Eighteen-year-old Liam spent two months serving and learning from others in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In the summer of 2021, as Liam Farrell finished high school, he thought to himself, “If you had the opportunity to explore, to experience a new culture, why not take it?”
Growing up in rural Maine, Liam knew long-time IM Global Servants Ann and Bill Clemmer as neighbors and family friends. He knew they were involved in ongoing work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and that they were currently back in the U.S. So one day, as Ann gardened outside, Liam approached her to learn more.
“I wanted to explore someplace French-speaking, and a place where the culture is totally different,” he explains.
Liam put his college plans on hold. Beginning in June 2021, he began a process of spiritual, emotional, and physical preparation for the trip with IM’s Short-Term Mission desk. The Short-Term Mission staff connected with Liam before, during, and after his trip to accompany him spiritually throughout the experience.
In February 2022, Liam flew into Rwanda and then crossed the border to Goma, DRC, on a two-month short-term mission trip. He stayed in the HEAL Africa compound, where the Clemmers also live.
Ahead of time, Ann and Bill talked with Liam about his skills and the ways in which they could be put to use. Liam spent the first few weeks simply being present at various ministries. “I didn’t feel like I had the knowledge to teach the Bible, but then we went to the English class, and I thought I could do that. Every Friday, I’d help the Sunday school teachers with their college English papers and speaking conversationally. It was really fun—even coming up with lesson plans.”
“Liam was a huge hit,” Ann says. “There were even a few doctors who came from the hospital to join his classes. He also did homework help for the English classes taught at Tuungane School, started a chess club at the international school, played soccer with the children, and just made himself available.”
“The school was four to seven-year-olds,” Liam explains. “I’d make paper airplanes, they taught me Swahili, I was able to practice my French as well—I could use it to explain an English word or concept. We had a cool experience where they were invited to visit an airport, and they loved it.”