Blowing Trumpets of Peace, Unity, Progress -Weah, Rev. Gbelley Rally Citizens Ahead of Jul 26

Liberia hits its 175th Independence Anniversary tomorrow and certainly many are asking if the event is worthy of celebrations. By comparative analysis, zooming in on a number of countries in Africa and beyond that are by far younger, the temptation for some citizens to suggest mourning rather than celebrating the National Day is high. But a sober reflection, considering the fact Liberia before the civil conflict was a beacon of hope and reference point for most developing countries, one would think division, hatred and complacency are to blame. It is perhaps because of the realization of this that the President of the Republic, His Excellency George Manneh Weah and a noted Liberian prelate, used the occasion of Thanksgiving Service ahead of this year’s Independence Celebration to drum up the need for citizens to embrace peace, unity and progress as a renewed pickup point for national transformation. THE ANALYST reports.   

As Liberians celebrate their country’s 175th Independence Anniversary, they have been called upon to embrace peace, unity and progress if the country must move forward to overcome the myriad of challenges plaguing it.

Delivering his Thanksgiving and Intercessory Service message to the nation a day before the for the celebration of this very important Independence day, Reverend Edwin Gbelley, General Superintendent Emeritus of the Assemblies of God Church in Liberia, urged Liberians to imbibe the spirit of peace because, according to him, there can no development without peace.

During his sermon at the First Assemblies of God Church on Buchanan Street, the Guest Preacher told the nation that peace continues to elude the nation, including every constituents, particularly the family, which is the basic unit of every society.

“No nation can be developed in the absence of peace,” the Liberian cleric said. “The family, which is the basic unit of every society, cannot have unity without peace and when that happens the nation is thrown into confusion and chaos.”

Speaking on the theme, “Fostering Unity, Protecting the Peace,” Reverend Gbelley who premised his discourse on the story of the Jacob and Esau in the Bible said to have harmony in a country there is a need to be tolerant of each other’s aspiration, being at peace with their neighbors, and working collectively for the common good of the society.

Why narrating the story of the two brothers in which Jacob cheated his other brother, Esau, with the help of Rebecca their mother to deceptively obtain blessings from Isaac, their father, Rev. Gbelley said the aftermath of the betrayal and deceit threw the who family into turmoil, something he said they all individually contributed to and were all running from their shadow.

“So we have these four persons representing the four kinds of people in Liberia, who one way or the other contributed to the problems in the country,” he continued. “There is a ‘Jacob people’ that want to cheat from the other group, the Esau people, which was made possible from the Rebecca  group who did not carry the soup to Isaac but orchestrated the plan and the last group, the Isaac group, who unknowingly gave the blessing to Jacob that started the whole problem.”

He added: “So these four persons collectively contributed to the problem and they are all running away from the shadow. We all are responsible for the problem in the country”, he said amid cheers from the audience.

Division, he noted, set in the family and the whole family was in disunity.

“Rebecca was afraid of what she did, Jacob is on the run because of what happened, Esau was angry for what was done to him and Isaac has sorrow and regret for blessing the wrong person which was against the Jewish culture of blessing the elder child,” Rev. Gbelley said.

Pleading with Liberians to repent and look for God for guidance, he urged them to first pray for togetherness and unity, deliverance as well as for integrity among the people so that those who lead will have the fear of God and their character, insisting that there are fundamental things that will prosper the nation and its people.

The Assembly of God prelate opined that Liberia does not need to ask for blessing again because it is already blessed.

He said Liberia has a sound human capital that has contributed to the advancement of mankind both at home and abroad.

“We have resources; everything grows here; the riches of the country are too much,” he stressed. “But then why import what we can grow here?”

He called on Liberians to be willing to make a change of attitude and shift the paradigm in the ways they do things that have kept the country backward.

“Again, I say, don’t ask for blessing, Liberia is already blessed, what you should be concerned about is to change and then ask how do we maximize the benefit of what we have that we are not benefiting from?” he said.

Sending out a message to politicians as the general elections beckon next year, he said there can only be a single president at a given time and that after the election there should be unity.

In apparent reference to the criticism trailing President George Manneh Weah’s passion for music and sports by some people who are of the opinion that that the President needed to focus squarely on providing leadership to the country, Rev Gbelley said Liberians do not need to worry about it because the President’s passion for music and sports is indicative of how relaxed, sound and focused he is on delivering the right leadership to the people without being under duress or stress.

Earlier in his sermon, Rev. Gbelley acknowledged the presence of President Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard –Taylor and other top government officials and also extended thanks to the government of Liberia for deeming it worthy for selection to deliver the sermon for this year’s edition of Independence day celebration.

He said: “I want to thank the Government for the honor bestowed on me to be the Guest Preacher for this program. History told us that when the settlers first came, they met the Gola people who sold land to them and it brought some confusion and we have the Gola-Dei war. And so after 200 years, a Gola man like me has been selected to come and speak on Fostering Peace and Protecting the Peace.”

Bishop Isaac Winker of the Dominion Ministry who spoke briefly prayed for the nation and asked citizens to dedicate themselves to serving God as well as praying to God to give wisdom and understanding to the leadership of the country, especially President Weah to lead the nation in the right direction.

President Weah calls for Unity, Peace

President Weah who spoke later started his remarks by throwing some humor that attracted laughter from the audience. He said he could not remember Rev. Gbelley’s name until he was asked by the organizers of the program to suggest a name of a preacher for the event. 

He said: “What I could remember of the man of God was that ‘I know one pastor, he can speak plain English but he can talk the truth’”.

The Liberian leader reiterated the call for peace as was urged by Rev. Gbelley which he also believed is one of the preconditions to have development and progress.

The President faulted insinuations suggesting that he was the cause of Liberia’s problem, stating that his stewardship in the past 5 years can speak for itself in terms of transformative development taking place around the country.

“This country will be 175 years old tomorrow and all these problems they are talking about were there before I became President,” he said further. “So you can’t blame me for the problem they are talking about but I can tell you the little time I spent as president can speak about itself.”

He took issues with those who, he said, he assisted during their school days with scholarship but are in the habit of calling him unprintable names.

While re-echoing the call for peace and unity, he urged citizens to look back into history and take the positives from why the nation was founded.

“There are some people who say the love of liberty brought us here. Others say no, the love of liberty met us here,” he said of the controversy spewed by divisive elements. “So, whoever it brought here, whoever it met on the ground here, we don’t want to know; the same love of liberty that brought us here, should unite us here.”

The intercessory program is the Christian version of activities ushering the Independence Day celebration. On last Friday, the Muslim community held a Jumaat Prayer service at the New Georgia Junction mosque where President Weah led an array of top government officials at the program.

At the event held at the First Assemblies of God Church, President Weah dressed in a red African suit, commonly called “Pro poor suit” in Liberia and headed an entourage of prominent government officials including VP Jewel Howard Taylor, Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Deputy Speaker Fonati Kofa, President Pro Tempore Albert Chief, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, among others.

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