In Focus

So, we
 fix our eyes
not on what is seen but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

Point to Ponder

with purpose
is the only way to really live.

The Question
from the
40th Day
of Focus

After all, check it is Day 43 and pastorob is seeking to lead
a team of FOCUSED individuals in our ministry from  the Epicenter to the Ends of the Earth again...

the Question to Consider is this:

When will
I put my purpose on paper?


Blackaby Thoughts
for Day


When a church allows God's presence and activity to be expressed, a watching world will be drawn
to Him.


A church is a living body of Christ with many members.


A church is on mission with Christ in our world carrying out the Father's redemptive purpose.


God wants His people to be holy and pure.


God wants
His people to display unity.


God wants His people to love each other.


No one individual has the total vision for God's will for a
local church.


A church needs to hear the whole counsel of God through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.


Sharing what
God is doing
in my life
may help someone else encounter God
in a meaningful way.



Hello, my name is MacDonald Wreh.

The Continuing Adventures of MacDonald Wreh who came from the Ends of the Earth to Galt, California--planning to, one day, become a U.S. citizen. He hopes that you will enjoy reading abut those things you may have taken for granted all your lives.

Thursday, Dec. 30
Yesterday, I had an exciting experience when Gary from the Methodist Church, his wife, along with Lesa Klotz took me to an area called Arnold to snow slide. This was my first experience with snow. The snow was heavy and at certain points on the road we were stopped because we didn't have chains on our tires. The chains are used to give the tires a firm grip on the road so that the car won't slide off the road. We therefore went to a park called White Pines. At White Pines, we took photos, slid on the snow and threw snow flakes at one another. It was fun and I plan to go back there as soon as possible and spend a longer time.

Snow doesn't fall in Liberia. There are two seasons in Liberia, rainy season and dry season. Rainy season starts from March to August. During this period, it rains a lot and the sun hardly shines. Dry season starts from September to March. The sun shines during this time and weather is hot. It seldom rains.

I enjoyed myself walking on and playing with the snow as I imagined my dream coming to pass.

Wednesday, Dec. 29
I was so busy as the season drew near and because of my departure from the Patterson's residence I couldn't write in my journal. Now I am back.

Seasons greetings to everyone. I trust that God is going to do mighty things in our lives this new year.

During Pastor Rob's visit to Liberia in February of this year, I said at his farewell  that "one day you and I will walk on the streets of Galt". Not taking this very serious, I later on saw it come to pass. I came to Galt and saw Pastor Rob and I walking on the streets. What a prophecy and what a fulfillment. God is able to do those things that we ask Him to do if only we "commit ourselves". Now that I am in America I promise to remain focused and in the Lord.

This season is very wonderful in that it is my first Christmas Season ever out of Liberia. On Christmas day, a family from the Methodist Church (the Klotz) invited me to have dinner with them. We had a wonderful time. Another family has invited me over New Years day for dinner. It is so amazing to see people inviting me to lunch or dinner with them. This is a sign of concern and true love. I haven't seen many differences between Christmas in Liberia and America. There are lots of similarities.

Though I do not live with the Pattersons, I still consider them my host family. Pastor Rob calls me constantly to know how I am doing or coping with my new home. I miss living with the Pattersons but I think this is the beginning of meeting the challenges of living in America. From where I live presently, I'll be moving to a place of my own (renting) as I strive hard in looking for a full-time job.   

Thursday, Dec. 23
Wonders, Wondersers, Wonders and Wonders. Yes, this is what is happening to me. God, in His infinite greatness is performing wonders on my behalf. I thank God for the First Baptist Church family for their gifts of all kinds presented to me. It was a great surprise. Though I have no relatives here in America, I consider the church as my family.

Presently, I have moved to Miss Parlee's residence to stay as I progress toward establishing myself and to meet the challenge of staying in America.

My wife was just discharged from the hospital because of insufficient funds for her treatment and plans to continue her treatment at home. I thank all of those who have and continue to remember my wife in prayer. I miss her greatly and pray that VERY SOON God will cause us to be reunited.

It is a great thing to serve the Lord and trust Him because He said He knows His thoughts toward us and has promised to give us an expected end. His word is true and His promise never fails.

Wednesday, Dec. 22
Today, I have moved to Miss Parlee's House to live there until Joe returns to college. This way he can, again, stay in his bedroom and review his belongings.

Miss Parlee is an African-American. Her home is decorated with many items from Africa. Pastor Rob says that I will have many new experiences since Miss Parlee knows so many people. She is very popular among the people of Galt. I came to America with one small bag. Yesterday, I had to buy a large suitcase at the Flea Market to fit all my clothes. I drove my bike to Miss Parlee's and Joe carried over my bags, guitar, and gifts in the car. If anyone wants to call me, my cell phone number is 209-570-3766

SUNDAY, Dec. 19, 2004
I was so surprised last night. Pastor Rob had told me that I would be introduced to the community at the Christmas program. I thought it would be...
"This is MacDonald Wreh. He has come from Liberia. If you see him on the street, you will know who he is."

I was so surprised. Santa Claus came out and called my name. Then he carried me out. Someone took my music book and I followed Santa. He carried me to the Fellowship Hall and said, "These presents are all for you."

I did not expect anything like this. People gave me a bicycle light, a bike rack, a 49ers sweatshirt, a jacket, a hamburger cooker, many cards with wonderful messages. Ruth and Jim provided funds to purchase a calling card. They wanted me to stay in constant contact with my wife.

I forgot my key to my bike lock so after the program, I was dropped at Denny's by Jim Parkinson. I worked until 3:00 AM and walked home. My brother called me from Liberia. When Pastor Rob arose, he learned that I had not yet been to sleep. He asked if I was going to skip church and sleep in today. I told him that there was some preparation needed at the Methodist Church and that I was going to get my bike and head there. He drove me instead.

