On August 14,2016 the Lutheran Hour Ministries Liberia conducted the first of three ETS this month. The ETS was held in Siafa Town in Banjor, the suburb of Monrovia . The inhabitants of this community are mostly Liberian who took refuge in Sierra Leone as a result of the Liberian Civil crisis. Since their return from exile, most of them have not been able to go back to their homes, but have remained in the suburb of Monrovia.
Most of the inhabitants of Siafa Town have deep roots in Islams, their ancestors are Muslims. Even though, some of them are now Christianized and are attending the Holy Ghost Evangelical Lutheran church and other churches in the area, Islam still has a strong presence among them. For instance, some homes will have about three Christians and two Muslims all from the same family. A father will have two of his sons who are Christians and another two Muslims or an aunt is Muslim and lives with her two nieces who are Christians. The interesting thing is that they have been able to live together.
Our mission was to encourage the Muslims family members to learn about the belief of their christian relatives by asking each Christian attending the ETS to bring along his /her Muslim relations to study the Bible together. It was a good thing to see.
We know that the seed we have planted in them will germinate by the power of the Holy spirit.
Dr. Sankawolo Commissions some of the participants at the ETS
Gladly reading the Word of God
ETS teaching session at Siafa Town in Banjor
The Lutheran Hour Ministries Liberia has been for some time contemplating on strategies to engage the Muslim community in Liberia with her programs. Even though a couple of Muslims have been involved with our activities in various schools and with the BCC, this was our first calculated attempt to intentionally make an entry into the Muslim community. How could we begin, other than cultivating friendship between them and the Ministry center.
The Iron Factory and Chocolate City communities on the Somalia Drive have huge Muslim population and in our quest to reach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Muslim community in Liberia, we decided to engage them with our activities. Several Muslim homes were visited and they welcome us into their homes and listened carefully to what the volunteers had to tell them about the Good News of Jesus Christ. They were eager to know more about a Christian outreach group that was happy to work with Muslims. A lot of them signed up for the BCC, but they would be very fast to tell you, I want to do the course but I don’t go to church. We told them that is fine with us, you can do the course. We are very hopeful that while studying the BCC some might just get converted. We plan to invite them to other LHM activities. As we interact more, the Holy spirit will certainly do His work.
Our entry had a priority: “Make disciples.” We decided not to carry religion to them. The volunteers shared the love of Christ with them, asked about their well being, their children, school, the economy and encouraged them that everything will be ok.
Surprisingly, the team was not rejected in any home. Everyone was receptive. As we intend to engage them often, we pray that the words of God will take root into their hearts so that they can know the true God.
Many at times when young people are asked why they do not read the Bible regularly; their excuses usually sound somewhat like this:
- It is too boring
- I am trying to start reading it
- I don’t understand it and it make me fall asleep
- I don’t have the time
These are familiar rights? Of course, especially when you are bringing up children and teens. They are usually honest with their response. All teens or younger ones can relate to the struggle of spending time in the Word. Some teens read their Bible on a regular basis, but it is not because they choose to read it themselves. Some children read the Bible because it is required during their Bible class at school.
When children are taught to read the Bible from an early stage, they can grow into teens and adult who would read the Bible voluntarily. Reading the Bible can be much like reading many exciting letters from God.
The Lutheran Hour Ministries Liberia has kicked off a Bible reading class for Sunday school children at the UHP Evangelical Lutheran Church. This project, the Ministry center hopes will cultivate the culture of Bible reading in the young ones. The ages of the class members range from 5years to 11 years.
There are a lot of benefits that children can get from Bible reading.
- It makes them feel good and gives them more understanding about God
- It strengthens and encourages them
- It gives them hope and helps them understand why God does things.
Talking about specific verses in the Bible with your children can help them apply God’s words in their lives.
God has given us the honor to be stewards of His manifold gifts. The creation of God was left to man to tend and as we live day by day, it is our responsibility to take a good care of the things God has given us.
Many at times when we think of what God has left to us; we are quick to consider money, material possessions and at time the physical geography. But we need to also understand that God has given us our fellow human beings to care for. we need to care for their relationship with God (their salvation). In the course of Jesus’ ministry, he taught His disciples through a parable to extend an invitation for everyone to come and sit at a banquet feast in the kingdom of god. “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke14:23).
