Road Trip

We recently went on a bit of a road trip to participate in a “hand over” ceremony following the completion of a new water well that was funded by through the humanitarian funds of the church. The well followed the construction and donation of sturdy student desks also funded by the church. It was a four hour drive each way, about half on asphalt and the rest on dirt tracks. It was a nice change to be outside the city for the day and see some of the beauty in the countryside. Some of the roads were a bit rough so it was slow going, but all made it there and back again in safety.

The well was built for the Francis S Keleekai Technical Institute, a school developed and built by an amazing woman named Esther. Her and her husband returned to their native Liberia after living in the US for about 20 years. They purchased some land in a remote area that had no school and started to build. A few months after returning to Liberia, Esther’s husband died but she has carried on in his absence. She returns to the US to work for a few months each year and with the money earned, continues to fund the school.

The program was led by one of the senior students and included some singing/dancing, a few speeches, a celebration of excellence for students having achieved honors in the recent marking period and lunch. As is typical at school assemblies anywhere, there were proud parents to celebrate the academic successes of their children. Unlike any ceremony we have attended, a rooster and a chicken were handed to Esther as thank you gifts (unfortunately they were a bit camera shy so we were not able to include pictures of the special gifts).


April Arrives

Sometimes in the hustle of daily living it is hard to take the time to recognize and celebrate remarkable events. We were reminded of this today as we made the long drive to the church branch in Harbel. As we came into Unification Town (or Smell No Taste as it is known to the locals), there was a procession walking on the other side of the road. As we came closer we recognized it as a church group that were carrying palm fronds to reenact and remember the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago.

“…when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:11-12).

Hosanna has its roots as a plea for help or to be saved. Thus in the context of the New Testament, quite an appropriate plea to him who is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).

I couldn’t help but recall a painting by Harry Anderson as we drove past a second procession on the plantation.

We hope you will take some time during this Easter week to reflect, celebrate and give thanks for the “Prince of Peace” who has ”borne our griefs… was wounded for our transgressions… [and] brought as a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:4-7).

Prince of Peace