MISSIONS IN LIBERIA
Pillar Ministries currently has 24 congregations in Liberia, with individual church membership ranging anywhere from 15 to 65 people.
Pillar Missions is committed to providing quality Christian education for the children of Liberia. Liberia’s children are essential to the continued recovery and rebuilding of the nation, as they are the country’s next generation of leaders. We believe that quality Christian schools will produce quality Christian leaders with a passion for impacting their communities, and in turn their country, with the life-changing love and freedom available in Christ.
Pillar Ministries operates schools in two locations within Liberia: Buchanan and the Po River Beach area. The school in Buchanan consists of both an elementary school and a high school, with a combined total of about 240 students. The Po River school has about 90 students, from kindergarten up through 9th grade.
In recent years, the school in Buchanan has experienced a tremendous growth in its student body, and the current elementary school building is no longer adequate to support the school. Plans are underway to build a new elementary school. To learn more about this project, please visit the Project Buchanan section.
The first Pillar Ministries church in Liberia was established in the 1950’s in the Po River Beach area by John Potee, a native Liberian. By 1963, the church had spread to several other locations within the country. Throughout the 1960’s Pillar Ministries sent various missionaries from both England and the US to assist in the work being done in Liberia.
Due to the political unrest and eventual breakout of war in Liberia in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Pillar Ministries missionaries found it necessary to leave the country for their own safety. As with most of the country, during this time of war many Pillar Ministries congregations were ransacked by rebels and partially destroyed. Equipment such as cars, boats, tools and power generators were either stolen or destroyed.
Currently, Liberia is in the process of recovering from almost two decades of destruction, violence and upheaval that left homes, lives and families shattered. Pillar Ministries churches and schools are once again operating; seeking to provide the people of Liberia with the love, freedom and hope found only in Jesus Christ.
LIBERIA AT A GLANCE
NEWS AND UPDATES
Liberia is currently recovering from almost two decades of political upheaval and civil war. These years were marked by ruthless destruction of life and property, massive population displacement, and a collapse of basic social services. Today under a new government the security situation has improved considerably, but the rebuilding of the country’s infrastructure has only just begun.
Comparative Area: Slightly larger than state of Tennessee
3,334,597 (July 2008 est.)
English (official) 20%, some 20 ethnic group languages
Population below poverty line: 90%
Gross National Income: $140 (third lowest in the world)
Primary School Attendance: 66%
Secondary School Attendance: 17%
Literacy Rate: 57%
Traditional ethnic: 49%, Christian: 38%, Muslim: 13%
January 7 – January 18, 2010 A team of 6 have set off on an 11 day journey to Liberia, Africa. The Group will participate in a Pillar Ministries annual Church Conference where team members will have the opportunity to meet the leaders of 21 Pillar Ministries churches in Liberia. The group also has plans to visit various POF Liberia ministry locations like the 300 pupil Elementary School in Buchanan. They will attend strategic planning meetings in regards to Project Buchanan, a school project which is now in the construction phase of a 200 student High School and they will participate in the laying of concrete blocks in the construction of the new school. The members of the team will serve helping to provide care for the sick in the Christian Extension Ministry Medical Clinic, which serves the people of Buchanan. The team will also visit the original site in River Cess, Liberia where the Pillar Ministries first began its missionary efforts in 1963.
Progress in under way for “Project Buchanan”-the building of a much-needed, new elementary school in Buchanan, Liberia. Currently, Pillar Missions operates an elementary school and a high school in Buchanan, which together have over 200 students. While the high school building has adequate room to house its students (though the building is still largely unfinished and in need of much work), the elementary school is tremendously overcrowded. The new elementary school will itself house upwards of 200 students, allowing for many more children to have access to a Christian education.
Before the civil war broke out in Liberia, the schools were located at the POF Mission in River Cess County (about 60 miles south of Buchanan), but during the war they were forced to move their operations up the coast to Buchanan. Pastor Jacob Tequah, who served for many years as POF General Superintendent in Liberia, actually gave up his home in Buchanan to provide a place for the elementary children to attend school. However, today there is simply not enough room in this house to accommodate all the students.
Despite the overcrowded classrooms, Jacob’s home has had to suffice, since there is not enough land on the current property for another building. As the school has continued to grow, however, the need for a new elementary school building has become increasingly urgent. Over the past few years, plans have been made to secure a location, and blueprints for the new school have been drawn up.
Thanks in large part to the two Freedom Rides, this past August Pillar Missions was able to purchase the land on which the new school will be built! The leadership in Liberia is currently working toward obtaining the deed for the site. This is an exciting first step in providing the children with a building where they have plenty of room to learn, and where even more children can come to hear about Christ!
We are looking ahead to Phase Two of Project Buchanan, which consists of clearing the land, developing road access, and finalizing construction plans. Phase Three, the actual construction of the building, will begin over the course of the next few years, as funds become available.
Why is this project such an important undertaking? We all know the importance of education, but in a country like Liberia, crippled by the devastation of war, with all its carnage and upheaval, education takes on an even more important meaning. Providing children with a place to go to school helps restore a sense of normalcy to their torn-apart lives. Education also gives these children hope for a better and brighter future since statistics have shown that education greatly reduces poverty. Furthermore, at Pillar Missions we firmly believe that a Christian education will produce future Christian leaders who will have the knowledge and tools to impact their communities and countries with the life-changing message of the Gospel.
We will keep you updated on Project Buchanan as it progresses and develops. If you would like more information on how you can get involved in helping Project Buchanan, please contact us at email@example.com.
Thank you to everyone who donated items as part of our Coast to Coast drive! We are getting ready to ship these much-needed supplies to our mission field in Liberia. We have secured a 20 foot shipping container and are preparing to load and ship the container within the upcoming days. The container will arrive in the port of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, in the New Year.
As part of our shipment, we will be sending desks, chairs, textbooks, clothes, computers, and many other donated items to help make daily life just a little bit easier for our Liberian brothers and sisters.
Items we take for granted everyday will go far toward helping the people and school children in Liberia. In our schools, many of the classrooms currently do not have desks or even chairs for the children, so the children must sit on the floor while learning. Textbooks are another rarity in Liberia- many teachers do not even have access to the textbooks they need, much less the students themselves.
While these supplies will not fully outfit all the classrooms or provide all the necessary textbooks, they will provide a wonderful start toward giving our teachers and missions staff the tools they need to change lives, inspire young minds, and share the powerful message of the Gospel.
Thank you again to all who donated!