One expected outcome of this trip was making new friendships What I didn’t expect, I suppose, was the degree of similarities I would share with my Liberian brothers. They are quite resourceful, which you would expect in such an economically deprived country. But these men are also very persistent, and the leadership of their Associations in particular are quite determined when it comes to pursuing partnerships. It’s not surprising, some might cynically say, that they would be pursuing partnerships with people ins the US to take advantage of deeper pockets. While there are some who may ask for financial assistance, the requests I have heard have been reasonable (such as help with transportation, which looks like a small motorcycle or a bicycle). They also understand the need to go through proper channels, and Association leaders work hard to filter and prioritize those requests.
What has impressed me is how they are pursuing relationships with other Africans. This week at the conference there were believers here for the first time representing churches from the neighboring countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone. Later in the week, I was privileged to sit in on meetings with the AIBC and leaders from the Faith Independent Baptist Association, another group in Liberia started by Regular Baptist Missionaries servicing another region of the country. They are working to reestablish a joint conference between the two groups and actively collaborating on evangelistic efforts. The leaders in the AIBC are bold and forward thinking, and I have been encouraged by their commitment and enthusiasm.