The morning started with the typical worship service at the Deanville preaching point. After service, we used baby Foton to haul wooden benches from the preaching point over to the school to set up for the afternoon dedication service to be held at 4pm. I disappointed a large group of little children (probably all underage 3) with some of them crying because I told them they couldn’t ride inthe back of the truck with all the benches loaded up high. While some of the Deanville people set up benches and chairs, I took the opportunity to
clean a little in the guesthouse kitchen and finish assembling the propane cook stove. As it was after 2pm by now, I was also feeling a bit hungry so I put the stove into action and
cooked up some delicious Chef Boyardee mini-ravioli! Mmm mmm good.
The dedication started fairly promptly at 4pm, especially for Liberian time. Members of Deanville, St. Mark’s parish in Gbarnga, and St. Luke’s parish in Phebe attended. Sumo, Pastor Weekie, Rev. Moses Jeobor (district Dean), Anthony Siakor from the Rotary Club of Gbarnga, myself…and two other pastors who I’m not that familiar with….who sat at plastic tables acting as the makeshift dais of dignitaries in front of the school. Each in turn gave “remarks” and I was encouraged to give a brief history of what brought us to this point along with what the next phase might be. Everyone offered their prayers of thanksgiving and words of appreciation for the hard work and dedication. I was very pleased that Mr. Siakor could attend even though it overlapped with another meeting he was scheduled to be at. The small number of choir members in the group offered a few songs as well.
After the various remarks, Rev. Jeobor followed a formal-but brief-order of service out of a Lutheran book of worship to dedicate the school. This was accompanied by a ceremonial “passing of the key” for one of the classrooms among the “dais dignitaries” with it ultimately ending back in Rev. Jeobor’s hand who then blessed the school and invited everyone to “tour” the facility. At this point, everyone began filing into the building while singing what has the monotone nature of monks chanting (it’s a familiar deep melodic mantra that is heard at every church service as the offerings slowly process to the altar). After admiring the classroom, the group of “holy oglers” filed over to the guesthouse and the chant-filled tour continued until all were satisfied. We all stood in the “living room” of the guesthouse as a final prayer was said and the group dispersed. Overall a short but meaningful end to Phase 1 of construction and the beginning of school operations.