***Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have postponed this trip. We will reschedule as soon as it is safe for us to do so. Watch (and subscribe) for further updates.***
We’re Going Again
If you know us at all, by now you’ve heard us talk about the Farmer to Farmer mission to Harrisburg, Liberia in West Africa.
Patti and I are both on the U.S. half of the Farmer to Farmer board, help plan, and oversee our mission’s efforts as best we can. I (John) have already been there twice, and Patti has been there three times (because last year we couldn’t afford for me to go to Liberia and to the World Scout Jamboree).
And we’re going again in July. (approximately July 21st – August 4th, 2020)
In 2019, Farmer to Farmer ran our biggest ever capital funds campaign to raise money to build a new agricultural high school in Harrisburg because in that rural area, although government supported education is available (though not always affordable) through the ninth grade, the nearest high school is three hours away. On foot. As a result of that campaign, the first phase of construction has already begun on the new high school. Those buildings, which will house the tenth grade, and have enough room for an eleventh grade the following year, will be ready for the beginning of a new school year this fall.
Prior to that, St. Johns United Methodist Church and the St. John’s Elementary School took a leap of faith and constructed a new school building on the Farmer to Farmer campus and moved in at the beginning of this current school year. Many of these students are able to attend school through scholarships offered by Farmer to Farmer.
Although the teachers at the public school are paid by the government, families still have to pay for uniforms and school supplies. For this reason, most families cannot afford to send their children to school and more than 60 percent of Liberian children will not attend school at all.
With the help of friend like you, Farmer to Farmer is fighting to make education available and affordable to the children of Harrisburg.
Come With Us
And, now that we’re going back, we want you to come with us. While there, we will be renewing friendships, preparing the new high school buildings for the upcoming school year, worshiping together with out Liberian friends, making new friends, and supporting the people of Harrisburg however we can.
The trip is not inexpensive, but whether you are a pastor, or a layperson, this trip will forever change the way you think about Africa, about missions, and about the church.
You don’t have to be “young.”
During our visit in January 2017, we realized that Patti and I were the youngest people on our team. The oldest was in her eighties. We did the math and discovered that the average age of our team was 64 or 65. Some of them had never been out of the United States before.
You can do this.
You don’t even have to be Methodist.
Although the funding for Farmer to Farmer flows through the United Methodist Church, our work in Harrisburg is with the entire community. We are partners with the school at St. John’s Methodist Church, but also with the local public school as well as the Lutheran school. We are not building a “Methodist” high school, we are building a community school and as we do so, we are partnering closely with the the community of Harrisburg and with other churches in the community.
If you’d like to learn more about our trip, or more about the Farmer to Farmer mission and our work in Harrisburg, Liberia, please contact me at PastorPartridge@gmail.com or by mail at Rev. John and Patti Partridge, c/o Christ United Methodist Church, 470 East Broadway Street, Alliance, Ohio 44601.
May God bless you richly!
Pastor John & Patti Partridge