A New Beginning in Holland, Michigan

Twenty-four years ago, we began our ministry vision and journey in Holland, Michigan, more specifically with Christ Memorial Church.  Here is a brief excursion back in time:

In 1994, I flew from Gambia, a tiny nation in West Africa, to the United States but could not reach my destination of Holland, Michigan due to cash-flow shortage. I landed in New York City and with the assistance of a young Ghanaian student, Kingsley Gamfi, whom I mentored in Gambia, I was able to purchase a bus ticket to Holland, Michigan.  The bus ride seemed to take forever, but many hours later I finally arrived in Holland. Upon arrival, my dormitory was not yet ready for me to move in, and so I temporarily stayed in a church guesthouse. On the table that night, I spotted a handwritten note welcoming me to America.  The writer, Dr. Gordon Van Wylen, and his wife, Margaret, came by to greet and welcome me, but I had not yet arrived. In the note they promised to pick me up Sunday morning for worship at Christ Memorial Church (CMC).   

In Holland, I had my first American worship experience.  That morning I was introduced to the senior pastor, Dr. Tim Brown, and then to the whole congregation. I began my pastoral studies at Western Theological Seminary and finished with my Master of Theology in Theological Studies in 1996.  

CMC Congregation on Thanksgiving Day

Worshiping at Christ Memorial Church this Thanksgiving

In 1995, my family was finally able to join me in Holland thanks to the sponsorship of Pastor Tim Brown and CMC. My wife and I became a part of a Bible study there, and the group graciously befriended and loved our entire family that led to a great meaningful relationship with one another in Christ. We were named the church’s missionary in residence and continued to build numerous relationships within the congregation.

CMC became the first supporters of our ministry. We were able to raise additional support with their help for both our family’s living expenses and for my post-graduate studies at Loyola University, where I eventually received my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  They joined our support team to help me fulfill my vision to build Liberia International Christian College in Liberia (LICC). 

CMC Choir performing

The CMC Choir

Why is this a new beginning?

On this past Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 2018, my wife and I were back in Holland, Michigan.  We were once again celebrating Thanksgiving with CMC just like we did when we first arrived 24 years ago!  Christian Leadership Training International was selected to be one of the organizations to receive CMC’s annual Thanksgiving offering gift. This offering will cover the expenses of building CLTI’s Aquaponic Projectsituated next to the college preparatory high school currently under construction in the city of Gompa, Nimba County.

This really is a new beginning! We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with Rich and Jean Schreur, and their son, Craig. Twenty-four years ago, Jean and Rich were a part of our Bible study group, and we have not seen each other since that time.  God reconnected us in Holland as this godly couple invited us to their home for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Buor with Rich and Jean

Sei & Yah Buor with Jean & Rich Schreur

We were also hosted at the home of Dr. Jolee Wennersten whom we first met when we arrived at CMC. She states that she will never forget us talking to the church when our family arrived in the USA. That was one of the reasons she joined the church.

Yah and I are so grateful for you, Christ Memorial Church!  You are a valuable part of our newbeginning to now bring the gospel to thousands of young men and women in Liberia and around the globe.  Your faithfulness makes a pathway for Liberians to hear the gospel in a way they understand.

I share the Apostle Paul’s heart in his thanks to the Philippians:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the ‘FIRST DAY’ until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).

Similarly, I am thankful to all of you who are our friends and our partners that pray and support CLTI as we reach Liberians all across the nation and beyond.

In this new beginning, and in view of this Thanksgiving week, we encourage your generous donations to CLTI Ministry.

A THANKFUL WEEKEND!!!!

 

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise! Psalms 100:4

Dear Friend,

“HOW WAS THE DINNER?” many of you might be asking.   It was truly a celebration and a growth in partnership with 55 friends and family members.  There was a variety of delicious food: the famous West African “Jolof rice,” plantain, rice bread and cassava bread, just to name a few. We ate and ate, and still could not finish it all. It was an all-you-can-eat style, and all accompanied by great music from a gifted young man, Minister Charles Sleyon.

Thanks to Yah Buor and Jill Birch and their team of wonderful ladies for providing this delicious dinner!

