Monday, March 22, 2010
mar meyer news
#6Craig and Mary Paskvan receiving a gift of 3 chickens at Cuttington University, Gbarnga, Liberia
#5 Mary at Foya Church teaching how to "Think, pair, share". Emmanuel Tengbeh
is translating for the session.
#4 Craig examining mold infested cocoa trees.
#3 Delano presenting training materials to Rev. John Bartoe
#2 Moses Fayia teaching about "Management of the Harvest". A joy for Linda and I to work with an old friend.
#1 Compound-Su, Gbarpolu County villagers saying goodbye to Delano, Linda, Moses and Johnson. They gave us lots of yams and bananas as a farewell
MEYER MISSION NEWS
On the Road Again – in Liberia
“This is the first soil profile we have ever seen here at the University” was Mr. Massaquoi’s response upon receiving a soil audit. “My pleasure to do that for you” was Craig’s reply.
In February at Cuttington University near Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia, we met Mr. Molly Massaquoi, the assistant farm manager. A Lutheran pastor who attended there had introduced us to him last year when Dr. Ralph von Qualen a plant pathologist was with us. This time I brought along Craig Paskvan, a soil expert and his wife Mary. I – Delano - like to be with “Heavy Weights” when going to universities.
Craig has been our soils consultant since Martin Augustine passed away some years ago. Craig has been making recommendations on how to balance soils, based on the soil samples we have been sending to USA for analysis. At Cuttington U. we delivered the soil audit and inventory report from soil samples we took there last year. We also gave Mr. Massaquoi Craig’s recommendations for correcting the soil imbalance.
Mr. Massaquoi also thanked us for the training materials we brought to him last year. He said he lets students read the materials and then they return it for others to read. We were pleased and impressed. We again gave more materials and also offered to share information with Cuttington via the internet in the future.
In gratitude for the materials and information, we were given three chickens. Where else in the world would you receive a chicken dinner on the hoof – so to speak? We enjoyed our chickens upon our return to Gbarnga. Thank you Mr. Massaquoi!
This was Craig and Mary Paskvan’s first trip to remote African villages and so quite an adventure for them and a joy for us to have them with us.
In Foya, Lofa County we were happy to find our church members Saturday evening and enjoy Sunday Bible study followed by worship services with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia. Craig and Mary were impressed to hear Biblical truths being taught and expressed in such remote locations. It truly is an encouragement for our faith as we often hear Liberian and Sierra Leonean Christians express how they placed confidence in Jesus Christ through their experiences as they were caught in war. The Lord is my Strength and Shield. Psalm 28:7
Mary Paskvan put her training as a teacher to good use at sessions. “Think, pair, share” is a teaching technique introduced by Mary to help students to analyze in their own minds, discuss what
they have learned with someone else, and then share their ideas with the group. The technique reinforces the teaching and helps people recall their new ideas and knowledge. Sometimes the concepts and method caught on quickly, and other times we had to role play the “Think, pair, share” to get the meaning across.
An unexpected opportunity came as a result of our long time acquaintance with Joseph Yasseh who used to be the President of the Lutheran Church in Guinea. Joseph now resides in Foya Central and is working with the Vice President of Liberia on his cocoa plantation. Joseph asked us to travel to Warsongar Village to examine the cocoa trees because the trees are not producing well as a result of severe molds. Joseph guided us on a tour of part of the plantation. Craig took a soil sample and pulled leaves for leaf analysis. I have sent these samples to Brookside Laboratory. Imagine the impact if our people are able to overcome this roadblock to profitable cocoa production.
We felt like the “Dukes of Hazard” trying to reach Garplay, Nimba County. We were only a half hour away from Garplay, approaching from the west, when we were informed by customs personnel, that the bridge ahead was out and that we would have to detour. The detour took us 3 hours and as we neared Garplay from the northwest, a motorcyclist flagged us down saying a truck loaded with coffee had just broken through the bridge a few miles ahead.
We then went back a few miles and tried another route. When asking about the route to Garplay, we received so many conflicting reports that we stopped asking anyone and just pressed on. We later learned the reason for conflicting reports – the section of road we needed to travel was quite bad, but locked in 4 wheel drive & low transfer, we got through and reached Garplay at 8 PM. Mary said that after retirement from mission, I - Delano should start driving for NASCAR.
We were warmly received at Garplay by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The village children sang on into the night making the effort totally worthwhile.
Philippians 1: 27- Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. The person credited with bringing the Lutheran Church to the village of Compound-Su in Gbapolu County is Victoria Fayia. Victoria was working with a non-governmental organization (NGO) that focused of imparting skills to ex-combatants. She was teaching sewing and tailoring as part of a reintegration program to help former rebels to learn a useful skill. Victoria conducted herself in a way that drew people to want to know Jesus Christ and they asked for the Lutheran Church.
Rev. Nathaniel Taylor, who is working with the local pastor, guided us to Compound-Su along with Moses Fayia and Johnson. Johnson was with us for the first time to learn more about agricultural training. Moses, Victoria’s husband, had done some agricultural training in compound-Su already. He again was a great help in teaching and made our last stop in Liberia a joy for Linda and me. Moses expressed the hope that Linda and I return for short-term agricultural teaching in Liberia. What a blessing it has been for us to work with faithful Christians who serve!
This recent 3-week trip was our final visit to Liberia as career missionaries. We have been blessed to have growing relationships with many friends in Liberia over the years, and so parting was time of mixed emotions for us. We are happy to be completing our career missionary service on positive notes, as many we worked with in the past, have expressed an appreciation, understanding and positive results from the training we have been doing. It has been an awesome privilege to share our faith and see our Lord bringing souls to faith in West Africa.
Looking back at many Christian friends we have met along the way and hope to meet again, we recall Revelation 7: 9, “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were dressed in white and holding palm branches in their hand.”
Because of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, we have the confidence that we too will live with Him, standing at His throne along with the great multitude of believers. May you celebrate with joy His victory over death this Easter!
1 Corinthians 15: 54b & 57 - Death has been swallowed up in victory. Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank God for safety, strength, health and positive training sessions in Liberia.
Ask the Lord for safe travel to the Missionary Retreat to be held in Ghana in late March and on to Northern Ghana where Linda and I will say “Good bye” to old friends we worked with from 1994 - 2000.
Pray for safety and health for Dr. Ralph von Qualen, Linda and Delano as we travel to Guinea in mid April for agricultural training sessions.
Thank you to all who have contributed gifts “for the support of Delano and Linda Meyer.” Address (without our name on envelope) to: LCMS World Mission, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295. Inside the envelope designate your gift for us on the check or in a note.
To contribute to our LCMS World Relief & Human Care project, “Agricultural Training in West Africa”, designate & send checks to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295.
Wishing you a blessed Easter,
Delano & Linda Meyer
Note this change of address since we are leaving the mission field on May 28, 2010.
Our new address is:
Delano and Linda Meyer
61203 150th St.
Chokio, MN 56221