Greetings friends and family at First Lutheran!

Today is an incredible day in history in Liberia! After months of elections, claims of fraud, hearings, and a run-off election, today we sworn into office our 24th president, former soccer star, George Weah. Why is this so important? Because today is the first PEACEFUL democratic exchange of power in 74 YEARS. 74 years. This country has been through so much, and today was a light showing that we’re moving forward.

This holiday season was a busy time. There were committee meetings-where we are preparing for a nationwide mosquito net distribution in the coming months. Then we were again out under travel restrictions as a precaution during the run-off election. There were days of celebrating with family and friends in my village for Christmas and the New Year-plenty of cooking, eating, dancing, soccer and spending time with friends (I even taught some friends to play a bit of American football!)

The first week of January brought with it an amazing opportunity. I, with the help of other volunteers, organized, planned, hosted and facilitated a multi-day GLOW camp for 40 teenage girls in our county! GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World. They learned about what makes them glow and how they can shine to help and advocate for others. It was an incredible few days that I will never forget, and hope it stays with the girls forever as well.

With less than 6 months left in my service, my cohort and I are finishing up all of our plans and projects. One current project that has yet to be fully funded is the “Love Thyself” workshops. You often find here that young men and women fail to see the beauty in themselves. They often believe that beauty is only in light skin and soft hair. They often use harmful and dangerous chemicals to try to “brighten” their skin or relax their hair. Some of the Volunteers in my group are travelling around the countryside doing workshops in educating about these harmful practices and beliefs. While I was home this summer I had the privilege to talk to many of you about my service, and a question I often got was how can we help support you? What can we do to support the work in Liberia? And here it is. By donating to these workshops you are donating to help young men and women see their own beauty. You are helping them to see that they are beautiful the way God made them. You can help the future leaders of Liberia. Any and all kind of help is appreciated! Thank you for your continued love, prayers and support.

With fire still blazing in my heart, hands and feet,
McKenzie Colt