It was a humbling honor to walk alongside the Special Assistants to Rev. Dr. Charles Jones, Area Director to Europe, The Middle East & Liberia, this past November and meet local partners in Liberia. This Discovery short-term mission trip facilitated many conversations at local churches, porches, dirt paths, school campuses, car rides and many other settings. Here are Rev. Dr. Ray Charles’ reflections about their journey. Blessed Reading!
“Never in a million years could I have predicted that within one year of Teri and I taking a stroll down the path which president Nelson Mandela was captured (commonly known as “The Long Road To Freedom”) and lifting up our hands on Robin Island as a symbol of solidarity and liberation, that we would give birth to the global mission of Righteous Leadership, in Liberia West Africa.
In hindsight, giving birth to this mission field in Liberia makes perfect sense. After all, the name Liberia was chosen by American Colonization Society member and U.S. Senator Robert Goodloe Harper (1765-1825) from the Latin word, liber “free”. Little did we know that we were pregnant the past three decades, but even before we were formed in our mother’s womb, God knew the time, the season, the people, AND the land which His mission field was predestined to be birth through us. Today, we both simply shake our head and say to each other, “what are the chances?”
SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME , AND FORBID THEM NOT: FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Matthew 19:14)
Since returning from our first tour of duty in Liberia, on “Righteous Leadership in Leadership Development,” I have had an opportunity to reflect on the most significant moments with our co-laborers, Rev Sandra Dorsainvil and Rev. Dr. Charles Jones of International Ministries. Without question, the two most significant moments were the child washing my wife’s feet and the open doors, and favor following the Home Coming of native son, Charles Jones. Why were these two events significant? I’m glad you asked.
They both offer a perspective of God’s Plan for the nation(s). The child, through the ministry of presence, was set free and after she was converted, was directed to serve, in the washing of the feet. Each place we ministered, as a team, we reminded the people that Righteous Leadership was not a call to the elite few, but, was a call to all people, of all ages. “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” (Numbers 27:16, 17)
While traveling to minister at one of our host sites, it was revealed that we were witnessing the manifestation of Numbers
26:16,17 through the testimony of Charles Jones. Unlike the brain drain, suffered by many nations across the globe, Charles got out (left Liberia in 1988 to pursue his studies in the US) but his story did not end there. Fast forward three decades later, he is now going back (returning home) to lead the people of Liberia (“The Congregation of the Lord”) out, as he partners with the Charles’ who is similarly giving birth to the mission of Righteous Leadership, three decades later.
What are the chances?
30 years later, Rev. Dr. Charles Jones takes a moment to pose with my wife, Teri, in front of the church which he pastored in Liberia.
We will return to Liberia twice in 2019 to continue our mission. If you wish to partner with us financially, in our mission work, please scan the below QR Code”
The Short-Term Mission team thanks Ray and Teri Charles, Special Assistants to Europe, Middle East and Liberia for hearing and responding to God’s call.