News from Liberia
By George Patton, Jr.
As with the rest of the world, there have been some challenges here in Liberia. I have to admit a few times it has been tempting to leave. Twice we were contacted by the embassy telling us they had a flight out and twice we said we were going to wait until May as we had planned if it was possible.
The work has slowed some. We have only been able to baptize 21 people this month because of the government lockdown, but we have so many waiting to be baptized. We have 11 new churches that have joined the association now giving us a total of 23, with 2 new church plants going in. We have not been able to ordain anyone. We are quarantined here in Liberia from 3 pm to 6 am.
The soldiers line the streets after 3 and there are checkpoints everywhere. If you don’t have a pass to be out, they will give you much trouble, even confiscating your car or motorbike. No one is allowed to leave. The government is getting hard on any assemblies. We were told that 2 pastors, out in the jungle were killed a little more than a week ago for having prayer services.
Yesterday we tried to have some small teaching at the school with the Apostolic Women’s Network when we received a tip that the police had been called and were on the way. Our group scattered to a house that we knew of that belongs to one of our pastors. Some went one way, and some went another.
After crossing the swamp and making it to the railroad tracks, the police arrived where we had previously been meeting to find the place empty. Praise God all the ladies and my wife and I were safe. We were able to have a good training session but have canceled all of the rest of our plans for the time being here in the capital city. We are planning, by the Lord’s will, to go out to the bush next week.
There are 15 pastors in the jungle that have sent word to please come. These people are so very hungry for the word of God. Truly I feel like I am back in China. Having to sneak here and hide there. We are coming back to the USA on May 19. Please pray because as of right now the airport is closed. Our prayer is that everything will reopen on May 1. The people here are quite confused as to why the churches are closed. They tell me that even during the Ebola outbreak the churches never closed.
Our work in Sierra Leone has stopped right now other than email communication. The borders here are closed, no one can come now, and no one can go. I see so many of the people struggling to even find food. Praise the Lord and thank you for all who helped with the rice.
We were able to buy 25, fifty-pound sacks of rice for distribution. We gave all the pastors a sack of rice and then divided up the last of the rice for the widows. Many of the pastors here work in the school system or some other public job, but with everything closed they have not been able to work and so far, there has not been any government assistance. The churches here do good to carry their own but are not able to carry a pastor full time.
Please help us to pray for the reopening of the country. We have around 300 more that need to be baptized once the country opens. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. It has been a great blessing knowing that you are home praying for us. It has certainly given us the courage and the strength to continue. We love all of you so very much and can’t wait to see you again very soon.
Rev. George and Rebecca Patton Jr
Reverend George Patton Jr. is married to Rebecca Patton. Together they have 6 sons and 6 daughters and 23 grandchildren. They are active members of the First Apostolic Church in Morganton, NC. He has spent time over the years planting churches, pastoring churches, establishing ministries, and doing missions. He has written 18 books that can be found on Amazon HERE.