Thank you everyone for such a wonderful surprise at the Christmas Program last night. I hope to have someone take a picture of me at tonight's program. I would like my family to see the beautiful decorations at the church.

aturday, Dec. 18, 2004

Editor's Note:
Mr. Wreh worked until 3:00 AM, so he is probably still sleeping at press time. Tonight he will sing as part of the tenor section in a musical drama entitled Home for the Holidays. Pastor Dan Malloy plans to formally introduce him as 'a gift' to the community of Galt. Please come and be part of this very special evening.

Friday, Dec. 17, 2004

I have decided to summarize happenings every few days instead of daily. Well, I am grateful to God for His many blessings of every type (spiritual, financial, & physical). I continue to receive from people of goodwill. I am blessed because God is taking me through and the Pattersons (my hosts) are taking good care of me.

I thanked God for Pastor Rob who allowed himself to be used as a channel of blessings from God (to bring me to America). Pastor Rob, not knowing me for a good while, decided to risk sending me an "Affidavit of Support" that no one else could. I could have lost the opportunity of coming but we (He and I) prayed so that the Will of the Lord could be done. After all that process, I am finally in America on a permanent residence (Green Card) status.

How I pray to continue to remain in the Lord. Though temptations may come and stormy winds may blow, I've decided to keep trusting and depending on Jesus (who has called me to give me an expected end).

For those who have not learned to put their trust in Jesus, I urge you now to do so as He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is the one that gives and provides when no one can. He comes in when all hopes are gone. This is what He did for me. I have a testimony that will never end. Put your trust in Jesus. Now.

Monday, Dec. 13, 2004

On Saturday I stayed home during the morning hours to do some work Sister Cathy asked me to do. At about 1:00 pm I was dressed waiting for Bro. Gary Keisler from the Methodist Church. He had asked me to go with him today to attend an African wedding between two Nigerians.

At the wedding, I met a couple of Nigerians who I had some discussions with. I was told that there was a Liberian who should have been at the wedding but wasn't well and had to stay home. This wedding was held in Elk Grove. This was the first time, since I came to America to see so many Africans.  It was good to see them. At the wedding, I had rice to eat to the fullest. There were other Nigerian dishes and we had a great time. Bro. Gary and his wife had never seen or knew what Kola nuts are but had a taste. They didn't like the taste. Speeches made by the Nigerians at the reception were not understood by Gary and his wife. I had to interpret due to their accents.

The entire event was wonderful but we left early due to other engagements. It was a great time and experience for the Keislers and me.

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004

Yesterday, I had the day off from Denny's but went to the Methodist Church to do some work. Pastor Rob called me and said that we should meet later at the house for a rehearsal of Christmas songs that the FBC Choir will be performing during an upcoming special.

Though I don't read music, Pastor Rob tried to show me those things I need to know. I tried my best to understand and apply what I was shown. It all went well. I am supposed to sing with the Choir on December 18th and 19th. I am glad for that.

By 7 PM, we were at Choir practice and it was amazing. From there, Pastor Rob took me to the Greene's residence (where there would be some 'mouth fellowship'). We were greatly served and, for me, it was not a mistake to accept the idea of going the Greene's. They are so generous and always entertaining.

From there, Pastor Rob dropped me at the church to pick up my bike. This bike is a great help to me as I go anywhere within minutes. I thank God for the bike He gave me because it means so much to me.

Wednesday Dec. 8, 2004

Yesterday, Pastor Rob told me that we were going to the Royal Oaks Home (for a regular monthly fellowship on every first Tuesday of the month). The church uses this time to pray, sing, and minister the Word of God, and to give courage to those seeking medication there. I was told by Deacon Jim Fugate that those there are mostly old age people who are not really well and need to be treated and catered to. He introduced me to a lady who lives at the home and said that the Galt Library is named in her honor. Pastor Rob told me that she had been a school teacher.

During the Fellowship, I was introduced by Pastor Rob and asked to say a word. I told them that I am happy to be in America and to visit Royal Oaks. I share a little of my experience at the Christmas Parade. Our time there was great.

My sister-in-law in Atlanta, Georgia (on yesterday) sent me some money to enable me to get a cell phone so as to be in contact with my wife and friends. I received the money and got the phone the same day. When she earlier told me about this, I told her to send me the money instead so that I can pay some of my debts owed for my plane ticket (and was not interested in a phone now). She offered to pay the monthly bills for up to six months. I later on knew that getting a phone will also be useful as those wanting to contact me for some contracts (part-time or full-time) and on-the-spot jobs will get to me quickly through my cell phone. Well, the number is 209-570-3766. I'll be glad to be contacted for a piece of job that will help me get established as soon as possible.

A Summary: America, as I expected is going cool as God in His power is working on my behalf. California, as I see, is very expensive but one has to live and spend according to one's income. The Pattersons are doing extremely well. At a certain time I will have to find another place to stay; the Pattersons are a nice family to be with and I will miss them.

Another place that is giving me peace and joyfulness is the church
(First Baptist Church of Galt). I am always greeted with joy and the concern about my wife is highly appreciated. I am always recognized and spoken to (even in the street). Sometimes I wonder where I know the person from (and later learn that he/she is from FBC). What a friendly church--a church that does not discriminate but accepts all who come. I am a witness.

My job at Denny's is another area that I appreciate so dearly. I am grateful to God and Denny's management for the opportunity to get something to do. I have been in America for six weeks now but it seems like a year (due to the friendliness of the people I find myself amongst). I feel at home here. Praise God for great things He continues to do. I know 'He is in control.'

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2004

Last Saturday evening, Sister Cathy and her friend, Christene, asked as to whether I wanted to go along with them to watch the "Christmas Parade." We decided first to walk and take a shortcut to get ahead of the parade (but missed the direction to which the parade was moving). We hurried back home as Sis. Cathy suggested that we get in her car to get there on time. We did and was right on time to see the first car in the parade.

