Bev (Please don't!). Everything that I did this year and in my life really, I do because I want to be a good steward with what God has given to me. To use my running and my PhD to do the best I can in my job/life-for all of those who because of circumstances out of their control are suffering physically and spiritually. As I have said about my running before-I run, not for me-but for everyone that you have met on this blog this year and many more.
On my own I can't do these things. With God -He can, I just have to trust and serve. When I am running I have a little motto/mantra that I say "Not me but HIM in me" (will be saying it my head tomorrow morning too!)... I leave you with this verse-one of my faves as we end 2011...and get ready for 2012-the adventure continues!
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He has panned for us long ago"- Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!