Projects and Missionaires in Africa
Recent Stories from Africa


Career Missionaries Rodney and Carol Friend are once again returning to the missions field.

Years of Service

Having served in Romania as a missionary teacher from 1990 to 1993, as education coordinator for Europe from 1995 to 1999, and as missionary teacher at European Theological Seminary in Germany beginning in 2006, the Friends have extensive experience in the field of education. Their tenure was cut short when Rodney developed serious physical health issues and they returned to the States, where he received treatment. He has recovered and for the last couple of years has pastored the Houghton Lake Church of God in Michigan.

Romanian Conference in Pennsylvania

At the end of last year, Rodney was privileged to attend the Romanian Conference in Reading, Pennsylvania. Since Bucharest, Romania, was their first missionary appointment, it was good for them to reconnect with some former students and faculty, and even meet new ones.

God Has Opened the Door

The Friends believe God opened the door of service for them when the World Missions Department asked them to consider a new responsibility in Africa … that of director of Discipleship College in Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. They now face three months of itineration to raise financial support so they may arrive in Africa by April 2017.

Happy, Happy, Happy

To say they are happy to return is an understatement. Africa will be a new area for them, but they are elated at the challenge. The Friends strongly believe in discipling and training men/women for the ministry to their own peoples.

Openings are available for them to visit your church. Please contact them at or phone 989-889-1444. Online donations can also be made at Church of God World Missions under Africa, then click on their name. Project number 606-0016

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A Little Comfort for Phebe Grey Orphanage at Christmas

Having just celebrated the Christmas season, we understand the gift of Jesus is the “real reason for the season.” Over the years, however, we add traditions to the holiday that hold special meaning for us. Often are the family gatherings, the hearty meals, the special church services, and the wonderful gifts that help us commemorate the Christmas season and Jesus’ birth. We celebrate the Christ Child in grand fashion, and we feel so blessed to be able to do so.

Many around the world do not have the comforts we take for granted during the holidays … many do not gather with family, cannot enjoy hearty meals, and will not have gifts under the tree. It is quite difficult to enjoy the warmth and blessing of Christmas without remembering those who are not able to participate in the special functions we hold as common.

At the end of 2016, Lee University was able to help the children and staff at the Church of God Phebe Grey Orphanage in Liberia, Africa, to enjoy a little comfort at Christmas. Missionaries Max and Debbie Thompson, directors of Phebe Grey, utilized money from gifts given by Lee University students, faculty, and staff to purchase gifts for everyone at the facility. They received new clothes, a delicious meal, and lots of warm wishes from Cleveland, Tennessee, in hopes they could experience the goodness of a great, loving God during the holiday season.

What can you or your church do to help spread the love of Christ next Christmas or throughout the new year?

Click here to partner with Lee University in helping the children and staff of Phebe Grey Orphanage. 

NOTE: Jimmy Harper is Campus Pastor for Lee University and expedites the emphasis on Missions and the projects Lee U sponsors.

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The Needs of the Phebe Grey Orphanage

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction …

Liaison of the Great Lakes Region, Julia Grey-Fraser and her husband Garry, are working in conjunction with Lee University to aid the Phebe Grey Orphanage in Liberia, Africa.

Julia, eleventh of 12 children, has a personal interest in the project … she is the daughter of Phebe Grey, who died in 1979. The orphanage was built in 1996 and bears her name.

The government of Liberia is financially strained and unable to assist orphanages like this one. The orphanage’s very existence depends upon the generosity of others. Only three orphanages in the country are allowed to accept orphans and Phebe Grey is one of them. Most of the children in Liberia were orphaned by civil conflicts, and the most recent, the Ebola crisis.

Often, we realize the many issues facing orphanages, but further inspection draws a more serious picture. First is the desperate need for repair and maintenance on the facility. The walls needed for protection around the compound need rebuilding and the roofs leak. Daily provisions of clothing and food are limited—the staple is rice, and if the children are fortunate enough, on rare occasions sometimes chicken is added.

While there are two wells from which to draw water, no running water is available. The orphanage is blessed with a generator, but because of a lack of fuel, it can be used for electricity only three hours a day. On-location medicine is a must, as the nearest clinic is 15 miles away and transportation becomes a problem, as well.

