A Desire to Build
|A destroyed building at the AG Bible school in Liberia|
LIBERIA: AG believers have endured great hardships during the past nearly 30 years of civil war, economic depravity, violence and destruction. “They have emerged with a strong faith in God and a desire to build His church,” says missionary DeVane McGee.
Although believers were not specifically targeted in the violence, many lost their homes and all their belongings as they fled to safety. A large number also lost relatives. The AG Fellowship suffered loss as at least 350 churches and four Bible schools were destroyed or badly damaged. Because of the unrest, missionaries could not live in the nation.
“The Fellowship was preserved because believers formed congregations wherever they fled,” says McGee. The number of churches in Monrovia, the capital, grew from 20 to 50 by the end of the war. Bible school training continued, led by spiritually mature national believers.
The nation stabilized somewhat after a 2003 peace agreement, followed by democratic elections in 2005. In January 2011, McGee and his wife, Mary, established a residence in Liberia. “Our assignment is to partner with Liberia AG leaders and believers as they attempt to rebuild their lives, the Fellowship and local churches,” says McGee.
|Construction of a new building in Liberia|
The McGees also are involved in rebuilding Owensgrove Bible Institute, which was totally destroyed. With help from the Peninsular Florida District, an Africa Tabernacle Evangelism team erected several building shells of steel trusses with roofs. After the buildings are completed, they will serve as classrooms, offices and dorms.
Liberians face many challenges in this post-war era. “The nation’s infrastructure was destroyed,” says McGee. About 85 percent of the 3.9 million people are unemployed and live in extreme poverty, making Liberia one of the world’s poorest nations. Although about the size of Tennessee, the country has only slightly more than 400 miles of paved roads.