Sunday, March 23, 2014


Posted by Kendell

Last week I took a visitor from our headquarters up to our Foya base to see some of our projects; we arrived at 9:00am.  Our first visit was to see some of the WASH projects and as we were leaving the base I heard that one of our WASH had left ahead of us out to the field.  When I pressed them to tell me more she said that the WASH staff member had left the base at 5:00am in the morning in order to catch the beneficiaries in the village before they left for their farms.  I was humbled by our staff’s commitment to their work.  I have managed many people in various jobs but I am continually floored by the work of our amazing staff here in Liberia.  They are so committed to their work and it is because their work God continues to do great things through SP in Liberia. 
When we reached the community we were introduced to our community development facilitators, CDF’s, Liberian staff that are assigned to a cluster of villages to coordinate the work that SP does in each community in the cluster.  But more than this, these staff love, care, counsel, share the good news of Jesus and disciple community members whom they live with.  That’s right, these staff commit to leave their homes, family and comforts and live in the rural villages where SP works; they are true missionaries.  While Ma Zoe and Varfee (CDF’s) showed us around it was clear the community love them and they love the community!  I love my Liberian staff, they teach me every day how to be a better leader.
This morning we had our 16 mile run as we continue to train for the London Marathon.  My wife/coach, fellow runners Jamie and Joni, Rusty, Jamie’s husband, all left at 5:30am and headed out to a dirt road outside of town.   It is then 4 hours of work by all these people around me to get me through the 16 miles.  It might be having drinks and GU ready and in hand, it could be a smile while passing in the opposite direction, driving the support vehicle, telling me to get my butt going, or holding up a towel while I change my clothes (that would be my wife’s job  J).  The bottom line is there is no way I could have gotten as far as I have in my training without my team. 

Any good leader would say that he or she is only as good as the staff and team around them.  As a leader I have proven this statement over and over again.  A leader needs to set the vision, recruit a team that can achieve this vision and delegate outcomes and then let them do their job.   In the end we can all celebrate what we as a team have achieved.  A true leader will relish watching their team succeed more than their own success.  Leaders need their teams.
In three weeks I will attempt to complete the 26.2 miles at the London marathon.  It has and will take a team effort to get to the finish line.  I am doing it for many reasons but one is to raise money for the projects that my team implements in Liberia, projects that transform lives now and for eternity want you to be part of this great team!!  See links below to help our team.
If you are from the US/Canada, please use this link to donate:
If you are from the UK, please use this link:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Training Season...

Training season.  At the beginning of the year, many of our programs are in the training 'mode'.  Everyone is busy hiring and training new staff, training program staff on new curriculum, training staff on leadership and management of their programs...everywhere you look some sort of training is going on!

This past month I have had the opportunity to go to all three of our bases.  In Foya, the CLP (literacy program) spent a week training new trainers and facilitators as they prepare for so start their classes.  It was great to see our CLP management staff teaching, leading this great group of people through the different areas of the program; literacy, numeracy, business skills and Bible study.

CLP staff working hard during their training...
I walked past the CLP training to the next meeting room where another training workshop was being conducted.  This one was a training workshop on photography..."what?" I know sounds weird right?  But there are methods to our training madness! Every program has a responsibility to send pictures from the field (every program has a field camera) to Joni our Communications Manager.  Joni then collects these photos along with stories about the project or the people in the photos to send to our SP office and donors.  These are crucial.  This is our opportunity to SHOW and TELL our funding offices and donors the impact their investment is having in people's lives and for the Kingdom of God.  But we can't just send poorly taken pictures!  They have to be a certain size for the communications departments at SP and they need to be good enough to use.  Joni was being sent a lot of pictures, but not many of them could be used due to their quality-so, she has been giving our program managers and coordinators a one day workshop at each of the bases on how their camera works with all the settings, how to take good pictures and what information is needed for impact stories.

Joni teaching her 'area'
It was fun to watch the staff practice taking pictures of each other in different settings.  It was even funnier when Joni took every one's memory cards and put the pictures they took on the projector to 'grade' each others photography skills!  

I left the base to go and see the WASH training that was happening at a nearby church.  CMP and CDF staff that work in our communities in the area of WASH were also present to learn about our new WASH programming.  Having other program staff present helps with consistent messaging to our beneficiaries.
Taya and her staff at their training

The training didn't stop in Foya!  Last week Joni did another photograph workshop at our base in River Gee.  Here, in Monrovia as I type this our Program Development staff are training our program managers on monitoring and evaluation, activity planning and reporting just to name a few of the training topics!  