One of the greatest opportunities Phebe Grey offers is education … with education, a child can be empowered. Even this is a difficult pursuit, as school supplies are extremely limited. Lee University is assisting in providing some of the supplies needed for teaching and studying, and also helping to open a science lab so senior students do not have to travel to another location for use.

The more we know, the more we realize how the simple things can accomplish a great deal. Continued sustainability is their greatest need in order to succeed. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of such a momentous ministry?

Please send your contributions to Project Number 101-9004.

The Lord has admonished us in His Word to visit (provide for) the fatherless. How can we do less if we are obedient to His cause?


freedom-house-christmas-swiftAs schools in Kenya wind down in preparation for the Christmas holidays, several hundred children in a remote village face the possibility that their Christmas may not be one of cheer, but of hunger. With their school closed for the holidays, the children will no longer be receiving meals through Freedom House, which requires the use of the school kitchens. The use of these facilities while school is not in session is disallowed by Kenyan government policy.

Missionary Kathy Watson-Swift and her husband, Chris, intend to lend their aid to these families. They are raising funds now to provide meals, small gifts, and other supplies to the affected families and to see that their Christmas is filled with joy. This is an excellent opportunity to minister to these children and their parents.

Project Number: 065-0855-001

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Missions Week Liberia

p1070174-mov-15_20_27_18-still001The students of Lee University are doing their part to provide for the Phebe Grey Orphanage, and now it’s your turn! Last year’s efforts at the orphanage would not have been possible if it weren’t for donations and support from churches around the world. Much has been accomplished, but there is much still to be done.

The goals for this year’s extension of the Liberia project are to improve on-site security, continue renovations to the property, further expand both the library and the computer lab, construct a science lab, consistently provide better meals, recruit and retain more teachers who have a heart for Christ, and provide better health for students by increasing the protections against malaria.

The several hundred students of the on-site school, as well as the inhabitants of the orphanage itself, are excited and grateful for all that has been accomplished so far.

Books, for them, were a rare luxury until 2015’s Missions Week project provided 700 books as the beginning of a library, but that number needs to be significantly higher and the titles need to cover a much broader range of topics and educational benefits if this library is to truly succeed in educating these children.

A science classroom would help broaden the education of the orphanage’s students, increasing their likelihood of entering university and successfully escaping the poverty that has many Liberians bound. For many career fields, a grounding in physics, chemistry, or biology, is a useful tool. Modern agriculture, for example, relies heavily on biochemistry to improve crop yields and soil sustainability, and the proliferation of bio-science educated farmers could help to provide meals for all of the nation.

Proper nutrition goes far beyond rice and beans with the occasional selection of vegetables and less frequent chicken; modern understandings of bioscience indicates that students who are malnourished find it harder to focus on their studies, and there is more to good nutrition than simple calorie intake. With better food provisions, the students would study better and think more clearly in addition to the known benefits to overall physical health.

Malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses are extremely common in Liberia. According to Dr. Carolyn Dirksen of Lee University, everyone the team met on their trip last year had suffered from malaria at least once, and most had suffered from it annually. Access to malaria-blocking medication and the provision of more mosquito netting would help protect the lives of the children. The WHO estimates that mosquitos are more deadly than any other creature on Earth, including human beings. Far more people die per year from malaria and other mosquito-borne illness than all the wars, all the murders, and all the oppression of dictators all over the world.

Finishing the work at Phebe Grey will not be possible without the support of individual donors and churches. To provide for the needs of these orphans and staff, we need your help. To donate, click HERE.

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emma%27s-kids-williamKapondola William is a product of Emma’s Kids in Zambia, Africa.

Coming from a very abusive situation and eventually orphaned, William has been at the orphanage and school for 12 years. He completed studies through Grade Seven at Emma’s Kids Christian Academy and is now in a private school. William achieved number one status in Grade 10 at the Eagle International School!

Because of its reputation for quality education in the community, the Zambian government has given the academy five teachers to assist in teaching. Emma’s Kids was begun when Missionaries Rodger and Saundra Wikelund realized the great need to rescue children from the streets in one of the poorest nations of the world. Many of Zambia’s children are orphaned as a result of AIDS. Emma’s Kids provides residential care and education for the children in the compound and has a feeding program for others in the community.

An investment of time and nurturing in the life of a child has produced a blessed harvest from the seed planted.

Project Number 715-0116

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