A Lil’ Bump in the Road

Today, I went over to my house to pick up a few things that I keep forgetting that I need. Isn’t that something?!?!

On Tuesday, February 16th – my house was one of the houses in Humble, TX that flooded. It didn’t flood in just one room, it was our entire house. It was an interesting moment because the ice storm had taken our lights and water – we stayed at home that night with the gas fireplace on. When the electricity came back on in the house I grew up in, we headed over there to have heat and warm up! Just about 3 hours later, when we went back home … because the electricity was on … we opened the door and water just poured out from the door. Just about 3 inches deep.

I think that I was convinced that only the floors were damaged, until we found the ceiling area from which the water was pouring. Insurance adjuster walked in three days later and let us know that it was the entire house. Exterior walls would be removed for about 2 feet from the ground. All floors had to be taken out, except the tile (kitchen and bathrooms). Water mitigation would have to be first — drying the space and sanitizing it to protect from mold and mildew – before any restoration could happen.

Here’s the truth – we have had no reason to be distressed, not even for one minute. The Home Owners Insurance that our mortgage company chose for us is awesome and we do have the family home, that I grew up in, to live in while all of the restoration, repairs and replacements are done.

Floors Had to be Taken Out

So … the virus is alive; hate in the USA is alive; division in the Body of Christ is alive … these are true. But more that all of this … The Power of The Lord is Alive! The Faithfulness of The Lord is Alive: The Provision of The Lord is Alive! The Peace of The Lord is Alive! The Joy of the Lord is Alive!! Because of Him …. it all just feels like a small bump in the road.

I was thinking about David … God’s chosen one. He surely did not did not do everything perfectly – but he submitted Himself to God’s call on his life and in the midst of great difficulty – he just kept praising God, knowing that God had his back. And so do I.

All exterior walls and some interior walls will have to be restored
  • The house has flooded and I can’t go home … but He is my God and my life – my time — yes I am in His hands!
  • The insurance company has to ensure we have what is needed, and we’ve gotta wait! … but He is the one I trust — yes, my life is in His hands!
  • I wanted to push all of the people to get this done in a hurry … but He tells me to stop fighting and remember that He is my God!

I trust Him y’all! I really do trust ONLY Him! What I need, He will provide. What I need to do, He will give me the wisdom and strength to do it. What I need to be, He will break me – melt me – mold me – fill me! There’s just no way at all that I cannot step right on over any bump in the road. And, let me just encourage you … for His truth is for all of His children.

Eliza Davis George. Liberia. 1913 – 1917

Eliza Davis George served in Liberia, 1913 to 1972.

Eliza Davis George was born in 1879.  In December 1913 she left Texas for New York; and on December 12, 1913, she sailed from New York to Liberia as a National Baptist missionary.

Eliza and another missionary opened a school for children in the interior of Liberia, where there were few missionaries or churches. They called the school Bible Industrial Academy, and their aim was to teach children to read the Bible and show them helpful life skills. Within the first two years they had fifty children attending the academy and saw more than 1,000 people accept the Lord in the nearby villages.

Eliza served as an evangelist, teacher, and church planter throughout Sinoe County, Liberia. Wherever she established ministries, she trained Liberian young people and sent them as missionaries to take the Word of God to their own people and to provide education for their children.

Five years after arriving in Liberia, Eliza’s mission board disbanded. Lacking financial support, she was approached by a British missionary doctor who urged her to marry him so that she would be able to remain in Africa. After much prayer, she concluded that God was permitting her to marry, and in 1919, Eliza became the wife of Dr. Charles George. Together they adopted three children: Maude, Cecelia, and Cerella.

Even when married, Eliza continued to live meagerly, trusting in the Lord’s provision and going to extraordinary lengths to secure support for the ministry Jesus had called her to. Her prayer life reflected her dependence on God:

“O heavenly Father, thou hast taught us to pray for our daily bread. Lord, thou dost know that I do not have one penny to buy food and pay the workers here at the mission. Father, send us something to meet our needs as thou hast promised. Help me to keep trusting Thee so that the children will know Thou art caring for them.”

