Building the kingdom one step at a time

By Father Terrance Doherty, S.M.A. Father Terrance Doherty, S.M.A. shares his experiences while working in Africa as a member of the Society of African Missions.

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Image: We needed a bridge in the community. Our people were trapped by murky swamp water when it rained, unable to move about freely. Together, not an engineer among us, we tackled the problem and built a bridge.

As a member of the Society of African Missions, I’ve ministered among the people of Liberia since 1972. In the capital city of Monrovia, Liberia, I move among the poorest of the poor. Often they are hungry, sick, and homeless. I try to minister to their physical and spiritual needs. To my belief they possess a unique spirituality. They cling to God . . . for everything!
The people of Liberia—men women, and children—continually teach me about God’s grace and hope.
The people of Liberia—men women, and children—continually teach me about God’s grace and hope.

One day I met a severely handicapped young woman named Josie living on the street. She was an unusually happy person who reacted with delight to the smallest donation. We carried Josie in a wheelbarrow to the parish church, where women from the slums bathed her, dressed her, and fixed her hair. We managed to find her a small shanty.

We also took in a few other abandoned people. Some kind people offered us money and suggested we obtain a better house. Today we call it Happy Home, after Josie. 

It has been my privilege to share my life with the people of Liberia. They are keenly sensitive to God’s presence in their day-to-day life. They have become my mentors, transporting me to a world with values more in keeping with what is most important in life.
2003 © TrueQuest Communications

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