Our Initial Visit to Liberia

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My wife, Alice, and I left Tromso, Norway, June 20, 2016 at about 7:45 p.m. for Liberia, spent a night in Oslo and took off the 21st to Istanbul, Turkey where we spent five hours awaiting next flight to Liberia. We departed 1:45 p.m. and arrived at Roberts International Aiport at the hour of 7:45 p.m. admidst heavy rain which meant for us a shower of blessings welcoming us home after living in exile for 26 consecutive years. The objective of our visit was to launch Martha E. Ramsey Memorial Academy, Inc., our NGO, in Liberia after registering her there. It rained all day on the 22nd of June therefore we remained at home.

On the 23rd day of June, we took a lightning trip to Chief Johnny Cole Town by escort of Mr. Albert Tuokolon, our representative in Liberia, to inspect the site in preparation for my wife’s Birthday and Official Launching of NGO which fell on July 1st and 2nd, 2016 respectively. We decided to use Alice’s Birthday as first day of feeding the kids since it coincided with our second visit and having the two days one after the other will mark them as special occasions in the lives of the kids who may not have had any fitting meal for those two days. We had enough food to entertain them, clothes, shoes and ballons to distribute, games to play and special Kpelle Gospel music reserve to lighten hearts in both days. For most of them, this will perhaps be the first fun festival in their lives.

Although Chief Johnny Cole Town is about two and half hours drive at the average speed of 50 miles per hour from Monrovia, it is sad that over 350 children (most of them orphans and abandoned) are destitute of food, clothing, shelter, health facilities, education, etc. They do not attend school because there is none, the nearest public school being about ten to fifteen miles away, a distance they cannot afford on foot each school day at their tender ages.

As soon as we arrive, Alice remembered seeing the village in her dream. “I saw this place in my dream, for the Lord had shown it to me. I remember seeing this house the community donated to be used for a clinic, and do remember this little hill on which we are standing,” Alice said.

We were met on arrival by Chief Johnny Cole, the Town Chief of the Village, Head of Women Organization of the village, men, women and a number of children, some almost naked while others were completely in the birthday suits, or naked. They greeted us warmly and led us to a single mud dubbed house with an area of about 15 feet long and 13feet wide to conduct a Thanksgiving Service for our safe arrival. After they sang few Kpelle songs including a chorus, “The Lord will bless someone today” in English, the local Pastor of the Church said the opening prayer after which we were formally introduced. Chief Johnny Cole, owner of the Village welcomed us and said that he was happy that we came to help children of his village and instructed his son who, in reality is now the Town Chief on account of his declining age, will take us around to inspect the house they donated for clinic, the office we can use until we build ours and the 40 acres of land he had personally donated. Thereafter, the head of the women organization on behalf of the Town Chief and residents of the village, presented us a traditional cola nuts with rice and water as symbol of purity of hearts in receiving us. We then responded to their welcome remarks by telling them our Mission: “We are here to first and foremost to care for orphans and abandoned children. We shall also feed, cloth, house, educate, including religious education because the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverb 22:8). We shall also teach them the dignity of labor to enable them self-sustainable when they become adults.” We then had the closing prayers, poised for pictures outside of the church building and returned to Monrovia.