Liberia Election and Partnership Update
Many in IGRC and throughout the world have prayed for a peaceful presidential election in Liberia these past two months with the initial election in October and the run-off elections on Nov. 8. We are closely following the news reports from Liberia.
Prior to the runoff election there was increased random violence and since then, the country remains tense and watchful. By Nov. 11, with 86 percent of the votes counted, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had 91 percent of the votes. Yet, her closest opponent, Winston Tubman, continued to boycott the election although the international community stated the election was well organized and fair.
On Nov. 17, it was officially announced that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the presidential election.
I am assured by Liberian friends, that all will be well. Indeed the country is beginning to again focus on peace and what is needed for Liberia to continue to recover and rebuild. President Sirleaf has promised reconciliation and there is already much progress.
The country of Liberia, President Johnson Sirleaf and our Liberian partners continue to need our prayers. Let’s join together in prayer for President Sirleaf - that God will keep her safe as she leans upon him for wisdom, strength, courage and direction. Let’s pray that peace will prevail as Liberia moves forward. This is a critical time for Liberia.
IGRC relationship with the United Methodist Churches of Liberia continues to move forward. A new IGRC Liberia Task Force is formed and we will be in consultation with the Liberia Annual Conference Cabinet in February to discuss future ministry opportunities and plans.
God continues to call us on our faith journey beside our brothers and sisters in Liberia. God continues to call us to experience Liberia. Newly ordained IGRC clergy and others will travel to Liberia in mid February 2012. The main work project for this team will be painting the interior of the John Kofi Asmah United Methodist School in West Point.
It has been truly amazing to witness God’s provision for this project in West Point. Throughout this project, I have been reminded of the Liberian faithful expression “God will provide”. The United Methodist presence and the construction of this school brings renewed dignity and hope into this crowded slum of nearly 70,000 people. The main construction of John Kofi Asmah UM School is completed. All that remains is painting, finishing touches and furnishing the school. New desks, blackboards for the rooms and other school items are also needed. Although a final financial estimate for the actual cost of completion and furnishing is still forthcoming, IGRC is committed to complete this school project.
Are you looking for an alternative Christmas gift this year or is your church or church school class still considering the designation of a special Christmas offering this year? John Kofi Asmah United Methodist School in West Point would be an excellent choice. I am “estimating” the cost of one student armchair for the school will be an approximate $30. The IGRC Advance Special number for this project is 6990.
For the past three years, IGRC has conducted teacher training for teachers in United Methodist Schools in Liberia. We are awaiting details from Liberia regarding their needs for summer 2012. Teacher training is based upon their requests. However, if you have teachers in your congregation interested in this fulfilling mission to offer their experience and skills, please contact myself or Christy Blickensderfer, using the e-mails at the bottom of this article. If enough teachers express interest and our skills match Liberia requests for summer 2012, a July teacher training team will be considered and interested teachers will be contacted my March.
Other Liberia mission teams are already scheduled for October 2012 and January though mid February of 2013. Brochures will be posted on the IGRC website or information may be obtained by contacting email@example.com
As Christmas and the New Year approaches, I am reminded of experiencing a joyful, four hour New Year’s Eve worship service in Liberia. One song they sang over and over stated: “The Lord will provide, the Lord will provide. One way or the other, the Lord will provide.” Sometimes God chooses us to be a part of his provision, but he is always faithful. One soul-stirring lessons I have learned from our brothers and sisters in Liberia is, indeed, God does provide!
IGRC – thank you for your faithfulness to God’s leading in our partnership with Liberia.