Liberia rebuilds with the help of the church.

By October 23, 2003

Liberia (MNN)–Liberia has elected a former rebel leader as its new speaker in Parliament.

George Dweh says his first task in his new capacity would be to promote the process of national healing and disarmament in Liberia. The interim government, headed by Gyude Bryant, faces the task of steering the war-torn West African country to elections in 2005.

However, thousands of Liberians remain caught behind rebel lines, deep in the interior, still without assistance and urgently in need of relief aid.

The Baptist World Alliance has worked closely with leaders of the Baptist Convention of Liberia and the Liberian people to work for a peaceful solution to a very difficult and treacherous situation where Liberia has been ravaged by civil war.

BWA’s Tony Cupit (like cupid) details their response. “The situation, having settled down, one of our directors is there, right at the moment, to assess what the situation is. We have sent shipments of materials that our general secretary in Liberia, the Reverend Emile Sam-Peal, is having general oversight for.”

They are trying to get an infrastructure for dispersement, Cupit says ,”through the established congregations in Monrovia and beyond.” Schools are still closed but many have begun to look at ways to rebuild, and have started student enrichment programs to keep students working. The BWA again responding, says Cupit, “Especially in Harper County where there’s a lot of need. We’ve been trying to send educational and other materials into help them try and re-establish schools in Harper County, but more particular, in Monrovia where the concentration of disadvantaged peoples live.”

Cupit says the good news is that most churches have some activity in areas where there are already peacekeepers. “We can pray for the health of the churches as they try to re-establish themselves as viable congregations in a war-torn country. I think that they’re doing that. The reports we receive suggest that the churches are getting back together and holding worship services, and generally, they’re trying to be effective agents in the community.”

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