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October 28, 2009

Small Loans can Lead to Big Success in West Africa

Filed under: Business as Mission,Changing Lives,Liberia,West Africa — Tags: , — TimMc @ 6:59 pm

loan

One of the ways that Purposeful Africa is hoping to make a positive impact throughout West Africa is to expose specific needs to people on board our ship who are traveling with us who in turn can provide direct methods for taking care of those needs. One effective way for this to take place is through the use of micro-loans.

As an example of how successful this type of program can be, we found a great example of this happening in Liberia (a country we are scheduled to visit in the fall of 2010). Please visit the Business as Mission Network Website and read the great article entitled “Small-Small Things Make a Big Difference.”

This is just an example of many ways that those people who journey with us to West Africa will be able to make an impact on the poverty that ensnares the multitudes living there. If you are interested in joining Purposeful Africa in the fall of 2010 and being exposed to the many needs there, please feel free to email our founder, Rhonda Sand at Rhonda@PurposefulAfrica.org.

July 6, 2009

Liberia, A Country Profile & Prayer Guide

Filed under: Country Profiles and Prayer Guides,Liberia — TimMc @ 12:57 pm

liberia

After almost two decades of civil war, which claimed over 250,000 lives, Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic and still one of its poorest nations may be on the rebound. In 2006, the country took the bold step of electing the first woman president ever for the continent of Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. With the presence of several thousand UN troops, she has begun the daunting task of rebuilding Liberia. The people are responding well to her leadership and much progress is being made in rebuilding the shattered country.

Liberia is a lush, rainforested country located on West Africa’s southern flank. Visitors will enjoy the opportunity of exploring the sprawling city of Monrovia, relaxing on the beach, or venturing into the pristine wilderness of Sapo National Park. A great description of Liberia in times past can be found in Graham Greene’s “Journey without Maps”, an account of his overland trip across the country in 1935. Of course, it’s not an up-to-date guide-book, the descriptions and the atmosphere of the country it creates – particularly when dealing with the mysterious and jungle-rich interior – make the book a valuable and entertaining introduction for anyone planning to visit Liberia.

A few interesting facts about Monrovia:

  • It has a population of 4.5 million people, with 16 major ethnic groups divided in three language families.
  • English is the official language.
  • 38% literacy rate (was 64% in 1990 prior to civil war)
  • The country has abundant water, plentiful natural resources of iron, diamonds, rubber, timber, etc.
  • Liberia was founded as a Christian state. There continues to be freedom of religion in theory, but in practice there is pressure on Christians to conform to occult secret societies. Religious and denominational figures are mostly estimates due to massive numbers fleeing the civil war.

Specific ways to pray for Liberia:

  • The civil war was a tragedy for Liberia, the country was devastated and the people traumatized. It was also a blight that poisoned much of West Africa, especially Sierra Leone and increasingly Guinea. Its roots lay in deep ethnic hatreds, greed, lust for power, and in a compromised Christianity that gave Satan opportunity.
  • Pray specifically for:
  1. Government and leadership that rejects oppression, institutional violence, and the endemic culture of extortion and corruption.
  2. Reconciliation between the ethnic groups which were involved in fighting, atrocities and massacres – especially the Mandingo and Krahn on one side and the Mano and Gio on the other.
  3. A healing of the terrible physical, psychological, and spiritual wounds of the war – 65% of the population have been, and many are still, refugees. Almost the entire population has either been victims or perpetrators of unspeakable crimes.
  • The rescue of the children of war. Little children were forced to become soldiers. Virtually all 1,400,000 children under 17 have been traumatized, lost their education, and many orphaned. Hunger, violence, homelessness, and drug abuse are widespread. Pray for churches and agencies seeking to repair some of the damage, restore family life, and bring them the gospel.
  • For decades Christians compromised with evil on an alarming scale. Freemasonry imported by the early settlers fused with indigenous tribal secret societies to become a pervasive influence that corrupted and compromised politics and nearly every denomination, whether mainline, evangelical or Pentecostal. During the war, Christians who refused to compromise were persecuted in some areas. Stagnation, failure of the gospel to advance in Liberia’s hinterland, lack of concern for the lost, and spiritual impotence so widespread in the churches are due to condoned sin, witchcraft, alcoholism, and polygamy among ‘Christians’. Pray for the binding of these spiritual forces and for a new day of freedom and power in the Holy Spirit for the Church. (Continue reading…)