Liberia and Sierra Leone have experienced the
devastation of years of war—villages burned, limbs amputated, family
members murdered, and schools and hospitals destroyed. With
unemployment as high as 85 percent, internally displaced people live in
camps, housing as many as 20,000. With refugees waiting to return and
voters needing to be registered, the challenges are so overwhelming
they could immobilize the nation.
Amid this massive suffering, I saw an Easter people living in the power, promise and presence of the risen Christ. Resiliency, resolve and rejoicing marked those I met. At St. Peter Lutheran Church, Monrovia, Liberia, the memory of the massacre that killed more than 600 people in the sanctuary 15 years ago is very much alive. Yet on our Lutheran World Federation visit, the resiliency of faith was evident in joyful dancing, hope-filled singing and gospel-proclaiming worship.
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