Mark and Peggy Halvorsen hoped to adopt two brothers from Liberia, West Africa. While working through the adoption process to adopt Habakkuk and Michael, their hearts were broken. In June 2009, Habakkuk, then 2 ½, contracted a fatal case of cholera from drinking tainted water in Kpeletayama. He was drinking from the village's only source of water, a pool of surface water which is easily contaminated.
Determined not to let death have the final word, plans to install a clean water well in Habakkuk’s memory began. Fundraising began in January 2010 in a race against time to finish the project before the rainy season sets in and another season of sickness and death begins.
Amazingly, the funds come in quickly, and Habakkuk’s well is dedicated in April 2010. The effects of the clean water are immediate, with the rate of sickness and disease falling dramatically. Immediately, Habakkuk’s well brought hope to his whole community.
Mark and Peggy had a dedication note to the village inscribed at the well. During their trip to visit the completed well they discovered that the people of the village could not read the inscription — thereby giving birth to Teamwork Africa’s education program that constructs a teaching tent, brings a teacher to the village, and pays for local children to get an education.
The money for a small teacher's house was raised by March 2011. The teacher house is necessary in order to bring in a teacher to educate the village children. School will start this fall in a temporary shelter. The school's teacher is also the pastor of the local church plant, and his wife Nancy is a nurse midwife. She brings the only medical access for the whole community.
While Mark & Peggy were in Liberia for the dedication of the teacher's house, they participated in an evangelistic outreach to the rural communities of central Liberia sponsored and led by native pastors. Sitting in a missionary house built in the 1930’s, Teamwork Africa came to life as they dreamed with the local pastors of the potential impact of partnering with native church plants to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of these remote villages.
In particular, a friendship with Paster Peter Flomo of Liberia emerge, with a unity of heart for sharing the Gospel and ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of their people. The local church leadership would determine the needs of their own community. Through partnerships with US churches and individuals, plans to reach, restore and rescue orphans, widows and those bound by poverty, were developed.
In the short time since, Teamwork Africa's partnership with native Liberian church plants has seen dramatic results. From 2011 to 2014, 66 clean water wells have been installed and 166 wells repaired. Each providing safe water to villages that desperately needed it. In addition, orphans and children at risk are being cared for through our Starfish Kids sponsorship program, pastors are being provided resources to care for their villages (including 7 motorcycles to assist in travel and transport of patients for medical care), birth kits have been provided to enable a safer birthing experience for village women.
We're also continuing to raise support to purchase food for widows and orphans within these villages who would otherwise go without, and equip local pastors to more effectively reach their villages. Through this partnership between individuals and churches in American with local village churches in Africa, eternity is being rewritten in the interior villages of Liberia.