This week’s Proclamation by the President calls on all the people of Liberia to assemble in their places of worship, their homes or wherever they may be tomorrow, the second Friday in April, which for over a century has been designated as Fast and Prayer Day. It is a time to petition our common Creator in thanksgiving, fast and prayer, for the wellbeing of the Liberian nation and people.
This is a timely call, which the President makes once a year, to remind our people of their utter dependence on God.
We would like to remind our people that, as Jesus did whenever He faced a serious challenge, such as feeding the 5000 and raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus first gave thanks to His Father, God.
The nation today is saddled with many, many challenges, some of our own making, some by the making of our leaders—in all branches of government.
Those of our own making include our lack of patriotism—we seldom show in our daily interactions and activities, that we truly love our country and people.
This lack of patriotism is often manifested in the way we work. We lack work ethic. Few of us realize why Japan is so successful as an agricultural and industrial power. The Japanese workers have for a very long time worked with the mindset that they are working, not for themselves, but for Japan, so that it may become the world’s number one nation. Too many of us Liberians spend our time—or so we think—working for ourselves—whether it is doing a carpentry or plumbing job, or collecting government taxes, or undertaking an inspection on behalf of the government. We often forget about country and put ourselves first, ready and willing to accept anything we are offered to compromise our official function—only to end up being laughed at and scorned by the very foreign businesspeople who bribe us.
In many government offices we hear the workers say, “The thing that J.J. Roberts started in 1847 is what you want me to finish today?”
Then there are our leaders—in all branches of government, who have failed to curb corruption and its twin sister, nepotism, and these have caused the people, sadly, to heap scorn and even rebellion upon them.
The public is still crying for justice, even though the Chief Justice is striving to improve the situation.
Look how our elected officials in the Legislature behave—so selfishly as though that is why the people elected them—NO! They were elected to SERVE THE PEOPLE—not themselves.
Our educational system is in decline, from primary to university, including the highest, the University of Liberia.
Our productive sectors, especially Agriculture, are found seriously wanting. The farmers are not being helped and we continue to import most of what we eat, including meat, vegetables and our staple, rice.
There are serious financial problems, and everybody— particularly the students and workers—is feeling the pinch through the diminishing purchasing power of our Liberian dollar.
Then there is the Ebola crisis, which the World Health Organization says is “the most serious problem” it has ever faced. Thankfully, only 10 Liberians have so far died from it. But the Health Ministry is monitoring it very closely and informing the public of preventive measures.
All of the problems, unfortunately, rest on the head of our President. As the old poem says in joyful escape: “I’m glad I’m not a president; and very glad I’m not a king. There’s something grand about them, but they’re blamed for everything.”
Yet, in spite of problems, we do have some things for which to Thank God tomorrow. The road construction is moving ahead and the Mount Coffee Hydro-electric Plant is on stream. The “coffer dams,” to protect the building from rainwater, are almost complete. The turbines and generators are being purchased and will be installed on schedule in the first three quarters of 2015; and by December will be ready for test runs, to go full blast.
On this Fast and Pray Day tomorrow, let us approach the thrown of grace with Thanksgiving for our peace and stability, and fervent Prayer that the Almighty will grant us His divine intervention, continuing to steer our ship of state in peace, and bring us good governance and prosperity.