Larque Vaye, Liberia — Quarterly Report
Quarter Two Newsletter The global lockdown: it came as a shock to all. No one ever expected 2020 to begin like this. Oh, how we all looked forward to a “good” year. And then boom!!! Covid19 struck. We all thought it was only a Chines’ affair. But later did we realize that the world was going to be locked down. Of course noting takes God by surprise (“For when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as a travel upon a woman with child and they shall not escape. But brethren ye are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a child – 1 Thess.3-4)- not even Covid19. Jesus had earlier warned us in His Olivet Discourse: “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:8). But all in all, God is faithful; He has seen us through for the past three months. Thanks for your prayers and supports for the last quarter. For those of you who have lost love ones to the virus, we pray that the Lord will console you. At Calvary, we were trying to end our annual business meeting just before the closure of churches, when the government declared the state of emergency due to Covid19 in late February. Prior to this we baptize eleven new converts. All hopes were high as we eagerly looked forward to the completion of the downstairs auditorium of the new church edifice for the moving of the congregation. But, as you all know, that was not possible. While our church services remained closed from our edifice, we started having services in our homes. O yes, every parent became pastors- mothers and all. We no longer go to the church; the church came to us. The gospel was preached from my home and carried live on facebook and radio. We remain in touch with members by phone and prayer on line- thank God for the internet and mobile phone. Most of the members are doing well. Some of our friends and members in the US came down with the virus, but thank God, they have all recovered and doing fine. Though the church doors remained closed, works at the new church edifice continues with the plastering of the walls. In late March, we revamped our relief services to cater to the needy in the church and the community. We divided food and detergents to needy members. Thanks to all those who helped to support the efforts. Meanwhile, the distribution of food continues as we receive donations from members and friends. My family is doing well. Thank God no one is sick, except Gifty who was down with malaria but is doing well. As part of our plans this year, Rose and I were preparing to travel to the US in May for my graduation from the Newburgh Theological Seminary, where I have completed my doctoral program in ministry. But that was not possible due to Covid19. The second graduation program of the Roseline Vocational Training Center, which was scheduled for April was cancelled due to the outbreak. More than 35 students, who completed training in baking, catering, decoration, soap making and tailoring will still graduate when the pandemic is over. Rose is such an innovative woman; she still found something to do during the lockdown. Every crisis affords an opportunity. As the result, Rose started to sew face marks, and it paid off- thank God- as people put in for more. As we look forward to the months ahead, we pray that the Lord will bring the virus to an end that the world will bounce back to life again. We pray that God will use Covid19 to strength our faith in Him and keep us focussed on the mission of the church. Prayer Request Please pray for the following request: 1. For the Lord’s protection on all of our members and friends during this pandemic 2. For all of our doctors and health workers on the frontline of this invisible battle 3. For our supporters whose churches, like us, have closed down. 4. For the cases of corona virus around the world to reduce and for things to come back to normal. 5. For our building project. We are still preparing to move by this year. We need funds ($ 3,500.00) to complete the present phase and move later this year. 6. For our travel to the US by November for my graduation and for the Lord’s provision for the trip- we will need US$ 3,500 for our tickets). 7. For our relief committee for more funds to give food to needy members and those in the community. God bless you all and Shalom Activities at Calvary began with the 55th Annual Business Conference, which ended in March. Major resolutions included, as usual, the preaching of the gospel, supervision of church fellowships, and the church building project. Attendance The Lord continues to bless the ministry here at Calvary. During the year, 45 persons made profession faith in Christ, while 22 new converts got baptized. The average attendance for the services of the church are as followed: 1. Sunday School- 107 2. Children church- 115 3. Sunday worship service for Adults- 275 4. Bible Study and Prayer meetings- 24 Worship Service at the church’s high school auditorium The year 2019 made it two years since we began worshipping here at the auditorium of the Calvary Baptist Church School. Worship services have been well attended as seen from the average attendance for the year. Because of the limited capacity of the auditorium, there has always been inconvenience when the church is well attended. As the result, people have to sit outside in the hall way during service. Church activities at the various fellowships continued during the year as reflected in the quarter reports. Church building Project During the year under review, substantial progress was made on the construction project. While frantic efforts were made to celebrate the 57thg anniversary at the edifice, the plan could not materialized due to the finishing touches in preparation for the zincing. Due to the present economic situation in the country, the work was delayed many times because of the lack of funds. In order to speed up the work and have the first phase completed, the leadership resolved to take a loan from Baptist Mid Missions. A meeting was held with Rev. Mark Sheppard, the mission’s representative in which a request was made to him to ask the mission for a loan of $20,000 (twenty thousand united Stated dollars). Following a formal communication to the mission by Rev. Sheppard for the loan, the mission agreed to give the loan at the end of December, 2019. to be paid within the period of five years. It was based upon this agreement that the leadership again requested Rev. Sheppard to take the zinc from the International Aluminium Factory (IAF) to be paid when funds come. With that arrangement, the zinc was given and the church was roofed late in December. We thanks all church members (in the Liberia and in the diaspora), and friend of the church for their continual support toward the works. Special thanks go to all those who actively participated and support the birth month rally. Indeed, the birth month rally has brought new dynamism and enthusiasm in the giving toward to the works. Leadership Training As the church grows, it becomes necessary to concentrate on the development of leaders for the ministries here at Calvary. Following series of meetings, the