First, I want to apologize for the delay in this post. I hope you followed my updates on Facebook and Instagram and got a good idea of how the trip went but I want to share in more detail. I really want to thank everyone who gave support for me to go. It was such an amazing trip!
I want to communicate what an amazing family the Bullers are. They are completely the real deal. You know, the ones that great missionary biographies should be written about, and they will hate that I just said that.
If you know Pam and Eric, this will not surprise you. They have a history of loving BIG and that has continued in their lives in Liberia. Liberia speaks English, well sort of, it’s what is called Pidgin English, and originates back to the 1800s when freed American slaves returned to Africa and founded Liberia. Most expats, or foreigners living abroad, don’t learn the national’s language because they can get by. The Bullers, all 6 of them, are fluent in this form of English. I was there a short time, and it took several days of listening to understand what the people were saying and I made several mistakes when speaking, I even accidentally called Eric Buller pregnant. Oops! The Bullers could also just get by but when the people hear them speak in a way that they can understand their eyes light up. They feel valued.
Pam and Eric have a large family, 4 biological children, and 5 Liberian children. They have also worked hard to include the extended families of their Liberian children into their family. They then cook double what the household needs in food for the day for those who will stop by. And they stop by. Every day people come to the Bullers. It may just be a friend from a previous place they have lived or a former employee. It may be one of the mommas that Pam is helping with formula, a school-aged child that they have been paying school fees for or someone from church. The people come hang out and are always offered a plate of food and conversation. Pam also has a few families that she goes and checks on. One is a widow raising her children as well as her nieces and nephews orphaned by Ebola. Pam and their Liberian daughter had taken the momma and her very low weight baby to the doctor right before we had arrived. The momma had been very sick. Pam took us back to deliver a bag of rice for the family. She showed such compassion, telling the momma she would be back but being cautious and smart to protect us and her children.
They are being the hands and feet of Jesus. They are showing His love and giving Him as the reason for what they are doing. They are in a culture which gives token praise to God, a lot like when we say “God bless you” when we sneeze. Pam and Eric are showing His love in both word and deed.
They have the desire to move out into the bush and be among an unreached people, several hours from where they are now. Eric is doing a small pastors’ bible study every Saturday in the region. He leaves Friday afternoon, spends the night in the village and then teaches for 6 hours on Saturday. He comes home and may be asked to preach at the national church they are attending. They are looking for the most strategic place for them to go in the bush. This takes time and relationship building, which they are doing. I am confident that God is already going before them and will open the doors when it is time.
I am so proud to call these people my friends. They make many sacrifices to do the work they are doing but isn’t that the way love works?
Tomorrow, I want to post about what this trip meant to me, so come back!