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Liberian National Evangelistic Campaign -- Details

Guest meetings March 29 - April 13, 2002;  360+ Campaigns during 2002; baptismal goal--5,000

(Page was last updated on: 07/19/02 07:45 AM)

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SDA Church in Liberia:
Evangelistic Campaign planning: Division, Union and Mission leaders (below left) met at Union and Mission office (below, right) Aug. 29-31 to lay plans for the national evangelistic campaign.  Destroyed by fire during the civil war the mission operations were forced to join the union staff and ADRA in the only suitable building available.
Local leaders selected The "Hotel Boulevard" (below left, right and 2nd row below right) as the place for guest evangelists and their team to stay during the meetings. It is conveniently close to all four locations where expatriate evangelists will hold their meetings. The hotel's address is: Hotel Boulevard, Sinkor, 15th Street, Monrovia, Liberia. And it's telephone is: 011-231-6590.

Both the husband and wife in the Palmero family (below) are  missionary doctors and are two of the four full-time physicians who serve the Monrovia community at the 48-bed Seventh-day Adventist Hospital (below, right).


Campaign locations

General Orientation: Monrovia, with a population of between 800,000 and 1 million, is located on the Atlantic seashore.  Two rivers flow into the sea through Monrovia. One of these feeds a lake just inland from the shore.  As a result, Monrovia has developed along the coast, between the lake and the sea, and then along a loop road that circles the north side of the lake.  It is best described in the form of a "D" lying on its side with the flat side down.  The flat side that is down is the portion of the city that runs between the lake and the sea.  The upper "half-circle" is the loop road.  Some of the towns/suburbs that have developed around this ring road have been selected as the sites for Campaigns numbers 2, 3 & 4.  Campaign number 1 will be in the flat side on the bottom of the "D." Churches nearest each of the sites have been assigned to support the Campaign nearest their respective locations.

NOTE: Based on past experience, leadership expects attendance at EACH of these Campaign sites to be at or above 5000!

Site #1, Option 1 - ATS Stadium (below): The first Campaign site, to be supported by five congregations with about 1000 attending members (who, it is estimated, will give Bible studies to 3000 people before the Campaign begins) is to be held in one of two sites.

Option 1 - Its location in Central Monrovia as well as having existing seating and lighting makes this the preferred Campaign location.  The difficulty is securing the use of this facility during (but near the end of) the football season. Contact is being made with stadium management to see if it might be available during the Campaign dates.

Site #1, Option 2 - "Air Field:" Local church leaders consider the second option to be almost as good as the first option.  It is known as the "Air Field" since it is a very large open area adjoining the existing domestic (but scarcely used) airport. The "down side" is that, like all other Campaign sites, benches, lighting and sound will need to be provided. The "up side" is the crowd, platform and screen would be easily visible to passing motorists. The picture above, left is taken from the highway.  Beyond the water is a football playing field, and just above that is a green hillside where the platform and screen would probably be erected.   In the picture above, right (taken from the hilltop facing back toward the highway), the highway is the straight line above the grass just above the bare dirt but below the houses in the distance.

On the left, below a second and part of a third football playing field joins the one shown above. Finally, on the right, below, is the paved air field that continues on from the hilltop. It is not a lighted airfield so it would not be used in the evenings when the crowds are present.  Please note, the Campaign is scheduled during the dry season the water that can be seen in these pictures will not be a factor.

We hope to have a decision regarding the availability of option one by the end of September so plans can be developed with plenty of time.

Site #2 - New Kru Town (below): Leaders anticipate that the four congregations supporting the Campaign in New Kru town will have given Bible studies to at least 1000 people before the meetings begin.   The site selected for the Campaign is centrally located and, like each of the others will need to have simple benches built and lighting provided by a generator.
Site #3 - Jacobstown (right): The congregations supporting the Campaign in Jacobstown should have 800 or more individuals whom have completed Bible Studies before the Campaign begins.
Site #4 - New Georgia (Right): This site was selected since it can serve the two, very large communities of New Georgia and Barnarsville.  Leaders expect the congregations supporting this Campaign should have about 1000 people who have completed Bible studies before the Campaign begins.