His Special Grace

Mayor Andy and Barbara Cook from Westfield, Indiana joined us wholeheartedly for the evening.  We thoroughly enjoyed Mayor Cook’s down to earth, but profound message. 

Mayor Andy Cook & his wife Barbara with Sei and Yah

Sei and Yah Buor, Mayor & Mrs. Andy Cook

He started with the question, “How can we keep our young people out of trouble?” He told some great stories, but emphasized three virtues:  Faith, Family and Community.  It takes faith in Christ Jesus, and then the family and community working together.  In the case of Westfield, it took the collaborative work of faith-based organizations, the Mayor’s office and the community to resolve the issues the youth faced in Westfield.

Short Term Men’s Mission Trip to Liberia Coming in June 2019

In May 2018, Jay Skinner visited Liberia and helped to break ground for the new college preparatory high school.  Jay spent one week, had a first-hand experience, worked very hard, played keyboard in churches, and then returned to the States with a renewed passion and dedication to give generously and serve. Here is a link to his online journal about the trip: https://www.journohq.com/journo/gompa-liberia-may-2018-21858.  Currently, Jay is recruiting participants and setting up a men’s trip scheduled for June 8-17, 2019.  Please call Jay to learn more about our short-term mission trip. There is some general info on our web site: https://cltinternational.org/planning-a-mission-trip-to-liberia/.  It is time NOW to be making plans. You can reach Jay at (317) 922-7526  (cell) or at his email address: jbird123@aol.com.

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Aviva Snyder and Lily Buor enjoyed time visiting with Jannell

Secondly, we heard an inspiring story from a young lady, Aviva Snyder of Zeeland, Michigan.  Ms. Aviva’s passion is our aquaponics project, and she is planning a short-term mission trip to Liberia in 2019 as well. She desires to work with the aquaponic project team in Gompa.  Would you please join us to pray for this young lady for financial support and for wisdom.

Our last speaker was Mr. David Ketchum.  Mr. Ketchum is the President and founder of Mission Resource International.  He is also a primary partner with CLTI’s entrepreneurship program.  Dave challenged us to give generously.  He made his first visit to Accra, Ghana in 1987.  From this visit, he founded MRI, and for 15 years has supported small business development in Ghana.

Alvin Pennon, President of Liberia Association in Indiana chats with David Ketchum

David Ketchum chats with Alvin Pennon, President of a Liberian association in Indiana

Great announcement from Dr. Buor:  For friends who RSVP’d to join the dinner, but an event prevented you from coming, I would like to bring the dinner presentation to you and meet you face-to-face.  Please give me a call, and let’s schedule to meet for coffee at location near you.  I want to meet you, and give you the opportunity to become a partner with CLTI in advancing God’s kingdom in Liberia. Please call me on, 317-660-5719 or 317-712-6811 or send me an email.

Our Immediate Prayer Needs

Yah and I are on the road this Thanksgiving week to join our partner church in Holland, Michigan.  This year, Christ Memorial Church will give a portion of their Thanksgiving offering to CLTI toward the installation of the aquaponics project in Liberia.  This project, if completed, will allow us to grow fish and vegetables and provide a long-term sustainability support for the school and CLTI ministry in Liberia.

Secondly, we are heading to Iowa to celebrate and raise new partners in Muscatine, Iowa.  The schedule date is Saturday, December 1st, 1-4 PM.  We invite all friends in Iowa to join us in the City of Muscatine.  The address of our event is: 408 E. 2nd Street.  Muscatine, Iowa 52761.  Please RSVP to: Audra Diederichs, 563-571-0572 or Victoria Zarkpah, 443-563-0281.

Please pray for safe travels.

Sei and Yah

P.S.  Enjoy more photos below!

__________ 
Dr. Sei Buor
President, Christian Leadership Training International (CLTI)

 

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Bill Ellison and Mark Oehler visit over dinner.  Mark is a member of the CLTI Board of Directors.

Addison, 10 first timer with a Daddy Brad Elliott

Addison, age 10, with her dad.  This was Addison’s first time at a CLTI dinner.

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Chatting time

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Tonzia Buor did a fantastic  job as our MC for the evening.

Yah and LuAnn enjoying early hours

Yah with LuAnn Boots.  LuAnn is one of our CLTI volunteers.

Calling All Friends!

