How Did Hope 4 Liberia Begin?
I’ve been asked a number of times…”Why did you start Hope 4 Liberia?” or “When did you begin this ministry?” There’s a long answer for those two questions. Perhaps I will write the book someday.
I thought you might like reading the condensed version for now. 😊
In 2019, I took a team of 4 other women to Liberia to help at an orphanage. It was during this trip, that God opened my eyes to the extreme hopelessness and poverty in the eyes of these precious people. There were so many orphans, more than 100,000, as a result of two civil wars and Ebola hitting in 2014-2016. The needs were many. Just survival was a full-time effort. Waiting in line at the well for water, wondering where the next meal would come from….or even if it would come…. Life was hard there.
The Lord had already prepared my heart to act on James 1:27, to care for orphans in their distress. This calling began way before Liberia entered the picture. In 1998 the journey began when we cared for a baby of a woman who was incarcerated in a Philadelphia prison. In 2000, we adopted 3 children with various needs. Later in 2008, after returning as missionaries to Australia, we adopted two more children with significant needs. So, when I left Liberia in March of 2019, I KNEW this was a ministry that God had been preparing me to do. The passion, the drive and my skill sets were all in alignment.
My next question was…. What will my husband think when I tell him that I feel like I need to go back. Little did I know that while I was overseas, the Lord was preparing Jim’s heart as well. Jim picked me up at the airport after the long flight. He had recently returned from making a trip from Pennsylvania to Nebraska. Enroute home, the transmission on his van went out in Missouri. A Colorado friend “happened” to be filling the pulpit at a church in Missouri and came to Jim’s rescue. During their drive, Pastor Phil proceeded to tell my husband of his three trips to Liberia with World Vision. As we were making the four-hour drive from the airport to home; it was obvious the Lord had already prepared my husband’s heart to embrace the passion and desire I had to continue orphan aid ministry in this worn-torn country. Hope 4 Liberia was born!
Jim, my husband, is every bit invested in this ministry as I am. He is the backbone of Hope 4 Liberia! He is currently building me an office on our farm. He helps me in sharing what we are doing. He keeps things running at home, with our special needs kids, when I'm in Liberia. Something new that he will be spearheading is preparing future mission teams spiritually before they go to Liberia. I think we make a pretty good team!
Since that first trip, we have helped a few other orphanages and are now in the process of starting our own orphanage campus in Careysburg, with God’s help.
My calling and vision have never been so clear. God has met needs beyond my expectations and imagination. My heart’s desire is to spend every ounce of life left in me to bring glory to the Lord in loving my family and providing hope to Liberian orphans. John Keith Falconer sums up my life aspiration well:
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.”
Oh, that my faith and dependency would grow even more in Christ. ~ Kelly Wagner