Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Liberia: Bruno's Story

Gbellay Bruno Freeman (back center) surrounded by his children: Michael (15, an altar server, back left),
Fatu (13, back right), Paul (7, front left), Martin (5, front center), and Thomas (9, front right).
Bruno's wife, Jenneh Freeman, was absent when the photo was taken.
Bruno Freeman is a very active member of St. Gabriel's parish. I saw him present at almost all the parish activities, including daily Mass and Rosary and the weekly Holy Hour. He was born into a Moslem family but became a Catholic Christian under the influence of the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, five of whom were gunned down in October 1992 during the civil war in Liberia [click here to read more about these sisters]. The sisters came to his village in the 1980s, helped to build the parish church and sent Bruno to school. Here is the story of his village in his own words:

Vaijeh (the name Vaijeh meaning New Village): a small rural village of mixed denomination.

Vaijeh was founded1932 by three cousins. They are Foboui Massalay, Momo Zenk and Gray Carkpa. 

These 3 men were farmers. They were forced to moved with their families on the farm and to stay there for safety. This due to what they said, they experienced in the town where they lived before. Bitter conflict between them, fightin and some relative members got killed by some powerful men in the twon.

The village now call Vaijeh was  a rice farm made by these three men in 1931. The farm was divided into three quarter where each one built their tent. 

The three of them were Muslims.

In 1982 Christianity entered Vaijeh by Almighty God through Fr. Gary Jenkins. Later came the missionary  sisters. Sister Barbara, Sister Antonie and Sister Agnes. These sisters looked after us, send us to school up to the time war enter Liberia. Some got killed, others when back home.

Old man Foboui was the head of the village up to the time he died 1986. He was 89 years old. He welcome Christianity in Vaijeh, and told all the people living in the village that god is one. Also he said Christianity bring education for their children and grandchildren. He also said if the children are educated, they will learn more about God, and will never fight one another.

Old man Foboui born 7 children, 5 girls 2 boys. Today in Bomi County, Vaijeh is one of the beautiful villages to spend time in. The population of Vaijeh is now over 1,500 people. Children, women and men.

The church there was build by the sisters in 1984. The church is call Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.

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