Calling all friends in the Indianapolis area and around the United States!  

This Saturday night is our annual dinner!  Our theme this year is “Celebrating. . .and Growing in Partnership.” We will celebrate our successes in 2018 and look forward to new partnerships in 2019 for the purpose of continuing our ministry in Liberia.  We are grateful to God for your partnership!

Andy Cook, Westfield mayor

Mayor Andy Cook from Westfield, IN

Our keynote speaker this year will be Mayor Andy Cook from Westfield, IN.  Mayor Cook has been a resident of Hamilton County for over 20 years.  In 2007 he became the Westfield town council president and worked to transition Westfield into Indiana’s newest city on January 1, 2008.  He has a great message to bring us, and we know you won’t want to miss it!  Details are on the invitation below.

If you are able to come to the dinner, please RSVP as soon as possible, preferably today.  We want to be sure to have a wonderful dinner with plenty of food for everyone!  RSVP by emailing us at sbuor@cltinternational.org.  Welcome!  Sei & Yah

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Homecoming!

Dear Partner in the Gospel,

Have you hear the news? We are coming home to Indiana in less than a week.  We left Indiana on January 23rdloaded down with bags and belongings and launched into God’s kingdom work in Liberia.  It has been incredible 9 months. We are returning for three significant reasons. 

First, we need to raise a significant amount of moneyto continue constructing the college preparatory high school and cover ministry operational cost, including our national staff and missionary support. This is good work that God has started; He must bring it to completion!

The second reason is to see all of you face-to-face! We have longed to see you all! Soon we will see you and will speak to you on phone.  During these months, could you make room for us?  We would like to spend time, nights and weekends, with you, speak to your Bible study group, and share with your church. We would like to pray with you, encourage you to continue our partnership, and not to grow weary. Also, we will be glad to answer all your questions.

Thirdly, we need to recruit ministry partners.   Would you introduce us to your generous and compassionate friends?

Work in Progress:

Thank you for being such great encouragers.  Have you ever wondered how to build a huge building?  After all the paper work and architectural designs are complete, you begin laying the foundation. We began with foundation work in August, the height of our rainy season in Liberia. Our construction team has worked rain or shine, and made enormous progress. The digging has been completed, foundation casting is completed, and brick laying almost completed. The casting of all columns are underway.

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However, the foundation work has yet to be finished. Two important tasks remaining are back filling, and slab laying which includes the casting of the entire foundation. This is the final stage before raising the walls!

Today, would you make your most generous gift so we can continue the beautiful work that you have started?

We are so thankful for your partnership in the Gospel, and the way you have contributed in prayer and giving. Please feel free to contact us via email while we are in the United States from October 20 through January 31st.  We are very pleased to be in the mission field in Liberia and to serve you, and able to disciple Liberian youth.

We have lots more photos to show you! Please enjoy the photos below, and consider how you can become a greater part of this ministry.

Sei and Yah

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The ladies in the Entrepreneurship Program gathered at the home of Sei and Yah for a mid-year party.

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The ladies in the Entrepreneurship Program give a gift to Yah with gratitude.

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Yah gives a gift in recognition of faithful loan repayment.

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A gift for faithful loan repayment.

Mrs. Glee receives special gift for faithful loan payment (1)

Mrs. Glee receives a gift for faithful loan repayment.

Party time for disciplers (1)

Party time for our Discipleship Group

Jefferson sharing about his trip to Kenya and Ghana

Jefferson sharing about his trip to Kenya and Ghana.

 

Notes from Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya

From September 21 through 23rd, Jefferson and I, and 26 discipleship practitioners from seven African countries and United States gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for a “Discipleship Symposium.” The goal: to “Look Upward, Look Backward and Look Forward in regards to effective discipleship practices.

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Discipleship symposium participants

Joe Williamson from Carmel, Indiana joined us for this gathering.  Joe is the founder of TSOAR Ministries, and our primary partner in CLTI’s discipleship focus in Liberia. Joe’s initial ministry started with a sponsorship of a needy student at NEGST (an African International University) in Nairobi, Kenya. From that small beginning, the discipleship ministry is now carried on by communities in seven African countries including Liberia. Participants gave thrilling testimonies of how God is using their TSOAR ministry to change lives in their nations.

