Evangelical leader T. Edward Kofi has had an eight-year string of tragedies since the outbreak of civil war in Liberia. He escaped to Sierra Leone after soldiers targeted him for elimination. Three of his seven adopted children have been murdered in the fighting. His oldest son drowned. Rebels captured his oldest daughter and held her hostage for 18 months. He sustained fractured vertebrae in a plane crash. Rebels fatally shot his mother in the back. Armed soldiers looted his home and commandeered his ministry headquarters.

The Joblike list of violence and health-related afflictions goes on, but the 44-year-old Kofi is not looking back. Instead, he is energetically supervising African Christian Fellowship International (ACFI), an independent indigenous ministry he founded in 1986. Kofi oversees the work of 705 full-time volunteer pastors, teachers, doctors, and nurses who evangelize tribes, aid refugees, plant churches, help orphans, and establish schools. ACFI has started 200 congregations, not only in Liberia, but in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guinea, and Cote d'Ivoire.

The work has persisted despite the tumultuous civil war that left 200,000 dead and 1 million displaced. The mayhem culminated with the destruction of the capital Monrovia—including churches and missions—by warring factions two years ago (CT, June 17, 1996, p. 60). Although rebel-turned-president Charles Taylor has restored some semblance of order, "there still is tremendous insecurity," Kofi says.

MINISTERING AMID CHAOS: In 1990, Kofi's hardships escalated when he attempted to rescue young children—some of them conscripts—caught in the war zone in northern Liberia. Kofi had planted several churches in the region and then-president Samuel ...

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