I was told that this parade takes place every year and the City of Galt has chosen that particular day to do theirs. It was exciting to see Businesses, Churches, Government agencies, Police, Girls and Boys Scouts, Fire Service (and other organizations) decorating their vehicles with Christmas lights and themselves in Christmas attire. Some began waving, some sang, and others said, "Merry Christmas." This was a great and exciting moment for me as the importance of the season clicked to my mind. I realized that even people who don't know Christ celebrate this season.

During the parade, I saw Sis. Barbara Payne, an elected Councilwoman (on the Galt City Council) who attends First Baptist Church. I first met her at the Rotary Club. She stood in one of the cars and waved. It was a good time. All along the streets of Galt I can see Christmas lights and Santa Claus images.

In Liberia, at this time of the year, similar decorations are going on and the spirit of the season is very high. Friends and relatives in Liberia are emailing and calling to America for help from friends and relatives. The usual request is "I want my Christmas." For me, I have received numerous emails with requests for 'the season.'

I just received an email from my brother stating that my mother is very ill. Please join me in prayers for the recovery of my aged mother who is 71 years.

Day 65:
The leaves are many. So, this morning I have to go to Miss Parlee's place to assist her and clean the leaves from her yard.
Yesterday, she asked me to come over to her house so that she could show me what is to be done.  She then took me to Raley's and bought me some fried rice and chicken, some chocolates, then to the dollar store (adjacent to Raley's) and bought me some notebooks to use for my journal (and to record phone numbers and addresses).

After I work for Miss Parlee, I plan to go home and do some work in the yard and rest. Today is my day off from Denny's. Plans for church include attending both services at First Baptist Church. I will be at the Methodist Church to clean on Monday.

I am available for anyone who has some jobs for me (as my hours at Denny's is about 20 hours). I am usually available during the morning hours. The desire of my heart is to have a full-time morning job as this would help to get me established. I would prefer to maintain the job at Denny's (during the evenings) and work full-time in the morning.

Day 62: Monday, I had a day off at Denny's but worked at the Methodist Church. That morning, Sister Cathy told me that she and Pastor Rob may be driving Joe back to his campus (a 7 hour journey) and would stay over the night. That afternoon, Pastor Rob charged me with the responsibility to serve as head of the home while they were away. He gave me his cell phone to be in contact (and Sister Cathy give me her car keys for keeping).

I was instructed to make sure things were under control and that the children go to bed on time. As if the parents were here, the kids behaved and things were fine with us. I made as series of calls to know how the children were doing when I was out to work. I considered it a trust when I was given responsibilities to take care of the home. I praise God for that. Later, Pastor Rob called me to learn how things were going and whether we had something for supper. We made contact Tuesday morning as well. The days have been good at work and at home.

Day 60:
(submitted Sunday night) On Saturday morning after the regular men's prayer meeting, we went to Denny's to have breakfast. Joe is still here and so he joined us for the prayer and at Denny's. During our breakfast, Pastor Rob asked us to read and reflect on some studies. We had a good time at Denny's.

From there, I had to go to the Methodist Church to do some work to preparer the place for Sunday.

Sunday was a sad day for me because this day (November 28) should have been my late daughter's birthday. I continue to try overcoming the death of my daughter but each time I call my wife, I worry because of how sorrowful she talks (most especially about our Eunice).

Today, I called Joyce and I heard nothing but crying. It breaks my heart and I am greatly worrying about her. You see, my wife is suffering from 3 things:

1) She's suffering from a kidney problem.

2) She's mourning the loss of her daughter 2
    months ago and

3) The husband that should have been around her
     is millions of miles away. Your prayers will keep
     my wife up. I am missing her greatly and she
     misses me. I pray we will be reunited soon.

After church, Ron Shindy, my good friend, asked to take me for lunch at Denny's and our time there was good. Afterwards, I came home, took a nap, and prepared to attend Randy Stonehill's concert.

Randy sang amazingly and I was so happy to see him because I have heard about him. He's wonderful, full of actions, and is very funny. After the concert, Pastor Rob introduced me to him and he asked how long I have been here. I said, "One month," and he told me that there are lots of adventures that I have yet to explore. He's a nice guy.

Randy plans to go to Denny's for supper. Pastor Rob asked me to go along, but because I was tired (and also needed to talk to my wife) I told him I wanted to come home. He and Sister Cathy brought me home, then went back to meet Randy at Denny's. Please pray that God will make a way for my wife to come over to join me. I am missing her so much.

Day 58:
editor's note:  MacDonald was up for the 6AM prayer meeting and then, Breakfast at Denny's, but he hasn't submitted a journal entry; he has experienced the American custom of enjoying post-thanksgiving day leftovers and the after-meal nap:

Day 57: It was a big day in America:
Thanksgiving Day
 --a day set aside for all Americans to give thanks to God for all He's done for them.

At the Patterson's house it was amazing. I mean, the food was so much...and I had all I could...and there was ten times more the balance.

To start the day, I woke up around 9 AM as I was scheduled to work at 10 AM (at Denny's). Here in America, it is traditional for every family to have a special turkey dinner. The Pattersons (my host family) had to delay their turkey dinner because I wouldn't be home until 4 PM. Since I live with them, they wanted me to be a part of it and adjusted their schedule. Praise God for their love for me.

Pastor Rob offered to drive me to work and would send Joe to pick me up after my shift. At Denny's, I was asked by many of my work mates if my family was going to have a turkey dinner. My answer was YES to all. I have never experienced having a turkey dinner but did for the first time here in America. It was great.

When I got home for the dinner, I met Pastor Rob and Sister Cathy at the completion of the dinner preparation. Pastor Rob called me to show me some ways turkeys are prepared and gave me a piece to taste. It was nice.

After a few minutes, all was set and we were around the table for the participation of this wonderful and historical meal. During the meal, I was told the names of the kinds of food prepared. I chose to have a taste of each but it was impossible as the food was too much. By the time I got through with just a few, I was already filled. The ones I started with was so nice that I forgot that I planned to taste the others. It was marvelous.

After the dinner, we watched a certain kind of movie on TV called Charlie Brown. This movie was all about Thanksgiving.

