Seraphim Mountain in Liberia? Liberia invades Tennessee??? 3 Paypay girls grafted into our family from Liberia to Seraphim Mountain USA (and our adventures in Africa.) And as of 2008 we have added our 4th Liberian daughter, a Giah!

The above video, made by VBS, is very graphic. The language is not appropriate for children and some adults. There are visual depictions of war, violence, cannibalism, and all of the truth that is and has been a part of Liberia during the last two decades. It reveals the gritty honest reality that many Liberians face. It exposes the short comings of U.S. and United Nations attempts at correcting the problem. This was a very eye opening documentary and I think should be seen and digested by all. Just be prepared! THIS IS NOT PRETTY OR POLITE! IT'S REAL AND IT SHOULD BE CHANGED! You can watch the whole 8 part series at this link... Don't skip it, unless you chose to ignore another inhumane situation.
Liberian Refugees.... There is so much in this world that is even more devastating and frightening than that which we can imagine. As a once connoisseur of bad and tasteless TV and movies, I thought I had seen images of people treated poorly and injured in every way imaginable. But the reality is that truth is more horrible than fiction. The more I walk with God, the more I find that there are things out in His world that must surely break His heart. Our disobedience and perversion, lusting for power and more, has continued the corruption that was started that sad day long ago in the Garden of Eden with the Fruit. We've seen Protestants kill Catholics, Muslems and Christians killing one another, everyone killing jews, White people enslaving and killing blacks, even black people enslaving and killing one another. All for territory, money, power....

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27 NIV

So, to obey God, we are advocated to look out after those in need. James mentions orphans and widows, the meek, the weak, those who have lost what should be their strength and provision in the form of a father/husband/daddy/family.

As we should, we pray, we donate, we visit on missions... All of these things are needed and are extremely valuable and worthy pusuits. Tara and I have felt led to take this to the physical realm, through the adoption and rearing of young Christian warriors and Martyrs.

Please meet Princess Paypay (left), Sarah Paypay (center) and Korto Paypay (right). These are the lovely young ladies who have joined our family. We had never spoken to them or seen them except these three pictures. We knew them in our hearts, and God had developed a tangible love for them in our daily life. Now we get to hug and laugh and rejoice with these young girls. We honestly didn't know what to expect, except that when God moves... it is Good! The trauma they and their fellow Liberians have gone through is more than I can fathom. We have read books on the politics and graphic horrors of the last 14 years of war which leave you empty and breathless. How this affects children, probably can't be easily evaluated. But with God's provision, healing has begun, and hope springs anew. Their plight, and that of their people is no more noble than any who need our help and love. What we find, however, is that while such things remain theoretical, they are easy to ignore. Now, we are hooked. We are have thrown in our lot, for what it's worth, with a family, a people, a culture. By law, we can't own property or become citizens of this nation that offers instant citizenship to all of african decent. But we are family in the Kingdom, and will follow the path lain out for us in an attempt to help.
So join us on this exciting, nerve wracking journey as we try to be obedient to God's calling for the inhabitants of Seraphim Mountain. Our 600a was approved on 30 Nov 05 and Tara flew to Liberia to finish the paperwork in country. We were mightily blessed and we had our girls home within a week. We thank you for your prayers for safe travel and a smooth acclimation to American/Scottish lifestyle and for a Blessed life filled with opportunities to serve others for these delightful Princesses.
"Uncertainty After Civil War

The mess that is Liberia's civil war seems to be on the mend but the country is still no place to go for a beach holiday. While elections and a new president have provided hope for continued stability, the security situation remains fragile. Crime is prevalent and potentially violent. Travellers should exercise high levels of caution at all times. Travelling after dark is not recommended." Some remaining military weapons have survived, despite UN presence, but ownership of weapons is forbidden. Thus the lawful can not protect themselves against thugs armed with machete or knives. Brutal acts are perpetrated against the vulnerable, and with a suffering economy, it is easy for people to become tempted to crime or lawlessness. This is no place for children. The abuse of children by people who purport to be in country to provide for their safety and well being adds insult to injury in a broken society. Rachel Nyepon, a talented 19 year old Liberian student has written about the abuse of children she has seen in her homeland. Read her essay, "Child prostitution: Respect vs fundamental needs of man" and be prepared to take offense at how innocence is being "helped" by outsiders in Liberia. Helping raise children away from these risks and influences, while maintaining a pride in their herritage and nation as it heals may well be an important factor in getting the Liberian people back in the saddle.

