The trip begins here. \240 \240The mission is to help kids in Liberia get their lives together after high school so they can go on to vocational training or college and not wind up back on the street or in the bush. \240Watch the video look at the pictures, learn and join us in this mission. Www.CLTInternational.org
Prepping for my visit and reading Dr. Buor’s 1st book called No More War about his journey from Liberia to the USA and back again to help his country and fulfill God’s calling in his life. \240
Boarding at JFK New York \240on Saturday evening at 10pm and arriving Sunday to Amsterdam about 11:30 Sunday morning. Then to Lungi airport in Sierra Leone followed by Roberts in Monrovia at about 11pm. See you in the morning.
Sunday morning in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It’s 11:30 local time after 7 hour flight from New York ... \240next flight is to Freetown Lungi airport in Sierra Leone at 2:30. \240See you there.
What’s it all about? Serving God by helping others. Www.CLTInternational.org
After 7 hour flight from Amsterdam...Quick stop at Freetown, Sierra Leone, AFRICA and then on to Monrovia
Landed in Monrovia. \240Great hospitality and people ... really ever since I left the USA and the Africans in the waiting area and on the plane are all so nice. \240They are all very interested in our work at www.cltinternational.org
Tomorrow we meet at the US Embassy in Monrovia with Paul Hinshaw the Public Affairs Officer and others to familiarize them with the project.
Sei and Yah picked me up at the airport and I am at a hotel now until the morning.
My comments after 30 hours on the road :)
Left to right Yah Buir, James Massally (US Embassy Education Advisor) , Sei Buor, and Paul Hinshaw (Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy) in presentation about our CLTI College Prep High School Project
Dr. Buor and wife, Yah, presenting his two books for the US Enbassy library in Monrovia to Belgian Dobo O’diaji, Director of American Center Monrovia.
Working the halls of the Liberian National Congress. \240Everyone knows Dr. Sei and Yah!
Arrived in Gompa / Ganta City at Sei & Yah’s beautiful home around 7pm. They have set it up for hospitality and frequently have multiple guests. On the long ride from Monrovia we stopped at many roadside markets and bought fresh fruit and vegetables PLUS we had the opportunity to minister to and encourage many people about living for Jesus and getting a good education. \240These are the nicest people in the world.
Learn more at www.cltinternational.org
At the city center, networking at the Barbershop with Sei, Chestin Polay (project manager), and Jay Skinner (me)
Getting help from Jungle Energy Power to hang sign / banner in city center
Mayor Amos and Sei talk about the new banner... \240he is a graduate of the LICC College that Sei started. \240We will have our official meeting and lunch on Thursday.
And tomorrow I am going from business to business personally inviting everyone to the ground breaking and telling them about the new school project. \240Www.CLTInternational.org
Preparing the site for groundbreaking - today is payday
This is a tour of the property and things happening on and around it
Bricks bricks and more bricks — Americans call them concrete blocks
The whole clean sand “harvesting process” needed to make cement blocks. Goes from mud to clean sand.
Panoramic view of sand processing area. \240Each pit becomes full of water and they make another... these terraced pits will one day be part of the “Aquaponics” System to raise fish for market and hydroponic vegetables. \240Ways to become self sustaining financially.
Besides making bricks / cement blocks on the property there is activity surrounding it as local villagers on the edge of the property take advantage if the development to contribute to the effort and make some money. \240Everything is in walking distance.
Chestin Polay, project manager is making it all happen and coordinating all the construction activities along with support services like food and water for the workers.
Team meeting at site.... making plans to locate speaker stage and accommodate the attendees.
Explaining and negotiating
We started today (Wednesday) by visiting the college that Dr. Buor co-founded a number of years ago. \240We visited with the current President and toured the campus including the agricultural area that had wildlife, growing areas, and fish ponds.
Dr. Nuwoe-James Kiamu, President of Liberia International Christian College (LICC) (left) and Dr. Sei Buor, former president and co-founder (right)
Outside seminar by a visiting pastor from Indiana
Old friends and staff at LICC
We arranged a public service announcement and interview with Dr. Buor and Jay Skinner (me) that will be airing multiple times between Wednesday night and Saturday morning to help grow the crowds and public awareness of our project.
It worked, on Thursday there was much talk about our interviews and people mentioned it wherever we we went.
The public service announcement airs immediately on one of the two radio stations we visited. \240Radio is the primary form of community news dissemination. There is no local TV.
Checking progress at the High School site
Visited E & J Medical Center and CLTI supporter Dr. Peter George at the medical center
Dr Buor and Dr. Peter George who manages this hospital / clinic
Then back home and Chestin Polay came by with a hired cycle so we can go door to door downtown inviting people ... especially the shop owners. 100 flyers and many conversations to raise public awareness.
Check out the live ride here.
Then meeting and inviting many
Check the site one more time for progress.... it is looking good.