Flight Arrival Information

R S Folkenberg Mar. 27, 1:50 PM from Abidjan on Ghana Airways #534
John Scharffenberg Mar. 27, 1:50 PM from Abidjan on Ghana Airways #534
Mr. & Mrs. T D Collins Mar. 27, 1:50 PM from Abidjan on Ghana Airways #534
Mr. & Mrs. Otis Parks Mar. 27, 1:50 PM from Abidjan on Ghana Airways #534
Mrs. Joy Stewart Mar. 27, 1:50 PM from Abidjan on Ghana Airways #534


Guest Evangelists
Speaker Location Mailing address e-mail CCG
1-1 R S Folkenberg (61) Site #1 P O Box 230, Huddleston, VA 24104 Send e-mail...  (540) 296-1602 4113
2-1  John Scharffenberg MD (78) Site #2 60005 Cascadel Rd., North Fork, CA 93643 scharf AT sierratel.com (559) 877-2518 4363

Summary of Important Data for Dr John Scharffenberg:

John Scharffenberg was born in Shanghai, China, which afforded him the opportunity for travel abroad early in life. He graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine with an M.D. degree in 1947, and later earned his master's degree in public health (Delta Omega) with a major in nutrition from Harvard University.

He was clinician on the secretariat of the Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The committee conducted nutritional studies of the United States' allies around the world. Dr. Scharffenberg served as Director of the International Nutrition Research Foundation in Riverside, California.

He was also health officer of San Bernardino County in California where he was active in both tuberculosis control and community nutrition education. He became a consultant to the National Centers for Disease Control as a result of his work in tuberculosis where he reduced the new active case rate to one-third of what it had been and was able to close the TB ward of the county hospital because of the lack of patients.

While at Loma Linda University where he is presently adjunct professor of nutrition, Dr. Scharffenberg developed many community programs for health promotion, and instructed students regarding methods of conducting such programs. Heartbeat, a coronary risk evaluation program he designed, is used internationally. He was also a consultant to the State of California in nutrition.

Dr. Scharffenberg directed the Community Health Education Department of San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield, California for many years. He was among the first to design and conduct Cancer Risk Reduction Seminars. He promoted the sale of the hospital and placed the funds as an endowment into a newly established foundation, Pacific Health Education Center, to prevent disease.

Dr. Scharffenberg has authored several books dealing with nutrition, including heart disease and cancer risk reduction. He is known as a speaker and authority in the field of nutrition throughout the United States as well as many countries outside the United States.

Dr. Scharffenberg is also assistant director of Health Ministries of the General Conference and has done considerable lecturing and seminars in various countries of the world.

"The effects of prevention which produce a non-epidemic are difficult to measure and document, and most often lack the drama and glory that accompany the cure of acute illnesses. Yet there is tremendous satisfaction in observing the decline in heart disease rates (56% drop since 1963) and now even in the cancer mortality rates in the United States," states Dr. Scharffenberg.

3-1 Theron Collins (75) Site #3 5928 CR 805, Joshua, Texas 76058 tdcollins AT juno.com 817 517-7140 4253
4-1  Mr. Otis Parks (68) Site #4 4550 Hwy #8, Deary, ID 83823 parksranch AT turbonet.com (208) 877-1689 Proj.

Support Team Members

3-2 Bette Jane Collins (72) Site #3 5928 CR 805, Joshua, Texas 76058 tdcollins AT juno.com 817 517-7140 N/A
4-2 Mrs. JoAnn Parks ( 61) Site #4 4550 Hwy #8, Deary, ID 83823 parksranch AT turbonet.com  (208) 877-1689; son (212)-568-5016 N/A
4-3 Mrs. Joy Stewart (71) Site #4 43664 McKay Dr.,
Pendleton, OR 97801
donjoy AT oregontrail.net  541-276-2085 N/A


