Liberians are people of great faith. Remember, the first thing the Pioneers did upon arrival on January 7, 1822 was to name the place they landed “Providence Island,” in thanksgiving to God for bringing then safely across the Atlantic Ocean and founding them a home in the land of their ancestors.
Their second historic action was building a church, on Ashmun Street, naming it after the Island, Providence Baptist Church.
We said in a recent editorial that it was only by the grace of God that Liberia was able to survive the territorial aggrandizement of two imperial powers, Great Britain and France, which chopped off our territory from EVERY side, leaving us with a meager 43,000 square miles.
Remember, too, President Daniel E. Howard’s immediate reaction when following the outbreak of World War I,
Germany bombed the French Cable on Front (now Sao Boso) Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia. President Howard immediately commanded the people to gather in their churches to pray for God’s deliverance, and all churches to toll their bells. God answered their prayers and that storm passed miraculously over us.
The Daily Observer has over the years constantly reminded our people about many other Godly interventions in our history. We have not forgotten the women in their white dresses and head ties who gathered daily, in rain or sunshine, near the Spriggs Payne Airfield on Tubman Boulevard, to “Pray the devil back to Hell,” as depicted by the film that resulted from that divine undertaking. God again answered prayer and soon, Charles Taylor, one of our most ruthless tyrants, whose war killed over 250,000 and completely destroyed our infrastructure, was gone, gone gone!
Our people are now living this very moment in faith, when in March this year our country was attacked by the most deadly virus we have ever known—Ebola. Our people started dropping dead everywhere, over 2,500 to date.
Here again, the Liberian people, rallied by the Liberian Council of Churches, gathered in their churches and homes –and again on that same Spriggs Payne field, as well as in their mosques, and started praying.
These prayers, together with the belated but robust response from our government and the international community, have led to a significant receding (retreating, diminishing) of the virus.
It was Jesus who said that faith can move mountains. We, therefore, submit that if faith can move Ebola from amongst us, faith definitely can empower us to go through these Senatorial elections which the National Elections Commission (NEC) has scheduled for December 16, 2014.
We commend NEC Chairman Jerome Kokoyah and his fellow Commissioners for their courage and faith in calling for the elections to go ahead. We are thankful that in consideration of this terrible health crisis that already delayed these elections, NEC has put into place certain safeguards to prevent touching and intermingling among the election crowds. We are sure that there will be chlorinated buckets in EVERY polling booth, where people can wash their hands BEFORE entering to vote.
We pray also that NEC will this time undertake massive publicity, to ensure massive voter turnout.
We also laud the Legislature, the Senate and the House of Representatives, for their forthrightness and optimism in granting their approval for the elections to proceed.
We call on former Senator Blamo Nelson and defeated presidential aspirant Simeon Freeman to stop being men of little faith. Just put on “the armor of faith” and let us all go out and vote on Tuesday, December 16, get this necessary constitutional process behind us and move forward.
We further call on the electorate, to turn out en masse and vote!
One last but most important thing: Many reading this editorial, especially foreigners but even us Liberians, are tempted to ask, “Why with all this faith the Daily Observer is claiming Liberians have, yet she remains, though the oldest African Republic, among the most backward?
Thanks for the question. The answer is simple: We have faith in God, but not love for one another. This, we confess, is a terrible, ungodly contradiction. For the Bible puts the ancient question, “How can you love God whom you have not seen, and hate your brother, whom you see every day?”
In Liberia, we prefer to give the foreigner EVERYTHING—land, minerals, business opportunities, contracts, yes, everything—and leave nothing for our own people. This has been the case with successive administrations, beginning with President W.V.S. Tubman’s.
We plead once again with ALL Liberians to change the way we do things. Here again, we plead: Let us start loving and caring for one another. When this happens, buttressed by our faith, God will be pleased and our country will start growing and developing by leaps and bounds! Not before then, we’re afraid.