What is in a Name?

We have found many people with interesting names in the few months that we have been here. A few examples: Prince, Princess, Angel, Moses, Emmanuel, Aloysius, Comfort, Godspower, Success, Promise, Mercy, Handsome, Decent and Marvelous. I can see in my mind parents looking at a newborn bundle of joy and blessing such with a name that expressed their joy and hopes for the future of the child. Perhaps they hoped to instill in the child the desire to live up to the attribute described in the bestowed name. Maybe they had a memory of someone special in mind and desired to honor their life by naming a child after them.

As I think about hopes, traditions and meaning of names given to children, I remember the names given to a young child many years ago: “And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). It was later written of Him: “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows… he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities… and with his stripes, we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).

At this time of year, we remember the sorrow and suffering in Gethsemane and Golgotha and the hope and joy found on that first Easter morning: “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come see the place where the Lord lay”(Matthew 28:6). For any and all who have lost a loved one or are going through difficult challenges, our hope and prayer is you will find peace, comfort and joy in the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!

Come and join in with what could be the world’s largest sing-a-long of Handel’s Messiah (see link below).




Leaping Through February

Wow, where did the month of February go? Even having an extra day did not seem to help keep it around. Our comfortable routine was interrupted a couple of weeks ago when Rick was assigned to lead the Harbel Branch. A “Branch” is typically a smaller congregation in a remote area or an area where the church is relatively new. We are looking forward to getting to know the members better over the coming months.

In recent weeks we have also found ourselves in very dangerous territory. The first incident occurred as we were taking a walk one morning and came across a lady rolling out dough near the road and making twisted sweet rolls. Rick quickly pulled out the appropriate number of Liberian dollars to purchase fresh cooked in hot oil cinnamon and sugar coated sweet bread for breakfast. In a similar incident a couple of weeks later, we stopped in at an ice cream/fresh pastry shop on our way home and sampled several of their wares. We are not sure if we will be able to navigate around these locations in the future so it could be quite dangerous to our health…

We had an enjoyable “Valentine’s Day” supper together at a restaurant on February 13. It is only a few steps from the office and sits right on the beach/Atlantic Ocean. With the large open windows, it was like sitting on a covered patio which could be located at any tropical resort in the world. A bit of a flashback/look forward to what Liberia was/could be again. It was a lovely way to spend time together.

View from our table

View from our table

We are a very long way from home

We are a very long way from home

A “family” of geckos has decided to come and live with us. We have named them Geico, Stubby (lost part of his tail), Princess and Prince (which are fairly common names here). Of course we have no idea if they are related or what their sex is, but it is fun to have some insect hunters living with us.