Thursday, October 8, 2009

Work Team to Kenya

Dottie and Lewis Gibbs will be leading a work team to Kenya, July 21st through August 5th. Estimated cost is $3900.

They will fly from Asheville to Atlanta to Amsterdam to Nairobi. Upon arrival in Nairobi the team will spend the first night at the Methodist Guest House then board vans for our 135 mile trip up on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, arriving at the lodging place around 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

This year the team will be staying at Bishop Lawi Imathjiu’s Cultural Center outside of Meru. If the graduation is on Saturday, the team will attend it at Kenya Methodist University. Sunday, all the clergy going on the trip will be scheduled to preach in one of the Kaaga District churches.

Monday through Friday the team will be working at St. Matthew’s school, out in the desert near Isiolo. After three years, it is near completion.

The team will also be putting together a medical day, hiring local doctors and pharmacy people to go into a village and check people for all sorts of diseases and distribute medicine for malaria and other ailments. Last year the team served over 700 people in one day.

The team will also be visiting a group farm where passion fruit and coffee are produced and will also go to a farm where the University produces milk and vegetables for the university and for sale in Europe.

Saturday the team will board our vans for a trip to Samburu National Game Park for two nights…then to Sweetwater Game Reserve for one night. Then the team will go to Nairobi (Methodist Guest House) Tuesday night and on Wednesday tour the high-rise campus of Kenya Methodist University.

Next the team will go to the National Museum…that evening we will go to the Carnivore Restaurant and then to the airport for a 10:30 flight back to Amsterdam arriving early Thursday morning. Then a flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta and on to Asheville.

The cost for the trip is approximately $3,900.00 which is inclusive of practically everything. This pays for airfare…all transportation while in Kenya…all food with the exception of one or two meals… any other expenses that people might have for personal expenditures they pay themselves. Up to 25 persons may be part of this team.

We have advised that members carry about $200-$300 extra dollars for personal use.

For more information contact Lewis C. Gibbs,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coordinator: Donald Turner 704-616-7762
Orientation: TBA/First UMC, Gastonia
Project: Mission Center Renovations Location: Tubman-Gray United Methodist
Mission School, Gbarnga
This Mission Station is the only source of hope for youth who were “child soldiers” during the war. The team will assist in the construction of a three-classroom building, assist in the carpenter shop with construction of roof trusses, door and window frames. Need teachers to assist in phonics training for the elementary level. Assist with the renovations in the library on campus. Provide training for small electronic equipment repair, computer hardware and technology. The WNCC VIM team will work with the local team at the Mission. Housing for the team will be in the guest house on the campus of Tubman-Gray School. Meals will be catered by a designated team from the mission staff and laundry service will also be provided. Lightweight cotton clothing will be needed.
Team 25 Oct. 2–23, 2010 D. Turner $3,900

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kenya Partner Ministries

One of our Conference Advance Specials is, "Kenya Partner Ministries." Please review the video connected to this blog and please check out their webpage at,

Pictures and more information to be made available

Please know that pictures and more information on the air crash of the Wings for Caring plane will be placed on the web by next Wednesday, June 24th.

Plans for how the WNCC can be involved are emerging. Also, please keep Sonny Reavis in your prayers. He will be joining a team from Delaware to DR Congo in July to help the country assess how buildings might best be utilized.



Dear All

This comes to inform you that I received a telephone call this morning from Pilot Jacques Umembudi that his plane had a crash in Lodja (Diengenga) in taking off. The pilot and passengers had some injuries, but there was no loss of life. Arrangements are made to fly the pilot and the four passengers this afternoon from Lodja to Kinshasa for further medical attention.

In a separate accident, the Diengenga Trade School van was burt to ashes yesterday, but there was no injuries. We will give you more information as this becomes available.

Keep us in your prayers!

David K. Yemba
Resident Bishop
Central Congo Episcopal Area
The United Methodist Church