Since I came to America I have noticed similarities between Liberia and America in lots of areas. For example, our flags; Independence Day in July; Thanksgiving in November--just to name a few. I promise to write a little on the founding of Liberia by freed slaves from America (and how the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Liberia came from America).

Praise God for these experiences.

Day 56:
Editors Note: Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. Mr. Wreh has been scheduled to work at Denny's at 10:00 AM so his host family has planned to delay the annual Thanksgiving meal until he returns from his shift. He may have a journal entry but at press time, he is still asleep. Check back...or if you are within driving distance of the Epicenter, stop in at Denny's (Galt Central Exit) and extend your greetings.
Yesterday, Pastor Rob woke me up and told me that we (Sister Cathy, Joe, he, and I) were going to take a walk (and at the same time read Day 7 from "The Purpose-Driven Life")  We have started that reading through that book again. While walking on the streets of Galt with the Pattersons, I remembered saying (while I was back in Liberia), "The Pattersons and I will walk together on the streets of Galt one day in Jesus' Name." I am very happy that my dream had come to pass (through the help of the Pattersons and the First Baptist Church).

During our walk, we took turns reading as we made our way to the Galt Cemetery (where Pastor Rob and I planted one of 27 Redwood trees--our tree is just southwest of the California flag). We showed Sis. Cathy and Joe the tree we planted and went on viewing the memorials posted in honor of the U.S. War Veterans.

On our way back, Pastor Rob took us to Denny's for breakfast. He had an idea to buy 2 Ultimate Omelets and divide them four ways. The Owner (who is called Bobby) came to our table and greeted us. He promised a certain portion of our order would be discounted since I work there. Our time at Denny's was exciting.

Editor's Note: For that very reason, any reader who desires to take Mr. Wreh to a restaurant ought to consider Denny's.

I stopped at the Methodist Church and finished some work started the day before.

My presence with Pastor and his family is no different than being with my family back in Liberia. It's like a home away from home. Praise God for all that He is doing for me. As you read my journal daily, please pray for the Pattersons, the officers and members of the First Baptist Church of Galt, California--and for me--as I believe that God is going to do mighty things.

Day 54:
Yesterday, I had an appointment to meet with Pastor Craig to officially take over the custodial duties at the Galt United Methodist Church. This morning, we loaded 41 Shoeboxes (from the Methodist Church) in a van and took them to the Calvary Baptist Church in Manteca (a town about 35 miles from Galt). Calvary Baptist Church is a very large church with large facilities.

We made a stop over at McDonald's to have lunch. What I noticed at McDonald's, unlike other restaurants--or at Denny's where I work--it's 'serve yourself.' You walk to the counter, get your food, and take it to your seat--serving yourself with drinks you want, etc. Well, it was (and has been) good to visit all the restaurants to know how they work.

We drove home and, at the Methodist Church, I was instructed of my official duties and days most important to do them.

Joseph, the oldest son of Pastor Rob was scheduled to come home for the Thanksgiving celebration holiday. I tried to ask Pastor Rob to go along with him to the airport to get Joe (but was tied up with some work--washing my clothes, straightening up of my room, and going to Denny's to know my schedule for the week). So, I stayed home and, at about 8:00
PM, Pastor Rob and Joe got home. I was happy to see him and we greeted and embraced one another. He was happy to see me also. We talked a little while, watched a movie together, then went to bed for the night.

Day 52:
Sunday (Nov.21): Today, I was invited to worship with the Methodist Church by Pastor Craig. He told me that there would be a combined service at 10:30 (and later a Potluck). Since the First Baptist Church's first service is at 8:30, I decided to attend and later go to the Methodist Church which is just minutes away. This, of course, I did.

At Galt UMC, the service was packed. I gave a prayer request for my wife, Joyce, who is currently undergoing treatment for her kidney. The theme of the sermon was 'Remembering the Sacrifice of Jesus' and text was 2 Corinthians 8:9. We were admonished to build a life of sacrifice.

After the service there was a fine time of "mouth fellowship" (eating) and we had more than we could eat. It was nice being at the Methodist Church.

I came home early to prepare for work (as I was asked to report to work earlier than scheduled). Sundays are always more busy than usual. At work today, Manny (the shift manager) and I had a nice  discussion concerning the playing of guitar. (He is a bass guitarist.) Manny told me that we should think on meeting someday to play together. He sometimes plays Bass at FBC. He also was concerned about my wife's present condition and promised to be a help when needed.

Since I went to work early today, I clocked out early, but stayed at Denny's to talk with some of my work mates. I got home at around 10:30 PM.

Day 51: This morning Pastor Rob woke me up for the 6:00 AM men's meeting. I noticed that this meeting was different from what we've been having. Food was involved. I joined them and prepared the bacons and pancakes for a breakfast. It was a good experience to be a part of the cooking staff.

More men showed up at 7:30 AM for the breakfast. Joshua (a brother who plans to go on a mission trip to Macedonia) gave a testimony of his Jewish background, his life, and how he met the Lord Jesus. It was very wonderful.

From there, I went to the Methodist Church to meet Wilson (the pastor's son). Then I went to Longs to purchase a phone card.

At the store, I met Miss Parlee, a member of FBC. When I told her the purpose of my presence at Longs, she decided to take me to Wal-Mart, a very large grocery store (where she believed phone cards would be cheaper). She drove me to Wal-Mart in Lodi. I bought the phone card and she bought me some gift items.

While driving (there and back), Miss Parlee showed me some places and street names and different ways to go from Galt to Lodi. She told me to extend greeting to my wife if I talked with her. I returned home and prepared for work as I was to be at Denny's by 4:00 PM.

