Our congregation sponsors three Liberian children in their education through our 3rd Sunday/Monday Noisy Offering. They were introduced to us by Pastor Albert Barchue of Mitchell United Methodist Church here in Negaunee. Here are their stories:
Danlette Dennis is the daughter of Pastor Albert's friend, Victor Denis, both having gone to seminary together and serving as ministers in the United Methodist Church in Liberia. Victor died about five years ago and his widow, Promise Dennis, is left struggling to meet the needs of the three children. Her greatest challenge is meeting the financial requirement for their education. Danlette has been advanced to the 7th grade and is an excellent student academically.
Simeon Wright’s problem started when the mining company which his dad, James Wright, was working folded up and left the country. James has not had another job for over two years. Many people in Liberia earn just a little to keep the family going. There are no extra savings, so in an event like this the family’s financial situation changes immediately. Consequently, Simeon had to drop out of school (because the funds to pay the school authorities were not available), but your financial aid has put him back. Simeon has been advanced to the 2nd grade.
Obey McCauley’s mom is an extended family member of Pastor Albert's. His dad, James McCauley, died about three years ago, leaving his uneducated mom with five children. Pastor Albert is personally helping the family financially with other needs. Obey has been advanced to the 10th grade, his first high school year in Liberia. Except for your financial aid, he would not have been able to do this, because the financial means to do so are not otherwise there.
Mark Rich has served in parish ministry, in mission service, and as an adjunct instructor in theological education in the US, Canada, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Mark is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Northwestern University. His interdisciplinary doctoral research on the Ethics of Jesus has led him into deep conversations and work on the issues of nonviolence, economics, and relationships between people and peoples. In returning to mission service, Mark particularly looks forward to working with emerging leaders of the church in Tanzania and beyond and sharing his passion for the Gospel.
Cynthia Holder Rich has served in parish ministry, in mission service, and in graduate theological education. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and holds degrees from McCormick Theological Seminary, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is the author of three books and many articles, and has presented around the world, particularly about the church in Madagascar, ecumenism, confessional Christianity, race, and women in church and society. Cynthia is excited about learning about the church in Tanzania and working with emerging leaders – particularly women – for the church.
Cynthia and Mark are grateful to God for the gift of three children, Joseph, Paul, and Ella, who are each amazing and wonderful young adults.
They have served in Madagascar with the Malagasy Lutheran Church and the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar from 1998-2003. Returning to Africa gives them great joy.
Immanuel supports Mark and Cynthia as part of the Superior Central Conference 8 of the Northern Great Lakes Synod, ELCA.