Do you like to play clapping games? Kids in Liberia love them. Check out this link to a youtube clip of 3 different clapping games played by Liberian children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtnTFj9xjKw
While Liberian children love to play, life is not always fun and games. Elkenah is a boy living in Liberia who tells about the rock business where most of the people in his community work. Children as young as five years old work with their parents digging out rocks and breaking them into small pieces in order to buy enough food for their families to eat. They often must miss school breaking up rocks with mallets, digging, and carrying the rocks. Children often sit for hours busting up the larger rocks into smaller pieces.
Sometimes the work can be dangerous. One of Elkenah’s friends died while trying to earn the money for his school fees in the quarry. This made Elkenah very sad as he spoke about it. Something else that made Elkenah sad to talk about was his grandmother.
Elkenah has fond memories of visiting with her. She used to tell him stories and make him laugh. His grandmother began having heart problems, and without medicine or a doctor to treat her, she died. Elkenah wants to get an education so that he can help the people in his community get better healthcare.
Now that Elkenah goes to the VisionTrust Leadership program, he gets help with his school fees so that he can stay in school instead of having to go to work in the rock quarry. One day Elkenah asked his science teacher what a doctor who helps with heart problems is called. The teacher told Elkenah a heart doctor is called a cardiologist. Now Elkenah wants to study to become a cardiologist so he can help others whose moms, grandmothers, or grandfathers have heart problems.
At the program, Elkenah also enjoys learning about the Bible and how he can tell others about Christ. He is grateful for the new opportunities he has to enjoy a relationship with Jesus and get an education without having to drop out of school. He has a chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a cardiologist.
Discussion Questions: What do you want to be when you grow up? What kinds of training or education will you need to fulfill your dream? What obstacles might make it difficult to get the schooling you will need?
Prayer Requests: Pray for Elkenah to grow in his faith and that he will have the opportunity and perseverance to continue his studies to become a cardiologist.
Fun Fact: Children in Liberia love to play tether-ball. It keeps the ball from getting lost and provides fun as they hit the ball back and forth. In some areas of Liberia, local children call this game “Toil.” Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_8603092_liberian-childrens-games.html#ixzz2n1Pb5aNJ
Ways you can get involved: This Christmas – consider providing school supplies for children to have a chance to further their education. Check out https://www.visiontrust.org/christmas and scroll to the school supply section. You’ll see how you can help with School Supply Kits ($32), Textbooks and Classroom Resources ($100), Computers for a Computer Lab ($500). You could get your friends or family involved to work together on a project to raise money or just decide that one of your Christmas gifts could be buying a school supply kit for a child in Liberia.
Scripture: Jeremiah 22:16 “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.”