Miscellaneous Issues

Travel dates: It will be worth while to investigate the Sabena Airlines direct flight from Belgium, direct to Monrovia.  However, since I understand that their flights operate only one day a week, I expect we'll find it is unlikely that their flight schedule will match our needs.  Therefore, I will suggest that we each plan to fly across Atlantic, Monday, March 25 arriving in whatever transition city you choose in Europe on Tuesday, March 26. We can normally plan to continue our flight that same day to Accra, Ghana and arriving that night. We should plan to spend the night in an airport near the hotel (reservations will be made for us) and continue our flight from Accra to Monrovia on Wednesday, March 27.  After getting settled, we'll spend Thursday in orientation and have Thursday and Friday to adjust our time-clocks to the time change. We'll be able to see each Campaign site and prepare for the first message on Friday evening, March 29.  We will conclude the series on Saturday night, April 13 and can begin our homeward flights on Sunday, April 14.
Airline tickets: Each participant is free to secure his/her own tickets wherever he/she pleases.  I do encourage each one to secure a competitive bid from Mrs. Julia Reid, at Mission Travel.  She has long experience with the General Conference with international travel arrangements and access to discounted tickets through contractual relationships with the airlines.  Her phone number is 240-568-6300.  Her fax number is 301-725-6492.  You can also reach her by e-mail at:  MissionTvl AT Juno.Com
Insurance: The Africa-Indian Ocean Division will apply for limited insurance coverage for Campaign participants whose information is complete on the Campaign website (age, mailing and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and flight arrival information).  Those for whom I don't have complete information will NOT have insurance coverage.  Coverage will begin on March 27 and last for 21 days, sufficient to cover travel to Liberia, the duration of the campaign, and the return trip home.  To download a copy of the application blank (only to be completed by the Africa-Indian Ocean Division) and description of the coverage (in Adobe Acrobat - pdf - format) just click here on: insurance application and coverage.
Service Requests: In harmony with denominational policy, using the information provided in this document, two to three months prior to the beginning of the Campaign, the Liberian Mission, West-Africa Union and Africa-Indian Ocean Division will process a service request for each guest evangelist and send it to the General Conference.
Sermon topics: I have prepared a tentative list of topics for this Campaign.  I want to study it again and as soon as I'm fully satisfied, I'll make a note to that effect here. Meanwhile, you can review the list as it is now by clicking on the "Sermon topics" phrase at the beginning of this section.
Sermon notes & graphics:  December 19 I mailed each guest evangelist a CD with the sermon notes in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format, as well as the matching PowerPoint presentations. Upon receiving these you will want to print out the sermon notes (preferably on a color printer and printing only on use side of each sheet of paper).
Decision cards: You will want to download and print out the decision cards (in Adobe Acrobat format) that will be printed and available for distribution during the meetings when they are called for.  The Liberian Mission will download these files and use them to print out sufficient cards for each campaign site.

Appeal Songs: Regardless of whether or not it is used, the text for most sermons includes an appeal song.  Music with English and Spanish words songs in Acrobat (.pdf) format may be downloaded here.

Pictures: The Liberian leaders want the pictures of each of the guest evangelists to use in Campaign publicity.  Therefore I'm asking you to, arrange to have a suitable (black and white) picture of yourself scanned (do it yourself or ask someone else to do so) and send it to me by e-mail as an attached file.  Please send it in JPG format, at least 2 or 3 inches wide, and with a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch. Upon receiving these files from you I'll forward them to the Liberian Mission.  Please send these pictures to me by mid-October, 2001.
Travel documents: Each guest evangelist MUST have a valid passport with at least a half-dozen unused pages, and a visa for Liberia (and probably one for Ghana since it is likely that we may spend the night there), prior to leaving the US.
Visas: Each individual who travels to Liberia will need a visa.  Mrs. Diana Jo Beeler, of the General Conference Passport and Visa office will assist you by submitting the visa applications, securing your visa, and returning it to you.  To get the visa application just click the next phrase and it will take you to the Liberian Embassy's home page.  Print out two copies and complete in harmony with the instructions below.   "Visa Application"  If you don't have an Adobe Acrobat reader installed you will have an opportunity to download one on this page.  This is a good idea since you will need one not only to print out the visa application but you'll also need one to print out your sermon notes.

To secure the visa you will need to provide her by January 15, 2002:  1) A valid passport, 2) two applications, 3) four pictures, 4) a letter of invitation naming each traveler (one letter for each family), 5) a photocopy of the document certifying that you have a current yellow-fever vaccination, and 6) a check made out to the General Conference of S.D.A. in the amount of US$60 per visa requested ($45 for the cost of the visa and $15 for the courier taking your passport to the Liberian Embassy and the cost to return the passport and visa to you.)

Send these documents by Federal Express, to Ms. Diana Jo Beeler, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD  20904.  If you have any questions in this regard, feel free to call Mrs. Beeler at (301) 680-6258.  You may also fax her at: (301) 680-6197.

