April 2012 Newsletter
Work being done on the Trade School
Recently, a stack of letters and artwork has been accumulating at my house, letters and pictures to kids at the mission homes from my four children. We're excited to send an updated family picture to them as well and can't wait to have them delivered when the Mission Team travels to Liberia. Thankfully, with my husband going on the trip, he can personally deliver hugs as well!
Please keep in mind that if you are planning on sending a package or letter to your sponsored child(ren), you need to have it arrive at my home by May 17th so that it can be packed and ready to go. To do this, please fill a 9 x12 manila envelope with letters, pictures, clothing, flip-flops, small toys, non-perishable foods/candies, hair beads, etc. (please, no money, violent toys, or items that will melt) ... and send it to Corrie Luebke ~ 16136 Xingu St. NE ~ Forest Lake, MN 55025. Packages need to be clearly marked with your sponsored child's name, the mission home name (DHCV or Deaf Home), and your name as well. Anything you send will be a very special gift to the child you sponsor, and a unique way to connect with the one you've been praying for!
Please pray for the entire team as they travel from May 24th - June 9th to the area outside Monrovia, Liberia to serve alongside ACFI. The main focus areas will include; putting on a VBS, spending time with the many kids and staff at the two mission homes, getting sponsorship updates, evaluating the homes to determine the needs that are most pressing, maintenance projects, leadership & teacher training, evaluation and continued training for self-sustainability initiatives (i.e. planting Moringa trees and a garden at the Deaf Mission and continuing with the micro-loan program).
Construction on both homes continues, and the team will soon be able to see first-hand the two major projects. First, a roof is being built over an open area at DHCV's school, so the kids have a place to play when it's raining. This is a huge undertaking but will be a major blessing during rainy season. At the trade school on the property of the Deaf Mission, construction continues to go on as well. What an important purpose this will serve when it is finished as the children are given training in tradesand have the ability to make a living in a very difficult place to survive! The funds for both projects are raised outside of the sponsorship program through fundraisers and from individual donors.
Trade School- Liberian scaffolding!!
One of the highest priorities for the mission team when they travel is to get the updated information on each child for our sponsorship records. We work very hard to keep the best records possible so that we can inform you, our sponsors, of any changes as soon as it is possible. The culture of Liberia makes sponsoring a specific child tricky, however. I'd like to take a moment to expound on that to try to help you understand it more fully.
Each of your monthly donations goes into a pool to take care of all of the kids at the mission boarding schools. These funds are used for the basic necessities like food and medical care. Being matched with a particular child, however, allows you to pray and interact with one child as a much needed mentor. I know that for me, this is an important part of feeling connected with the way God leads me to give, instead of simply sending a check and forgetting all about it. So, while you are matched with one child, the funds you provide are used collectively for all the children. This helps to ensure that all the children have what they need, not just the ones fortunate enough to be sponsored.
The roof being built over the courtyard at DHCV
As I stated, we strive to keep records that allow us to pass on to you the most recent information we can get about your sponsored child. However, the fact that many of the children have some family and ACFI tries to get the families to be involved in their kids' lives by having them home on breaks can make it challenging to keep accurate sponsorship updates. Communication is not a value in Liberia so
families will sometimes take their kids home but not bring them back to the mission for months. Sometimes they will send back different children from the family so that those children have an opportunity to get an education and better care for intervals of time.
The team will be taking laptops and cameras and training someone at each home to send updates in between trips, but the reality of the culture is that we often won't know for several months or until we go on a trip that a child is no longer a the mission boarding school. When we do get that information, we will reassign a different child for you to sponsor. You can always rest assured that whoever you are sponsoring, the monthly donation is always being used to take care of the children who are at the boarding schools.
Hopefully, that helps to explain the dynamic of the sponsorship updates! We are just so thankful for your support, whether you sponsor or have been one-time gift givers, and we want you to be confident that your gifts are used with integrity and as a blessing to the children of Liberia! Thank you for being a part of lives across the globe... to the glory of God!