Driven from their homeland up to 22 years ago by a very bloody civil war many Liberians found their way first to the Ivory Coast and then to a safe refuge in Ghana. At the Burubudam Refugee Camp outside of Accra those refugees, who have not already returned to Liberia since the war ended there some years ago, are once again facing difficulties. The UN has announced that their status as refugees will be terminated as of June 30 this year. They will be assisted to return to their homeland but will only be allowed to carry 30 kg (less than 60 pounds) of luggage with them. Considering that some have even lived at the camp for over 20 years they of course have accrued many necessary household items that would be very valuable in starting a new life back in Liberia. In that country their homes and even many family relations have been lost.
On Good Friday Leona and I gathered with our brothers and sisters at the Emmanuel Lutheran Refugee Congregation in Burubudam to listen to their pleas and to pray with them. This church has been affiliated for years with the Apostolic Lutheran Church of Ghana. All of the remaining members of that congregation would need to hire a truck to transport critically needed personal belongings through the Ivory Coast to Liberia before the end of June. As refugees they have no way to raise the $6000 for this transportation - and therefore this is the plea that I promised them I would send out to all of you as soon as possible assuring them that only God can make a way where there is no way.
One of the Liberan refugees, Jeanette, who has been paralyzed since she was 3 years old. She is now 42 and escaped in her wheelchair from the civil war there as a young woman. Here with her 2 sons, a nephew and 2 granddaughters.
And who could better express the hope of the Liberian people than their children - all of these kids were born as refugees, soon to return to the strange country that is their "homeland".
Leona and I have had a very busy and productive time here in Ghana. Not much time to write articles. Many meetings with church leaders and the full Board of the Apostolic Lutheran Church of Ghana. We have also met with Pastor Frank Famiyeh. On Friday we participated in well attended Good Friday services at the Lakeside ALC church and today we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour at the combined Easter communion service of our three churches here at the Gbawe ALC. The crowd was overflowing. On Tuesday we travel to the neighboring country of Togo for five days of meetings and pastors' seminars.
Stay close in Him who is ever close,