Since returning to Mali a couple of years ago, John has been trying to reconnect with people he was ministering to before we left. One man is named Patrick Smith. He is a Liberian who came to Mali as a refugee many years ago following the war in Liberia.
Patrick has spent many years dealing with a lot of internal conflicts and demons (literally). He committed some atrocities in the war which continue to haunt him. In addition, he has been suffering with some serious health issues. His lifestyle has been questionable as he’s been involved in several criminal activities. We had not seen Patrick since we left Mali in 2012. John has been asking around town to see if he could find Patrick or if anyone had any news about him. Everything continued to come up empty including searches in the hospitals and prisons. We had feared for the worst that Patrick had passed away due to medical issues.
Last week we received an amazing surprise when Patrick showed up at our front door! It turns out he’s been living in a neighboring country under an assumed name. John spent time reconnecting and catching up with him. He invited Patrick to our church and we were overjoyed when he came to our service yesterday.
Patrick still has a long way to go in his reconciliation and healing process. Please be praying that he can truly repent of the things he’s done both in during the war and the years following and there will be true transformation in his life.