Joe has this message to all the participants: “Listen to God and do what He asks you to do.” This requires spending time with the Lord, discovering the truth, trusting, surrendering, obeying, abiding and reconciling—TSOAR.

Jefferson Polay

This was Jefferson’s first time to travel outside of Liberia. He was challenged as well as inspired, and enjoyed every bit of the experience. When Jefferson saw a microwave for the first time, he asked me, “Is this a small TV’?

On this trip, Jefferson and I learned many effective practices of disciple making and mentoring. So, we are ready and will be integrating some of the new ideas we acquired. 

From September 24 through 27th, we had training in developing ministry partners. Ministry is teamwork. We are designed to need God and each other.  No one person has all the skills, gifts and wisdom to doing it alone successfully. “There can be no jealousy or internal competition in teamwork when the whole team is working for the glory of God.” The Apostle Paul puts it well: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow,” (I Cor. 3:6).

Ministry partners are essential to move God’s mission forward. Developing ministry partners will be a key driving force for our upcoming trip to the United States in October. 

Accra, Ghana- 5-day stay-over 

The primary agenda that drove us to Ghana: to visit a couple high schools, and we did visit two.  We met headmasters and listened to their stories—challenges and good practices. We listened, learned and noted every good and significant point—all learning processes.  Now we are looking forward to integrating good practices when our high school is ready to open its doors in 2020. 

Emmanuel Akorli, our Ghana’s entrepreneurship partner

Emmanuel has been a director for the Mission Resource-Ghana for over 15 years. We were honored to sit at his feet and learn from him as much as we could. Mr. David Ketchum, founder and President of Mission Resource International, and our entrepreneurship partner in the United States connected us to Mission Resource-Ghana.  Our special thanks to David!  We will now return to Liberia to share tons of incredible information with Yah and her entrepreneurship team.    

God’s Extra Provision

Thirty years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Professor Kingsley Labi in Kenya.  Our initial connection goes back to 1988 at NEGST (an Africa International University) both pursuing theological studies.  His family and ours became very close friends for about three years. But our friendship came to an end when we both completed our studies and

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Sei Buor & Professor Labi

went our way—he back to Ghana, and I to the nation of Gambia. Later Kingsley went to the UK and obtained a Ph.D. in Old Testament and I went to Loyola University to pursue a Ph.D. in higher education.

On Tuesday, October 2nd, after 30 years, we met again! We hug, cheer, pray, and praise God for our family and above all, the call of God on our lives to serve him. Professor Kingsley is currently the founder of Regent University of Science and Technology, a renowned and reputable highly academic institution in Accra, Ghana.

Amazingly Kind: Mrs. Maggie Mensah

We had planned to stay in a hotel.  But every move was difficult as hotel prices are very high in Accra, and we had extremely low budget. Then God answered our prayer. Tonzia,

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(L-R)  Jefferson Polay, Maggie Mensah, Sei Buor

our daughter, texted and informed us that her Ghanaian friend in Minnesota (an old student mate from Anderson University in Indiana) had contacted her mother, asking if we could stay in her home. This was the answer to shortfall budget, but not sure how this would work out. It turned out Maggie is an amazingly kind mother and grandmother. We enjoyed delicious homemade food for two great days and nights.  Thank you “Grandma Maggie,” I will come back again and again!

On the day of departure, Maggie took us to a tree nursery and we purchased few varieties of trees and flowers for our future campus beautification. We brought royal palm, Indian trees, Christmas trees, orange trees, and avocado trees—all for future campus landscaping.   They are already being watered!

We thank God for the opportunities and learning we were able to experience on this trip, and we pray that we will use what we learned in a way which honors God to the fullest.

Building Progress and a Trip to Kenya!

Greetings from Liberia, and we hope you are doing well in the faithful Lord!

It is about 4:15 am Tuesday, September 18 in Liberia as I write this, and I am preparing to head on the road to Monrovia on Wednesday morning, September 19th, and then off to Nairobi, Kenya.  I am being joined by Jefferson Polay, our young discipleship staff here in Gompa.  We have been invited to participate in a discipleship symposium in Nairobi, Kenya, hosted by the Navigators and our partner in the United States. 

