Liberia Snapshots, 6/24/16
It's raining, raining, raining here! We're told the rainiest months are September and October, so I guess Liberia doesn't want us to leave without giving us a taste of the real rainy season.
We are beginning the process of packing up with many decisions to be made about what to leave and what to bring home. We hope to send some luggage to Monrovia before we go on the 5th in a taxi. Peace Corps will be here and can take them there on one their trips. My school is finished. Jim will be helping to grade the final exam for the student teachers this week. Becky, our program director, has let me help with a couple presentations to the new Volunteers for their training, which has made me feel useful during this down time. The new group is full of energy and enthusiasm. The training is rigorous. As usual, Peace Corps Liberia staff is providing a great beginning to their service.
Now for a couple snapshots:
Remember Rebecca? Here's her with her new son, and the other young man is her son, too. This week she is taking the national test for her high school diploma.
Tea shops and restaurants. What is referred to here as a tea shop, is a place to gather and have a beverage, get an egg sandwich, and watch a TV showing videos (sci fi warrior flicks seem especially popular). Some serve soup and one we go to has grilled goat which is small chunks. The one near us that we buy bread from often has men 3 deep watching something on TV. 99% of the patrons are men. In the photo, the middle blue shop with all the men around it is a Tea Shop.
A restaurant not too far from us, Hada's, is a good place to get Liberian soup (any meat and vegetable sauce over rice. Always rice, and great heaps of it.). You go in if the sign is out: Food is Ready. You have one choice, for example palm butter soup, cassava green soup, peanut soup. The portions are large. Jim and I can easily split one order and both of us are full. Price: 200 LD. And a bag of cold water comes with it. Sometimes we just go for a soft drink. Since it's up on a porch and the main road is in front, it's a great place to people watch and see the world go by.
Thanks to all of you for reading this over the last 6 months. We've loved your support, comments, and appreciate you all!
Jim and Lynn
A Five-For-Five Church!
A five-for-five church? What does that mean? We learned about being a five-for-five church last Sunday which was BOCO Sunday. Five-For-Five means that Lake Edge UCC gives, on a yearly basis, to five mission offerings. How do we do this? We give thru our church budget to OCWM…Our Churches Wider Mission which supports the work of our conference and national office.Then we give collectively four times a year to the UCC special mission offerings.
These offerings are:
One Great Hour of Sharing which supports our international partners, funding disaster relief, helping with health, education and agricultural relief and the refugee ministries. Received on the fourth Sunday of Lent
Strengthen The Church: funds the Still Speaking ministry, church growth, pastoral and lay leadership development and helps with youth and young adult ministries. Received on Pentecost Sunday.
Neighbors In Need supports the American Indian Ministry, while the rest supports a wide variety of justice and advocacy efforts. Direct Service Projects within the local church can request and receive grants. Received on World Communion Sunday.
The Christmas Fund helps provide pensions and health premium supplements to low income, retired church workers, emergency assistance to church families in need and Christmas thank you checks to hundreds. Received the Sunday before Christmas.
Because Lake Edge is a part of the larger UCC church and gives collectively to the five church missions, we are considered a five-for-five church. If you look on the BOCO bulletin board, you will notice the large thank you we have received from the national office. Our adults and youth who have attended the UCC national conventions are very proud that Lake Edge has been recognized as a five-for-five church. And as we give to each of these missions, we as a church community can also feel proud. Thank you to each member of Lake Edge. y, you will find an envelope in the church bulletin. Use that envelope to give to one of the four special missions of the UCC church.
The last few years we have participated in Bread for the World letter writing campaigns. We signed letters asking Congress to pass legislation to protect and increase funding for child nutrition programs, global nutrition programs, poverty –focused development assistance and other legislation to preserve and protect food related programs both nationally and globally.
Bread for the World recently sent us information describing their successes.
2015 successes include:
Key provisions of the earned income and child tax credits became permanent. This is a victory for low-income workers and will prevent 16 million people-including 8 million children from falling into or deeper into poverty
Increase of $1.1 billion in poverty-focused development assistance
$10 million increase in funding for global nutrition programs.
Halted passage of a provision in that would have taken away $75 million of food-aid funds and reduced the reach for food-aid programs by 2 million people annually
We should be proud of our support for Bread for the World and its advocacy of programs to preserve and increase funding and programs that provide food and nutrition and development assistance for poor and low income individuals and families.
This is one example of the type of involvement our congregation would have as an economic covenant church.
This blog is an accumulative effort of the many minds, hearts, and talents of Lake Edge United Church of Christ.