As we conducted the ETS, it was evident that people’s knowledge on stewardship was restricted to certain areas. Availing oneself for use by God to bring people to His kingdom is fulfilling your duty as a steward.
As we manage God’s creation, we need to convey God’s love and forgiveness in inviting our fellow man to share in the Kingdom of God. As stewards we need to continually insist and invite them to share in Jesus love and forgiveness. Let us travel the highways and byways to meet people and share with them the love of Jesus Christ. Remember, God’s kingdom is for all people. Compel them to come in. It is our responsibility as stewards that are left to tend the vineyard.
The Lutheran Hour Ministries opened a Ministry center in Liberia in mid 2013 known as the Lutheran Hour Ministries Liberia. The reason behind the establishment of the center was, like its parent body(The Lutheran Hour Ministries International), to spread the Word of God through Culturally relevant programs and activities that would meet the needs of people that have been unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Staff at the young Ministry center have over the years put their feet to the ground to make sure that the goals of the parent body would be met.The spirit of God has indeed been with His work in Liberia. From Evangelism Training Seminars, Rural Outreaches, Community service, Bible correspondence Courses, Radio broadcast , to the proclamation of the Good News via the Internet and Social Media, the word of God has been reaching out to millions through these activities. A seed that was planted in June of 2013 has taken root.
since the Establishment of the Ministry center in Liberia, LHM Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East came for the first time to see how the seed was doing. During his visit, he had the opportunity to meet with staff and volunteers at the center, meet with beneficiaries of programs run at the Ministry center and visited an agriculture project initiated by the Ministry center for Elderly people under its additional proclamation(Village Elder project). During his visit, he told the Ministry center that the seed that was planted has taken root.
Director Eric W. Gates has patiently nursed and shown love to the Ministry center like Paul did with the Church of Corinth. He was committed to their health and well-being as a growing, positive Church. Paul’s vision was to build up the Corinthian Church. That is exactly what the Regional Director has shown to this Ministry Center.
” Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you”(Mark 5:19).
Moses Garmondeh, 79 years old came to explain to an LHM volunter how the “Village Elder Project” had helped him realize that he needs to tell of God’s goodness. Something he had overlooked over the years. Even though, everything has not been rosy, but God has been a good God and he needed to focus on the positives in his life.
Additional Proclamation Margibi County
Village Elder Project Grand Bassa County
Lofa County, Village Elder project
Village elder Project Bong conty
Village elder Project, Bong County
His actions and sayings just reminds all of us of the Gadarene Demoniac. In Gadara, the demon hunted the villagers. upon seeing Jesus, the Gadarene demoniac bowed down and worshiped Him. The demons within the man asked Jesus to leave him alone. But Jesus commanded the demons out of the man and into the pigs.
The people from the region had two choices for response to Jesus miracle: to be excited that Jesus healed the man; or to be deeply disturbed that Jesus destroyed their main source of income. The people chose to look at what they had lost, not what Jesus had given them. They did not see the valuable healing of a human being,but the loss of some pigs, they focused on the negative, not the positive. They did not understand that the God who healed the demon possessed could have provided all their needs if they only asked.
.The man wanted to follow Jesus, but the Lord told him,”Go home to your friends and tell them what great things God has done for you”. so the healed man went throughout the town telling what Jesus had done.
In every situation in our live, we have the opportunity to look at the positive or the negative. We must always learn to focus on the positive. Look at what Jesus has given you. In all aspect of life, look at what you have left, not what you have lost!
“I have asked myself several times why the LCMS cross is the way it is, but sometimes I’ll tell myself it just a design, no need to ask any one”. Pastor Peter Kesselly, a rural pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran church told our volunteers after the explanation of the Luther rose and the LCMS Cross. He personally asked the volunteers to give him the very copies they used at the convention.
There are a lot of people who associate themselves with these two important symbols of the church, but do not fully understand their meanings. The LCMS cross for instance is new to many unlike the Luther Seal.
The LCMS logo is three crosses in one. It declares that “we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.” The open arms point upward toward God in prayer and openly receive God’s grace. The lower arms point down, as if open to embrace the world with God’s love. The 12 individual parts of the logo cross remind us of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles. The four arms appear to be in motion, as we urgently tell the world what God’s love in Jesus Christ means to us and, uniquely, as Missouri Synod Lutherans.