We will also be joined by our fellow-disciplers from Kenya, Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda and the United States.  Jefferson and I are very excited, and looking forward to learning some effective disciple making practices that we can bring back home to Liberia.  

We plan to stay in Nairobi from the 20th through 28th.  On 28th, we return to Liberia via Accra, Ghana for three days stay to visit some aquaponic works and gain first hand experience as we plan to implement an aquaponics system in the near future alongside the college preparatory high school.

We will depart from Accra, Ghana on October 3rd, and Yah and are planning to join you in the States for fresh coffee and “BLU Burgers” on October 17.

So, please keep us in your prayer for safe travel and for fruitful conference.  Also, please remember to pray for Yah and our team in Gompa as they continue the construction work.

Thanks and God bless,

Sei and Yah

See Our Building Progress!

We have made great strides with the foundation and the beginning of brick-laying!  Enjoy the photos below:

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Pouring a Foundation for the Future!

It was an amazing day on September 1, when we began the casting of the foundation for the new college preparatory/vocational high school. With the support (rebar) columns in place, the construction crew began pouring the concrete to form the foundation of the junior/senior high school building.  We were delighted that the weather cooperated with us, and the job progressed well.  We are using a lot of cement, crushed rock, and sand—700 bags of cement, and 15 truckloads of crushed rock and sand to be exact! 

We plan to finish pouring the foundation on Thursday, Friday or Saturday (depending on weather conditions) and we plan to begin laying brick next Monday.

We cannot express fully how thrilling this day has been—to reach the point of pouring the foundation gives us great hope for the future for the education of young people in Liberia. We are grateful to God for his faithfulness, and to you for the support you give. 

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Just a reminder of what each support column looks like from top to bottom.  Once these are buried in cement, we won’t see them again!

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The truckloads of cement begin rolling in!

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Some of the 700 bags of cement in our storage building waiting to be used.

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Here you can see a section where the foundation has begun to be poured.

 

Foundation Columns Completed!

Dear Friends,

We are rejoicing that all 158 foundation columns have been placed!  These columns consist of pillars made from rebar placed in a cylindrical fashion to provide strength and support for our two-story building. This is a major accomplishment.  We want to thank you, our friends, for your support in helping us to achieve this major first step in construction of our premier college preparatory/vocational high school. 

Our next step will be casting the five-foot-deep foundation and laying the foundation bricks.  It will be a lot of hard work, but we have adequate manpower and many are praying!  We plan to begin this next phase of foundation work on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Enjoy the photos below which show the work that we have completed.

Please continue to pray for us, as we also pray for you.

Sei and Yah

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Foundations and Great Commission Missionaries

Dear Friend,

Thank you for praying for us and for the kingdom work in Liberia.  

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s really possibly to become a Great Commission missionary, the answer is YES, YES!

I know how hard it can be to imagine the end result when you are just getting started.  Some might even think this is out of reach, like you won’t get here no matter what. 

But when you see a post like the one you are reading now, with pictures full of strong men digging these foundation ditches, working so hard so that they and their children can get quality education that is so much needed, it’s proof that it is possible.

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What an incredible kick off of our foundation digging.  We began digging on August 1st with 20 young men, but the next day the number increased to 67, and in four days all was complete.  One of the encouraging words during and after the digging was “Thank you to CLTI’s partners for giving us this opportunity!” 

I am excited to let you know that foundation digging is complete!  

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However, we are not yet done.  We need to plant pillars and laying 8-inch foundation bricks before raising the walls.  

So, what’s next?  We are installing104 columns and laying the 8-inch bricks with the money that YOU gave a few months back. Now, both the columns and the brick laying require cement and steel rods. 

Today, would you please consider a gift of $10.00 or more to purchase bags of cement for the concrete work, or $15.00 toward the purchase of steel rods for the columns?

Each of the 104 columns needs three bags of cement, three pieces of 5/8 steel rods, 2 pieces of 3/8 steel rods, and a 1/2 inch steel rod (see a complete column in the photos below).

Please donate by clicking on the “Donate” tab above, or, you can send a check to: 

CLTI

P. O. Box 1123

Carmel, IN 46082

Your gift will insure that our work will continue uninterrupted.  Thank you!

Sei & Yah

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