In 1939, her husband passed away – yet she continued in the work for 33 more years.  By the 1960s The Eliza Davis George Baptist Association had twenty-seven churches in Liberia.

Eliza returned to the USA in 1972 at the age of 93 due to fragile health.  She passed away in Tyler, TX in March 1980.

Louise (“Lulu”) Cecilia Fleming.Congo. Served from 1887 – 1899

Lulu was born 1862 as a slave in Florida. In 1887 she became a missionary teacher in Congo. The students were being introduced to Jesus because of Lulu’s ministry to them. The school had 49 students and many of them came to Christ through Lulu’s ministry to them.

This seems a poor report…and perhaps many may think the work almost discouraging, but to us whom God has given the privilege to labor here it is very encouraging. [It] fills us with unspeakable joy.

Lulu combined her teaching with weekend evangelistic work in the towns and within a year she had learned Kikongo and no longer required a translator. When Lulu saw that women needed to be reached, she began making home visits while urging the mission society (American Baptist Foreign Mission Society of the West) to send more women.

In 1891 Lulu return to the USA as a student at the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia, Lulu returned to the Congo in 1895 as a medical missionary.

Known now as Dr. Fleming, she was stationed at Irebu, further up the Congo River where she needed to learn a different language. The power of Dr. Fleming’s ministry came from her identification with those among whom she served. The Baptist Missionary Magazine described her as “particularly successful in winning the hearts of the Congo people, putting herself in close touch and sympathy with them.” She passed away in 1899 from complications from African sleeping sickness.

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Henry Highland Garnet. Jamaica, Liberia, New York & Pittsburgh. Served 1842 – 1882

Henry Highland Garnet. Born into slavery in Maryland in 1815, Garnet and his family escaped to New York City when he was nine years old.  In New York City, Garnet attended the African Free School. In the 1830s, Garnet continued his education at several institutions. He eventually ended up at the Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New York where he finished his studies in 1840.  He became a Presbyterian minister and served as the first pastor of the Liberty Street Negro Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York, beginning in 1842.

His “Call to Rebellion” speech in 1843 encouraged slaves to rebel against their owners.  In 1850, Garnet traveled to England and Scotland where he spoke widely against the practice of slavery. He also supported allowing blacks to emigrate to other lands, such as Liberia in Africa, a country made up mostly of freed slaves. In 1852, Garnet traveled to Jamaica to serve as a missionary.  Ill health forced his return to the U.S. in 1855 where he continued his work in the abolitionist movement. In 1856, he begin to serve as pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.

On February 12, 1865, while in Washington, Garnet made history when he was chosen by President Abraham Lincoln to speak to the House of Representatives—making him the first African American to preach a sermon in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1868, Garnet was appointed president of Avery College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Later he returned to New York City as a pastor at the Shiloh Presbyterian Church (formerly the First Colored Presbyterian Church, and now St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem).  

Fulfilling a longtime dream, Garnet traveled to Africa in 1881 where he was appointed as the U.S. Minister to Liberia.  He died in 1882, a few months after his arrival.  Garnet was given a state funeral by the Liberian government and was buried at Palm Grove Cemetery in Monrovia.

The humblest peasant is as free in the sight of God as the proudest monarch that ever swayed a sceptre. Liberty is a spirit sent from God and like its great Author is no respecter of persons.”  

Henry Highland Garnet

Sarah E. Gorham. Liberia, Sierra Leone. Served 1880 – 1894

Sarah E. Gorham served 8 years as an independent missionary. In 1888 she is recorded as the first female missionary of the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church.

In 1880, Sarah visited family in Liberia. Her interest in helping people and pouring into their lives was true and strong and she was described then as a missionary; as a church leader; and, as a social worker. She returned to the United States and was involved in the ministry of the Charles Street AME Church. In 1888, she went to the Magbelle mission in Sierra Leone, where she established the Sarah Gorham Mission School, a place of both Bible teaching and industrial training. In July 1894, Sarah was infected with malaria. She was bedridden, and passed away in one month.

Sarah was buried at Kissy Road Cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone.