Press Release: May 13, 2024

God’s Faithfulness in Protection

An Interview with Jim Laesch, Career Missionary

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 (ESV)

“A workshop was going on [in Liberia]…and we heard gunfire throughout the night. So, we hunkered down,” Jim Laesch recalls. Despite the danger, they continued and completed the workshop a few days later.”

Laesch is calm in his retelling, steady after years of seeing God work – even in hardship and war. Laesch also had strong bonds with local Christians like Mr. Jaa Ngaima Kawala (a Bandi translator) and C. Bloty Necollin. “I never felt in great danger; I trusted their advice. Nothing bad happened to me, but we often had to make quick decisions on the spot.”

When war came, and missionaries had to evacuate, the team made several pivotal decisions. “Ngaima said, ‘We [Liberians] need to form our own organization,’ and that’s when LIBTRALO (Liberian Translation and Literacy Organization) was born,” Laesch explains.

With LIBTRALO entirely run by local Liberian Christians, Laesch continued in a consulting capacity. But that effort wasn’t without challenges. “So, I would fly into Liberia. The airline would only sell me a one-way ticket. On arrival, I had to buy another ticket to get out. That was a strange feeling, you know?” Years of dedicated Bible reading fortified his trust in the Lord through the twists and turns. “I do not need to worry. I do not need to solve every problem. I can call upon God for His protection, thanking Him for placing me into His hands. If something bad happens to me, He knows.”

Jim Laesch currently serves as an adjunct missionary after 48 years of full time service in Bible translation ministry, including serving as a missionary and in various leadership roles.

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