Liberia: Extreme Poverty Hijacks Pro-Poor Agenda – Rev. Samuel Reeves￼
MONROVIA – The President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Rev. Samuel Reeves has disclosed that the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President George Manneh Weah has been hijacked by extreme poverty among the citizenry.
Rev. Reeves is also the Senior Pastor of the historic Providence Baptist Church in Liberia.
Barely few months after his inauguration, President Weah launched the PAPD to help alleviate the high rate of poverty among vast majority of citizens in the post-conflict nation and address the huge infrastructural constraints, among others through various interventions and initiatives
However, the full actualization of the document is yet to come to fruition with less than two years to the end of the first term of President Weah.
According to Rev. Reeves, citizens in Liberia are presently living in “desperate times” with growing number of unresolved ills and difficulties.
He made these assertions when he delivered his sermon at the church edifice on Broad Street in Monrovia on Sunday, August 7.
He spoke on the theme: Blow the Trumpet, Sound the Warning” from text Ezekiel 33:1-7.
“We are living in desperate times. Listen to the local and foreign news. Starvation in a land of plenty; Our young girls and babies continue to be raped, a growing number of unsolved murders in an environment of constant insecurity in a time of massive security budget; unparalleled educational crisis in a world of enlightenment; A pro-poor agenda highjacks by escalating and extreme poverty ; Wars and rumors of war in a world that’s hungry for Peace; the rise of violence and tyranny in a culture of democracy; the growth of intolerance in an environment of mutual co-existence; High cost of living confronted by a growing wave of low income; and faith challenges, moral decade and spiritual failings in a culture of immorality. Never were promises so grand and failures so apparent.”
He stressed that it is now time that the church in Liberia sounds God’s warnings of today’s atrocities.
“Just like in the days of the prophet Ezekiel, listen church, listen Liberia, the work of sin in the church and corruption in the state will produce the strange fruit of impending doom in our nation if we don’t change our wicked ways. What kind of Church are we? We are called to be and we must be the kind of Church that: blows the trumpet, sound the alarm!”
He emphasized that the church today is called upon to boldly denounce with force and fervor, the idolatry of God’s people.
“What kind of church should we be in this nation, the kind that calls on a disobedient nation and a compromised Church to repent of their sins and return in obedience to their God. Are you with me? Listen, the Church, just like Ezekiel, we must be the sacred remnant of this prophetic tradition, and we must bear witness to the ills in our contemporary society.”
Be the bridge
Rev. Reeves maintained that the church must be the prophetic bridge across which poor, abundant, insecure and dying people must walk to reach a new economic, moral, and spiritual order from darkness to light and from failure to success.
“We should operate with a distinguishing dynamic of prophetic boldness without fear or trembling. We must consistently blow the trumpet and sound the alarm against: MATERIALISM. We must sound the warning against: TRIBALISM. The Church must sound the warning against: FALSE PROPHETS. For such men and women are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
According to him, the Church in Liberia must also sound the warning against injustice, greed and corruption in the land.
“The Church must sound the warning against VIOLENCE. The church must blow the trumpet and sound the warning against secular HUMANISM. What do we see in this nation every day? What do we see in our pews every week, like Ezekiel, we see a NEW VALLEY OF DRY BONES littered with hopelessness, helplessness, carelessness and lovelessness.”
“But I also see a great opportunity for the Church to BLOW THE TRUMPET AND SOUND THE ALARM. That these new dry bones can live again through sound preaching and godly living, relevant ministries and a loving church”.
He emphasized that the Church in Liberia must never retreat from her prophetic assignment.
Rev. Reeves indicated that religious leaders should challenge the status quo and speak against societal ills with boldness and fairness.
“She (church) must always blow the trumpet and sound the alarm – if not the church, then who? If not now, then when? Our corrupt official want to know, our sin sick communities have to know, our ungodly pastors, false prophets and apostles, money driven bishops and archbishops need to know that there is still hope in Jesus – He’s the rock in the weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.”
“Each week or more we will consider the call of the church to be the church and the power the church possesses in challenging the status quo and bringing transformation to the nation; speaking the Word of God with boldness and bringing hope to a dying, depraved and desperate nation and world.”