So reads the last line of an endearing letter given to me from Judy Massah, a 9th grade Liberian girl. She wrote the letter during study hall shortly after visiting with me and handed it to me with much excitement, adamant that I must wait just before bed to open it. It sealed my first day at Liberia Mission with as much hospitality as it had begun.
And this is exactly the attitude of the people here at Liberia Mission Inc – a welcome home. I can not think of a better way to describe my first seven hours here. I feel like I have come home to members of God’s family that I have been called to yet never seen in the flesh.
Judy, along with the rest of the joyful children at the mission greeted me with hugs oozing of pure love and an openness to be embraced. They “introduced” me with songs during their Sunday night chapel service. I am thrilled to celebrate life with my new 110 brothers and sisters. I find it amazing that these kids, most of whom are parentless or from broken, scattered families, have such a radical idea of family.
When The Blessed Mother appeared to a visionary at Caritas, Birmingham, AL, a few weekends ago, She emphasized the crucial role of the family in today’s society, repeating that a strong, faithful family is the core of a strong nation and that broken families lead to a broken nation. In Liberia, this is evident in the form of polygamy and excessive young pre-marital pregnancies. And sadly, I’m realizing the US is not much different.
But I see, too, the good that God bestows on ALL things…especially the broken. He has provided Liberia Mission children with many different brothers and sisters, or “aunts,” who have volunteered at the mission, and He has instilled the children with an incomparable radiance of what it means to be a part of God’s family.
The last line of Judy’s note, written in red ink, reads, “From your Liberian friend and also Daughter.”
Be open, believe, be love.