I’ve travelled a lot in my many years of ministry through Small World. I’ve now been to 54 countries. I’ve seen a lot. Most of my family and friends are fascinated with my travels. I used to keep a hashtag on my travels called #jimbosselfietour in which I would post selfies of myself in various countries. Sometimes I would even post one and make it a fun game asking my social media friends where they thought I was at that day. I would get some great guesses. God has used a lot of these places to have a pretty big impact on me.
My father took me overseas for my first time in the early 1990’s to Romania. This was just after the Romanian revolution that freed them from communism. The condition of that country fresh off the heels of communism was a real eye opener for me and my sheltered first world life in the US. Another trip to the small Baltic country of Latvia I was visiting an orphanage and had a 5 year old boy hug my leg as tight as he could asking me to be his Papa. This was a defining moment in the development of my passion for orphan children. In China I’ve seen some of the best of care orphanages in the world, but I’ve also seen some of worst in China as well. I even have witnessed in Latvia a woman literally leaving her baby in a basket on the front steps of the orphanage and then walking away in tears. I’ve seen a lot.
Some countries I’ve been to I feel claustrophobic because it’s so crowded, some it almost feels like home because it’s so nice, some have immensely popular tourist attractions that are fun to see, some the people and food are amazing, some the people and food are not so amazing, but out of all these things I’ve experienced and seen, none have had the impact that Liberia has. I’ve seen poor countries, but the first time I went to Liberia the poverty was overwhelming. Despite the poverty I was still overcome by the kindness of the people. Sure, some saw my white skin and assumed I have money, but generally they just want help.
I’ve genuinely been blessed that God chose to use Small World to minister to families and children in Liberia. We can’t do everything, despite some believing we can, but we have our role He has given us and it’s exciting to experience. Like it has been for many, it’s been a tough 2 years. Many things have happened at Small World and navigating that has been difficult, but we keep doing what He says to do and we are still here. The hardest thing has been the loss of our founder and my father, Jim Savley. He was so joyful that God gave him this vision for Small World and that God gave us the ability and responsibility to care for orphans in Liberia.
As we have now entered 2022 I look back at these 2 years and see that one country that has persevered and has continued to allow orphans to be adopted is the impoverished nation of Liberia. Our representative in Liberia, Albert, has been hard at work running our home and working with birth families. He’s doing a great ministry to his country and his people! Adoptions continue to happen in Liberia, but not without their own hardships. There is only 1 judge in the country that hears adoption cases. He unfortunately died a few months ago. Liberia tried to quickly get a temporary solution in place and did, so adoptions continue. Like many governments, the Liberian government had to make some hard decisions regarding COVID and announced that anyone 18 years old and older now have to have COVID vaccination in addition to negative COVID test to enter the country, but families are adjusting and still moving forward with adopting these precious children in need of families in Liberia. That’s the latest on adoptions in Liberia and what is the takeaway, we still have the ability and opportunity to help families and children in Liberia through adoption. I’ve seen God do a lot.