From Our President
What Have You Done with the Gifts He Has Given?
Dear Partner in the Great Harvest,
Recently James G. Cuffee traveled from Liberia and shared with our staff. I want to introduce him to you. The radiance of the Lord shined through him, and we were encouraged by his testimony of God’s grace and power in the midst of the devastation his nation experienced during the war years of 1990 to 2003 and the Ebola crisis raging right now.
His ministry among tribal people living outside the capital of Monrovia thrives despite the aftereffects of war. Throughout Liberia remote villagers have never heard the Word of Truth. They have no church and no witness for the Lord.
Gospel workers face many difficulties
“If we don’t give the Lord Jesus to our people, and false religious groups continue to reach out, it’s a big problem,” Cuffee said. “We are to occupy until His coming. We have 20 missionaries reaching out where others refuse to go.” Of the 16 tribes in Liberia, Christ Evangelical Fellowship Ministries (CEFM) has work among five.
Travel conditions are dangerous. Missionaries walk up to eight hours to bring the light of the gospel to villagers living in darkness. When they grow weary they must sleep unprotected by the road. When they are thirsty and the water they carry with them has run out, they must drink from polluted streams. They get sick. They are bitten by mosquitoes. They search alligators before they cross rivers. At night they tremble when they hear the rumblings and roars of prowling lions. Though they cannot swim, with apprehension they paddle old canoes hours across lakes, bailing out water, because there’s a place beyond, on the other side where people do not know Him.
“I had a vision of the lake of fire and of heaven,” Cuffee told us. “The Lord said, ‘Carry my Word.’ That is how it began. Obedience. And it takes the power of God to do His work among idol worshippers.’”
Friends, I felt unworthy to remove the shoes off the feet of James Cuffee. Who are we? We are servants of those on the frontlines who are paying the cost for the unreached tribes to hear and believe in His name.
Meeting practical needs
This ministry wants to meet the practical needs of the people they reach for Christ. Villagers desperately need clean drinking water. They have no clean water because wars destroyed the infrastructure of the country. People drink rainwater from barrels in the rainy season, about six months a year. But the rest of the year is dry. So CEFM digs wells when they have the resources.
“What difference does a well make to a village? It provides life! It gives hope! Water is life!” Cuffee said. And the people then come to the Living Water.
A well costs $2,200 for pump, cover, cement, and pipe. And that’s digging by hand. It takes six weeks to dig a well 50 to 90 feet deep, he said. They have to break the rocks to get to the soft ground.
Schools are needed in the villages. Impoverished rural children walk three hours to the closest school. They can’t keep this up. Other false religious workers are making inroads among children, training them in the Koran and to be future leaders of the country. Cuffee feels burdened to establish a school in thr ee rural areas to create a point of light and bring Christ to the children. Already he is providing some help for children abandoned during the war in those areas, and he has an orphan home in one of them. But schools are needed. It costs $23,000 for a building with a furnished classroom.
Medical clinics are needed for children, pregnant women, and the elderly who have difficulty walking up to three hours for medical care. A tractor is needed for an agricultural project. They could do so much more with our help.
“We are establishing a witness for Jesus … no matter what happens.”
What most strikes me about Cuffee’s ministry is his life of fervent prayer. Every Wednesday from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m., 22 prayer warriors in their Monrovia church are praying for the donors of Christian Aid Mission. That is you and me, dear friends.
We can help CEFM grow even stronger through our prayers and support.
When James Cuffee trains leaders, he asks what the Lord asked him: “What have you done with the gifts I have given you?” He asks us this question today.
For His glory
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