Lectionary Selection: Luke 17:11-19
Prayers for Kenya:
God of hope, we pray for the work of The Mission of Hope School - the work they are doing in the community and country as a whole. We pray that quality education would be accessible for all of the young people of Liberia. Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Kenya:
“We live in hope, in spite of civil wars and feeling like outcasts because of the Ebola pandemic that devastated our country in 2014.” These are the words of one official at the Mission of Hope School. The school is located in Kpaai district Folah region Bong County, Central Liberia. The school is owned and run by the International Christian Fellowship Ministries lead by Bishop William BGK Harris. This church is one of the Organization of Africa Instituted Churches (OAIC) member churches in Liberia. OAIC is based in Kenya but serves other countries in the region, including Liberia.
“We don’t have time for lamentations,” says Rev. Maryalice Omokeye Moses, the Global Missions Director, because Liberia lags so far behind in education.
According to UNESCO, Liberia has an adult literacy rate of 42.94%. The male literacy rate is 60.77% the female rate is 27.03%. Education in Liberia is one causality of numerous civil wars. In 2014, the country came to a standstill because of the Ebola pandemic. “We had to close the school because of how fast the virus was spreading. At the beginning of the crisis, we had no idea how the virus was contracted. Students stopped coming to school for a year or more.”
The Mission of Hope school was once a leading school in educating children from not only the central region of Liberia but students who came from many different areas of Liberia to attend the school. The school had a reputation for producing students that excelled so well they went on to study in various Universities in Liberia as well as other countries.
“It's been only 3 years since Liberia was declared by WHO to be Ebola-free. The Mission of Hope is in the process of re-establishing ourselves as an institution of excellence.” The school sits on 500 acres of land and they have become a lifeline for the community. The community benefits from the school’s models for farming, fish ponds, and fruit trees such as avocados, grapefruits, almonds, and cashews. "We would like to start growing beans because we have to buy our beans from Guinea. It would be a great help to the school as we could sell at a cheaper cost to the community instead of buying and bringing them from Guinea,” shared Bishop Harris.
I was so impressed with The Mission of Hope school. They have such little resources but big faith and a vision for the whole community. Like the lepers who followed Jesus's instructions and went to the priest to show themselves, they did this without being actually healed. Yet, they walked to the Priest trusting their actions and faith would change their circumstances. The Mission of Hope School is also walking by faith to re-establish the school as an institution of quality education. At the same time, they have a vision to rebuild the dignity of the community that has been eroded due to the wars, Ebola pandemic, poverty, etc. They are working with the community, area chief, clergy, etc. to transform the surrounding area to be a village of hope where each takes on the responsibility of making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality in their village.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Phyllis Byrd
Mission Partners in Kenya:
- All Africa Conference of Churches
- National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
- Organization of African Instituted Churches
- Presbyterian Church of East Africa
- Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa
- St Paul's United Theological College
More information on Kenya: https://www.globalministries.org/kenya
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Kenya:
Phyllis Byrd serves with the Organization of Africa Instituted Churches (OAIC) in Kenya. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts.