President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has launched a response to the hunger program, under the auspices of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), as part of its 29th General Assembly convening at the New Water in the Desert Apostolic Church in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.
The LCC, under the theme: “The Role of the Church in Fighting Hunger and Poverty,” says it is the church’s own way of supporting government’s efforts to fight hunger.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf commended the LCC for the partnership with government in improving human dignity.
She said government’s partnership with the church has come a long way in fighting to improve the lives of all Liberians, not only in their spiritual enrichment, but in fostering peace and social justice, making the partnership a strong one.
“I like to call on all Liberians to get involved with the LCC’s initiative, as it will greatly impact the society in making Liberians know the importance of feeding oneself,” the Liberian leader said, adding, “I encourage the church to do all it can in getting the desired result of this great initiative.”
She expressed optimism that Liberians can feed themselves when all of the natural preconditions, including rain and sunshine, are available for producing abundant food.
President Sirleaf believes that individual Liberians can feed themselves even from their backyard, making reference to the plot of lowland that she cultivates quarterly.
“I want to support Rev. Dr. Chizobo Raphael Opoko, that we can start small and later turn it into a large one, as I am doing in my yard,” she pointed out, stressing, “The rice I eat is from my yard; the okra sauce I eat is produced in my yard; the coconut water I drink is from my yard; and the plum that I eat as dessert is from my yard,” she said, amidst resounding applauds.
The Liberian leader’s comments were in support of the LCC’s 29th Assembly Keynote Speaker, Rev. Dr. Opoko, who praised the initiative and suggested that the LCC could start small and gradually build the program into a big success.
In his Address, Rev. Dr. Opoko, who is also Secretary-General of the Nigerian Methodist Conference, praised the LCC for the initiative as this is a new phenomenon in Africa.
He reminded the LCC that history will judge them, if this initiative fails to have an impact on ordinary Liberians. However, he said, he is particularly impressed by the initiative and prayed that God will lead the leadership of the LCC to realize their dream.
Rev. Dr. Opoko used the occasion to offer prayers for Liberia’s success, describing President Sirleaf as a visionary leader and a mother who is braving the storm to change the country’s ugly past, especially after the 14-year civil unrest.
“Madam President, I want to predict that your leadership will make Liberia shine and return to its prewar status, where it served as a bastion of hope and an envy of its neighbor,” the Nigerian prelate said.
Rev. Dr. Opoko said his nights in Liberia has been the most peaceful he has ever had in two years; a further demonstration that Liberia has greatly transcended from its bitter past. He praised President Sirleaf for the courage to transform a war-ravaged country to a success story.
Speaking earlier, the President of the LCC, Bishop Jonathan B.B. Hart, described President Sirleaf’s attendance at this year’s General Assembly as “remarkable and a demonstration of how the church and State must work together for the common good of its people.”