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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work

Upton November 2022

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Merry Christmas from the tropics!

As I navigate the learning curve of cross-cultural ministry and both the blessings and complications it brings to life, it is encouraging to me to reflect on Jesus’ earthly ministry. I have heard it said that, in a very real sense, Jesus was engaged in cross-cultural ministry by coming down from heaven to live among mankind on the earth. And He, without sin, fully engaged in the culture He entered into, learning it and living it just like those around Him. What a comfort to know that my great high priest can sympathize with my weaknesses in all that cross-cultural ministry entails.

My life here in Liberia actually slows down at Christmas time, as the Rafiki Institute of Classical Education (RICE) students go on break and as there is much less of the hustle and bustle of the usual Christmas events and expectations. Things remain fairly simple, leaving time and space to truly meditate on the miraculous birth of the Savior—the anticipation that built up to His coming, the unexpected nature of His arrival, and all the hope and light that it brought into this dark world. I hope you also get a chance to slow down and reflect on the blessings that bring true joy to this season.

Another blessing of the Christmas break is the chance to spend more time with the Rafiki kids! The busyness during the school terms often keeps me from being able to spend much time with them. But over Christmas, I get to connect with the kids by participating in the variety of activities planned to keep them busy, such as games, baking days, service projects, beach walks, or sports tournaments. I look forward to these opportunities to get to know them better.

Watching a dodge ball game

Puzzle competition

Beach walk


  • Growing interest in the RICE Program.
  • Signs of fruit and spiritual growth among the RICE students.
  • Opportunities to show the love of Christ to others.

Prayer Requests

  • True revival in Liberia by the power of Spirit working through the Word.
  • Everyone in the Rafiki Village to know and experience Christ more fully through our celebration of His birth.
  • Daily reliance on God for strength, endurance, wisdom, and joy.

Please pray that the Lord will provide more Rafiki Missionaries and more day student sponsors so that we can bring Bible study and classical Christian education to more needy children . Perhaps He is calling you to be the answer to one of those prayers? Visit to learn more.

Thank you so much for your generosity and prayers! I would not have this wonderful opportunity to serve our Savior without your faithful support.

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