Day 48
This morning I woke up with a cold. Pastor Rob and Cathy have supplied me with the needed medication to treat the cold. Up to the time of this writing I am much better than the morning hours. My two sisters-in-law called to say that they received the thing posted to them on Monday. This has caused me to see how much worse the postal system is in Liberia.

from Tuesday: Pastor Rob asked me to go along with him to the Galt High School where we were to meet some of the students involved in a Christian group. At the school, he introduced me to the students and told them about my coming to America. He also told them about my daughter's brief illness and death. They were very sorry when they heard the news of my daughter's death. He told them about the orphans at the Greater Love Children's Home and their needs. I could see how much these students were concerned when they heard about lack of proper diet to keep them healthy. He showed them photos of my late daughter and the orphans.

From the school, Sister Cathy joined us and we went for lunch at the Mexican Restaurant where we ate tacos. (I am falling in love with this Mexican type of food.)

I went home to take a nap before work but Pastor Rob came and told me we were called by Philip (son of Ruth and Jim). We were told to bring in the application for Haldex (a heavy-duty brake shoe factory). There was a possibility of immediate daytime employment. Pastor Rob assisted me in filling out the form and we proceeded to Stockton immediately.

Unfortunately, the manager had dropped more people and advised us to leave the application to be on file. We were not discouraged but prayed that if it is the will of God that I work there, it will be. We returned home and I rested until working at Denny's (until Closing time).

from Monday: My sister-in-law (in Atlanta) sent me some money so that I can post her things I brought from Liberia. This gave me the opportunity to see the Galt Post Office for the first time. I was told that it will take 3 working days to reach the destination. In contrast, it takes one month or more for mails to reach Liberia from the U.S.A.

From the post office, I drove around Galt on my bike and went home to rest. Today is one of my days off at Denny's and I decided to rest myself to prepare for tomorrow.

Day 44,45,46 Editor's Note: Due to fatigue, MacDonald Wreh has not had opportunity to journal. He plans to do some writing this morning. CLICK HERE for a parallel blog.

Mondays Notes:
On Saturday, after prayer and a men's breakfast fellowship, Pastor Rob and I planted a Sequoia Redwood tree at the Galt Cemetery. Our tree is the closest tree southwest of the California flag (at the Veterans' Memorial). The specialist who headed the planting of 27 Redwood trees informed us that these trees live for 1,000 years (and that it will be historical that I have helped in planting one). Perhaps, my great, great, grandchildren might be shown what I have done. We took a group picture and left. When we got home I took a nap before going to work.

On Sunday, I attended both morning services at FBC Galt. The services are always wonderful. During the service, it was announced that there would be a Celebration climaxing the
40 Days of Focus
that night.
At the Celebration Service, I gave a brief testimony of how I got to America through the assistance of the FBC family. It was a great celebration.

Then there was a concert in the sanctuary with En Route (from Lodi). It was amazing to see the group sing and to see some instruments that I haven't seen before. There the day ended. I got on my bike and drove home.

Let me say that my coming to America is a great thing that ever happened in my life. I thank God for Pastor Rob (and his wife, Sis. Cathy) who never knew me conduct wise but risked sending me an affadavit-of-support, the FBC church family for prayer and support in my coming, Pastor Wesley of Greater Love Bible Baptist Church in Liberia (who did not opposed Ps. Rob assistance to me, but encouraged and advised me from start to finish), Mr. Henry Brunson (Fed Ex) who enhanced the sending of my documents, plane ticket, and other necessary information. These are all great people in my life because they have contributed toward the blessing that God has for me.

I also want to remember my friends back in Liberia (especially Michael Nah, Christopher, and Amos Kumeh) who loaned me money to process my documents for the DV program. I pray that God will bless them as I've planned to refund their money in the soonest possible time. Praise God for His blessings. Amen.

Day 43
This morning, Pastor Rob took me to the Sunrise Rotary Club, here in Galt. I was again introduced (by Sis. Barbara Payne, a member of the City Council of Galt). I was welcomed and clapped for.

At the table where I sat, I met a man called Evan K. Winn, a professional land surveyor, who was happy to see me. He promised to take me to his place for a visit if I would like (and would like to be of assistance if needed).

Since Pastor Rob walks with Jebby after Rotary, he asked Sister Mattie Shepherd (our next door neighbor) to drop me home.

Day 42
Today was one of the day I've worked hardest since I've been in America. At Denny's I worked 8 hours, and since it was Veterans' Day (a holiday) there were more people than usual. It was great working 8 hours for the first time!

From Denny's I stopped by the church to see Pastor Rob. He told me that we were going to Sacramento for a concert. The secretary, Mellisa, drove Sis. Cathy's along with us.

At the concert I saw Phil Keaggy who was live! It was very amazing to see him play like I've never seen before. I learned that he's a famous guitarist and a gospel musician. I hope to be a guitarist like him one day. After the concert, we drove back home, in the rain, and by 11 PM, I was in bed.

Day 41
Wednesday: Today there has been no appointments, no work at my usual places, so I decided to ride around with my gift (the bike) from Andy. I tried not to go into the areas I haven't been before and was careful to remember the areas I passed so that my return would be easy.

At 6:30, Pastor Rob took us (his daughter, Mary and her friends) to the regular Bible Study at the residence of the Greene's. We were greeted with joy by everyone. Before the study, Pastor Rob and I sang and played a song with our guitars: "Do something new in my life"--a song he learned in Liberia. After singing the song twice, everyone joined in. We taught them the Liberian concept of 'encumio'--where you sing extra notes from your heart.

Ron, a member of FBC, led the studies. It was wonderful. One thing I've learned since I came to America is the friendliness of the people. FBC members are so lovely, encouraging, concerned, prayerful and helpful. I thank God that I have fallen in good hands.

After the Bible studies, Ron asked me to dinner at Denny's (my workplace). At Denny's it was the Word that I could hear from Ron. From start to finish, it was the Word. He then dropped me home and gave me a gospel acapella CD that he noticed I loved. I was happy.

Well, I hope I am not writing this journal to only give you my impression but that you will read it and know the blessings of God in my life because I put Him first. Just a few days ago, I was in Liberia--not knowing how I was going to get here. But God, in His appointed time, moved and even friends, relatives, and my very self don't know how I got over. One thing I know is that "it is the Lord's Doing."

