Saturday, May 26, 2012

ABCU Liberia

Below is an email from our Pastor's brother, Chuck McArthtur. Chuck was with the work in Liberia before the civil war and he is back working in Liberia again, but in a different capacity. In addition to the matters that Chuck mentions for prayer, I would add that you please pray for Reverend and Mrs. Chinchen. This has been--and will be--a very difficult road for them to travel as well.

Boy and hand
Hi Chip,  
Rarely do the depths of grief and the heights of joy so violently collide.

On Wednesday, May2,  we were all running around getting everything set for the first Senior Banquet since the reopening of ABC University. We wanted it to be just right for those 20 trailblazers-some who were actually finishing their degree that they had begun before the African Bible College closed its doors during the 14 yr civil war. It was a beautiful evening in the gym with round tables uniquely covered with bright African tie dye. The food was delicious and the singing was exceptional.

Thursday began with preparations for Saturday's graduation along with meetings with the other deans who were busy orientating me on my responsibilities as Dean of the College of Biblical Studies.

Then early Friday the staff and faculty were asked to come to an emergency meeting at the home of the university president. Sheree and I worked with Del and Becky 26 years ago and considered it a privilege to be reunited. They were the ones who moved back to Liberia in order to rebuild the campus that the war had destroyed. I have enjoyed a deep admiration for their faith and willingness to make extreme sacrifices. They have poured their lives into building this university for the past 6 years.

Sitting in the circle were also his mother and father, the founders of African Bible Colleges who had come to celebrate graduation. Del and Becky then joined the circle and he proceeded to confess sexual indiscretions with two students over the last year. He then announced that had resigned his position and would not be attending graduation. An hour later he did the same before the student body in the chapel-all this only 24 hours before the start of the graduation ceremony.

Utter shock. Deep grief. Shared shame. It felt like the sudden death of one's beloved and highly respected father who tells you with his last breath that he had been unfaithful to your mother--with two of your sisters. To make matters worse, he had been  denying the rumors over the last several months--all the while preaching the importance of integrity. We were all devastated--and still are.

And yet the show had to go on. Those seniors deserved a celebration regardless of no one feeling like doing anything but crawling in a hole and weeping. The students and staff did what they had to do and on Saturday at 11am an estimated 1,000 people gathered to celebrate 20 graduates. It was indeed a beautiful celebration accompanied by great joy-and yet with an undeniable hole in all of our hearts.

In just over a week the students will return for five weeks of classes. Nathan Mulba, the Vice President (a graduate of ABC and a former student of mine-am I boasting?) is in charge until the board appoints a new president for the university. It is my joy to serve under him. He is highly respected by students and staff alike. He is a great example of Del's vision of turning more and more of the leadership over to African leaders--a vision all of the faculty here believes in.

Please pray for a deep work of the Spirit upon the student's return. Pray that the gospel will be understood and applied at the deepest level possible evoking deep repentance and exuberant joy with a confident hope in an unknown future.

And pray for Del and Becky; we  love and appreciate them and want them to experience God's healing deep in their souls. Pray for soft hearts and gospel confidence. With humble hearts and God's power they will come through this more beautiful than ever.

And pray for the board as they decide the future of ABCU Liberia. Pray that they will have the humility and wisdom to observe and appreciate the unique aspects of this campus in preparing leaders in every sector to advance the Kingdom of God. So many have invested so much and there is so much at stake in their decisions.

We have a great and gracious God and so we worship and serve Him. No one loves us like he loves us.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

He reigns,
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1 comment:

  1. Please continue to pray for ABC University Liberia