Kevin in Liberia

Its Purpose: to raise awareness of current social, political, ethical, and spiritual issues within a relief and development context in Liberia. Its effectiveness is simple: It relies on me, the author, to provide insightful, and often debate-sparking material that will encourage you, the reader to get engaged through comment contributions, emails, and promoting others to read, re-think, and respond to the important issues discussed.

I know not which is most profitable to me, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, nor anything else in the world. That discernment is beyond the power of men or angels, and is hidden among the secrets of your Providence, which I adore, but do not seek to fathom. ~ a prayer by Blaise Pascal

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Equip Liberia Project

Hi everybody!

For those of you that don't know, and those that do, here's a little update of what is new in my life and just exactly what I'm going to be up to in the next while. I was offered, and have accepted a position over in Liberia, Western Africa, with an organization called Equip Liberia (www.equipliberia.org) to assist in development work in the wartorn country of Liberia. Chances are that I'll end up in the capital city of Monrovia...but that could change at a moment's notice.

To give you an idea of the background of Liberia I have done a little research and here's what I've found:

- 80% of Liberians are below the "poverty line" (whatever that line may be)
- In August 2003, a comprehensive peace agreement ended 14 years of civil war and prompted
the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who was exiled to Nigeria
- The security situation is still volatile and the process of rebuilding the social and economic
structure of this war-torn country remains sluggish.
(All courtesy of the CIA World Factbook) ***I'll let you form your own opinions :) ***

This all sounds so sketchy at first glance, and maybe at second glance as well but I've talked to a few people who are in Liberia as we speak as well as other who have come back and another couple guys who have lived in Africa practically their whole life and what they have all said is not to get caught up in the biased opinions of American media and "intellegence" sources and that it isn't really AS bad as people make it out to be. Well, that's reassuring isn't it?! Of course there are risks, and I'm aware of them. One risk that is going to arise while I'm there is going to be the elections which have the potential to turn ugly in a hurry so we'll just keep praying for safety over there and see what happens. Your view of danger changes a lot once you feel you've been called to do a work. I find it more startling that people are OK with sitting around in the comfort of home watching the latest re-run of Survivor when there are millions of people who are on the brink of ACTUALLY not surviving due to starvation, war, or what-have-you.

Equip Liberia is a Christian NGO (non-governmental organization) which manages many projects ranging from education/training, feeding malnourished kids, providing safe water and sanitation, as well as spreading the awareness of AIDS. Their mission is as follows:

"...to practically demonstrate the good news and love of Christ in order to bring the war affected, impoverished, people of Liberia healing, hope and fullness of life."

My role with respect to Equip is still very "grey" right now but will pertain to the accounting/finance/administrative side of the operations. By the term "grey" I mean that the job description is very open and could involve a number of things depending on the needs of the organization at a certain given time.

Departure is scheduled for May 17 and I have committed myself to a minimum of one year. We'll see where God leads once that year is up. A lot can happen in a year. Until May 17th preparations continue. My goal while I'm over there is to put a post on this site once a week, updating the happenings of the previous week as well as what the future week might have in store. It is also my intentions to post pictures to give everyone an idea of what my day-to-day work/life consists of as well as those who we are there to help. These are my pre-trip plans, but as I have learned from Central America, plans are only plans in a society that believes in planning. I've found that in underdeveloped countries (aka the 3rd world) plans can usually be thrown out the window with your candy wrappers because there are usually circumstances that will arise which will force you to deviate from original plans. So please don't hate me if there is no post/pictures one week etc.

I encourage all of you who read this to log onto Equip's website (www.equipliberia.org) and check out the work that is being done in Liberia. I also encourage that if you that feel driven to support Equip, both through prayer as well as financially, to do so. Creekside, it would be awesome if you guys could get behind Equip and myself through prayer as well as financially also. Now is your opportunity to participate in missions work vicariously through me!

For those of you who would like to support financially the following information would be relevant to you:

For Canadian Tax receipts make cheque payable to "EQUIP Canada" . Please include a separate note that this is "For the Waines work with EQUIP Liberia " and mail to:

Equip Canada
PO Box 683
Duncan BC
V9L 3Y1
Canada

That is all for now. If anyone has any questions regarding anything related to this trip of mine, feel free to email me at kevin.aja.fryatt@gmail.com. I also encourage people to leave comments on the different posts that I put on this site.

Take care and keep me in your prayers!


Kevin

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