Day 40
My plan of going to the "Flea Market" this morning was accomplished. I bought a pair of working shoes at cost of $20,  a cold cap with SF on it at $5, and a dictionary for $2.

(Editor's Note: Several people have shared wi
th MacDonald that SF stands for a local Football Team named the 49ers--and that there is a nearby team called the Raiders. The followers of these groups are passionately opposed to those who wear the other's colors. He has never seen American Football.

I went to the church and told  Ps. Rob that I wanted to take a nap since I didn't sleep well last night. At the house, I tried sleeping but I couldn't. I decided to check my email when Ps. Rob got in and told me that we were going to open my account at the Union Bank of California (in Save Mart).

At the bank, we were told that my birth certificate as a second identification (along with my passport) was insufficient because of Homeland Security rules. So, Ps. Rob and Sis. Jennifer decided to fix me a photo ID (with thumbprint) from the church and it was accepted. We did open the account. Praise God for Pastor Rob's tireless effort and support to see me settle in the soonest possible time. It if had not been for him......

While I was at work at Denny's, a brother from the church (FBC), Andy, came in with his family to have dinner. After eating, he walked to me and asked how I get to work every time. After our discussion, he told me that he was going home to bring me a bike to use for work. Within 30 minutes, Andy was back with a new bright, blue bike and presented it to me with a new pair of locks. How surprised I was.

I thanked him and packed the bike in the restaurant where the boss lady showed me to pack it. After work at 11:00 PM, I got on my new bike and rode home. It was wonderful. Now, I last owned a bike in 1996 but it was taken away when serious fighting broke out in Monrovia between rebel factions. Since then, after 8 years, I have another opportunity of owning a bike. Well, I know that owning a car is not far away. Praise God for His wonders in my life. My testimonies are endless.


Day 39 I stayed home during the morning. When Pastor Rob came back he presented me with a check (with which I will open a bank account). A certain amount had been put in the church offering plate for me. It was explained that the man who had given this special offering to assist me had lost his beloved wife. There are a number of younger men at FBC who have been separated from their wives because of sickness leading to death.

While I was home, I wanted to do some work in the yard but didn't have working shoes. I have decided to go to the "Flea Market" on Tuesday to buy them. Today starts my part-time custodian job at the United Methodist Church. Glory to God for great things He continues to do in my life. God continues to bless me with spiritual and physical blessings and this proves to me that he endorsed my coming to America.

A lady by the name of Ruth called Pastor Rob to let him know that her son, Philip, may have available another job for me. My other jobs could be worked around this full-time job.

Day 38
Today, I visited the morning services at the Galt United Methodist Church upon the invitation of Pastor Craig Dale. I attended both services and it was wonderful. Pastor Dale introduced me and asked me to say a word to the congregation. Everyone was so excited to see me and I was gladly welcome.

One of the most exciting moments during my visit at the Methodist Church was when Pastor Dale asked me to assist him in administering Communion. I was surprised but it was an opportunity for experience. After that, Pastor Dale invited me to the front of the Church and presented an envelope that contained some money. A member of their church had decided to bless me with these funds since I was just coming and needed clothes--and to help with my wife's treatment (of course, my wife is suffering from a kidney problem).
I appreciated it and thanked them.

After service, Pastor Dale and his wife invited me to lunch with their son, Will. We went to Elsodeo Restaurant--not too far from Denny's where I work. We had a nice time there. I had a good time with the Galt U.M.C. and praise God for the Church.

Day 37 
This morning I went along with Pastor Rob to attend the Church's regular men's prayer meeting at 6 AM.

After the prayers, Pastor Rob took me to experience a drive-through meal at
. He ordered for me a DoubleCheeseburger Mini Meal (only $2.02).
I asked him what the difference is between Coke and Diet Coke.

I have never had 'French Fries' before.
Pastor Rob asked me, "What do you think of this food?"
I answered, "It's very FAST."

They call it FAST FOOD in the drive-through because (it has been explained to me) Americans have much to do in a short period of time.

From there we proceeded to the Methodist Church so I could start training as a Custodian. Pastor Craig Dale's son, Will, showed me what was to be done and then drove me home.

Tomorrow, Day 38, I will be visiting the Galt United Methodist Church upon the invitation of Pastor Dale. There, I am to intorduce myself and say something about my presence in the U.S.A.

Day 36/37
  Pastor Rob just picked me up from my first night at Denny's. It is already
Day 37
in Liberia and Ghana. Just today my friends in both of these countries wrote emails to me to let me know that they have read my journal.

My work at Denny's was a fine experience. The people there are friendly. I learned of things I never knew before. Such as using the machine to wash the dishes. A man named Horatio taught me what I needed to do at Denny's. He doesn't speak English fluently so he gestures and uses simple words. He speaks Spanish and has been very nice to me. Now I am going home to bed. I'll write more in my journal later.

Day 36: **afternoon update* I am working my first shift at Denny's Restaurant today from 4:30 to 10:00 PM.

This morning, upon the invitation of Pastor Rob, I attended the regular Friday morning meeting of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Galt. I was introduced as a guest and was welcomed. Laughter and applause broke out when the Pastor announced that this would be my first day as a taxpayer. Someone said, "Welcome to America!"

This was a great experience for me in that it was my first opportunity to attend a Rotary meeting. I was informed of the organization's aims and objectives. From that meeting, the Lutheran pastor gave me a ride home--as Pastor Rob attended to other regular matters.

I called my wife, Joyce, to ask whether she had gone to the hospital. She told me of her great surprise to accept the full amount of money needed for the kidney treatment. The hospital worker was also surprised when she paid the full amount. I asked more specific questions about the doctor's opinions. I will share them with the Nurses here who specialize in kidney treatment.  * update end

Yesterday, Pastor Rob and I drove to a store (Long's) to buy a calling card. Then, we went to the church and I called my wife, Joyce. During our discussion, she told me that her kidney condition had gotten worse and that she needs to resume her treatment (she stopped treatment previously due to insufficient funds--$250 for the entire process).

