The Genius Blog
SignUpGenius Serving in Liberia
In 2007, just about a year before I launched SignUpGenius, my wife and I traveled to Liberia, West Africa to bring home two children via adoption. The kids were living in a children’s home run by an indigenous ministry called Africans Christian Fellowship International (ACFI).
Me - Dan Rutledge - at the ACFI children's home during a mission trip in 2009.
Um... I'm the one in the hat.
That trip was a life-changing milestone in our lives, and it would take a couple hours at a coffee shop with each of you to truly explain how we got to that point and what God taught us along the way. But the short story is that on that first trip God broke our hearts for the difficulties the beautiful, vibrant people of Liberia are going through after their country was absolutely gutted by fourteen years of civil war. Statistically, Liberia is one of the ten poorest countries in the world, and depending on which ranking system you use, it’s sometimes listed in the bottom three.
After coming back to the States, my wife and I got together with several other U.S. families that wanted to support ACFI in the work they were doing to care for the some of the neediest in their country. We were a rag-tag group with a variety of backgrounds – but we prayed and took one step at a time as God led. One of the things I was able to help with was building a website, AfricanChildSponsorship.com, so that we could establish an online child sponsorship program to help provide enough resources to care for the kids still living in the children’s home. We also started taking periodic mission teams back to Liberia where we were able to support the efforts of the faithful men and women of ACFI.
The Daniel Hoover Children's Village near Monrovia, Liberia - a ministry of ACFI.
At the end of this month, my wife and I will be returning to Liberia to lead a mission team of 14. The team will be serving in two ACFI children’s homes providing teacher training, maintenance and repair work, getting sponsorship updates, and running a vacation bible school with the kids. We’ll also be doing some training for the ACFI leaders in small business and technology.
This year, we were excited that SignUpGenius was able to contribute to a project fund that will be used in these efforts. In addition, we’ve used SignUpGenius ourselves to organize donations and responsibilities for the trip!
It’s hard to write a post like this, because it’s not intended to make me look good or to drum up comments from people that it is “so neat” that SignUpGenius is involved in this. I know that there are a lot of different beliefs from the people that read this blog – so without explaining everything completely - let me just say that God has given so much to me (and I’m not primarily referring to physical blessings here) that it’s an honor to follow Him on this crazy adventure. Hopefully our story will inspire others to step out and embark on something that God might lay on your own heart.
And for those that are curious - five years later, my kids from Liberia are doing great. We love having them in our family!
We’re thankful for all our users that played a small part in this trip just by helping SignUpGenius grow and making it possible for the company to contribute. I feel like I’ve got the best job in the world, and I am grateful that SignUpGenius can be a small part of the efforts of thousands of churches, nonprofits, schools, and groups - whether you’re making a difference in the middle of Kansas or in a dusty children’s home in Liberia. The rest of our staff will be holding down the fort while we’re gone, and we’ll share more about the trip when we return!