Monthly Archives: November 2015

Greetings from Liberia

Saturday, November 28, 2015

This will be my last post from Liberia. I will be leaving Ganta for the Monrovia airport after church services in the morning to catch my flights that will take me to Brussels, Belgium, then on to Chicago, and finally back to Lexington on Monday evening. I apologize for not posting yesterday (Friday), but once again the internet was up and down so much last evening that I was unable to do so.

It has been a great experience for me to once again be with this group of leaders here in Liberia. They have such a heart for God and a vision for reaching their communities and nation with the gospel. They also know that to accomplish what God has placed on their heart, they must raise up leaders, and not just any leaders, but leaders who will live, love, and serve like Jesus. They know that God will provide the resources to accomplish “His” vision and therefore they will do what “they” know to do, and will trust in God to do what “He” says He will do. 

At our final session on Friday morning we conducted a debriefing (after-action review) with the leaders, asking them what they liked about the training, what they did “not” like, how we could do better, and we had each leader share what one or two things that they learned that will help them progress towards the goal of becoming a servant leader that leads like Jesus. Their comments were very thoughtful and helpful. The two greatest issues they raised was (1) taking off from their work for five days to come to the training, and (2) traveling a long distance and thus being away from their families for so long of a time. I think that Alex Freeman and I addressed their concerns and remineded them that if they were going to develop themselves as a leader, and equip and raise up others in their congregations to develop leaders, that some level of sacrifice will be required.  

After our debriefing sesssion, I gave them a short class on Leadership Huddles and the importance of coaching and mentoring leaders. We then had a time of worship and prayer, thanking God for His blessings and His provision. Finally, we concluded by presenting certificates to each of the leaders for completing the second phase of the course.

We have set the dates for next year’s Phase 3 training. The dates are August 15-18, 2016. The leaders also decided to decentralize the Phase 1 and 2 training to at least two different locations next year, with one being in Ganta and the other one in Monrovia. They did not set any dates, but will probably schedule them for dates when the schools are on break so that they can use the classrooms.

In the morning, I will get up early, finish packing, pay my hotel bill, and go to the church at 7:30 am to attend their worship service. Then, as soon as the service is over we will head for the airport.

Well, that’s my report! Thanks so much for following this journey with me and especially thanks for all your prayers!

Blessings!

Fred

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Greetings from Liberia

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you are having a great day and I send you greetings from the leaders in Ganta. We completed our teachbacks today and will wrap up our training tomorrow.

For the teachbacks, we divided the leaders into four (4) groups and appointed a leader for each group. The leaders took about an hour with their group assigning the various topics/activities so that each person had 2 or 3 topics to teachback to the rest of the group and then they went over the topics/activities and made sure each person understood the “key” or “main” point of each one. Following that, the group leader facilitated the teaching of the entire Phase 2 lesson by the leaders of their group. This took the remainder of the day to complete.

My job was to go from room to room, sit in the back, and just listen. My intent was to only inject myself into the teachbacks if I heard anything being taught that was way out of line and off base. If that occurred, I would pull aside the group leader, discuss the issue with them, and then let them make the necessary corrections. But, today I did not have to interject myself one time! A couple of times, I thought I was going to have to do so, but in each case the group leader beat me to it! 

I am absolutely pleased and somewhat amazed at how well they did today! A few of the them seemed to be hesitant and nervous at first, but as they got used to presenting in front of their peers, they did just fine. This was the case with most of the women leaders, particularly the younger ones. The more times they had to get up in front of others, the more and more comfortable they became. This reinforces the necessity of having teachbacks as an integral part of our training process. They are very important if we expect them to teach what they’ve learned to others.

Tomorrow, we will finish up by conducting a debrief (after-action review) to capture their feedback on the training, conduct a short lesson on Leadership Huddles and a leader’s role as a coach and mentor, and develop plans for next year’s Phase 3 training (which looks like we may do in August, 2016). We will end up by spending some time in prayer and thanksgiving. 

Saturday will be a day of rest for me. I plan on hanging around the hotel (and the A/C) most of the day and catching up on my sleep. On Sunday morning at 7:30 am we will go to church and as soon as it is over, we will head for the airport in Monrovia.

Well, that’s my report for today. It has been a great experience being back with my Liberian friends and co-laborers. I believe that the “seeds” that have been planted here will reap a great harvest as this group of leaders raise up a generation of new, younger leaders who also have the mission to train and develop more leaders.

Thanks for your prayers!

Blessings!

Fred

 

Greetings from Liberia

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and greetings from Ganta, Liberia! 
We had a very hot day today. It was probably in the mid-80’s, but in the church where we were conducting our training it must have been 90+.  There is no electrical service here in Ganta (or in most of Liberia, for that matter), so everything must run on generators. They have had problems with the generator at the church this entire week. Without it, there are no lights, and most importantly, no fans! By the end of the day, I was absolutely worn out and have drank so much bottled water this week that I’m beginning to feel like a fish!

Even with the heat, it was a very good day. We were able to complete the initial Phase 2 training this  morning and in the afternoon we did a page by page, section by section, review with them of the facilitator guide to ensure that they understand the material and how to present/teach it.

Tomorrow morning (Thanksgiving Day), we will divide the leaders into four (4) groups, appoint one of the senior leaders/pastors as a group leader for each group, and then have the groups once again do a review of the material to identify and discuss the “key point” of each section. Once we’ve done that, we will conduct the teach-back sessions. Should be a good day!

Update on the Ebola situation here: The news reported this morning that the young man who they first identified with the virus has died. His brother and father are still being quaranteed and they have placed cordon around the the neighborhood where they lived. Please keep praying that this outbreak will be contained, that the lives of the people involved will be spared, and that no additional outbreaks occur.

Well, that’s my report for today. I pray that all is well with you and wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Eat some turkey for me! (I be having a Chicken Basket at the restaurant tomorrow evening as my dinner)

Blessings!

Fred