I told her that I was just coming and didn't have a job yet. We ended the discussion with her request that I continue to pray for her. Later, Pastor Rob wanted to know more about her condition--he has local friends who are experts in the treatment of kidney failure. After we talked it over, he offered prayers for her immediately.

We then drove to a Bible Fellowship in Lodi held by some Senior sisters. Ps. Rob told them about my wife's condition and more prayers were offered. We were led to a computer by our hostess, Virginia, who is also a member of the Church. She showed her visitors the photo of my late daughter, Eunice, from this journal.

From there Pastor Rob, while driving back to Galt, promised me a loan of the U.S. $250 to be sent to my wife for her medication. He himself went to Western Union to send the money while I tended to an appointment with the Galt Methodist Pastor (on the issue of hiring me for a part-time job). Upon my return to the church, Pastor Rob handed me the information papers from the Western Union transaction. Now, see what God had done. When I called my wife to give her the information, she was surprised and began to cry tears of joy. She began to praise God for Pastor Rob saying that he's a loving man of God and she hope to see him one day (and very soon).

While I was at the Methodist Church, the management from Denny's Restaurant called to inform me of their decision to hire me immediately. Pastor Rob took me to Denny's (along with his daughter, Mary, and her friend, Anthony) for a Celebration Party. It was nice having a  get-together at Denny's which will become my workplace.

Day 35:
Yesterday, Pastor Rob took me to the Galt's Pastors' Fellowship Lunch. The pastors met at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. It was great. There were lots of discussions that went on. I was asked some questions about Liberia, my life and hope of coming to America, and impressions (including the hope of reuniting with my wife who is currently mourning the loss of our daughter). The questions made me feel good as I felt comfortable with pastors who were concerned about my situation. Prayers were offered for my wife, Joyce, and I.

Pastor Rob and I then made a stopover at Polly's Restaurant where we met the Mogans. They had called Ps. Rob while we were at the Pastors' Fellowship. I enjoyed the time that we spent with Bro. Tom and Sis. Jennifer.

We then proceeded to Denny's for my job interview. The interview was carried out but I was told that management will contact me in 2 days.

Pastor Rob drove me to the Galt Methodist Church where I was again invited to their regular Wednesday Supper meeting. Before the meeting, Pastor Craig and I had a fruitful discussion on issues pertaining to Liberia and my life. He then offered me a part-time job with his church to commence by next week.

From the Galt United Methodist Church, at around 8
PM, I proceeded to First Baptist Church and met the choir practicing. I was asked to join the practice by the Minister of Music: Ps. Dan Malloy. An audio cassette (with a songbook) was given to me by Bro. Jim Parkinson for personal practice. He then dropped me home to end the day's activities. I watched a movie with the Patterson kids before going to bed.

Day 34:

stayed home until 10 am when the Secretary of the church, Mellisa, gave me a call to say that Pastor  Rob wanted me to come over to the Church to observe the elections. (Today is the U.S. Presidential election). I immediately walked to the church where I met Sister Sue who is a member of the church and was part of the election team. Of course, the FBC was used as one of the Polling Centers. Sis. Sue introduced me to the elections team members and later invited me to the kitchen (where I had some nice food to eat).
After awhile, Pastor Rob arrived and we walked to some places (Save Mart, McDonald's, and Denny's Restaurant) in search of a job--since I already had my social security card. We were given application forms at McDonald's and Denny's but preferably chose to fill out the one for Denny's.
Pastor Rob helped me do that and we immediately took the completed form to Denny's. I was given an appointment for an interview the next day (Nov. 3). We, then, went back to the church, did some cleaning up around the yard and Pastor Rob decided to update the church's website.
Upon my arrival at the church this morning, I noticed the photo of my late daughter posted on the entrance door of the church. This show me how concerned Pastor Rob is in regards to my period of mourning. This is a challenge to me to be more concerned about the little children (especially the orphans) who lack sufficient food to eat and proper medication. My daughter died of Malaria in just one day.
Later on Pastor Rob (knowing that I haven't had the experience of going to movies since I came) took me and the kids to a movie center in Lodi. It was a rewarding experience. From the movie center, I was surprised by Pastor Rob when he gave me, as a gift, a red electric guitar with an amplifier/speaker (with 2 inputs and 2 outputs). Oh! It was another exciting moment for me as this was the first gift of its kind in my life. I praise God for Ps. Rob so much.
From the church, we went home and after awhile, Sister Cathy came home with another surprise. She had bought me some hair and skin products (suggested to her by an African-American friend). See how the Pattersons are so good to me. I thank God that I fell in good hands and I pray for God's continued blessing upon their lives. Sister Eva Moore sent me a welcome card through the mail. She and her husband, James, are members of the FBC.

Day 32: Monday--I considered to be a resting day. I was left alone in the house to have a rest. After watching TV for some time, I decided to take a stroll to the church met Pastor Rob doing serious church business as usual. He asked me to do some organization in his office and later he taught me to use the vacuum cleaner. I used it to clean the church carpet. From there we went to the bank and

used the drive-through lane. I was surprised that all of the processing took place there. We then went to Western Union to send an offering to Pastor Wesley and the orphanage. Upon our arrival at the house, Sister Cathy gave me a mail that contained my Social Security number and card. Pastor Rob and I rejoiced together for the card that could enable me to get a good job. Pastor Rob also talked to my sister-in-law, Sangay, who lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Day 31: Regular worship services were attended. There are two services held at FBC Galt every Sunday morning. During the

service, I was introduced by Pastor Rob and was asked to sing a song, after which Pastor Rob and I sang a song together. I was happily welcome. Most of the members told me that they heard about and had been praying long before I came.

