Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Momo's Story

Stories about Liberia.
Being a storyteller.
Being His storyteller.

Those are all things have been impressed on my heart over and over again throughout the last six years. I have always believed that God sent me to Liberia to listen to the stories, and to bring those stories back to America and share with others. This blog has been one of my outlets, and you all have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of stories. Some stories make us laugh, while others bring us to our knees in tears. I don't always have the right words [or enough words] to say, and that's when I pray that the story  will simply be heard. Today I want to tell you another story.

This is Momo.
[Soko, Momo, Zinnah, Marthalyn, Small Ashley, Yatta and Naomi in front of their house]

If you have heard any of my stories, then I'm sure that you have heard about Momo. He is ORR's chief security guard, but really he is so much more than that! We call each other 'best friend'--we share secrets and clothes--no joke! We can tell each other anything, we can spend hours giving each other a hard time and we do alot of laughing! His family is my family--we've experienced birth, graduations, marriage, death and everything in between together.
[Momo and Marthalyn with Soko and Yatta on their wedding day]
When I lived in Liberia, Momo would come to my bedroom window every morning and greet me with, "Morning Asslee." If you know anything about me, you know that I'm so not a morning person...but Momo's 7am greeting was always acceptable. In the States, I have a post-it note beside my clock that says, "Morning Asslee," which serves as my pseudo-Momo greeting.
Momo is also the best example of a true servant. I have never met someone who tirelessly serves, comes running at anytime of the day or night, always has a smile on his face and literally puts his life on the line for others. He is also the best example of dedication, loyalty and joy! Momo has seen and experienced more than most of us could ever imagine, yet he has this uncontainable joy and child-like spirit. He really is the best!

[One big happy family with constant laughter]
Momo lives in a small two room house [that isn't his, has no bathroom or water source, and his children sleep on the floor] with his wife Marthalyn, along with his son (Soko), sister-in-law (Naomi), and daughters (Zinnah and Small Ashley). His other daughter (Yatta) lives in the neighborhood with their Auntie. He does whatever he can to provide for his family, but it's not easy! After he does his best to 'put food on the table' [they don't have a table], there's school fees, medical bills, diapers for a newborn baby, and clothes and shoes to take care of. It's a struggle!
[Momo and Marthalyn on the beach together]
I could write an entire book on Momo--he's a constant source of entertainment and full of Yoda-like quotes--but I'm sharing this brief story today because I'm asking for your help. Momo's family is packed into a small two room house that they don't own. Momo has always dreamed about having a place of their own, and I have always dreamed of doing my part to help them. Momo doesn't know how much longer they will be able to live in their current place, and is trying to purchase land and start the process of building a home for his family.

[Me and Momo with our one tomato]
Momo's story is a common one in Liberia--a devoted husband and father with so many needs and no opportunity to get ahead in life. Momo and his family are my family. He's been a driving force behind the community center (he did all the leg-work to find a place and I can't wait until he can learn how to read and write through our adult literacy classes!). He's the hardest working, most honest and most full of pure happiness person that I've ever met! Him and his family deserve this!

If you would like to be a part of Momo's story, please contact me. ANY donation amount is greatly appreciated--whether it's $5 or $50, it all adds up! I am just trying to do my part--to tell Momo's story and enable others to get involved. And of course, if you are unable to give, you can always pray for Momo and his family!

Will you please help me make Momo's dreams come true?!

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