A delegation of women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) paid a courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday, December 7, and presented to her a special resolution on its support of efforts for peace and justice in Liberia. The group was accompanied by the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Rev. D. Jensen Seyenkulo.
The spokesperson for the American missionaries, Madam Valora Starr, also told President Sirleaf that the Evangelical Lutheran Women of America are commemorating the All Women of Faith celebration, and had added her to the itinerary because she is a strong woman of faith.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the resolution acknowledged that American Lutheran women provide financial support to Liberia’s Ministries of Education and Health and Social Welfare through two endowment funds; that their commitment to stand with Liberian Lutheran sisters is more critical today than ever as peace is restored to their war-torn land; and that Liberian women’s struggle and quest for peace is theirs as well. The resolution also stated that in observing the 25th anniversary of the women of the ELCA, the organization is sponsoring a trip to Liberia, along with women of the National Lutheran Church Women Fellowship of Liberia and others.
The resolution expressed the organization’s solidarity with the elected leadership of Liberia, President Sirleaf and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, church leaders and the women of the National Lutheran Church Women Fellowship in Liberia as they continue to work for peacebuilding in Liberia. The resolution also held Liberia and its civic and religious leaders in deep prayer so that they will not grow weary or become discouraged in their invaluable work of forging a new nation.
For her part, President Sirleaf welcomed the women missionaries and expressed joy that people of faith from many parts of the world continue to see Liberia as a place to come and interact with faith-based institutions and individuals. The country was seriously devastated due to over 14 years of civil war, but it was gradually rebuilding, she said.
The Liberian leader added that she was very pleased that the Evangelical Lutheran Women of America could take the time to visit Liberia, and to help assure the world, by their visit, that Liberia is safe and peaceful. She concluded by inviting the Americans to see Liberia as their second home.