After the service, Ron Shindy, a member of the church took me for lunch. We went to Burger King, where we met his parents, and had a nice time there together. From the restaurant, Ron took me to his house and gave me some nice clothes. He also took me to the Dollar Store and bought me a few items. He then gave me $20 and promised to be of help if needed. H

e is also a Police Officer.

This day was also a day called Harvest Festival at FBC--a day for youth and children. It also coincided with the Halloween celebration in the USA. There were games, food, fun, biblical understanding, etc. I won a prize from a raffle draw. I sang several selections and it was wonderful. After that, we returned home, watched a video of the Harvest Festival. At around 10 pm, I was sleepy so I went to bed.

Day 30: Pastor Rob and I went to regular men's prayer meeting that is held every Saturday morning at 6 a.m. Before the meeting started, Pastor Rob introduced me to Deacon Tom, Deacon Jim, and Brother David who were happy to see me. Pastor Rob told them about my situation--the recent death of my daughter (Eunice, 7) and my marriage to her mother, Joyce. He also showed them the photos of our wedding.

During the prayers, I was prayed for. My wife was also prayed for--most especially for her health and loneliness. They also prayed for God to make a way so that my wife will come to the U.S. soon.

Eunice (7) died suddenly from malaria in September, 2004 (the month following our much-delayed marriage)

After the meeting, Bro. David asked to take me for breakfast and, of course, we went to Denny's Restaurant where we had a nice time together. From there, Bro. David took me for a ride to see other places. He took me to Lodi where we visited WalMart. I saw lots and lots of things I haven't seen before. What was most interesting in Walmart was the sale of firearms (guns). For over 24 years, I have never seen firearms sold in a store. That's how my country, Liberia, used to be but that was before the 1980's.

He then took me to the Lodi Lake. What a beautiful place it is. I will someday take a visit to spend the day with my wife--very soon. We then went to the office responsible for driving licenses because he wanted me to have a driving book that contained signs and rules of driving, but unfortunately, we met the place closed.

Brother David told me most things I need to know about driving, security, renting/leasing/purchasing a house, Social Security card, credit cards, purchasing a call card and how to start all of these

processes. I was glad to be with him. I was greatly glad that I could have a police officer inform me on some things I needed to know.

David dropped me home and promised to be of any assistance to me if needed. Praise God for him.


Day 29: When I woke up Pastor Rob told me we were going to the Rotary Club meeting. When we got there he remembered that the meeting had been cancelled. We returned home, took our breakfast, and checked our emails. Pastor Rob then left for the church. I made calls on the phone with the card number that Mrs.Willie provided. That night, we had our meal, then Sister Cathy called me into the living room. Not knowing the reason, Daniel, one of their sons, began to tell me that the clothes I could see laid out on the couch were bought for me. Daniel and his brother, Jeremiah, had made the selections. Sister Cathy told me that the funds were made available by some concerned individuals. Oh! How much I appreciated them. I left Liberia with three shirts and one trousers (as my friends took everything from me--saying that I was coming to a place with many clothes). Moreover, at the Monrovia airport, I lost my little bag that contained a few clothes. I was very glad f

or my gifts and I thank God for His many blessings I continue to receive through the Pattersons.

That same evening, Pastor Rob, Cathy, and I played a game right before the fire. This game was a matching game. Photos of the orphans at the Greater Love Children's Home in Liberia were printed on papers (2 of each). We began to do 'matching' by picking two to see whether they were the same photos. At the end of the game, Sister Cathy was the winner with Pastor Rob

coming second, and I last. What an interesting game. I have never played this game before. I think what it does it that it helps us to be more familiar with the children's names and helps create more love for them.

Day 28: I am keeping a journal to help me remember the things I am experiencing for the first time.

On the very first night I was taken to Save Mart grocery store where I saw many strange things that I haven't seen before, one of which was the selling of firewood packed in cartons.

After 15 years of not bathing under a shower, I had the opportunity to do so here in America. It was an interesting  experience learning to turn on and use the hot and cold water from the shower.

Pastor Rob took me to the church to meet the secretary and Pastor Dan Malloy. The pastors and I sang a few songs that they taught me.  Later, I met Pastor Mac who took me to attend a Revival at the Big Valley Bible Church in Lodi. 
He and his wife, Thelma, drove me to pick up Parlee and Maxine (two ladies who went along).  Before going to the revival, Pastor Mac took us to a Mexican restaurant--I enjoyed this hot food which I tried for the first time.
At the Revival, I was introduced as an immigrant from Liberia whose most pressing need was a job.  Lots of the people promised to keep an eye for a job on my behalf.

Pastor Rob took me to the Flea Market and bought me some roast chicken on a stick.  It was nice.
Later, we went to the Social Security office to get a card and a number. It should arrive in the mail in two weeks time.

Pastor Rob taught me a new word: Potluck. When I listened to Jebby's song, "Potluck in Heaven," I asked him what the word "Potluck" means.  Pastor Craig Dale invited me to attend the fellowship on Wednesday night at the Galt United Methodist Church. Before services there was a supper--a Potluck!  It was wonderful as I was introduced to the congregation and all were glad.

Pastor Rob and I hung photos of the orphans at the Greater Love Children's Home on the sanctuary walls at First Baptist Church.
I spoke with my wife, Joyce, and her friend, Charlotte, in Liberia.  My wife's sister, Hannah, is married to Pastor Peter Willie.  They live in South Bend, Indiana. Pastor Rob told me that Pastor Willie had signed the guestbook of this website.  I called

Mrs. Willie and she gave me numbers for a phone card she purchased so I could call back to Liberia.  I tried calling Charlotte's place to talk to Joyce but the phone was switched off.  I then called and talked to my mother and sister who were happy to hear from me. 

I was told that there was a riot going on in Liberia between the Christians and Muslims as mosques and churches were being burned down.  I was also informed that the U.N. military was in control and that things were a bit calmer. The riot took place in Paynesville (where my wife lives).  Joyce's sister told me that my wife had gone to a different part of Monrovia and due to curfew would not be back tonight.

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