, August 13, we were able to gather together after 11am Worship Service to heart from Reverend Robert Sieh (Director #BJCCV) and wife, Margretta. gratitude, Our prayer is that the following will provide a little insight into how powerful what you have done and continue to do for the children has “great impact”.
A few years ago, the Liberia Team adopted the acronym “HIM” = Hope, Instruction, Meals – – we want to represent Jesus Christ (HIM) to the children of the Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village. Your prayers, letters, supplies give “Hope”, and your sponsorship provides K-12th grade education (“Instruction”) and food for two “Meals” a day.
Sandy gave a brief recap from our recent visit to the Bishop Ju
dith Craig Children’s Village (BJCCV) this past July. Because of your generosity, we were able to the love on the children, house mothers, and admin staff well! This is an overview of what we were able to do:
- Distributed the donated supplies
- Gave your letters to the children
- Cleaned up the village campus
- VBS with the theme of “Jesus loves me and you, so how do we, in turn, show that love to others?”
- Time spent with house mothers
- Met with Bishop Samuel Quire of the Liberia Annual Conference (Bishop Quire was also the first director of BJCCV)
- Met with the pastor of the UMC women’s dormitory preparing to open soon in Monrovia
- Visited vocational school to see how the children who graduated last year from the village are doing in their classes
- Took the only graduate from the village this year to tour a university where she plans to pursue nursing
- Played, played and played some more with the children!
The highlight of our gathering on Sunday, August 13 was being able to spend time with and hear from Rev. and Mrs. Sieh. First, Rev. Sieh expressed heartfelt gratitude & appreciation for all for the support PTCUMC has provided to BJCCV! He gave an update on the children and shared his vision for the future of the children of the village. Through your H2H sponsorship, PTCUMC provides meals and school tuition for each child at BJCCV. In 2014 The treasurer of the Liberia Annual Conference stole all the money and moved out of country, resulting in the village staff and house mothers not being paid for a full year. Had it not been for your support, the children and staff would have had no food. Rev. Sieh said the stomach is in the middle of the body and holds the body up – he said in PTCUMC feeding the children, we held the village up. What a sobering and profound analogy. He referenced James 1: 27, ‘Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.’
There are currently 69 children living in the village. Some of these children have no parents (how Americans would view a “true” orphan), some children have only one parent still living and others have both parents living but the family cannot support the child. There are 19 cottages on the BJCCV campus. Nine cottages are housing for the children with a house mother to each cottage. One cottage is utilized for administration offices, one for a kindergarten classroom and one for a mini medical clinic – for a total of 12 cottages currently being occupied. Food is prepared twice daily by each house mother, who in turn teaches the older girls in the cottage how to cook and prepare meals. Liberians eat two meals a day, unlike our three meal a day schedule. Rice is a food staple in Liberia but is very costly because it is imported.
The children attend the Harriett E. Bailey school on the BJCCV campus for classes Kindergarten through 12th grade. There have been 33 high school graduates and one university graduate, with 18 attending various universities and 8currently attending vocational schools. The children have morning and evening devotions, with the children taking turns in leading these each day. On Sundays, the children attend the Duazon United Methodist Church, also located on the BJCCV campus.
Rev. Sieh said there are five pressing needs for the village: 1) electricity, 2) running water, 3) transportation (an 18-22 seater vehicle), 4) protection (concrete fence to surround the village for safety), and 5) an endowment fund for the future. Rev. and Mrs. Sieh have been in the States since the beginning of June visiting various churches in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. He has been able to obtain partnerships through some of his visits to provide funding for a vehicle, the fence, water and beginning the endowment fund. A UMC in Norway sent solar panels while the Sieh’s have been in the States. This church from Norway will provide workers to install the panels, and then train the staff at the village on care and repair of the solar panels.
Rev. Sieh wanted our church to know that we are making a “great impact” on the lives of the children at the Village. In closing Mrs. Sieh said “The love of Christ goes around the world and the Love of Christ keeps us together.” #Heart2Heartliberia #BJCCV
Blessings to you all,