Jay cutting stumps with a machete’ on the speakers podium.
Yes, these workers eat too.
What has to be a miracle - heavy metal signs loaded by hand in a big truck and transported to the property.
Take a break and visit local medical center and Methodist Hospital
Nurses stations are the same all over the world.
How about a trip to the Guinea border? Met a chief immigration officer who is also a LICC graduate.
Bridge to Guinea
Apologies but this is personal. Unbelievable - this is the 2nd largest city in Liberia next to the capital Monrovia. \240Tonight Sei, Yah, and I went to dinner with the Mayor (who also is a LICC graduate) and they pledged their support to Sei and honored me as “Honorary Citizen of Gompa City”and presented a hand carved plaque of a village. All the city managers and board were there along with other employees all in our honor. It was quite moving.
One last check before heading home for the evening, the beautiful permanent signs have both been placed, the area cleared (brushed by machete’) the speaker area and audience area covered and the “ground breaking” area staged.
Friday morning - travel to the Methodist University in Gbarnga for Dr. Buor’s class. He asked me to answer some questions about Marriage and Family issues in the USA. \240The class was very engaging. The students were all pastors from local congregations of different denominations. It was a lively and insightful session.
We also met with the Dean, Rev. Dr. Jerry Kulah. \240We had great conversation about project financing options and building local support.
Video with Sounds from the groundbreaking ceremony... get a sample of the rhythm and energy of the day
GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRATION DAY
7am Live radio interview... local stations are calling to get the latest story from Dr. Buor
More people - local supporters from the Church especially join in to put final touches on the presentation ground.
ABOVE - big sign by the road to show what lane to turn into and BELOW- sign directly at the beginning of the property
The Groundbreaking Ceremony... started at 10:30AM and ended after feeding the multitudes at 2:30pm - this is geographically marked as the United Liberia Inland Church because it is the closest location on the map to the property.
4 hours of music, fellowship, speeches, sermonettes, and finally great rice and chicken for all!
Youth singers performing
President of the United Liberia Inland Church, Leaid Zeyoe and his wife.
(left to right) Local conservative Islam representative, wife of Gompa mayor, Mayor Amos Suah (graduate of LICC)
View from the podium.
Master of Ceremonies, Victor Kparseh, Administrator of E & J Medical Center ran a fantastic programs keeping things in track and allowing about \24025 different speakers the opportunity to pledge support for our effort and make donations and pledges of support.
United Liberia Inland Church Choir
Dr. Sei Buor explains the dream of the College Preparatory High School we are building. \240
Jay Skinner \240teaching “cast your nets on the other side of the boat for a great catch.” \240This is a different time that takes different methods than the last time when they did LICC. \240 John 21:6
Official ground breaking
Many people participate in breaking ground “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
A great feast that seemed like Jesus feeding the multitudes. Everyone got fed and there was some leftover... I just know Yah and the other women did not make that much the day before and this morning... one said it was like scooping into an endless supply as they served the bowls.
Jay Skinner played at the beginning with the band from Evangelical Free Church of West Africa
Sei and Yah are back home after the event happy because it was a very successful program. \240Huge crowd, all walks of life, diverse politically, denominationally including representatives of the conservative Islam congregation.. \240Tremendous unity between church’s and government. Raised about 200 bags of cement and $400
You can help too: https://cltinternational.org/donate/
My impressions of CLTI in Gompa, Liberia:
I have known Dr. Sei Buor of CLTI for about 10 years in America before he went back to Liberia about 2 years ago.
I am wrapping up a 1 week visit to help with the Groundbreaking Ceremony program. This has been a great and valuable experience. I highly recommend everyone consider a short term mission trip to Gompa to work with Sei and Yah.
Please look at this entire illustrated travel log and think about coming here some time. http://journohq.com/journo/gompa-liberia-may-2018-21858
This is a “real Africa” missionary experience BUT Sei has it under control... enough that people like you and me can visit and not get sick, be safe, and really contribute to the effort.
They are so happy from all levels of the society to see me and have me here helping both financially and with my professional skills of sales, marketing, computers, and music. I know how to spread a wide net and build consensus between rival and sometime opposing factions in the name of Jesus. I know you have gifts too that could contribute to building this program.
If you have time to get to know Sei I encourage you to email him and explore this option. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips and information about taking a trip are here and I will be updating it soon https://cltinternational.org/planning-a-mission-trip-to-liberia/
Everything about this program is exactly how you see it presented in the live presentations and on the web site. Sei, Yah, and the entire CLTI team are sacrificing comfort and convenience for the youth of this poor country that is on the brink of a great economic turnaround .... which God is bringing about using CLTI and others with a heart for Liberia. The goal is to keep Liberia Christian and empower the youth to become great leaders.
If you would like to donate you can do that easily here: https://cltinternational.org/donate/