A Call For Prayer

A Call for Prayer to Launch a Christian University in Liberia

 

Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.  — William Carey

God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible–what a pity that  we plan only the things we can do ourselves.  —A.W. Tozer

 

Dr. R. Zarwulugbo Liberty, president of Africa International Christian Mission, is calling on Christian educators and Christians everywhere to join him to pray that God will establish a Christian university in Liberia, West Africa.  The university will be named: Africa Christian University. In this call for prayer, we have decided to highlight some essential facts about Liberia to help you pray more specifically.

The Founding of Liberia

Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society in the 1820s. The country is located on the Atlantic coast of West Africa with 43,000 square miles. It shares common boarders with Sierra Leone to the northwest, Guinea to the northeast, and Côte d’Ivoire to the southeast. The country presently has 15 counties, which correspond to territories historically claimed by particular Liberian indigenous ethnic groups. English is the official language.  Furthermore, there are more than 20 indigenous languages in the country.  The English language is divided into two: (1) Standard English and (2) Liberian English.  The Standard English is spoken by the educated classes, and the Liberian English is used daily by the uneducated indigenous Liberians.

The founding fathers of Liberia were freed slaves who had been sold in the United States. In the early 1800s, a group of prominent white Americans developed a plan to return freed blacks to Africa. Beginning in 1822, freeborn black Americans, freed slaves of African descent, and Africans freed from captured slave ships were settled by the American Colonization Society on lands, which later became Liberia. This group of a few thousand settlers, never more than 5% of the Liberian population, became known as Americo–Liberians. They dominated the political, economic, social and cultural life of the nation for over a century.

The U.S. government involvement in funding the American Colonization Society’s efforts was never intended to colonize Liberia. Liberia became a sovereign nation under Americo-Liberian rule on July 26, 1847. The indigenous inhabitants were antagonistic to the establishment of the Liberian nation. This, however, resulted in various civil wars over territories and trade routes throughout the 1800s. This complexity of Liberia’s history exists today. We believe the solution to this complication and disunity can be resolved by higher education of the Liberian people.

Educational Needs for Liberia

Historically, Liberia is the first democratic independent country in Africa since 1847. The proposed Africa Christian University will offer bachelors, masters, and doctoral-level  degrees. This university will be the first, by the grace of God, to offer doctoral-level  degrees since the founding of Africa’s oldest Republic. Many Liberians are stranded with their bachelor degrees and can’t go any further. The few that got advanced education at home received limited disciplines; however, many either studied in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa or the United States of America.  Most Liberians study in the US because they can work and go to school. Going to the neighboring countries for further studies has been very difficult for many, and few made it. Why?  Because those countries do not provide employment for foreigners.   So, one has to have enough money to pay for his education before enrolling in any school in those countries.  The unemployment rate of Liberia at present is 80 percent!  Therefore, if one is not given a visa to enter the United States, then his or her entire academic future is stalled if they are not interested in the few disciplines offered at home.  Dr. Liberty was also limited to only his bachelor degree for many years before God opened the door for him to study in the United States. The Lord has laid on his heart to change this stalemate in his country. With your prayers, many Liberians will do their bachelors, masters and doctorates in their homeland. Advanced education of this kind will help to eradicate cultural disharmony and the age-old complex disunity in Liberia.

Who will launch and operate the Africa Christian University?

God, You, Me, and We

God:  The first  person who will surely establish and operate this university is God Himself.  Nothing is impossible with our God.  Except the Lord builds the house, the builder will work in vain. God is the Master Builder.  He who calls will surely provide the needs of this university.

You:  Every Christian is commissioned to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Mt. 28: 18-20).  How can it be done?  You can do so by supporting your local church with your tithes and offerings, and partnering with missionaries with your prayers and financial support.  If you cannot go, you can send or train someone to go.  The blessing in such partnership is the one sent and the sender share God’s blessings. You can become one of our founding partners to pray specifically for this university. More details will be provided in our proposal regarding the role of a partner and or a founding partner.  Kindly forward this prayer need to those who are in your contacts. You never know―there may be someone in your contacts who has been praying for years for such opportunity.

