A Lenten Update from Liberia Mission
“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” John 5:17
Dear Franciscan Works Supporters and Friends,
Jesus’ words lay it out for us this week. Sometimes we have to hunker down and just work. These last two weeks of Lent at the Mission are about that: studying, praying, fasting, working….lots of “ings.” Here are some updates about what is happening in Liberia:
Our Roofing Project is under way, thanks to a grant from the Ruckstuhl Family Foundation. We are replacing the metal roofing material on St. Martin Hall (our boys dorm), St. Bahkita Hall (our girls dorm), St. Michael the Archangel Church and our junior high school building. This project is providing work for our BWI high school students on weekends. Joe Wes, our maintenance man, led a team of student replacing the elementary school roof a year ago. That project paved the way for us to take on this huge project. The students are great workers and do a fine job under Joe’s tutelage. This project will take some time but will teach skills, provide pocket money, and enhance our campus infrastructure. We are grateful to the Ruckstuhl Family Foundation for making this possible.
The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) tests are an annual event for 9th and 12th graders in the countries of West Africa. You cannot move on to the next grade or college if you do not pass this exam. St. Anthony’s offers extra classes for our 9th graders in the afternoons. Classes began this week. The exams are comprehensive so these refresher courses are very helpful. St. Anthony’s has had a 100% WAEC pass rate for the past 4 years. This is a tremendous track record. The exams are taken over three days, nationwide, in June.
The Friday Stations of the Cross are a tradition throughout the Catholic world during Lent. It is no different in Liberia or on the Mission. Each Friday evening, the students get the pictures of the Stations off the walls of our little church of Saint Michael and place them along a route around the campus. The students gather in front of the church and process saying the stations as they have been prayed for centuries. This practice began during the Moor’s occupation of Jerusalem when pilgrimage could not be made to the Holy City. The tradition continues to call others to walk the way of the cross with our Savior and turn our hearts toward God. Some of the students of the mission opt to walk the station barefoot, others with their regular shoes. It doesn’t matter what the feet are doing, its what your heart and soul are doing and the students know that.
The Piggery Team has put together a flyer that will be emailed to the Expat community in Monrovia. The little notice tells the expat community what we have on sale for the Easter Season. Orders come in and the students do their best to make some money for the mission. This micro-business is sewn into the fabric of the mission. Some students feed, bathe, and care for the animals. Others do the marketing and selling, while still others work in our Butcher Shop. The micro-business teaches valuable skills while providing income to the mission. Your support of the piggery helps us provide seed and investment capital to help the business grow.
On behalf of the students of the mission, I want to thank you for your support. We know you have many places to put your hard earned cash. It sometimes seems like all we get in our email or snail mail are requests for money and many are worthy causes. The choice to help Liberia Mission can be difficult when there are so many good causes right in our own country. But God has somehow sent you a message about this mission and these young people. He has made you aware and your hearts have been moved. We thank Him for you.
Thank you for praying, working, and supporting Liberia Mission.
We send you a Blessing,
Joe Sehnert, Board President
Want to Support Liberia Mission Through Your Lenten Giving?
Join us in connecting your fasting with giving by supporting the piggery of Liberia Mission for only $15 a month. A piggery sponsorship gives our students access to onsite vocational training, which is critical in their development. To learn more, click the button above. Our goal is to add 40 piggery sponsors over the 40 days of Lent, so join us today and tell a friend!