Lutheran Schools Lend a Hand for Liberian School and LibraryThis month, students at eleven Lutheran schools are making an impact through a service project benefiting a community in Liberia. Through the Kids Love Liberia Lutheran school project, students are preparing a 40-foot shipping container that will be sent to Liberia in May. The container, which will be filled with school and medical supplies, will be converted into a community library space and resource room. Students are also raising $20,000 to build a school with six to eight classrooms in Liberia.Students from Emmanuel St. Michael, Holy Cross, Emmaus, Ascension, Lutheran South Unity, Concordia Elementary, Concordia Lutheran High School, St. Peter-Immanuel, St. Paul, Central, St. Peter’s Lutheran School and St. John Kendallville are lending a hand by donating supplies, painting the shipping container, sorting library books, constructing learning games, and fundraising for the cause. Other donated items include uniforms and medical supplies.
Last week, students from Holy Cross packed boxes of library books from Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Fort Wayne) that will be sent in the container. Ascension and St. Peter-Immanuel constructed learning games and activity cards. Emmaus helped paint the container. Donations of caulk, paint, and supplies came in from Concordia Elementary, Emmanuel St. Michael, Emmaus, and Lutheran South Unity School. Thrivent Action Team Grants provided the seed money for some of the supplies. Students from Concordia Lutheran High School planned the design on the container. St. John Kendallville donated Bibles and wrote inscriptions and blessings in them.The container will be shipped to a Lutheran school in Liberia under the direction of Joe Boway, a Liberian-born Fort Wayne resident, who started Lutheran schools in Liberia's more remote areas. These schools, which serve over 3500 students, are in need of additional classrooms and supplies to support their growth. Mr. Boway is also a Lutheran South Unity School parent and sees how this project will have a lasting impact on the community in Liberia. “Truly the students of TLSP schools are a blessing to the work of the Gospel!” Mr. Boway says. “My Liberian students will learn of Jesus for decades to come. Thousands of children will know Jesus.”
This project isn’t new to the Lutheran community. Last year, Lutheran South Unity School partnered with area churches—Zion, Peace, Bethlehem, and Mt. Calvary—and local businesses to send a similar shipping container filled with medical supplies and equipment to Zorzor, Lofa County, Liberia, an area hit hardest by the current outbreak of Ebola.This year’s project is even bigger since it includes fundraising for building a school. The cost for the Kids Love Liberia project totals over $24,000.Lutheran South Unity School Principal Krista Nagy says, “Our kids are having an influence on an entire country since thousands of students will use the resources we are sending to learn.”
In addition, Mrs. Nagy says that students are learning life skills, like painting and assembly, as well as the value of serving others and developing a heart of compassion for people on the other side of the world.“Students heard stories of civil war, slavery and liberty, hope and peace brought to this country through prayer,” Mrs. Nagy adds. “They were inspired by the story of my two former students who brought the first playground to Liberia...at age 10! They heard stories of social stigmatization in our own community and how we can be change agents in our schools and neighborhoods, in Jesus' Name.They were encouraged by the fact they were not simply converting a container, but also supporting their fellow Lutheran school students to have an impact on this war torn, developing nation—because of Jesus.”To hear more about our story from the Fox 55 team, Click Here.