Me:  God will accomplish His purpose through me. The Lord will never give you a vision without providing the ability and the man-power to implement it.  The burden to offer masters and doctoral degrees in Liberia was planted in Dr. Liberty’s heart long ago when he was stranded with his first degree. He had always wondered why the first independent country in Africa cannot offer more masters in various disciplines nor doctoral-level degrees when other African countries are doing it.  He prayed sincerely for many years and vowed to God that if He trains him, he will commit himself to be used to offer bachelors, masters, and doctoral-level degrees in Liberia.  In fact, Dr Liberty started this effort by establishing the Liberty Theological Seminary (LTS) in 1993 in Liberia, which offers Associate and Bachelor degrees in Theology and Religious Education.  LTS will serve as one of the schools at the university. After many years of prayers, the Lord brought him to America, provided a scholarship for his master’s and doctorate training.  We believe God who performed this miracle in his life will enable him and you to bless the people of Liberia spiritually and academically.

We:  God will do it through us. William Carey, the father of modern missions, believed that “The future is as bright as the promises of God.”  Let us gain courage from the words of Jesus: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened “(Mt.7:7-8).  Join us in this effort to persistently ask, seek, and knock the doors of heaven for surely we will receive from our heavenly Father.

How to become a partner and what are the responsibilities?

Partnership for ACU is free and open to every Christian. We need Christ-loving people and educators who will be committed in praying for the planning and launching of the university.  There are two categories of partnership: (1) founding partners, and (2) general partners. Founding partners are classified as original founders of the university and general partners are those who will support the vision of a university and its programs.

However, in the future, some founding partners who are financially able to travel to Liberia will be encouraged to participate in the launching program of the university.

Items for Prayer:

  • We are praying that God will raise up the right partners to pray fervently for this vision.
  • Pray for the right Christian professors in various disciplines to join us in this cause.  We also need theologians, missiologists, and missionaries to help the Liberty Theological Seminary within the university to offer masters and doctorates for the Christian workers and leaders in Liberia.
  • The planning committee needs prayer for God’s wisdom how to carry out this task in making sure that every stage of the planning will be effective to the glory of God.
  • Pray  that the finances needed for this project will flow abundantly.
  • Pray that the Lord will connect us with African and Western-based universities, and seminaries to help us achieve our objective.

When will the university be launched?

The launching date will depend on the progress of the planning committee.  Regular updates will be sent to every partner. There are several things that need to be considered prior to the launching: An Act needs to be passed by the government of Liberia creating this university, which may take some time.  The launching will be in two stages:

  • Dr. Liberty will return to Liberia in June or October 2013 to lay the ground work for the university. During this time, he will revamp the Liberty Theological Seminary and prepare it to merge with the university. We need to pray that Christian professors will join the staff to make things easier for the university status.
  • On March 2014, we will send a delegation to meet with the Liberian government for the creation of an Act for the operation of Africa Christian University.
  • The Launching celebration will be held during the first academic years 2015-2016 of the university.

In summary, the solution to the complexity of the Liberian cultures historically is a Christian university to offer higher education.  Our prayer is for Liberians to graduate with masters and doctorates in their homeland. One who rises above his culture academically is opened to accommodate other cultures through acculturation.  Here are the three main points that stimulate our call for prayer: (1) the Christian university will pave the way for the fulfillment of the Great Commission in Africa and beyond – raise up great church leaders and Christian politicians; (2) Africa’s oldest independent country needs to offer doctoral- level degrees at home in a Bible-based Christian university to prepare men and women for the Great Commission, which will influence the political life of graduates who may seek public offices. (3) Cultural and political differences can be resolved through education. How will it be done? God will do it through us.  Let us echo A. W. Tozer who said, “God is looking for people [you and me] through whom He can do the impossible–what a pity that we plan only the things we can do ourselves.”

If you are interested to be a part of this vision, or if you have any questions regarding this university, please contact us.