NOTE: If your itinerary requires you to spend the night in Accra, Ghana, you MUST get a visa for Ghana NOW or they will not let you leave the airport!   To apply for this visa please call Diana Jo Beeler at (301) 680-6258 and ask her to send you an application.  Visa applications for Ghana cannot be downloaded from the Internet.  Then send 1) Your passport,  2) TWO completed application blanks, 3) four photographs to her at the same address as provided above. along with another ($20 for the cost of the visa and $15 for the courier service to submit your passport and application and retrieve it for you).  This should be in her hands NO LATER THAN January 15, 2002. 

The Ghana application requires that you place names of references in Ghana.  You may use the following:  1) Pastor P O Mensah, Ghana Union Conference, P O Box 1016, Accra, Ghana;  and  2) E A Odonkor, South Ghana Conference, P O Box 803, Accra, Ghana.


Water: While the hotel water is provided by their well, visitors should still assume tap water in the hotel is not potable.  However, bottled drinking water is available at a small supermarket directly across the street from the hotel at a cost of about one US dollar per 1.5 liter bottle. Another option is that guests may want to purchase a hand-held water-purification system at your local camping store to use to purify the tap water.

Medication: Gastro-intestinal disorder (Montezuma's revenge) is the traveler's scourge when visiting a part of the world in which you must consume anything that is unfamiliar to your digestive track!  Problems are inevitable, even to the most cautious. So the word is, be careful, listen to your body, and then respond quickly.  I'm no doctor and will not give you medical advice, but I will tell you what I do (and these steps have worked during some of the most "trying" situations).

(1) I am careful what I eat and drink, but I don't worry about it.  (2) I listen to my body.  If know from experience it is easier to stop the problem before it becomes serious than waiting to address it after it's too late.  Meanwhile, I'm miserable and my work can be undermined.  So, as soon as I realize trouble is "on the way" I will take one or more of the following medications: a) Imodium (treats the symptoms, but provides welcome relief), and/or b) one of two antibiotics prescribed by my physician:  Either Cipro (one 250 mg. pill in the morning and the other in the evening), or Avelox (one 400 mg pill per day).  Either of these has an immediate and positive effect on me and helps eliminate the problem before it become serious.  If I didn't "catch it" in time, then I may take Imodium to provide short-term relief, as well as take the antibiotics.  Obviously, you must consult your physician before you leave on your trip and secure such medication as he/she recommends, since you are unlikely to find the same medication sold under the same name in another country.

Malarial prophylactics: Malaria is endemic to most of Africa.  I do urge you consult your physician and/or your area public-health department about taking medication to help prevent this disease.  For many years Larium (or Lariam) was the medication recommended by the General Conference Health Department for their traveling staff. Recently a new mediation has been placed on the market which was recommended to me by County Health Department.  It is called "Melarone."  Since I'm away from home I don't have the documents with me to confirm the spelling but I will correct this paragraph when I get home.  However, this should be sufficient for your to mention to your physician or health department and to get their recommendation.  What is important is that you take the medication prior to, during, and upon your return home, in harmony with the recommended dosage pattern.  Also, while you're here, be sure that when you go out you spray yourself with mosquito repellant.  Interestingly enough, during my current visit to Liberia (August 2001) I have yet to see a mosquito, and this is the rainy season. But, it's far better to expect and prepare for a swarm and be happy when they don't appear!

Inoculations: While the government of Liberia requires Yellow Fever vaccination, I'd recommend that travelers may want to secure some of the other vaccinations simply on general principles.  Though I'm not aware any of these are particularly endemic to Liberia, yet the ones I keep current (in addition to Yellow Fever) include: Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Meningitis, and Tetanus.

Hyperlink: For further health-related travel information regarding any country in the world, please visit the following website: www.tripprep.com

Medical care: We are fortunate in Liberia to have an SDA hospital and some SDA physicians available.  In addition, we are hoping to have an SDA physician join our team as a guest-evangelist. Should this be finalized, I'm confident we will have some additional qualified medical care with us in the hotel.

Climate: Liberia is a tropical nation, just a few hundred kilometers north of the equator, and it is at sea-level.  So the climate is warm (upper 80s or lower 90s), yet the temperature is more comfortable than one might expect due to the cooling effect of the ocean and the breeze.
Currency: While the Liberian dollar is the official currency, yet the tragic economic situation in the country means that the US dollar is traded at least as freely as is the local currency. In fact, at the time of this writing, the US dollar is traded without governmental restrictions and is the currency of choice. 

It is important to note that Credit Cards are worthless.  I haven't found anyplace that accepts them during my visit to Liberia.

