Lydia Marcus – Staff Writer
Thanks to you, Professor DeRoo, Professor Cosgrove, Pastor Baart, and Rocklyn Mouw are bald. More importantly, eighteen Liberian children who were orphaned by Ebola will have a family and a place to call home.
The One Cut fundraiser was a “God-given idea,” said Dordt junior Marissa LeDuc. “A member of the 2014 Liberia AMOR team feft that it was something that God just put in their head with the idea that all it would take is $10 from each student and faculty from Dordt’s campus.”
LeDuc came up with the name One Cut because the project asks people to make a “one-time cut in their budget.” In addition, “we are going to give one big haircut to those 4 gentlemen.” The four volunteers were selected because of their significance on campus and their “significant hair.”
The One Cut project is organized by One Body One Hope (OBOH), a bi-national, non-profit organization that partners with a network of non-denominational churches called Abide in the Vine Disciples Church, which are located all throughout Liberia, and an orphanage called Christ Our Hope, which is located in Monrovia, Liberia.
Abide in the Vine Disciples Church has selected Pastor Abraham Howard, the lead pastor of the congregation in Foya, Lofa County, to lead the establishment of the orphanage.
“He and his wife will travel to Monrovia to receive training at Christ Our Hope Orphanage, where 60 kids, sponsored by One Body One Hope currently live and receive schooling and discipleship,” said Baart.
The $15,000 raised by the Dordt community will be used to cover the initial capital cost of constructing the orphanage home.
“The orphanage will be supported longer-term by a child sponsorship program, like the one already in existence under One Body One Hope (OBOH) for Christ Our Hope,” said Baart. “This is a $40 per month sponsorship program which covers the cost of food, education, medical care, etc.”
The orphanage constructed by the One Cut project will be unusual because the orphanage home leaders will live with the children. The leaders will not “function merely as orphan home directors but truly as parents,” said Baart. “They have a carefully-selected support staff to help with laundry, security, food, and schooling.”
Because Liberia does not have any internal foster or adoptive government programs, local churches must take leadership in this area.
The One Cut event is primarily about raising funds to help people who are dealing with the repercussions of Ebola, specifically the children who have lost their families. “But in addition to this, we want to give individuals on campus an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to recognize what we can do as a whole when we all make a small contribution, and even more so, recognize what God can do with this beautiful opportunity,” said LeDuc.
“One Body One Hope is committed to long-term redevelopment of Liberia by investing in the next generation of leaders,” said Baart. “We believe that the children within our program will be given the necessary education, discipleship, and opportunities to be exactly that!”
Though the One Cut fundraiser is done, Dordt students can continue to be involved in One Body One Hope by following OBOH on twitter, liking its Facebook page, signing up for emails and newsletters, and visiting the blog.
“All these tools will highlight opportunities to become a child sponsor, or give toward the many other projects One Body One Hope is a part of right now: church planting, radio ministry, farming, school construction, orphan care, the global church partnership program, or community redevelopment efforts,” said Baart.