office of the pastor, in consultation with the deacon board, organized a leadership training, which began in October. The classes which is held of Saturday, has received maximum participation from all leaders. Topics taught include: 1. Christian leadership 2. How to discover one’s spiritual gifts 3. Spiritual Development 4. How to prepare Bible messages and lessons Church Properties and Lease During the year 2019, maximum efforts were made to resume to the church land cases that are pending in the court. The Whein Town land case was resurrected and the case will resume very soon this year. All efforts to have the Zubah Town land case settled outside of court is still being pursued, even though the legal team is prepared to go court to have the property resurvey so as to know how much land the church has on the site. The Suakoko property was a matter of dispute during the year when a Mr. Luke tried to encroach on the mission land. Mr. Luke is claiming portion of the mission land and has even sold same to some citizens of Suakoko. But on several occasion he was stopped by the police and the court in the Gbarnga.. Following a conference with him, and the church leadership at court in Gbarnga, it was decided that an investigative survey be made to settle the dispute. The cost of the survey is USD $2,000 to be shared by both parties. The first five lease agreement between the Mr. Fayhiah Kimayah and Miss Leela Kpukuyou for the Congo Town Parsonage land came to an end in the later part of 2019. The lessees have informed the church that they are no longer interested in the property due to the difficult economic situation in the country. As the result, the property is out for lease. The church still owes the Bloto Town citizens for the Disco Hill 20 acres of land. Due to the lack of funds, we were not able to complete the payment for the year. As the result, and due to the pressure put on the church, we credited USD $5,000 from the In God We Trust Club, and that loan has been paid. Fellowships Church activities at our various fellowships around the country remained functional during the year. Construction works at the Zwedru Baptist Fellowship in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County continues with the building of the walls. Meanwhile the church will be hosting the annual regional Baptist women conference soon. Plans to declare the Central Baptist Fellowship independent remain on course following meeting with the leaders of the church early this year. Jake Memorial Baptist College’s Tenth Commencement Pastoral training is a major component of our ministry here in Liberia. In the absence of American missionaries, the job of training pastors, especially independent Baptist pastors and church workers- rests solely on the nationals. For more than two decades, the Jake Memorial Baptist College has been the vanguard in training pastors. In our efforts to expand the college, the plan to build a new college campus and extend the school to a bachelor degree program got under way three years ago. During the year under review, documents were finalized and presented to the National Commission on Higher Education to this effect. At the same time, permit to commence the building construction is presently being processed at the Ministry of Public Works. Meanwhile there are 50 students in the college including 8 in the AA program and 42 in the bachelor program run in collaboration with the Bethe Haven College in the USA. One of the highlights of the year was the commencement exercises of the Jake Memorial Baptist College. The Jake Memorial Baptist College graduated eleven (11) students on Sunday July 21, at the Bethlehem Baptist Church. During the tenth commencement convocation, Dr. Randy Nelson, Director of International Education at the University of Sioux Fall in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, challenged the graduates to follow the example of Christ by learning how to serve others and do their good deeds in secret. He also told them to guard against the deceitfulness of material wealth, learn to suffer for the sake of the gospel, and love the unlovable. Dr. Nelson further challenged the congregation that their country will be more beautiful if all Liberians will practice the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Christ. The Jake Memorial Baptist College was established in in 1995 in memory of Clark Jacobson, an American missionary, who was killed by armed men in 1990 during the Liberian civil war while sheltering Christians Meanwhile, Calvary’s support for the college for the year amounted to LD $——. The church remains the highest local donor to Jake. Weddings On November 30, 2019, a wedding was held between Sister Mutee Kyne (now Mutee David) and Bro. Dexter David. The colourful occasion brought together family and church members to witness the ceremony. Death The church did not expense the death of members during the year, praise the Lord. However, a funeral service was held for Bro. Sam David, a constant visitor and son of one of our local pastors (the Late Pastor Tarr David of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church on the Pipleline) on December 20, 2019. Year’s End Activities – revival and service Challenges – Planning committee – Lack of funds Prayer Requests Plans for 2020 Prayer Requests Please pray for the following requests: 1. The amount needed to complete the roofing of the edifice 2. The Jake Memorial Baptist College’s development program, especially the accreditation of the college to full degree institution. 3. The spiritual growth of the church Third Quarter Report July to September, 2019 Again we praise the Lord successful ending of 2019, although we are a month away from December 31. God has been good to us a family and church for the past 11 months. This reports focuses on some of the major achievements made for the last four quarters, highlighting my family, church activities and the Bible college. Quarter four Report, 2019 Church Attendance Baptism Anniversary Activities Anniversary activities for the year began with a four-day revival with theme: Watching for the Signs; Waiting for the Saviour. This year’s focus was on the coming of Christ. The teaching sessions were taught by Rev. Moses Ujoe Weidehgar, Sr., Rev. William Vambram and I. The activities were climaxed on Sunday, December 22, in a well-attended anniversary service. The preacher for the occasion was Rev. Rick Osborn, missionary with World Word New Testament Baptist Mission, and instructor at the Jake Memorial Baptist College. Church Construction Project All efforts were made to have the roofing complete for the 57th anniversary service to be held in the edifice, but was not possible due to continuation of the work. However, the roof was finally completed before the ending of the year. In order to have the roof completed, the leadership negotiated with Baptist Mid-Mission for a loan of USD$20,000 through Rev. Mark Sheppard. Based upon agreement by the mission to make the fund available, Rev. Sheppard stood for the church to credit the zinc from the Aluminium Factory to be paid when the fund come.