Colin Yee spontaneously volunteered at Liberia Mission Inc. in May after violence in Zwedru forced him out of his original place of service. The mission staff and children enjoyed the surprise visitor, who reminisces about his experience below:
Volunteering at Liberia Mission, Inc. began as nothing more than an accident. I had the fullest intentions of staying only one night at LMI before making the journey to Southeast Liberia the next morning to carry out the rest of my six weeks in Liberia with a health NGO in rural Zwedru. I never thought that I would be traveling back to Monrovia just two weeks later, especially amid concerns over security in Zwedru. On the drive back to Monrovia, I was unhappy with the idea of staying in Monrovia for an indefinite amount of time–until the security situation improved in Zwedru. I was disappointed and frustrated, to say the least.
All of that changed as we returned, yet again, to LMI. Handshakes, hugs, and smiles of “welcome back!” from the children forced all of the disappointment and frustration out of my mind.
Over the week that I spent at LMI, I was able to see more of the structures and programs and meet more of the staff and children there. Learning more about LMI was great, and meeting the incredible staff and wonderful children has made my experience here in Liberia even more gratifying.
Before coming to Liberia, I had never heard of Liberia Mission, Inc., and didn’t even have a clear idea of what a “mission” was, so this impromptu, weeklong volunteering experience was my crash-course. I did not know what to expect from staying at a mission, but I left awed by the way that LMI fosters the personal and professional development of the children, while also providing an open, fun, and safe community for the children. When the kids weren’t studying for their final exams, I would join them in their games or their work time. With some guidance from LMI staff, the kids were making great progress with the formation of a game field. The level of creativity, perseverance, and general work ethic of these young adults was astounding.
I am not a religious person by any means, but from my weeklong stay at Liberia Mission, Inc., I can honestly say that I could really see something special was happening there. From the bright smiles, warm hugs, and amazing brightness of each of the kids there, I could tell that those children are well on their way to becoming leaders within Liberia’s mission of building back better.