How Firm a Foundation: Somerton UMC Builds School in Liberia
“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in his excellent word!”
These words have taken on new meaning at Somerton UMC, located in the far northeast corner of Phila, a small church. Over the past year the people of Somerton have seen their “faith in his excellent word” produce a firm foundation; the foundation of a new school building in rural Liberia.
This May marks the 4 year anniversary of the beginning of the Liberian Education Project (LEP), a nonprofit organization run through the church by a few of its committed members. It began as the vision of Jacob G. Madehdou, a member of Somerton UMC and Liberian native, who was a former teacher in Liberia before coming to the US during the Liberian Civil War.
In the aftermath of the Civil unrest, Jacob made it clear to the congregation that people would be suffering from, not only the loss of lives, but also a loss of infrastructure and education, Jacob’s vision became realityafter the congregation of Somerton UMC resonated with the need and committed to working towards making a difference in Liberia.
LEP had humble beginnings as a way to provide school supplies to school children in Bong county, a rural community located 8-9 hours away from the capital city of Monrovia,
Soon LEP and Somerton UMC began thinking bigger and they started to financially support the renovation of an old church building to run a school that served nearly 100 students
Soon the sites were set even higher, with plans to build a new school building so even more students would have a facility that would promote their education and provide for them a place to unlock their potential to change their communities.
Through numerous benefit concerts, dinners, bake sales, and donations, LEP had received enough to start construction on the Ghenwein Mission School building.
Then from late January – February 2011, four members of Somerton UMC, Jacob, Dennis Fisher, Dorothy Holland, and George Memis, left for Liberia with members and supporters from a non-denomination church in Montrose, PA. This small group with the help of local leaders and workers, was able to complete the foundation as well as two classroom floors. (bad roads, hot weather, physical labor)
By April 2011 the floors and walls of four classrooms had been built and the roof was finished in July 2011.
It shows that it is not the size of the church that matters, but their commitment to making the world a better place for the glory of God. LEP was seen as an act of discipleship; a way of living faith & loving neighbor.
Dennis said “God fulfilled our dreams and worked through our efforts to complete the tasks we prayerfully sought to do. It was only with God’s help that his children from across the world and cultures and languages learned about each other, ourselves and the power of faith and prayer.
Learn more or make a donation towards the NEXT STEPS: completion of classrooms 5/6, well & sanitation facility construction, and finishing/ furnishing all rooms please contact Jacob Madehdou or Dennis Fisher (email@example.com)/ (firstname.lastname@example.org).