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Deaf School in Liberia

United Methodist Church of Liberia, West Africa


“If you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto
me”. Persons living with disabilities in Liberia are truly among the “least of these”! Their
overall situation is disappointing and frustrating. Unfortunately, the plight of persons living with
disabilities in Liberia is largely ignored by the public. Most are reliant on charity through street
begging and the meager means of survival earned by their families. Educational and vocational
opportunities are often withheld from these special needs groups because attention is focused on
their disability rather than seeking creative and alternative means to enhance their ability to
survive independently.
There are very limited educational opportunities for persons living with disabilities. To
help address this problem in our society, in 2000 the United Methodist Church of Liberia
established a special program called Sign Language Tutorial to teach and train deaf kids
communication by the use of their hands, face, and body. In 2003, this tutorial program, under the visionary leadership of Bishop John Innis, later became known as Hope for the Deaf School- a Christ-centered, academic school for the deaf, hearing and speaking impaired persons living in
and around the Capital city, Monrovia.
Besides our academic program which actually started in 2003, as of September 2008, our
students are now being engaged in skills training classes. The essence of these programs is to
empower the students to earn a livelihood and to contribute to the development of their individual families, their communities and the larger society. In our Liberian society, people with
disabilities are expected to beg or do the jobs that no one else wants (latrine cleaners, extreme
labor-intensive works, etc) to sustain themselves. In their plight to provide for themselves and
their families, they are easily exploited. Others are very reliant upon already limited family
resources. Many, abandoned by their families and society in general, are homeless and live on the streets. Currently four young deaf men attending our school are homeless. We allow them sleep in the school classrooms at night.
The vocational classes aim to introduce and build skills training through a Shoe Making
and Sewing Class. These vocational skills will be taught by local artisans as additional courses to
the regular academic school curriculum. The anticipated result is that the students who have
successfully completed the program should acquire a marketable means of earning a living that
will ease their integration into mainstream society.
The United Methodist Church of Germany awarded us a grant (Euro 2000 /$2,400.00
USD) to enable us start a shoe making class this quarter. Last quarter, a donation enabled us start a crafts class where students are taught to make greeting cards, painting, and dolls. A sewing class will begin next quarter. We trust the Lord for grants and donations to enable us continue and develop the vocational program for 2009/10 school year.
In November of 2008, we received a couple from the United Methodist Church of Sweden
Conference visiting with us. Our guests were to shared their time and their love and support with us. They also shared some solar powered study lights with our students. All of our students were very happy and excited for the gifts given to them. Rev. Nilsson, who is visually and
hearing impaired, has been a very good friend of the Hope for the Deaf and had decided to pay a visit to see how the school was doing. He was escorted by his dear wife. Also in October
of 2008, our kids were blessed to have received dozens of health and school kits
from the Holston Conference through Sis. Mary Zigbuo for both students and staff.
Sis. Zigbuo has been very instrumental in helping to develop partnerships and programs
for these kids.
As you may know sports serve as a key factor of bringing people to together and the deaf and
hearing impaired are no exceptions. Realizing the importance of the games, the Administration
of the Hope for the Deaf School organized both Football and Kickball Teams, with the hope of
including other sports in the future. Since the formation of these teams they have begun the
regular training with the help of the coaches. Few months later we were opportune to receive an
invitation from the Oscar Romeo School of the Deaf in Bomi County, Liberia. The trip was very
much good because it brought together both schools in various aspects of academic and sports.
These efforts are part of encouraging social integration among persons with disabilities and the
general society.
We are grateful to God for the development of these children in terms of their social
lives. Many of them who have over the years were forbidden to go out in public by their
families and now gaining confidence to “mingle” in public. They are now happily
associating with not only with hearing impaired persons but society at large. This is
something they have most times felt ashamed to do.
Our classrooms are very limited in terms of sizes. This ministry began on a porch of one
of the buildings located in our United Methodist Church Office Center with nine students.
Two years (and two rainy seasons!) later, we were able to raise some walls around the
porch to enable four very small classrooms. Each classroom can accommodate about 15
persons. Today, we have 56 students and more wanting to attend but for space! We are
hoping and trusting God for a bigger and more conducive space to allow us accommodate
more students.
With the limited teaching and classroom facilities, teachers manage to make their classes
more lively and encouraging using available resources. There is a huge need for teaching
materials including textbooks in particular. Currently, we have 56 students between the
ages of 5 and 23 years; 35 boys and 21 girls. We are using our local Sign Language along
side with the American Sign Language (ASL) to teach our students. We do all required
subjects as prescribed by the government’s Ministry of Education. All of our students are
performing pretty well. Due to limited staffing capacity, the school is currently operating
at an Elementary Level (nursery to Grade 7). You can imagine that a teacher for the
hearing impaired is difficult to come by in Liberia where even teachers for “regular”
students are difficult to acquire!! There is no high school for the deaf or hearing impaired
in Liberia. We are gradually adding on classes as the need arises. For instance, in
2008/09 we added on grade 7. As grade seven matriculates, we will add on grade 8 for
2009/10 school year, and on and on.
Woven into this newsletter are the collective hopes, prayers and dreams of our
students and staff! The “staff” serving the school is very committed volunteers receiving
a transportation stipend of roughly 35.00 USD per month. The students are charged
75.00 USD per year as fees. However, only 15% can afford this fee. About 60% pay
“something” towards their tuition…while 25% cannot afford to pay anything. We do not
turn anyone away because of inability to afford the tuition. The tuition fees are what we
use to provide transport stipends for the volunteer teachers.
David T. Worlobah , Program Coordinator, BA degree, “C” Certificate (Elem. Educ)
K. Eric Drow, Assistant Coordinator, University student,
Jessy Nagbah teacher, College student, “C” Certificate
Sarwee Togba, teacher, High School diploma, “C” Certificate
Jenskins Railey, teacher, High School diploma, “C” certificate
James Moore, teacher, High School diploma, “C” Certificate
Lynn Brown, teacher, High School diploma,
Agatha Borbor, Teacher, High School diploma, “C” Certificate
Samuel D. Desoe, Janitor, High School diploma
Of these faithful staff, three are completely deaf while one is hearing impaired.
We are involved with ongoing advocacy for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities
in all spheres of our society. This is in keeping with the Liberian government’s recent
ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities,
which was passed into law in September 2008.
The goal of this institution is to provide Christ-centered opportunities for the deaf,
hearing and speaking impaired persons to develop their full potential in order to lead a
meaningful productive life.
We are trusting God for the following:
 Re –integration, rehabilitation, and full inclusion of the deaf
 A well developed skills training programs for the deaf and other persons with
 A Mission Station for the deaf (and other persons with disabilities) in Liberia
 Health kits and School kits
 Gently used clothing and shoes for our students and other needy persons with disabilities
 Instructional materials
 2.5 KVA Generator (to operate our computers and provide light in the classrooms)
 Photocopier
 Mini-van
 A four room classroom to provide space as our school continue to grow
 Funds to provide a living wage salary ($120.00 USD per month) for our teachers.
You are warmly invited to come on a work team to assist with our needs or to come as
individual volunteer(s) to visit and share with us. We are always in need of persons willing to
come over and update us in the methods of modern signing or to come join our academic or
vocational teaching efforts.
David T. Worlobah, II
Program Coordination
Hope For The Deaf Ministry
Box 1010
Monrovia, Liberia
e-mail :
Cell : +231-6523369
Sis. Mary Zigbuo
General Board of Global Ministries Missionary
assisting the church develop programs for persons with disabilities
Liberia Area
Rev. Dr. John G. Innis
Resident Bishop
Liberia Annual Conference-UMC
You may donate to the Hope for the Deaf School through the following advance special:
Thank you,
David Worlobah (

