God's Promised Restoration
By Samuel Wonwi Thompson
Sept 9, 2000

Amidst the seven-year civil war which brought untold suffering, deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the destruction of the Liberian economy, nothing else has kept Liberians more hopeful than their deep and abiding faith in God. While many have sought political and other reasons to explain our crisis, faith-based Liberians have often believed that it is only by prayers and God's divine intervention that the country can be cured of the "curse" which has befallen it. A Liberian banker offers has personal testimony and shares his faith experience for Liberia.

As Liberians listen to CNN, RFI and BBC radio or consult these and other Internet news websites, including "The Perspective" for information and commentary on our country, one cannot help but feel a deep sense of sorrow at the way things have turned out. Some of you may have been pulled aside from many airports queue for questioning by immigration authorities for no apparent reason. Not to mention the countless insults about "you Liberian people." Some of our citizens have even gone as far as changing their nationalities because they think that by so doing, they can run away from their destiny. But let me encourage all of you that though the times may seem difficult and you may be facing reproach in all its many forms across the globe, God has a plan for the restoration of Liberia.

Some of you may start wondering, but who am I to talk to you about God's plan? You see, as far as God is concerned, I do not have to be anybody. El Elyon, the Most High God in His infinite wisdom can use even a donkey to talk to people if He deems it necessary (see the book of Numbers 22:22-35). God can use babies to speak in His honor (Matthew 21:16) - or stones on the ground, if He chooses. When the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke his disciples that they stop praising Him as king, Jesus said to them in, "I tell you that, if these would hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:40). I cannot hold my peace

What I am writing about today started in April 1996 in a hotel apartment in London as I sat watching CNN footage of a street scene in Monrovia. There were two teenagers armed with AK-47 rifles, hustling a third completely naked man; pushing him around on a street on a hill overlooking the city. It could have been a hill on Benson Street, I could see all the way down the street on that clear and sunny day. However, the streets were eerily quiet, deserted and littered with debris and burnt-out cars in the background. As they taunted him in those few seconds of footage, I knew that they were closing in for the "kill." I turned off the TV with a deep sadness for what was happening in the country, and went into my room to lie down. At that moment, I was led to take my Bible and open it. It opened directly to the Book of Zechariah Chapter 8 from v. 2, which reads:

"I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her." V.3: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."

V.7-8: "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God"

V.10-11: "Before that time there were no wages for man or beast. No one could go about his business safely because of his enemy, for I had turned every man against his neighbor. But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past," declares the LORD Almighty.

V.13: "As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."

V.14-15: "Just as I had determined to bring disaster upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me," says the LORD Almighty, "so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid."

V.16: "These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts. Do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,' declares the LORD" (V.16- V.17).

The Bible goes on to say that many people from powerful nations around the earth will come to seek God in Jerusalem because they will say to its citizens, "Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you." At this point I started weeping like a baby and drifted to sleep.

"Oh yea!" the skeptics and the cynical may say, what does Zion and Jerusalem have to do with Liberia and Monrovia? I want to let you know that God is "the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." This is why He is called, the "Alpha and Omega." And because human beings continue to make the same mistakes, history often repeats itself. Make no mistake that as long as there are people among us who believe in Him, He will not forsake his people.

What I gathered from this brief Bible study so far is that whenever He makes a promise, He always seems to add a requirement to it. Verses 16 and 17 above contain some of His Righteous requirements. They include: (1) battling against the bondage of fear by walking in the light of the truth, (2) being strong both physically and mentally to confront the many challenges that restoration and nation building require, (3) being fair and just in our dealings with our fellow man and (4) refraining from plotting evil against each other. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:34, that "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." In II Chronicles 7:13-14, God said to Solomon that, "If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their

In these dark hours of our history, there are a lot of positive factors that God has set aside for the good of Liberia, which include:

1. The large numbers of Liberians scattered around the world that are getting educated in how well-run societies operate, how to provide and effectively maintain various social services, how to finance and own your own home, how crime is deterred and justice properly administered, learning new languages, building valuable contacts, gainfully employed and creating wealth. This will prove of immeasurable value when more and more Liberians re-establish righteousness in our individual and collective lives. 2. When the massive negative international publicity begins to change to good news coming out of the country because of a change in our attitudes and obedience towards God, there will be a tremendous groundswell of latent international goodwill towards Liberia and Liberians. This will translate into reconstruction aid, debt relief and personal/corporate investment flows that will be attracted to the perceived stability in our political, economic and social landscape. As a banker, I know of several major development initiatives that have been put on hold because of our current instability.

Believe me, not only the nations of the world will be astonished at the great prosperity that is sure to come to Liberia in our lifetimes, we ourselves will be knocked off our feet. God has revealed to me in several dreams and visions, the beauty and orderliness of a completely reconstructed Monrovia and Liberia. They were the most amazing sights to see. The "coal tar" on the Monrovia streets was jet-black as if newly resurfaced. The broken sidewalks were rebuilt as far as the eye could see, according to international standards (like in Ghana today). There were magnificent buildings and housing estates in the vision that are nowhere around today. A voice said to me, as I looked towards the Po River Bridge junction on the Bomi Hills Highway, this is the site of the Regional Market. I saw a freshly graded double carriage highway like the Abidjan-Yamoussoukro highway being built towards the direction of Sierra Leone. I also saw a huge stadium being built and the voice said, "this is the University stadium."

Fellow Liberians, our LORD Jesus Christ in His infinite wisdom said, and I am saying again to you, let us "seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness: and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). If some of us have never known God, we should get to know Him better now. Time and space will not allow me to testify of His love and concern for those of us who are lost in sexual immorality, class and tribal hatred, greed, corruption, blood guiltiness and the beggarly life in the midst of enormous creative talents within us. Jesus says "come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will refresh you." Go to a Bible-believing and Holy Spirit-filled church and give your lives to Jesus Christ. Also, ask Him to help all Liberians to start living a righteous life. Than and only then, God's promised restoration be realized. This is my message to the Liberian people!

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