Valentine’s Day was so special this year. John-Mark, Audrey, and I were able to visit the village, Jawajeh, where JM and I first laid eyes on each other! When I was in Liberia in 2007, I stayed in Jawajeh with Water of Life. John-Mark came up on his motorbike, took off his helmet, and I thought, “that has got to be THE John-Mark Sheppard!” I had met his family just days before and heard all about his ministry in Liberia. Sharon, another woman on the trip said to me after watching us lay eyes on each other for the first time, “you’ll be connected to the Sheppards one day!” By that, she meant, married into the family. She was right!
I was able to visit Jawajeh for a few days in 2008 and it was great to be back there this week. Many of the kids (now pre-teens and early teens) remembered me. The kids even started chanting a song they used to sing when I was there in 2007. “Sara, the baby is crying! Wah, wah!” I guess they chanted this because I was so involved with the kids and babies.
After being in Jawajeh for a bit, we drove to Tubmanburg to visit my special friend, Henry, whom I met in Jawajeh. Henry is deaf and mute, but in 2007, he actually put his mouth right in my ear and spoke my name! Henry is 11 years old now and living at a school campus for the deaf. I was so impressed with the place. Henry looked clean, healthy, and comfortable. He was communicating with others and it was SO great to finally be able to communicate with him using sign. He actually remembered me! Some of the staff I met are clearly passionate about their work and the kids. It is run by an NGO out of Scotland. His schooling, health care, personal needs, and vocation training are provided at no cost. Apparently, Henry had some hearing tests done and scored extremely low. He was given a hearing aid, but can not use it unless a specialist comes out from overseas to help. It was so special to see Henry on Valentine’s Day and express to him how much I care for him. He is without a doubt doing so much better at this school than he would be if he had stayed in the village. I can’t wait to visit him again!