This report highlights the challenges encountered by the Peal Center during the period under review. Having spent a year in this office, nothing much was achieved. But notwithstanding, we used this period for adjustment and make connection with related institutions within both private and public sectors that are involved in peace building, palava-conflict management and counseling process.
Though, our performance was not on a full skill, but our office was gracious enough to provide counseling services to 5 family heads, which could have resulted them into law-suit. As a result of our intervention, peace was finally restored among these families, and our Church (The UMC) was greatly commended for her timely intervention.
As we move forward in this quadrennial, in making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, the S. Edward Peal Center for Reconciliation and Renewal is delighted to inform this Conference that, in collaboration with the Special program on Substance Abuse and related Violence (SPSARV), the Peal Center has completed a six (6) months study on behavioral pattern of our young people, especially those in both public and private schools. The study was focused on factors responsible for the rising negative behaviors among students. The study revealed that several factors were responsible for the violence of these young people. However, the major contributing factor is Substance Abuse.
Having established this fact, the Peal Center and SPSARV has communicated with our UM Schools within the Monrovia area to organize Substance Abuse Club in these schools in order to help alleviate or discourage the use of harmful drugs among our students.
Based upon this mutual understanding, the Peal Center was invited to attend and participate in SPARV’s African Taskforce Planning Conference held in Liberia from
August 14-19, 2013 at the Corina Hotel. During this Conference, there were 13 foreign participants from Episcopal Areas and Annual Conferences and Staff of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) of The United Methodist Church. SPARV/LAC/UMC members were also in attendance. The conference commenced with a welcome program on Wednesday, August 15, 2013 at the S.T. Nagbe United Methodist Church at 6:00p.m. At this Service, Scriptures were read; our guests were welcomed to the Liberia Annual conference by Sis. Marie Giahyue, Coordinator, Substance Abuse and African Taskforce (ATF) representative.
Official Opening: The Official opening began with a devotion led by Rev. Morrison M. Wleh, Director, S. Edward Peal Center for Reconciliation and Renewal. He spoke on the theme: “Seek Ye First, the Kingdom of God and its righteousness.” The Opening Session was also graced by our Bishop, the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis who welcomed our guests on behalf of the Liberia Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church and spoke about the effect of Substance Abuse in our Conferences and the world at large. We were launched into the Sessions, setting goals, and developing training plans for 2014. The Training Sessions were quite educative, as Art Mellor, Executive Director of SPSARV/GBGM provided insights on the goal of the Special Program. He mentioned that the Program is to equip United Methodists and Partners to be informed and responders to alcohol, other drugs and related violence worldwide. Art also said that the vision of SPSARV is to see a world where the brokenness of the disease of addiction is replaced with God’s promise of hope, healing, healthy and wholeness.
Meanwhile, the Training Sessions were focused on the impacts of addiction on the family system and children, the story of the prodigal son and alcohols anonymous were dealt with. The Conference was also characterized by a Special Session for ATF representatives. It was geared toward setting our goals for the year 2014. The Conferences were grouped into their geographical locations in order to a avoid participants assembling in a particular area. This grouping brought about 3 Central Conferences.
The Congo Central Conference, Africa East Central Conference and
The West Africa Central Conference:
The idea that was proposed by GBGM and agreed upon by members was that the training will be carried on by GBGM per Central Conference and those who will be trained will return to their annual Conferences to train their people (TOT). The Planning Session was climaxed with a Divine Worship Service held at the following churches. S.T. Nagbe, David Gueh and the First UMC.
Work Schedule for 2014:
- Setting up of Substance Abuse Club in various Junior and Senior High Schools, beginning with UM Schools from March to May, 2014.
- Awareness Building on Drugs/Substance Abuse within our Districts through the local Churches, from April to May, 2014
- Formation of Taskforce Committee in the various organizations of our Church (Youth, Young Adult, Women & Men) – June, 2014.
- Development of resourceful materials for distribution to various groups of the Church, which will be sponsored by the LAC/UMC, July to September, 2014.
Commendation: We are grateful to the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis for our appointment as Coordinator Substance Abuse/Representative African Taskforce and Director S. Edward Peal Center respectively. We also express our thanks and appreciation to the following persons for their advice and cooperation in our respective work areas. The Rev. George D. Wilson, Jr., Rev. Samuel J. Quire, Jr., Rev. Isaac C. Padmore, the office of the Conference Treasurer, Bro. Zehyu and Bro. Alfred Zigbuo.
May God Almighty bless us all.
Respectfully submitted, Rev. Morrison M. Wleh, Sr., Director, S. Edward Peal Center