In the spring of 2007, the Lord laid it on Cissie Graham Lynch’s heart to work with one of the Samaritan’s Purse projects during the upcoming summer season. The previous two years had left her in need of some uninterrupted time with God. “So, where to go?” she wondered. As the daughter of Franklin and Jane Graham, she was well acquainted with her father’s work in the Sudan and decided that is where she wanted to serve.
But then someone told Cissie about how Samaritan’s Purse was helping the country of Liberia. “I was quickly intrigued by the nation’s history,” she wrote in a recent blog. Liberia was founded as a democracy by freed American slaves, who proceeded to make slaves of the indigenous people. In 1980, a military-led coup overthrew the president, which led to two civil wars. Hundred of thousands of people were murdered, leaving the country with a devastated economy.
“When I heard about Liberia’s history,” she said during a phone interview, “the Lord made it very clear that I wasn’t going to Sudan. I just knew that Liberia was a very clear calling.”
As soon as Cissie hit the ground, she felt peace. “What touched me was where these people have come from,” she said, “the history that they have suffered through—civil war and genocide—and even further back where the freed American slaves made slaves of their own people. It’s been one thing after another that these people have suffered through.”
But what touched her most was the joy she saw — “the smiles that they had. They hadn’t given up hope. That’s what really touched my life. And working with our national staff in the SP offices, the heart that they have for their own people and what they’ve endured themselves. Yet they still had smiles on their faces.”
Just as she became acquainted with the people and issues of Liberia, her time there was cut short due to her grandmother’s death. Cissie says she sat in staff devotions the morning before returning home in tears: “Tears of course for the loss of my grandmother, but also tears of confusion. Why Lord? Why would you bring me all the way here, just to take me back? Why would I feel such a peace here, just to leave?”
Now, almost four years later, Cissie is back on the ground in Liberia. “I always felt that my time in Liberia was too short,” she said. “But during that short time I grew a passion for this small African country and its people. And that is a passion that I will now be able to share with you during the next few weeks before my dad’s Festival of Life in Monrovia, Liberia.”
During this visit, Cissie plans to visit one of the Samaritan’s Purse THINK (Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness) homes, which help to rehabilitate girls and young women who have experienced violence or abuse during the war. Now that the war has ended, Cissie explained, the THINK homes are focusing on women who have survived through sex trafficking. She also plans to visit women’s literacy and community health programs. “My goal is for people to hear the stories through the Liberian people, not through me.”
You can follow Cissie in Liberia on Twitter: @CissieGLynch and on her mobile blog. Be sure to visit cissiegrahamlynch.com to read her perspectives on marriage, her faith, and other issues that touch her heart.
Reaching Her Generation
In discussing why she felt led to create a blog, Cissie explained she wants to reach a generation that is “all about networking and relationships.” God created us for love, she said. “We crave love, we crave relationships and we’re looking everywhere for that. People are looking for people to talk to, to communicate with, to relate with—all through the Internet now.”
Since that’s the way God created us, Cissie added, she believes Christians need to use the Internet as a tool to reach people with Christ’s love.
“I hope to reach a generation, people my age,” she said. “I want them to know me as a person, to know what my day is like, life with my husband, but also to see our work at BGEA and SP, the work that we do around the world. But most importantly, I want them to see what we do in the name of Christ.”
Cissie wants her readers to see the love and the passion of Christ, “the love He has for us. This generation is looking for love everywhere but we’re not looking at the One that will last eternally.”
In the next few weeks, she wants her followers to “fall in love with the people of Liberia like I did. I want them to see their heart and I want them to see not just want SP is doing now and what BGEA is getting ready to go in and do, I want them to see and love the people of Liberia.” Follow Cissie in Liberia »
WATCH THE FESTIVAL WEBCAST: Join us on March 29 at 7:30 p.m., EDT, to see and hear Franklin Graham’s message, music and other highlights from the All Liberia Life Festival. Stay tuned for details.
Pray for the All Liberia Life Festival
You can add your own prayers for the people of this nation and/or follow along with our posted prayer requests. Stand with us »