Tara's trip to Liberia was more than she expected. The devistation and degredation of a once proud and prosperous city, Monrovia, was hard to take in. No electricity. No running water. A city now reduced to open markets and cell phones. Above is the Paypay home. Right is a view of the city.
A testament to people trying to make due after years of death and destruction, little or no infrastructure in their world. Homes pieced together from refuse. A motto seen on the back of a cab stated "Doing the impossible with the available"
Colorful clothes still mark a cutlure with lots of spirit. Open markets are what is left of the economy. From interesting cultural treasures to trinkets, candy, and toilet paper, people walk the steets, hawking their goods, bardering for their survival.
Monrovia looks more like some tribal village than a once prosperous city. Civilized people reduced to living in uncivilized ways. Shanty towns and tent cities are often all that is available for shelter... for the lucky. Others find what they can, sleeping in the broken hulls of bombed out buildings. Squatters who build with refuse risk having what posessions they have stolen if they leave. A country with few locking doors. Armed thugs are becoming bolder with machettes and AK-47's after a weapons ban disarmed the citizenry. Those with resources keep them in walled compounds with razor wire or imbedded broken glass.
Mommy's Girl????


Our girls, ready to come home. Sarah, Korto, and Princess

They have taken the names Sarah Keilah Roberts, Lydia Korto Roberts, and Shachia Princess Roberts.

