Today is April 15th, 2021. I’m in Africa…during a global pandemic. And a time where fear and uncertainty is rampant, I’m safe and sound in Liberia, West Africa.
I imagined myself doing a lot of things, but starting a humanitarian charity to Africa at age 50 was not one of them. But yet, here I am.
I am honestly and completely humbled by this opportunity. I’m doing things that people usually read about in books (…after the author is dead).
I’m very much alive, and I’m very much aware of how privileged I am to be doing what I am doing. Just today I went into the jungle to visit a village that has never seen a white man before. I’ve been to eight villages now. I’ve crossed some of the sketchiest bridges you could imagine. I have driven on some of the most treacherous roads you will ever see. I’ve had the car break down in the middle of nowhere…more than once…with no cell service. And each and every time, it was worth it because the payoff was that I got to visit with some of the sweetest, kindest, and most precious people on God’s green earth.
I’ve never been so broken in all my life. Normally you would associate being broken as negative, but I mean it in the best way possible. Broken, stripped down to the rawest form of emotion and humanity. To see people—who we would say have nothing—be constantly and consistently displaying a smile on their beautiful faces has been one of the most moving experiences of my life. They’re alive and they’re grateful.
Yesterday I spent the morning visiting with a blind community in central Paynesville, just outside the capital city of Monrovia. I’ve met with them before, but this time it was different. They may not be able to see you…but they see you! As soon as I began to speak, they recognized me instantly. They would break into a huge smile and greet me with a warm hug. I mean that figuratively and literally—it was 36 degrees Celsius here yesterday.
I’m here because we (Hope For Liberia) are building a community, it’s actually called the “Community of Hope”. It has already become a landmark by which people use when giving and receiving directions. We have 3 acres of land on the main highway. We are just at the tail end of completing our Multi-Purpose Center. The launch date is April 25th—just over a week from now. We’ve laid the foundation for an elementary school that will house 420 students. We will break ground on a Dormitory/Orphanage next month.
As I was writing this, my mother sent me a message saying, “I can’t get over what God is doing through your life.” If only she knew how true those words were. To my delight, not a single person has given me any credit for what is happening in Liberia. Everyone always says the same thing, how they marvel at what God is doing. You see, when I left my last ministry, I prayed, and I told God…“Whatever or wherever you call me next, let it be something that I can’t do without you.” To that end, God sent me here—to Liberia—one of the poorest countries in the world; a country still reeling from 14 years of civil war. A country with a fragile economy and no sustainable infrastructure in place. But in the midst of all of this, God is blessing us beyond belief. It reminds me of of what it says in Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
I will keep going where God sends me. I will keep coming to Liberia as God leads me. I will fear no evil, because if He is for me, who can be against me! (Romans 8:31)
Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
There is still much to do, but I am confident of this…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
If you would like to join me in what we are doing on the ground here in Liberia, here is what you can do. You can pray. You can give. You can share this so that others can hear.
Joe Amaral is the Founder and Director of “Hope For Liberia”