Our new address

Here is our new address:

Rafiki Foundation, Care Of Patty Family, P.O. box 1742, Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa.

We appreciate any letters!


A glimpse of life at Rafiki Village, Liberia

Good morning says the iPhone. It is 5:40 am and time to rise and shine. The Lord has prepared another day to run the race. Alan and I get up. He leaves around 6:15 am to oversee and help in the kitchen. We (Sarah, Iryna, Joe, and myself) leave around 7:00. Our school day begins with a devotion and hymn. This is followed by a short assembly with the children. Little stocky Isaac (about 3 years old) leads the line of children to the flagpole. All Hail Liberia Hail (Liberia’s national anthem) is ringing in our ears as we walk to our classrooms at 8 A.M. to begin the school day.

Isaac leading the way to assembly

Sarah helps Mrs. Veneman (director’s wife) with the 3 year old level. Isaac, Obadiah, Austin, Anna Blessing, Janjay, and Makatee sing songs, learn letters, numbers and colors. They have a Bible story, music time, snack and games. Learning and discipline are in full working order from 8 – 10 am. Sarah then helps Mrs. Mckeighen in first grade. Julie Mckeighen is the director of education. She teaches reading to the k-1 children.

Mrs. Veneman greeting the children

Austin beating the drums

On the other side of the building you can find me, Iryna, and Joe with the four year old level. Included in this group of 12 children are 5 girls who are the daughters of people who work at the Rafiki Village. Rafiki not only provides school for the village children but scholarships are offered to children outside the village. These girls are provided with uniforms and a hot breakfast as well. There is much learning going on in our class as well. Some of our learning is slightly more advanced to prepare for kindergarten and we are in class until 11 am.

Our class

As I stay to prepare fot the next day, Sarah, Iryna and Joe hurry tackle their own school work. Joe does take one trip back to the school at 1:30 to play baseball or soccer with the kindergarten/first grade class.

Joe playing softball

Meanwhile Alan is overseeing work in the kitchen. He has a great kitchen staff. All 3 meals are cooked and served in the kitchen/dining hall. This gives the housemothers more time to focus on the children. He also helps Dave Veneman (director) with various other tasks, which often includes going to Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

Teaching the children

Our days are full of blessings and challenges. They usually end with a 45 minute walk down the road and along the Atlantic Ocean. The rainy season is upon us as we will see yow many days we are able to walk in the coming months. On Sundays we are visiting different churches in Monrovia and going out to lunch afterwards. This Sunday we had lunch with another American family (Baptist missionaries) that have lived here since 1986. The children from the village go to several different churches depending on where their mama goes. Their church attire is very special. The mamas get dressed up as well. They walk about ¾ of a mile to a junction where they catch a taxi to church in Monrovia.

A group of boys ready for church

One of the girl's groups

Liberia is a hurting country. Poverty is everywhere and the children are in great need. As Jesus said in Matthew 9:37, 38 “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Pray for the laborers here. Pray for the harvest. Pray for the children here and the children yet to come.