The Missions Team of the NC Conference of the UMC asks congregations to focus attention on one country where needs are great and where a concerted effort can make a difference. Love for Liberia campaign is an effort to respond to the needs of the people of Liberia—working with the Liberia Annual Conference. The Team encourages each local church to see the needs and to respond as best the church can. Working together—child to child, church to church, Annual Conference to Annual Conference—we can make a difference.
We wish to highlight the work of Liberian United Methodists who are the hands and feet of Jesus in a country that has been ravaged by war and which as a result has had struggles in re-building its society. The efforts of our Annual Conference are channeled to help children and women who are the real victims to recover and to rebuild hope. The Missions Team builds upon the work of many NC United Methodists who have been involved with the people of that country for some time.
One area where the Missions Team highlights the work that is being done is Ganta United Methodist Mission Station. Ganta is a village in the north of Liberia in the Nimba District. Many United
Methodists from the North Carolina Conference are familiar with the overall work at Ganta as it has been a focus of United Methodist Women and others for several generations. The Ganta Mission School was established in 1926 by two Methodist Missionaries—Dr. George Harley and his wife Winifred. The Harleys worked with the Liberian people to establish a medical mission building which included the establishment of a dispensary, a hospital, a clinic, a laboratory, a leprosarium, workshops [mechanical, electrical, saw-mill] farming and agricultural projects, and a church. They also established the first Methodist school in the region. This mission station over the years has ministered primarily to the poor and has offered to the people of Nimba County medical assistance, education, and hope—even in the midst of great odds.
During the Liberian civil wars, many of the buildings at Ganta were simply burnt out—and yet the medical clinic stayed open to a certain degree and offered medical care even to the very persons who helped destroy the hospital in the first place. As a tenuous peace has returned to Ganta, many several different medical clinics have been revived and a new hospital building is under construction. A nursing school is in its infancy. And several agencies, including Curamericas, has set up ministries in that area to assist in offering medical care to a large geographical area.
After the last war ended, Hubert and Mary Zigbuo, United Methodist missionaries supported by our Annual Conference, were appointed to help Ganta Mission recover. The hospital and school buildings were rebuilt and refurnished in large measure from donations that came from the NC Conference and other places from throughout the United Methodist Church. The Zigbuos and now Dr. Victor Taryor have the Ganta Hospital on a firm footing for continued growth. However, there are real needs in the nursing school—place which trains nurses who will be doing much of the primary medical work in that region.
After the last war, the school was also re-opened at Ganta. As a “church-supported” school, students and families pay a small tuition payment so that the children can attend. Those payments from families are not enough to keep the teachers and administrator adequately paid and so over the years, Operation Classroom has helped to supplement those tuition payments with donations from the US. In addition to those monetary donations, numerous containers of school supplies have been sent over the years—including a number of containers from the Wilmington District through its “Get on the Bus” Campaigns.
One ministry we wish to support is the nursing school and the elementary school at Ganta to help them take steps towards long-term sustainability.
Be in prayer for Liberia. Look for ways to be involved. Together we can make a difference.