Thursday, February 21, 2008

presidential happenings

President Bush was in Liberia today. The crew was advised not to leave the ship as many of the main roads were closed for security reasons. There was also the possibility that all cell phones would be shut off for a few hours as well.

To my knowledge the president visited the university in Monrovia as well as the Liberian presidential mansion. It's rather exciting for an American girl to have her president visit Liberia. I wish I could have seen him, but I don't even want to imagine how insane security must have been. The President's security team had quite a challenge, I am sure.

On Tuesday, The Africa Mercy had the honor of hosting Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia. She has visited Mercy Ships several times before, but this was the first time I had seen her.

When Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took on the presidency, she took on an enormous task. The deep complexity of Liberia's problems and the countries severe lack of infrastructure make the task of rebuilding overwhelming.

It's a job I would never want, but she has courageously it taken on.

I have always been impressed by what I have heard and read about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She is a Harvard educated, Godly woman who could have lived a successful life in the western world but has instead chosen to serve her countryman.

When she walked into the international lounge on Tuesday, I was stuck by her radiance. By her elegance. By her humility. By her love.

The eight minute speech she gave was both heartfelt and inspiring. You could see the deep care and concern she has for her people; the people of Liberia.

As she continues to work hard to rebuild her country, please keep Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in your prayers. She is a Godly woman whose life is really at risk, as evidenced by the stern body guards who kept a close watch during her visit, because of the amazing challenge she has undertaken.

She is a beautiful, courageous woman and I am so grateful that I was able to hear her speak.

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