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pledge to Stop Atrocities in Congo

'Conflict minerals' that electronics manufacturers buy are fueling worst war conditions since World War II.

The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) is among the organizational endorsers of pledges to discourage manufacturers from using in their products minerals from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The conflict in eastern Congo is being fueled by a multi-million dollar trade in minerals that go into electronic products from cell phones to digital cameras.

More than five million people have died as a result, and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped in eastern Congo over the past decade. Armed groups perpetuating the violence generate an estimated $144 million each year by trading in four main minerals: gold, tin, tantalum (coltan) and tungsten.

Electronics companies are powerful actors in their supply chains, according to the Enough Project to end genocide. Enough contends that if these manufacturers show leadership, they can fundamentally change the way conflict minerals are bought and sold. They could ensure that the minerals don’t contribute to armed conflict and the continuation of the worst violence against women and girls in the world.

The Enough Project has worked with other like-minded groups to begin the conversation with the 21 largest electronics companies and create a conflict minerals pledge that commits electronics companies to ensure their products are conflict-free. A coalition of 32 organizations, including human rights, labor, environmental, conflict resolution, consumer advocacy, conservation, fair trade, faith-based, and other advocacy groups, sent a letter outlining their concerns to the 21 largest consumer electronics companies. GBCS signed that letter.
Following that effort, Enough and partners created a two-pronged pledge that commits electronics companies to ensure their products are conflict-free.

Besides GBCS, other endorser organizations include Jewish World Watch, African Conservation Foundation, Investors Against Genocide, Ecomom Alliance, Stand and Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Völker.

Corporate Pledge
By signing the “Conflict Minerals Pledge,” a company commits to ensuring that its products will be conflict-free.

It pledges to:

  • trace the supply chain for all tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold in their products to verify their mines of origin; and
  • conduct independently verifiable supply chain audits to document the routes taken, intermediaries involved, and transactions made from mine of origin to final product.

The Enough Project and its partners will work with companies that sign the pledge to help them fulfill their commitments. They will support efforts to provide companies with definitive guidance from the United Nations, the U.S. government, and expert sources on conflict actors and areas of concern in eastern Congo.

Any company that would like to learn more or sign on to the pledge, send an e-mail to

Activist Pledge - By endorsing the Conflict Minerals Pledge, organizations and individuals commit to using their voices and consumer power to influence companies to sign the pledge. Specifically, they will:

  • contact the largest makers of cell phones, portable music players, digital cameras, PC’s, and video games, and urge them to sign the pledge;
  • commit to only purchasing electronics from firms that have taken and are abiding by the conflict minerals pledge; and
  • educate fellow consumers and activists about the crisis in Congo, the role of conflict minerals, and how they can be a part of the solution.

More information about the conflict mineral situation is available at Raise Hope for Congo. The website provides information about what you can do to help end the trade in conflict minerals that is fueling the war in Congo, and to protect and empower Congo’s women.

The situation in the Congo is dire! Please act now by signing the pledge and recruiting others to do so as well!

Mark HarrisonDirector of Peace with Justice Program