Paraclete associates hear their call to serve in some of the world’s most amazing places. Quite often the strongest relationships are forged even before the itinerary is finished. And for associates Michael and Linda Whitener, who completed a medical mission journey in Liberia in 2018, coming alongside was reciprocal, as villagers first served them, side by side, with a joyful welcome upon arrival. Paraclete shared some of the Whiteners’ journey in the 2019 Summary of Ministries. Here is their full story.
Our journey of coming alongside involved several hours via four-wheel-drive Land Rovers into the interior of Liberia, knowing we had several more hours to backpack and canoe to get our medical team to our destination – an isolated jungle village that had never before received medical help. To our surprise, the entire village (100+ of all ages) came out to meet our vehicles and help carry supplies and gear. But first, they held a high-spirited welcoming ceremony where they sang, danced and played drums. Everyone helped carry supplies — even the smallest children. We brought food, water, medical supplies, construction equipment, a generator and AV gear (to show Christian movies each night — the highlight of everyone’s day). They were incredibly gracious hosts. At week’s end, there were 17 river baptisms.
We had many a moment for praise and prayer…
We were able to join forces with our former church in Missouri who have ongoing ministries in West Africa.
The church developed a ministry using “Mega-Voices” – solar powered mp3 players containing 66 Bible stories in the native (heart) languages – empowering and emboldening our fellow believers to share their faith.
God uniquely used our small medical team to treat well over 600 patients – despite many unique medical maladies encountered in such a remote setting with very limited resources.
Our medical clinic was held in the village’s church.
We were able to teach how proper hygiene and water sanitation can prevent many conditions these villagers have experienced.
Queued up patients were able to hear the Gospel through “God Stories” from the Bible – designed to be re-told.
Many patients received individual prayers.
20+ remote villages were able to access our clinic (some walked up to 3 hours).
Those villages all sent pastors/representatives to a conference with our team and were all given a supply of the Mega-Voices in their native Bassa and/or Liberian English.
17 villagers were baptized on our final day amidst a riverside celebration of music, singing, and dancing.
We received a large dose of how to genuinely worship with a joyous heart.
We were able to experience the Liberian culture, create new in-country partnerships, and worship with new Christian friends half a world away.
For the future of Liberia – still emerging from the effects of a recent civil war, ebola and spiritual challenges (animism, witch doctors & superstitions).
For our in-country host: Dennis, who founded C.R.C.A. (Christian Revival Church Association), which has ministries throughout Liberia (… and his family).
For the village pastors newly emboldened to share their faith via the “God Stories” and Mega-Voices.
That the patients we served felt God’s healing.
For several “special case” medical care needs among the patients seen – that they get the ongoing help needed
That we may return to Liberia and develop an ongoing partnership with C.R.C.A.
READ MORE stories and learn more about Paraclete Mission Group in the 2019 Summary of Ministries.
SUPPORT the medical ministry of Michael and Linda Whitener.
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