The holiday season is quickly approaching, and at this time of year, many of us take great comfort and joy in the time we spend with family. Around the Thanksgiving table and underneath the Christmas mistletoe, we celebrate the traditions and meanings associated with this happy season. Christmas especially brings a sense of peace as families gather in beautiful, candle-lit churches to sing the carols that so joyfully proclaim good news. As warm pies bake in ovens, colorful lights outline rooftops, and little ones excitedly open gifts from under the tree, the Christmas season just seems to ooze with the comfort of being HOME.
Imagine, though, if you had no home to enjoy. Imagine if you had lived most of your life as an orphan and your only family was the other 61 orphan children who lived with you and the amazing woman who took you all in. For those of us reading this blog, this may simply be an exercise in imagination, but for 62 beautiful children in White Plains, Liberia, this is reality.
Martha Kpawolokpala, along with her husband, started caring for orphans in the midst of Liberia’s civil war over 20 years ago years. Even after the war left her widowed, and
sometimes during unbelievably dangerous conditions, she has been taking care of increasing numbers of needy children. When Compassion Corps met this big hearted woman and saw the work she was doing in Liberia, we were honored to partner with her and to help take care of these precious children. For years, Martha housed the children in a simple, but manageable facility with two primitive dormitories – one for the boys and one for the girls. At this location, the children were able to attend the school she started for them – along with 200 other impoverished community children – right on their own property.
However, last year the Liberian government began plans to bring new roads and electrical lines right through Martha’s land.
While the attempt to improve the infrastructure of the city and its suburbs after decades of civil war is certainly a worthwhile
goal, the decision was heartbreaking news to Martha and her kids. Where would they go?
Compassion Corps was able to step in and help. This past summer, our short term team to Liberia spent time setting up a temporary home for the children at a nearby Methodist retreat center. Beds were moved, new pillows and sheets were added, walls, windows, and floors were washed, repairs were made on the well and kitchen, and and 62 children were ecstatic! While this is an answer to prayer, it is only a temporary solution. The lease for the retreat center runs out in the summer of 2014 and sadly, we are getting closer and closer to the day when Martha and her children will once again be without a home.
But we’ve committed to making sure that day never comes. We want to build these children a home…a home where they can settle in and be comfortable; a place where they can enjoy one another, celebrate seasons, develop traditions and make memories as a family.
This Christmas season, we’ve asked you to join with us in this cause worth singing about! We’re on a mission to raise the funds necessary to give Martha’s kids the home they are longing for. Thank you to so many of you who were already a part of this amazing project by simply kicking off your Christmas festivities by attending our Philadelphia Boys Choir concert. What an amazing performance by a world-renowned vocal group and what a fantastic fundraiser!
Together we raised $23,000 towards phase 1 of the building project. In order to break ground and begin building, we need to raise just $7,000 more. We are believing that this is possible before the end of this year. Will you help us make it happen?
We pray that your holiday season is full of thankfulness, joy and the comfort of HOME. Thanks again to all those who attended or sponsored the concert on December 1st at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church. Check out the donation page to give towards this work!