You can't break the spirit of these playful girls. Too Cool!!!!!!!! Shachia and Keila... their future's so bright... they've got to wear shades!
One devoted family joining another devoted family plus the love of God and the sacrifice of a Savior equals Our Family! Shachia, Lydia, and Keilah are already fitting in.
Beach Beach Beach!!!! Monrovian style.
Daddy's Girls... Keilah, Shachia, and Lydia...Finally Home!!!!!
The faith, love, and sacrifice of a family willing to give up what they hold dear so as to provide them a better chance. The Paypay family is to be respected, loved, and prayed for constantly. Our opportunities to help this family and many others in Liberia have only begun with the joining of our families here at Seraphim Mountain.
Prophecy, prayer, prediction??? It is nice to see hope in a land that has raised a generation who knows nothing but fear and loss.
We're not the first Roberts to be in Liberia. Here is a statue commemorating the first Liberian president, Joseph J. Roberts, freed slave from America.
The ravages of war have affected the land as well as the people. Historical sites are in disrepair, covered in the everpresent refuse of a country without sanitation. Churches were not spared the destruction, and congregations hopeful of rebuilding meet wherever they can.
Examples of archetecture and opulence, hotels and mansions are now littered and crumbling, a home for squatters who seek "any port in a storm" and find the memories of a functioning society can still keep one out of the heat and rain.
Conflicting images of a home on the beach, walled and fortified reminiscient of a time where recreating on the shore was common and a UN outpost, encircled with razor wire, demonstrating a present where armed soldiers are necessary to maintain order.
Like the three little pigs, there are houses literally made of straw, woven in mats to form walls, sticks, and then, if you can, bricks, both adobe, and concrete block. Tarps, old metal roofing, and scraps are often major constituents of a home's structure.
One doesn't just lock doors, one builds compounds to keep the unwanted or sticky fingered out. Razor wire or glass is used as a further deterent as home invasions are often not casual.
Is there hope? Again, "doing the impossible with the available" seems to be a daily goal for some. A business building quality wood furniture, out in the open, generators providing power since the country has no infrastructure, no running water, no sewage treatment, no power plants. A "Home Depot" in Liberia looks much different, but building supplies such as wooden poles or piles of concrete blocks are available for the industrious... at a price.
And problems beget problems. There is a willingness to buy and sell, but without electricity available, things become complicated. A fancy strip mall like the above is not common. Most purchasing is done from vendors who carry their inventory and walk up and down the street, trying to avoid getting run over while negotiating with people in taxis. What power is available is all from generator, and so gas too is a common comodity, being frequently sold in one gallon jars by the side of the road. Some actual service stations still exist, but without power for the pumps, gas has to be hand pumped from underground tanks into jars and then poured via funnel into the containers or gas tanks.
Technology has not been forgotten, at least completely. New wells are springing up allowing fresh drinking water to people who have drunk out of drainage ditches. A familiar orange vest shows that a chance at change is popping up as new power lines are being installed. Currently no centralized power or telephone service exists, even in the city of Monrovia. It is rumoured that several massive generators have been purchased from a British company and with new lines going up, a power grid may actually be created. The new electrical standard will be that of England and the rest of Africa, 220 volts, 50 Hz. In the past, Liberia used the American 110 volt, 60 Hz system.
I'm sure Jay Leno would love this sign. Obviously "GEE-K" doesn't raise a snicker like it would here. This business actually had a physical structure with walls and a roof, although the limited power supplied by a generator forced some clients to be served outside under a porch.
While not prevalent, a few examples of the finer things in life were found, showing a spark of life and vitality in a people used to suffering. An art gallery/store displayed oil paintings, and a public playground with parents watching their children play.
Even overseas, I can't seem to keep away from a little "Trouble." That, anyway, is the name of my primate friend here. "Trouble" had been taken from the jungle nearby, probably poached. Her antics kept us entertained during my August visit to Monrovia, Liberia (and Senegal, but that's a different story which will likely take councelling and pharmacology to make sense of.)
Epitomizing the accomlishment of the impossible with the available was our friend Peter, who cooked good enough to have a restaurant in America. The dishes were simple but exquisitly seasoned and we never went lacking. He unashamedly wore "Old Glory" also epitomizing the relationship Liberians desire with America. Our relationship has been complicated and confusing, but mostly comprised with neglect. The Liberians love Americans and desire to live like we do. Some will even articulate that they wish we had simply made them a 51st state. There is frustration for the periods where America's back seemed to have been turned toward a suffering people, but ultimately they look across the Atlantic for a chance. A well written essay, "Now that the 'white men' have come again," by Emmanuel H. Payne Jr. discusses the history of relationships between America and Liberia, putting full voice to the disappointment for America's lack of support for this nation, despite Liberian willingness to support us during world wars, etc... It ends with the current revival of relationship between our nations after other African nations chastised us for being desirous of diplomacy with Africa when we "don't even care for our own children-" refering to the Liberian people. But even in this poignant work, the author ends not with bitterness, but with a hope that maybe this time, things will be different. Liberians realize that America has historical connections with Liberia, and has the resources to lift the country up and set it back on its feet. But... will we...??? As a nation, our government is involved in relief efforts, training their military, etc... But ultimately, the we is, well, us. Liberia is not a better place to be involved in altruistic or charitable endeavors than anywhere else. It is, however, at least as worthy as anywhere else. Liberia has one of the highest, if not the highest infant mortality rate in the world. It is the only country whose capital city doesn't have running water or electricity. It is filled with an English speaking population, some of whom trace their roots back to America. They are not filled with anti-American ideas or spouting anti-American hate speech. In essence, they need, and would welcome help. WACSN (the West African Children Support Network) is how we are trying to help. They are feeding the hungry daily. They have schools for children. They have an orphanage. They are involved in adoption. They are opening a hospital. They are run by bible believing, evangelistic Christians with a heart for all of God's Children. Our eyes have been opened, and we are now commited to stepping away from our little lives, and becoming part of God's larger plan. I hate that it took this long, but I trust in God's timing, and it may be that the skills and experiences we've had up until this time are just what is necessary for us to be forged into useful tools for the business at hand. Please pray for us that we may be willing and effective for this endeavor and for Liberia and our brothers and sisters there who so much need and deserve our help.