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The Personal Testimony of Benjamin S. Kettor

As I give a personal testimony relating to my Christian life, I would firstly like to give thanks to the Almighty God for sparing my life, and family up to today’s date that I can be a living testimony of His goodness toward mankind. Please take a moment and read Psalms 124:2-8:

The Kettor Family, January 2009 “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

I was born in 1976 unto the union of Mr. Patrick H. Kettor and Mrs. Sarah T. Kettor; the oldest of four younger brothers; and raised into a Christian family under the parental care of my grandparents to whom I owe much up to this day.  As a child, I went to Sunday school classes and attended other church related activities. I started my education at the age of eight at a mission school in my home town – Foya, Lofa County, Liberia with the full sponsorship and guidance of my grandparents to whom I shall be internally obligated for their unified effort in creating a light in my life, which became a pathway to a brighter future.

 However, being born in a Christian home, going to church, attending a mission school and doing church related activities with or without my parents in no way makes me a Christian. I was living with my grandparents until, going to school at the same time unto the outbreak of the Liberian civil war of 1989.  The civil war in Liberia will forever be remembered in the history of West Africa.  It claimed thousands of lives and destroyed much property.  As the civil war intensified, questions of salvation began to ring in my mind. Questions like “if you die today, will you go to heaven? What will you say on the Day of Judgment?” I was greatly troubled as I saw some of my friends being killed without accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Having this internal struggle of personally accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior; not because of parents or because I was born in a Christian family, but simply because I needed to be saved.  I was moved and convinced by the Spirit of God in December 1991 while sitting alone thinking of what will become of me if I should die in the war. It was at this time that I asked God to forgive me of my sins. I then confessed openly with my mouth that Jesus is Lord inviting him into my life and was eventually baptized in keeping with the scriptures.

 After my conversion, I subsequently began to have personal quiet time with the Lord and my faith in God began to grow.  I later organized a children's choir in my church where I served as choir leader. From then on, my involvement in the ministry increases even as I was compelled to flee into exile as a refugee due to the danger that was posed by the civil war.  I fully involved myself in the church ministry by being part of the singing group. My way of life was greatly changed as a Christian fully being able to participate in the Church and Church related activities such as conducting Sunday school classes, Bible studies, prayer meetings and leading choristers. The book of I Timothy 4:12-13 gives me more courage in this direction. If you have the time, please read it for your own good.

 With the intensity of the civil war, as I was in continuation of my educational career, questions of impediment to my education kept pounding to my mind. Nevertheless, my love, thirst and hunger for education did not seize; schooling continued under the administration of a hostile environment of civil war. This entire learning process, which managed to have survived a series of invasions, was now disrupted by the advent and invasion of an ex-factional group of rebels, which emerged during the heat of the Liberian civil crisis in the 90's. This became an obstacle to my dream of education.  All Liberians, regardless of economic status, religion or tribal affiliations were affected by violent destruction and human right abuses. The infrastructure of the nation, it's economy, social system, moral values and culture were severely damaged.

 In 1993, having being threatened of death by enemy forces; “afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” the good spirit for love of education drove my attention to the Republic of Guinea where I was incorporated as a refugee into a complete formal complex educational system sponsored by the United Nations, organized and operated by International Rescue Committee. Under refugee status, I was able to complete my high school studies and return home during the end of the 1990's  - but the civil war was still raging.   So, along with my wife Frances - herself a young Liberian orphan whom I deeply felt in love with during the dark days of my refugee life and eventually married - traveled back to our home of Liberia.  Frances is the world’s most beautiful woman to me. Unfortunately, her mother was killed in the civil war and her father died from a stroke. But we had each other.   Even though in a desert, I prayed for everlasting manna which was the dependable legacy, prescribed by my blessed parents.

 As I finally returned to my homeland of Liberia, I sought to seek higher education in the nation's only University.  But due to lack of support, and constant rebel invasions, education became all but impossible.  We went through the difficult times.  I was caring for my pregnant wife while heavy machine fire was all around us.  In October 2003, at the end of the last series of rebel invasions, my wife gave birth to a boy child (Ben Jr.).  I thank God that my wife survived and gave safe delivery under the mercy hands of God as I still remembered those horrible days.

During the early rebuilding of my country,  I had an opportunity to work with different non-governmental organizations that including the German Technical Corporation (GTZ - Guinea), World Hope International, Liberia, and "Medecins du Monde" of France.  My  positions ranged from field officer to administrative officer.

 In 2007, I had an opportunity to further my studies in the United States at Davis College in Johnson City, NY.  Davis College is a Bible based School with a multicultural environment.   My focus has been in the area of General Ministry with concentration in Organizational Leadership.  However, my coming to this college is what I call a divine favor from God.  I am unable to meet the financial requirements on my own.  It all started when I received a good-will offer of sponsorship that would take care of only the first semester of my studies. However, this gave me the confidence that God will take care of the rest out of faith. Consequently I resigned from my last job in pursuit of higher and quality Biblical education.  I miraculously got my visa but could not afford a plane ticket.  But as the Lord would have it, my former office took responsibility of this amount as token of appreciation for the level of my faithful work with them.  As one door was closing, God was opening another door in his own time.

I thank God for making it possible for me to have come thus far in search of quality higher education with the sacrifice of leaving my beloved wife and son back home in Liberia. My son was three years old when I left for the U.S.A. and now he is five years old. It is my belief that though it is not an easy task for me to be separated from my family, yet it is for a worthy purpose in order to be able to make a positive difference in society through Christ Jesus.

 My life as a student at Davis College is wholly and solely based on taking God by his Word and exercising the level of faith He has given me. Therefore, I’m so grateful to all those churches/ministries and individuals who continue to be a blessing to me in my educational sojourn both physically, spiritually and financially. Remember that God will surely reward you in full.

 I am a member and leader of Abide in the Vine Fellowship – Liberia and while in Liberia before coming to the USA, I worked along with members and leaders of this ministry to have established an orphanage program called “Christ Our Hope Orphanage” in Monrovia, Liberia. To this effect, I’m grateful to Orphan Cry International Ministries through it executive director Mr. Kenneth C. Wilcox, Jr. and family who have initially hosted me during the Christmas of 2007 when I needed somewhere to stay. From the day of my encounter with this family, God has greatly used them to this date. Through their unified efforts, today, Orphan Cry International Ministries is at the verge of expansion to Liberia to help the needy children of Liberia especially the orphans.  My God who has started the good works continue it to the end,  Amen.
~ Benjamin S. Kettor         

 “Your gift shall bring you before honorable men”

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Copyright 2009 Orphan Cry International Ministries.  Revised: January 20, 2009.  All Rights Reserved.