The Lord made a way for me to meet an amazing man of God doing extraordinary things in the nation of Liberia in a year when Covid-19 made my trip to West Africa not possible.
I have met Pastor Joseph through regular Pastor’s zoom catch ups. He has been a Pastor for 22 years and a pastor of a Promise Faith Centre Churches International in Liberia for 15 years.
I have to admit my understanding of life in Liberia was through the lens of growing up hearing about the atrocities of civil war in Liberia during the '90’s. I had to do some research and get a full understanding of life in Liberia.
Pastor Joseph with his wife & children
While Primary and secondary education is free and compulsory from the ages of 6-16, enforcement of attendance is lax. On average, children attain 10 years of education (11 for boys and 8 for girls). Education in Liberia is hindered by inadequate schools and supplies, as well as a lack of qualified teachers and corruption.
Without urgent action, the situation will likely get worse as the region faces a rising demand for education due to a still-growing school-age population.
Education in Liberia is a priority. This generation of children are being prepared to become adult citizens of tomorrow. The growth is parallel to the future of their country.
Building works at the school compound
As I heard my father, Bishop Barry, honour and endorse Pastor Joseph and the work he is doing, I was moved to hear of Pastor Joseph’s faithfulness to the ministry and that he has not received any resources nor a visit from the PFCCI Australian office – what a faithful servant.
I saw in Pastor Joseph the heart of God for his people. I heard God’s power and justice being stirred. I heard through the work of the ministry God caring for his people - God is the “father to the fatherless, defender of widows”. God cares for those who are socially helpless.
It reminded me that God’s care for people in need comes, not only through divine intentions and divine laws, but also through the people who live according to God’s ways. His care for the vulnerable takes on human form in Pastor Joseph, his family and the church.
Pastor Joseph and his team of teachers are working to ensure that children in their community receive a good quality education and learn the skills they will need to thrive. They are breaking down the barriers to education by helping the poor and vulnerable – including those who have witnessed conflict and disaster – through civil war as well as through the Ebola outbreak – by giving access to early childhood and primary school services.
This work is leading the way in improving literacy and numeracy skills, helping teachers to teach and children to learn. Through this work, the team is supporting out-of-school young people access training in a skill or occupation, so that they can get a job which provides them with enough money to survive. This in turn brings change to not only their community but change to the nation of Liberia.
This is what Pastor Joseph said about the Liberia Promise Faith Centre School System -
“We started the school in September 2012. The aim of the school is to help orphans and single parent students in the Church to prepare for a better future. In 2012, we started with 35 students as an elementary school. To help the community, we introduced tuition free to the community in 2015-2017 to help parents who could not afford to pay their children school fees. In those years, we had 250-315 the second year. In 2018, we introduced tuition and the number of students dropped to 200. As of now, we have 175 students. Of the 175, 50 are orphans are on scholarship. The school is now a full fleshed Junior high school and hopefully, we will be going to senior high next academic school year. Hopefully, we are expecting about 200 - 250 students to attend next academic school year. We will have about 15 teachers next academic school year but now we have 11 teachers.
The school is important for the community for the community for the following reasons:
Video of the compound under further construction, adding further classrooms to meet demand
How can you help?
Currently Pastor Joseph is requiring funds to finish building the school and to replace the roof on one of the school buildings. If you would like to know more about the work of Pastor Joseph in Liberia, please reach out to PFCCI Australia - you really can help change a community and a nation directly.
Connect with Pastor Joseph on Linked-In
Sending a huge shout-out to all the Mother's of the PFCCI!
Today, Sunday 10 May, we wake to a day of celebrating our Mother's.
As I was reflecting on what the bible says about Mum's and what joy women bring to God himself, I thought I would share with you. Where is the Gospel in Proverbs 31? That is a powerful question that has an answer that unfolds in this way: God has shown His love to the world by giving us special women in our lives.
Proverbs 31 teaches us that God blesses the world through women: through the gift of that special woman He blesses husbands. Through the gift of that woman He blesses households (and we could even say, entire economies or markets).
Through the gift of woman He blesses the poor and the needy. This is such a blessing. Without women in the Church where would our mercy ministries be? God has used women in the Church to feed the hungry, clothe the naked. Thank God for our women and our Mothers who saw a need and reached out their hand in God’s name to save a soul.
Through the gift woman He blesses the Church. It says that she teaches. Oh, how I have witnessed this first-hand! From my own experience of Sunday School teachers in my life. To seeing the special women who taught my children in their life, growing up. I thank God for the women in the Church, ministry consists of those women who faithfully teach, teach the children, teach other women, teach in the community, teach in schools. We thank God for our women today who have served our churches and our communities through teaching.
Through the gift of woman He blesses Children. The covenant of God’s grace was as important then as it is now. Mothers play a critical part of the continuation of the faith by inculcating the children in faith in God so that the children grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Of course, this is what Mothers’ Day is all about. Children are blessed. Mum’s I encourage you, you are overseeing the training and development of the next generation of leaders of your nation.
Through the gift of that woman He blesses other women. This is a woman among women, a model to others. Through the gift of that special woman He blesses Mankind. Today we as Christians separate from the world’s picture of womankind.In some cultures, a woman is hidden by the burka. In other cultures, she is hidden by shame. In others, she is veiled in false and unrealistic expectations. But, we who read her story in the Bible refuse to see women as anything other than the gift of God, the last created.
She is mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend. She is a child of God. That is her identity.
Today, as you think of your mother, your wife, or another woman in your life who nurtured you, raised you, helped you, taught you, cared for you, or shared the gospel with you, remember that this woman was a gift of God to show you His love. And the greatest way we can honour our mothers today, or any day, is to honour God, by following that One that woman brought forth: Jesus of Nazareth, as Lord and Saviour of our lives.
And ladies, young women, and my daughters in faith: remember that your identity is not in an unrealistic standard made by anything or anyone in this world. Your identity is as a precious daughter of the Father who sent His only begotten Son to fulfill the perfection that you couldn’t fulfill and to suffer and die and rise again from the dead for your sin. He has removed your shame and replaced it with honour.
This is the gospel in this passage and the gospel for this day.
Happy Mother’s Day! Blessings and honour be poured out on you, your house hold and your ministry.
~ Annita Irving - PFCCI Australia