December 24, 2013 Barnersville, Monrovia, Liberia
Greetings to our friends and family,
First of all, I thank God for the internet since it would be impossible at this date to send each one of you a Christmas card. Even though I wasn’t very good at getting them in the mail early when we lived in Indiana, now it would be next to impossible.
It is hard to believe this is our 3rd Christmas in Liberia. The weather today is 90 degrees, the sun is very bright and there is very little breeze. However, the Christmas spirit is in the air in the neighborhood. Small Children are touring the area, beating pans with spoons, blowing whistles, and singing at the top of their lungs to gather small money for treats. The adult girls are wearing Mardi gras masks and dancing to an I Pod to earn some extra money for Christmas. Neighbors are going house to house greeting each other and we are hosting a community gathering at our home tonight.
We have had an exciting year as we began the Liberia Self Reliance Program. We started with about 20 acres of land which was completely depleted and have worked to restore it bit by bit with compost and other organic supplements. Some of it has been turned now 4 times and we are beginning to see the results with healthier plants and a greater yield. The beekeeping, moringa, honey, sheep, fish pond and SRI programs are keeping the staff busy. We are developing tire and sack gardens and a line of cooking stoves that can be used in different environments. Next year looks to be even more exciting. Our needs include a pickup truck, small air conditioner for the clean room where we process and package moringa and honey, tools, and a small tractor for the ag center. There is also a need for funds for our bunk room, office and library area.
Our children are all doing well. Alan, Lisa and Riley are still in Russiaville and doing well in their respective lines of work. Riley will graduate from Western High School in June and has been accepted at 5 different Indiana colleges to date. The winner will be the one with the best scholarship package.
Kelly and Bob are in Wheatfield. Bob had bypass surgery earlier this year and recovered faster than the doctor’s expectations. He is back to work full time, losing weight, and getting really healthy. Kelly is learning with her 3rd graders as she does every year and loving every minute of it. She has started work on a PhD in Education and enjoying her studies very much.
The children in Liberia are doing all right. We have added another grandchild, Jesse Kumeh, named after my grandfather. My family names are being added to the Kumeh family and the children are encouraging us to do so. They now include: Riley, Jesse, and Edwin Kumeh. No little girls to name although we already had an Anna, and Anne.
I traveled back to Indiana in May for a couple of months to do fundraising for LSRI and visit some family and friends. Timothy and I plan to return to Indiana in May 2014 to do medical checkups and attend Riley’s graduation.
We wish each and every one of you a Blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year filled with wonder, peace and joy.
Timothy and Anne