The President, instead of driving to Monrovia’s most central mosque on Benson Street, to deliver her Ramadan gifts, started, in powerful symbolism, with the Unity Mosque a block away from her residence, near the Fish Market. There she delivered 500 bags of rice for mosques in the general Monrovia vicinity, to help them break their fast each day during Ramadan.
The message in this symbolism is that charity begins at home. The President began her generous giving among her most immediate neighbors, at the Mosque next door. From there, Moslems throughout Montserrado County have been touched by the reminder that their President, a Christian, is remembering them in their holiest time of the year.
At the time when few were even thinking about it, the President has done three good things for the country. First, she has reached out concretely to people who happen to be of another religion–Islam–identifying with them during the Holy Month of Ramadam, by helping them break their daily fast with a donation of the nation’s staple, rice. We thank her for having the mind, heart and ability to give a gift that is critical to Ramadam, breaking the fast each day.
She also gave fish and other soup kind.
The leaders of the Unity Mosque, on behalf of Moslems around the county and country, responded with gratitude. On behalf of the Elders Council and the entire Unity Mosque congregation, Imam Ali Krayee thanked Ellen for identifying with them, “not just during the period of Ramadam, but at all times crucial to Moslems.” He also thanked her for the manner in which she “caters” to them, her most immediate neighbors.
The second good thing she has done for the country is to grant her immediate Moslems neighbors electricity “free of charge.” Assistant Imam Kalilu Jalloh thanked the President for this “kind humanitarian gesture.”
We find this extraordinary because it is easy to live among one’s neighbors and turn a blind eye to their most immediate needs. But that should not be so, and President Sirleaf, by doing these things, is setting a great example for the rest of us. That is how we should live among our neighbors–reach out to them without them even asking.
That is what God does for us all each day–wakes us up each morning and gives us breath. That is what He did in sending His Son Jesus to die for our sins and show us the way to salvation.
And that is what He did for Liberia in granting us peace again.
Herein lies the third good thing the President, in reaching out to Moslems, has done for the country: she has appealed to them to pray for the peace of Liberia.
Heaven knows we need that. The country is going through some difficult times right now. There is the budget shortfall, which makes money scarce for everyone; there is the decline of the
Liberian dollar against the United States dollar because there has been, over the past several years, a slump in agricultural production, causing us to expend our hard-earned foreign exchange to import so much of what we eat, including our staple, rice; and there is poverty in the land first, because our education system has failed to empower our young with the learning and skills they need to live comfortable and contributing lives; and second, because foreigners control our commerce and industry; so they are rich and we are poor.
So the nation needs very serious prayers. There are these prophecies being regularly preached, from prophets here and abroad. But one of the most positive ones we have heard in recent times is from a prophetess on the Old Road, who has assured us that Liberians have a way out of our present difficulties, which seem so dismal (depressing, gloomy). She said the good Lord wants us to pray–that if we pray hard enough, He WILL deliver us out of our distresses.
That is why Ellen’s plea to the Moslems for prayer is so important.
Amidst all the gloomy prophecies, here is one that says we have a way out–through prayer.
Let us all, therefore, during this Holy Month and always, bow in humble submission and pray for our country and for our peace.