It’s been another amazing day with the Liberian team. Christine and Alfred trained and watched several of the lead TI young men produce 96 packets of RUTF peanut butter in about half a day. We had partial success in the morning with speeding up the grinding process by putting a larger pully wheel on the grinder. We also talked to Compatible Technologies, the grinder manufacturer and found out we needed a different part that will really help overcome this bottleneck. We visited the school that Luther and Christine are renovating to strategy a model Christian school in Monrovia. They are truly an inspiration to all of us in their selflessness and unconditional giving. We watched the European Cup match between Spain and Italy at Luther and Christine’s house with the TI young men and christine’s family and friends. It was a happy result to the game as most people were rooting for Spain. All for now.
Another amazing day (6/29) of seeing how God is at work here in Liberia and how He is moving people to join us and worship Him: from the very passionate and capable board members that Luther and Christine have brought to the project, to Christine’s story of how her heart was touched to lead the PBH project in Liberia to Alex (one of the TI boys). Kent and I were waitng to be picked up and he was staying outside with us. The sun was down and it was growing dark, he was working on a necklace that Lisa and Linda were teaching him to make earlier in the day and he Just started singing the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness. It ended a great day of faith that God is with us.
I don’t really have time to write except to share 2 highlights.
1) that Thursday we had a great trial production run. We are working out the kinks in the process to figure out what we need to make it better, smoother, faster. But the cool thing is that we didn’t do any of the production. The Liberians are the experts and made it happen. (but that didn’t stop Doran, Kent and I from smiling proudly!
2) we had a meeting of the forming Board of Directors and again it was great to see the Liberians take ownership. We have a great board which includes Allen who specializes in small. Usiness development (including bi-continent partnerships) and Emmet who is part of the Ministry of Finance. We are thrilled to see their commitment to this project. They are beginning work on articles of incorporation, etc.
Well we have a team of four (soon to be five) back in Liberia and I have to say its great to be back! It was SO wonderful to see the Transformation International boys again and of course, the Tarpehs who feel like family to us.
We have a few different goals on this trip:
1) to problem solve and complete finishing touches on the Peanut Butter House so we can get into production.
2) to conduct teacher training for the teachers and provide other support for the school that Luther and Christine are starting.
3) to do some trainings with the boys on computers, keyboarding, etc.
Today our first day in Liberia we made progress on all 3 goals. Hopefully these photos will help give you a quick overview.
Lisa Spangler and her friend Linda started the teacher training a day ahead of schedule and it went really well. They were talking about classroom management and codes of conduct. Tomorrow we will have even more teachers learning about computers and other topics that the “dynamic duo” have planned. These teachers will be ready for when Best Brains Academy opens in August!
The boys were eager to learn typing and computers. See the picture of the boys practicing their keyboarding technique on posters of keyboards. I swear these boys practiced for at least an hour on the two dimensional poster before their fingers ever touched a computer keyboard. 1 Samuel reported being thrilled to have learned something new and wished he could stay up all night learning more. It wouldn’t be the first all-nighter that a computer inspired!
Kent worked on finishing touches on the site while I spent time with people from the Ministry of Health learning about requirements for product testing and next steps. We are wanting to run production quantities at the end of the week so tomorrow Kent will be focused on getting site things done!
Overall, it is great to be back. I was touched when some of the boys brought out the letters and photos I had sent back with Luther showing me they had kept them and treasured them. It has been a joyful reunion for sure!
Thank you for your prayers and keep ‘ em coming!