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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Sometimes there is an opportunity to document that the power of God is real. The sentencing of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor Wednesday for war crimes in Sierra Leone is one such case. “God willing, I will be back,” Mr. Taylor said in a dramatic moment as he left peace negotiations in 2003. It was his response as BBC News announced that he was to be arrested for crimes against humanity.
God willing, Mr. Taylor is back. Prosecutors in The Hague have called for a sentence of 80 years in prison following his conviction last month for murder, rape, enslavement, recruiting child soldiers, pillage, acts of terrorism and other atrocities committed in Sierra Leone between 1996 and 2002. His conviction may change African leadership forever, and Wednesday’s sentencing is a watershed moment.
Behind it all is an almost forgotten women’s movement of prayer that refused to let Mr. Taylor ignore the suffering he was inflicting. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a 2008 film by Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker that documents this Liberian prayer activism. It shows how broken, war-weary women received divine strength as they gathered in Monrovia’s fish market in 2002 to pray for peace. They dressed in emulation of the Hebrew Bible’s Queen Esther, who mourned as she prayed God would save her people’s lives....
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Bishop Neufville was a product of Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), where he took his undergraduate degree and later his Bachelor's in Sacred Theology.
He served as priest of St. Martin on the Mountain in Yekepa, Nimba County. During his tenure in Yekepa, he had oversight for the construction of St. Valentine Episcopal Church in Sanniquellie, the Nimba capital.
He was later appointed archdeacon of the church's Northern Archdeaconry, serving Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Latest News * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * International News & Commentary Africa Liberia * South Carolina
George Harley was a medical doctor from the USA who went as a missionary to Liberia with his pregnant wife. He had obtained his medical degree from Yale University and his Ph.D. in tropical diseases from the University of London. He served in a remote jungle area, which he reached after walking seventeen days with his pregnant wife. After five years there no one had responded to the gospel. Every week they met for worship, and the people were invited to come, but no African joined them. Then his son died. He himself had to make the coffin and carry it to the place of burial. He was all alone there except for one African who had come to help him.
As Harley was shoveling soil onto the casket, he was overcome with grief, and he buried his head in the fresh dirt and sobbed. The African who was watching all this raised the doctor’s head by the hair and looked into his face for a long time. Then he ran into the village crying, “White man, white man, he cry like one of us.” At the following Sunday service the place was packed with Africans.
Harley served in Liberia for thirty-five years. His achievements in numerous fields are amazing. He produced the first accurate map of Liberia. He was given the highest award Liberia could bestow. But before all that he had to give his son. When a bishop from his Methodist denomination pointed that out to him, his response, referring to God, was, “he had a boy too, you know.”
--From Ajith Fernando, The Call to Joy and Pain: Embracing Suffering in Your Ministry (Crossway, 2007), pp.96-97; and brought to mind because Bishop Mark Lawrence related this story in yesterday's confirmation sermon at Christ Saint Paul's, Yonges Island, South Carolina
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