Building capacity within our staff is key for the success of our projects.  But it's more than that-we are investing in our staff so that they can continue the good work that God has started in them. For some the training is just for one day-but the skills they learn will last them a lifetime.  For others training is a week long, very intense-but at the end of it they are ready to head out to the field to implement their programs with confidence!

In running, training I believe, is more important than the race or run that you are training for.  Training is hard, very hard, it's the runs and work outs that take place in the early morning hours, when you are tired and don't feel like running.  These past couple of weeks our SP London marathon runners have been training hard.  I mean they are in the THICK of marathon training-anyone who has trained for a marathon knows what I am talking about.  Those long runs of 16, 18 and 20 mile runs.  The long week day runs-anywhere from 5-7  miles.

Two very tired runners training...
It's during training, when you realize how far you can push yourself physically and mentally.  It's during training that you realize that every long run is a run into new 'territory' and new mileage you have never run before.  It's during this training that you start to realize how strong you really are and that you can accomplish the goal set before you.  I love training-sounds weird but the journey that one goes through during training is amazing.  In every training season I learn something new about myself-how much more I can do how much more I can push through obstacles and focus on my goal.  Paul talks about this in Philippians chapter 3:12-14. Go look it up-great verses on perseverance and focusing on the goal that is ahead of us.  Training is all about this-pressing on-forgetting what is behind-and pressing onward to the goal that God has called us.
 Great quote by a great guy!
Pray for our staff who are going out, that they will trust the training they have received and be ready to do the job God has called them to do. Pray for our marathon runners that they will press on through their training as it gets harder. So that at the start of the London marathon they will be confident and trust the training and hard work and long hours they have put in.  To reach a goal or to do our jobs, training is necessary-but we have hope that when we do the work we can trust God to see us through to the finish.
For more information on how you can encourage our marathoners and give towards our SP Liberia hospital project and other projects please go to: 
It would be a HUGE encouragement for them if you gave! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Posted by Jamie:
 Earlier this week I came across these verses: 

Hebrews 12:11-13 -Discipline leads to Fruit
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
                                               1 Timothy 4:8 - - Training and Godliness
for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
As I've reflected on these passages this week, I've been reminded how much discipline it has taken to get me to the place I am with my running. And that with continued discipline I can achieve even more but it has also reminded me that while physical discipline is important for my physical health; I also need to keep up with my spiritual disciplines. I keep thinking how amazing it is that I can train my body to run these long distances in the heat and humidity and not feel like I'm going to die! How is it that this training has become easy to keep up but my spiritual life is easily discarded at times? I have concluded that it is all about priorities. I have made running a priority and it has become a habit. This is my challenge for myself for the next six weeks as I finish up my training for the London marathon; put as much time into my spiritual life as I do my physical life.
Here is a glimpse into what we are doing for our physical training:
Most days training runs are done here on the ELWA campus. It's convenient, safe and has lovely scenery. Hard to beat running along a beautiful tropical beach. I especially love being able get up early, walk out my front door before it gets overly hot and get my run done. There is one major draw back when it comes to the long runs though. If I do a figure eight around the campus road it is about 1.75 miles. So, as you can imagine after a few laps it gets a bit monotonous! In an effort to change things up we decided to take our long Sunday training runs out to the road to Marshall. It is currently a dirt road that they are working on improving. For now the dirt road provides the benefit of being flat, fairly long and a bit more forgiving then the pavement. This is the third Sunday we've run the road. The first Sunday was great because it rained the night before and knocked down all the dust. Today we were not so lucky...
Just some small dust after a car went speeding by.
Many thanks to Bev for letting me use her Camelbak so I stay hydrated!
Joni and Bev synchronized running. 

Some interesting sights along the way.

Just finishing up my 12 miles.

Handmade construction sign :)
           Joni finishing up her 16 miles!  

We were missing Kendell today, who was up country and had to run solo this week. Please remember us in your prayers this week as we continue to up our miles. The heat and humidity can really take it's toll as can injury.
Remember we are doing all of this to raise money for SP Liberia's ELWA hospital project and it's Church Mobilization Program (CMP). Please read our previous posts for more information on these projects and consider donating! Thanks in advance for your help.
If you are from the UK, my fundraising page address is: 

If you are from the US/Canada, my fundraising page address is: