Doing project work in remote areas of developing countries takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Are the results worth the effort? How can you say for certain? The construction team on the Ganta project asked these questions many times. Our conclusion: When others observed the system in operation at Ganta and six months later asked us install a similar system at their facility, we knew then that our work was of value to the people we were trying to help.
We now have a large backlog of projects, all for people who have requested electricity for their facilities.
We are blessed by personal examples of lives changed by Power From the SON.
I would like to request information on the process of help from Power From the Son for Gbarnga United Methodist Mission Station in Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia. I have spoken with Mary Zigbu a number of times about Power From the Son. I have traveled up to Ganta several times and seen your work. Gbarnga UM Mission Station is located near Ganta. At the station we have Gbarnga School of Theology, St. John UM Church, Tubman-Gray High School, a vocational department, dorms, cottages, homes, and wells that need electricity.
Donald “DT” Turner
Development and Partnership Coordinator
Gbarnga United Methodist Mission Station
The work to electrify the United Methodist hospital and mission in Ganta, Liberia was very costly and required great sacrifice from many people. The United Methodist Bishop of Liberia, John Innis, said in a television interview that “thousands of lives will be saved, and hundreds of lives have been saved already.” Was it all worth it? Really?
During two of my three trips to Liberia, I had the privilege to be chauffeured, part of the time, by Bishop Innis’s driver, Tamba. Tamba doesn’t say much: only “Yes, sir” and “No, sir.” But when the only people in the car were Power From the SON volunteers, he became one of our favorites and we coaxed him into talking. Best of all, we got him to smile and laugh. On long, all-day trips, we learned a lot about Tamba.
First of all, the bishop sometimes requires his services long before sunup to leave for some remote village in Liberia. To get to work, he must leave his house, take a long cab ride, and be at the top of his game as long as he is needed. At the end of the day, he catches a cab for the long ride home. On one occasion, an international flight into Monrovia was delayed and Tamba had to wait at the airport throughout the night. I am sure there are many nights he sleeps in the car when an overnight stay is required. He is very happy with his life as a steward for the Church.
On our most recent trip to Liberia, we tried to buy lunch for him, but he told us he was too full from breakfast. On the last day of our trip, Tamba drove us to the airport and told us, “I had a horrible pain in my chest earlier this year. Really bad. They took me to Ganta, and I was there two weeks. They took an X-ray and found out it was my heart. They gave me medicine and now I am OK. No more pain, I can do anything.” I was glad for him, and I was glad we still had our good friend Tamba. While waiting for our plane, it occurred to me: Tomba was taken to Ganta because people say it is the finest hospital in Liberia. X-rays and other essential medical equipment require electricity. Therefore, Power From the SON had a hand in helping—maybe even saving—Tamba.
Sometimes you get the message when it is personal.