The article below was written by Sammy’s son, Dave Tippit. Dave is currently the Executive Director of Eternal Concepts and Liberia Now. The ministry of Liberia Now was born out of the vision Sammy Tippit had to see God’s love in action in the nation of Liberia. His vision for this countries spiritual and physical restoration is becoming a reality. Below is the story of how Liberia Now was birthed.
“A few years ago, my father who is an international evangelist, received an interesting e-mail from an unknown pastor in Liberia. In the e-mail, this pastor expressed his desperate desire to connect his people to Christ and knew that in the midst of this horrific civil war that the time was ripe for an eternal harvest. After scouring the internet for international evangelists who may be able to come to his nation in need, he ended up deciding upon contacting ten different globally-minded ministries. He contacted all ten, yet only one ministry responded back to his plea for partnership during those dark days – Sammy Tippit Ministries.
As a result of this correspondence, my dad ended up sending one of the STM staff personnel to meet with this pastor in a neighboring West-African country. As they discussed the possibilities of pursuing future ministry missions together, this pastor received word that the rebels had come to the community where he lived and that his house had been taken over by these insurgents. Throughout this period, this man – pastor Emmanuel Gyamfi displayed such a powerful presence of the peace of God upon his life that my father was convinced that he was being called to go to Liberia. It ended up taking Pastor Gyamfi a month to return to his home where fortunately he found his family unharmed by this foreign invasion.
Not long after that, my dad went to Liberia to preach the good news about the person and promise of Jesus Christ. God moved and lives were forever changed. A couple years later, STM ended up going back to conduct more meetings and to follow-up on what God had previously done in so many lives. When my parents returned to Liberia for a second time though, they found that Pastor Gyamfi and his wife Ruth had been busy. Through some outside help, and by using the savings that his wife had built up, (she works for a foreign shipping company), they had built a medical clinic to service the Lower Virginia community consisting of about 50,000 people. They were using Mrs. Gyamfi’s monthly salary to provide as much medications as they possibly could, though the demand always outnumbered their supply.
My parents were moved by the compassionate heart of sacrifice and the culture of excellence that they saw displayed through the lives of the Gyamfi’s and the medical clinic itself. They came back burdened to do more. So they decided to ask my wife and I along with my sister and her husband if we would like to, (as three separate, but connected families), provide the financial support for all the malaria treatments in this particular clinic. We all answered with a resounding yes to this invitation. In the years previous to this question, God had been working in our personal lives and in our particular ministry callings about becoming agents of Shalom (caring for the whole person – physical & spiritual).
Then my dad asked me what I thought about the seemingly improbable idea of making a long-term physical and spiritual investment to target the entire nation of Liberia. I began rigorously researching the possibilities and potential pitfalls associated with such a proposal. Soon thereafter I shared this far-fetched vision with my good friend, Allyn Anderson and he was immediately in. My dad also shared this same vision with one of the STM board of directors, Brent Saathoff who readily resonated with the purpose and possibility of such a wild and wacky adventure.
After much planning and preparation, a few of us from representing various non-profit organizations decided that an exploratory trip in July of 2008 would be the first step in this long Liberian journey that awaited us. During this fateful trip in the summer of 2008, we were able to meet with dozens of pastors, local community leaders, and various government officials (mayor, county commissioner, the highest ranking Senator in the Liberian Congress and even the Vice-President of the country of Liberia who is also a believer). Out of that, a long-term plan was birthed between our Liberian partners and us few Americans.
Our plan was to begin with one community – the Lower Virginia community which consisted of 50,000 people. In 2009 we formed an entirely new 501-c3 and in the spring of that year, we kicked off this campaign by inaugurating assorted projects which pertained to these various areas of need. Over the past four years since then we have expanded our various outreaches and have been apart of impacting over 35,000 lives. By the grace of God and according to His perfect timing, our prayer is to duplicate what has been done in Lower Virginia throughout the various fifteen regions of Liberia over the next generation.
Early on we decided to name this organization Liberia Now because we believed that though our American forefathers helped to create this nation, never has there been a time in the history of Liberia that our distant cousins need genuine partners more than now. Please pray with us for Liberia, not next year, but now. In some ways, this dream seems daunting and fanciful, yet in other ways it feels like we have been plucked and placed into the territory of the unknown, into the terrain of a fantastic faith adventure.” Dave Tippit