Life of Christ videos: I will be ordering and sending to each guest evangelist a 2-hour video on the Life of Christ.  It will be in English and in the NTSC format which is used in Liberia. Each evangelist will probably want to show about 8 minutes of this video each night (plus two minutes overlap from the previous evening).  It is a beautiful, well-done presentation and helps early arrival of the crowd.  I've let the local leaders know that we'll need to borrow a videotape player from a member for each Campaign site and the signal will be projected through the video projector each will be using. When we're finished we can leave the videotape with the Mission for future Campaigns.
Projection equipment: A set of projection equipment (video projector, Dell laptop computer, remote control system, all placed in a "roll-aboard" or "checkable" aluminum case), will be provided to each of the Campaign speakers.  The The laptop computers will have the PowerPoint projection graphics installed when they are shipped. The rental fee of $350 (and outbound shipping costs) will, in this case, be provided by the Campaign budget.  This equipment will be shipped to each speaker so it will arrive there at least two weeks prior to the time of departure.  Your only cost will be to cover the expense of shipping (about $50) the equipment by UPS back to Charlotte, NC immediately upon your return from Liberia. The address to which it should be shipped is: Carolina Conference of S.D.A., Attn: Raymond Earle, 2701 East W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28213.
Language: English is the language of Liberia.  Sermons will not be translated into any other language.
Distance from Hotel to Campaign sites: All Campaign sites are with 30 minutes or so of the hotel. The Mission will assign someone to take each speaker (and support team) to their respective Campaign sites.  This is at no cost to the guest evangelists.
Hotel information: We will be staying at the "Hotel Boulevard" located on the main street into Monrovia.  The price that has been negotiated (of about US$60 per night per room) is somewhat overpriced for facilities of equal quality in the US, but VERY reasonable compared to the normal price of well over US$100 per room, per night. The price does include a continental breakfast which, if you like oatmeal (and I do) is quite satisfactory.

Please note, the hotel does not accept credit cards (as is the case in most businesses in Liberia).  It does, however, accept Traveler's Checks.  Laundry service is available in the hotel.

Meals: The Mission leaders is arranging with an SDA lady (a dietitian) in Monrovia to prepare our noon meals for us. The cost for this service will be $8 dollars per meal. The Mission will arrange for us to be transported each day to the place where the meal will be served.  I've told the Mission that cleanliness is particularly important to us.  I also told them to assume that the group was made up of vegetarians.  If that isn't the case you may clarify your situation upon your arrival.
Electricity: The problem with electricity is that there isn't any!  That's right.  During the civil war that ended several years ago the country's electrical infrastructure was literally destroyed.  Wires were pulled from high-tension lines, generating plants were destroyed, and highway/road lights were pulled down from the tall aluminum poles!  So, there still isn't any centralized electrical system, and none in the foreseeable future. So, each home, business -- and our hotel --  operates with its own generator. As a result most of the electricity is the same as in the US -- 110 volts, 60 cycles.  That is the on which our hotel operates.  You should still be prepared with multi-voltage appliances such as hair dryers, etc. (as the computers and video projectors already are).
Telephone: Calling or receiving telephone calls in Liberia is very, very difficult primarily due to the damage caused to the telephone system during the war.  One cellular phone company is in business and it provides the best opportunity for incoming calls.  At times it is possible to make international calls from the front desk of the Boulevard Hotel.  The easiest international phone call to make is a collect call to the United States.
E-Mail: E-mail is probably the best way to communicate with Liberia.  However, it is virtually impossible to send or receive messages from one's own computer.  The best way to send an e-mail messages to someone participating in the Campaign is through the Liberian Mission at: sdamission AT yahoo.com or through the West African Union at: waum2002 AT yahoo.com  The sender should place the name of the recipient in the subject line.  A representative from the Union and Mission goes to "the e-mail office" in downtown Monrovia every week-day, retrieves and prints out all the messages, and will deliver them to the intended recipient.
Time change: While the United States is on daylight savings time, the time in Liberia is four hours earlier than Eastern Daylight Time.  It is five hours earlier than Eastern Standard Time. 
Local transportation: The Mission is responsible to provide, at their expense, an individual to transport the guest evangelist (and support team, if any) from the Boulevard Hotel to the Campaign and bring them back afterwards.
Things to bring: Insect repellent, (other items may be added)
Preaching attire: Speakers can plan to wear a short-sleeved white shirt and tie (no coat) during the evening meeting.

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