Community of Hope

When I went to Liberia for the first time in April of 2019, I wasn’t expecting much. I mean, I had travelled to dozens of other countries, and then I simply went home. But once I arrived in Liberia, something happened deep inside of me. There was a connection with the people unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It was a sacred moment. I would go as far as to say that it was Divine in nature. I call it “Difinity”…a moment in time that defined my purpose for eternity.

After spending 2 weeks in Liberia on my first trip, I returned home to Canada knowing that Liberia would become everything to me. And now, almost two years later, the call and compassion to serve the land and people is ten times stronger than it was originally. I was home for less than a week and was traveling to Kingston, Ontario to speak at a church. Saturday night was very difficult. I struggled to fall or even stay asleep. At first I blamed the jet-lag, but as the night went on, I knew that God was speaking to me. It was as if something sacred was being downloaded into my heart.

After hours of losing the battle, I finally drifted off to sleep. Literally, 5 minutes later, I woke up as if startled, and then something really odd began to happen. As I lay there, it was almost as if someone was pointing a projector onto that hotel room ceiling. I was awake, but I felt like I had phased out of the reality I was in, and for a few moments, I felt as if God was speaking to an audience of one.

A sequence of images began to unfold. It was as if I was sitting on a drone as it was lifting into the air. At first, all I saw was a large field covered in green, with lots of brush and wild grass. I could see a paved road. The property was massive. Somehow—don’t ask me how—I instinctively knew that it was 5 acres in size. As the drone continued to rise, the landscape began to change. There was less and less green, and in its place buildings began to appear. I could see a church/community centre building. Then I saw a school, an orphanage, a medical clinic, a soccer field and playground, and finally, I saw a well by the main road.

The dream/vision was so real…so clear. I struggled to get through my sermon the next morning, because all I wanted to do was get home and call Pastor Sam in Liberia. I asked him to look into what it would cost to buy 5 acres of land on the main road. He warned me that finding such a property would be difficult, and very expensive if it did it fact exist. Within 48 hours, he did it—he found a piece of prime property on the main road. It was only 3 acres, but it was a start. I nearly fell off my chair when he started sending pictures and videos of the property. They were just as I had seen in my dream/vision.

I began to tell people about the vision and the newly available property. I shared the vision with friends and family, with churches and Christian camps, and I started blasting the vision across social media. Within just two months, we raised the $25,000 USD to purchase it outright with zero debt. So now that the church had the property, it was time to move to phase one of the dream…dig a well by the main road. In less than 24 hours, we raised the full $7000 USD necessary to complete it. This happened over the summer of 2019, Then, in January of 2020, just before the global pandemic, I went to Liberia for three weeks. The first thing we did the morning after I arrived…we went to the property.

We pulled off the main road onto the site. And as I stepped out of the car and placed my feet on the ground, something happened that I can’t explain. I began to cry. I was literally standing in a dream, except now it had become a reality. I walked over to the well, and I began to cry again. It was the strangest and greatest experience I had had up until that point in my life. Later that week, we had a ceremony where we officially commissioned the well. The mayor of Careysburg was in attendance and we symbolically transferred the use of the well to the community. I was given the honour of the first few pumps. As the first drops of water emerged from that spout, the crowd of over 1000 people began to clap and cheer.

People started running over to it with cups and bottles—they didn’t want to waste a drop. To this very day, more than 4000 a month now rely on that well for safe, clean drinking water. Before we ended the day, Pastor Sam and I participated in the ceremony of breaking ground. We both placed our feet on the shovel as it went into the ground. We did it in the hopes that one day we would start building the community that God showed me in that dream/vision. I thought it would take years before we would see it happen. But then, just a few months later…something incredible happened…

But, that’s another story, for another time.

2 Replies on Community of Hope

  • Gary Heyes says:

    Hey Joe.

    Great story. Not sure if you remember me Gary Heyes from Bible College days.
    Do you Leo Lekpele Nupolu Johnson he is the president of the Liberian Federation in Canada. He might be a good contact for you. You can find him on Facebook.

    Hope you are well. Be blessed. Gary

    • Joe Amaral says:

      Hey Gary! Thanks for reaching out! I actually have been friends with Leo for a couple of years now. He’s a great guy and is doing a great work. Hope you are well! Joe

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