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Hoping Liberia

“Hoping Liberia”

A favorite saying of the teachers at Liberia’s Ricks Institute is, “Thanks for coming and hoping us.” I thought it was just Liberian/English slang for “helping us.”*

But as you can see from this shirt, “Hoping Liberia” is a theme of this school. (Shown is Dean of Students James Blay presenting a shirt to Colleen.)

Hope: it’s a fine four letter word. A good word to use for a country recovering from a generation of bloody coups and devastating civil war.

Hope. If a person’s lost it, they’ve got nothing.
Hope. If a person just has a thread of it, they can withstand and endure anything.

Hope. A good four letter word for each of us to adopt.

Hoping others.

“Sharing the hope within us” as Peter stated in I Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have.”

I’ve got hope because I’ve got a deep confidence in Jesus. He is where my hope comes from.

Hope. It’s a word I want to dwell on today.

* On “Hoping and Helping/He’ping: One of Louisiana’s illustrious governors was John J. McKeithen. He ran on a platform asking Louisianians “to ‘he’p me’ make this state better.”

It was his motto and is even on his grave near Columbia.

Students in the Ricks Library.

A ‘Liberian Library.’ I like the way it rolls off your tongue.
Shown are two girls in the Ricks Institute library.

One of our biggest projects was working with the new school librarian, Shammah Varney. (Shown below.)

Shammah is a wonderful and intelligent young man who is committed to organizing and building the school library to benefit both the students at Ricks as well as the surrounding villages.

If you’re looking for a good project to latch onto, I’d suggest partnering with Shammah. If any reader has an interest in this (hint, hint librarians) you can contact Shammah at shammah.varney@yahoo.com.

To learn more about the school, visit their website at www.ricksonline.org

“In my estimate the future of Liberia, as well as the future of all Africa is found in the Lord, good education of young people, and the building of healthy families.”* -C. Iles

*Come to think of it, that’s a good formula for a better future for my own country, the United States.

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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One comment

  1. Curt,
    Thank you for letting us be a part of you and your family's trip to Liberia. We eagerly checked out your blog every single day (actually a couple of times every day!) to see what you folks were up to. Gordy said it perfectly when he told us when he returned, "I will never be the same." And he is absolutely right. First hand experience in an entirely different culture makes us look inside ourselves and at the rest of the world with a different perspective and understanding. Hoping people will make a difference! 😉 Linda

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