Sowing seeds of grace
Sarah Newnham writes about one of MAF Liberia’s partners, Sarah Newnham writes about one of MAF Liberia’s partners, Wordsower Liberia.
Following out of obedience
“Thousands of people have come to Christ. Thousands have been baptised. And all I did was show up in obedience, not with great talent or ability.” It’s rare that you meet a man like Kim Smith who quite literally stepped into the unknown in obedience to Gods call on his life. He arrived in Liberia nine years ago and began by walking from village to village sharing the gospel.
His organisation Wordsower Liberia, is based in Zwedru, SE Liberia. “We call ourselves Wordsower Liberia because we’re sowing the Word of God. And I love the name as that’s what we do”, he shares enthusiastically. “I never went with a denomination or a church board. The Lord just said to show up. I was a high school teacher, completely untrained, and I think the Lord likes that sometimes. He says, ‘Show up I’ll take care of the rest’, and he has.”
“When I first came, there were no planes flying around. MAF wasn’t here. So we’d have to take the road all the time. On one occasion I bought a brand new computer. I kept that computer on my lap from the United States to Zwedru and when I got here, the case was cracked. It had been sitting on my lap the whole time. That’s how bad the road is!”
“Flying is heaven and the roads are hell,” Kim laughs. “Commonly it takes twenty- to thirty- hours to go just under 500 kilometers. If the roads are flooded it can take a week and our belongings are destroyed. MAF comes regularly and they fly in our supplies. They flew in our print shop.”
Print Shop & Bookstore
There are thousands of villages in rural Liberia. Many don’t have churches and most of the pastors are not trained. So God provided a printing shop, with which they can print 40,000 pages a day. “It was not my planning but God spoke to several donors who donated the equipment, paid for shipping and it all came together in a way I could not have orchestrated if I had tried,” Kim explains.
The print shop has allowed them to print Bible teaching materials and deliver them to thirteen counties across the country.
In Liberia, there is an interesting juxtaposition of cultures. One can walk into a village and be surrounded by thatched roofs on mud huts and a man will walk out with a cell phone. One can put the Bible in their dialect, teaching material, and music on micro SD cards, so even a person who is unable to read can access all this teaching via their cell phone.
“We fly from Monrovia in an hour and our equipment arrives without getting damaged... MAF, thank you. You’ve helped us many times, and I appreciate it. You’re given by God, and you are sacrificing and suffering, that the word of God can continue to spread in the hardest of areas.”
Story and photos by Sarah Newnham and Mark and Kelley Hewes