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  • $40 per month will provide food and care for one orphan.



     

    March/April Newsletter

    03/23/2016



    Edward, a student at the Daniel Hoover Children's Village, receiving his package

    "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17

    A big thank you to all the sponsors who were able to send a sponsorship package gifts to their child(ren) at the mission homes recently! They arrived safely and most of the children received their packages right away and were truly thrilled to get such a treasured gift from someone who is praying for them. There were a handful of kids who were away from the mission when the packages arrived, and who will get them as soon as they return. The photo included is of one student getting his package… I remember this young man when he was just a little boy – he has grown and changed so much in the last years!

    Presently, the 9th and 12th grade students are preparing for the national exams that are to be administered in May of this year. Gardening initiatives have stopped for now at both homes, but will likely resume during the rainy season when the soil is saturated and excellent for growing cassava, vegetables and Moringa trees – all wonderful supplements to the children’s nutritional needs.


    My husband Jason with Jennifer, one of our sponsored children at the Deaf Mission

    We'd like to communicate with you about the difficulty of getting detailed news from Liberia, including the whereabouts of some of the children who move from the mission schools to sometimes stay with family members for periods of time.  We know this can be confusing to sponsors.

    Liberia is just vastly different than America. Cultural aspects impact that, of course, but so has the civil war, and most recently, the Ebola outbreak has shaken the state of things just as post-war improvements had seemed promising. The fact that mission homes are needed at all is a by-product of long years of civil war. That conflict only ended in 2003, and it left many children alone in a war-torn country with a decimated infrastructure. Ed Kofi, the Liberian founder of ACFI ministry, worked hard to open a mission to care for orphaned children. The Lord allowed that mission to remain open and to care for many children who had no place else to go during that time. Since then, Liberia has struggled to regain structure and to begin to rebuild. Great strides have been made, and yet, as of 2015, it was still consistently listed as the 4th or 5th poorest nation in the world. There are few resources and even fewer educational opportunities, so it has been an extremely slow process.  Still today, even the capital city of Monrovia is largely without electricity or running water.

    Over time, the children at the mission homes have grown and left, and new children have come. Now, though some are still true orphans, more often the current children tend to have some family members, but are brought to the mission for a chance to be educated and cared for by a Christian organization in an affordable manner. Years ago, the Liberian government stated that organizations that cared for children could not board children unless they were registered as schools… and as schools, they were required to send children away for summer breaks in order to be allowed to stay open. When these transitions happen, it is inevitable that some children do not return, and that other children sometimes come in their places. 

     As we are half a world away, this makes it very difficult to keep track of the changes in the student body. Record-keeping and organization are just not priorities in third-world nations, and the skills to do these tasks are not typically taught. Unlike very large sponsorship programs that have paid staff on the ground to organize and communicate with the US from the many locations they serve, this small sponsorship program is a simple grass-roots effort to raise funds and prayer support for this little spot in Liberia where a need exists. When there were teams traveling to Liberia on a more regular basis (usually every other year), team members were able to get organized once there in person, take account of all the children, and have a much more updated list of students, as well as get current pictures and personal letters for the sponsors from their children. With the outbreak of Ebola last year, no one could travel to complete these tasks, and communication has suffered.

    You may ask, “What if my sponsored child is no longer attending the school?” When we ascertain that a child is no longer attending the mission school, the Sponsorship Coordinator (Tori Shelton) sends notice to the child’s sponsor and notifies them that their sponsorship has been switched to another child. We understand that as sponsors, you have invested in the child by supporting and praying, and know that to suddenly switch sponsorships is difficult. Our desire though, is that many children might know the joy of having someone care about them and pray for them – so if one child is unavailable, our hope is that you can shower another child with that same care, and certainly that you might continue to pray for your original sponsored child wherever they may be in life. The monetary support from all sponsorships is shared among all the children, so in that aspect, nothing changes.

    We hope to see another team assemble and be able to travel to Liberia in the near future, as it fosters the relationships with our brothers and sisters in Liberia, and gives us an opportunity to love and invest in the children. This really is something the Lord must put together, as it requires a commitment and large amounts of time and resources to prepare and travel. If you or someone you know has any interest in being involved with a future mission trip to Liberia, please just send a quick e-mail to sponsor (at) africanchildsponsorship.com to let Tori know of your interest. If it looks as if a trip may become possible, she will have the contact information for those of you who may like to join in that effort.


    We are so grateful for your continued support for the children who are impacted by it! It is our prayer that we keep closely connected with our Liberian friends, and that we might be able to continue to come alongside of their ministry to assist them as they care for children.

    With JOY,
    Corrie Luebke

    [Posted: 03/23/2016]


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