Friday, December 30, 2011

Solar Suitcase

Our bags are packed . . .
We are ready to go . . .

Thanks to some people at the Hope Ridge UMC, their work with the Advent Conspiracy, and Diane Sawyer's "Person of the Week" segment, we will be taking to the Camphor Mission Clinic a Solar Suitcase to bring light to the night time deliveries. See more about what a Solar Suitcase on their website

Thanks Rev. Beth and Rev. Jon Wilterdink for your leadership and vision at Hope Ridge UMC!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Camphor Christmas Greeting

From the Missionary Partners Kathy and Danny Dickriede

Thank you for your prayers in 2011! We journeyed to Camphor Mission Station in Liberia in January to mid March and again the end of June to mid August. God accomplished much in Kingdom building through you, the partnering church and United Methodist volunteers.
Relationships were formed.
Guesthouses were built and slept in.
Maternal Health Wards built, painted, and tiled.
Water wells dug.
UMVIM teams hosted.
Libraries organized and teacher’s taught to use books.
Vacation Bible School held.
Container packed, delivered and backpacks, soccer balls, church pews, bicycles, medical supplies, school supplies, tables, chairs, and more distributed.
Agriculture fields tilled.
Salaries paid.
Traditional Birth Attendants trained.
Garfield UMC (East Ohio) retiled and ceiling refurbished at Garfield UMC on the mission.
Vaccines administered and patients saved and so much more.

Danny and Kathy will be traveling back to Camphor Mission on December 31, 2011. They will be taking 3 UMVIM teams of 24 volunteers, from 15 different churches, and 4 different UMC conferences represented! Passion and energy for the Camphor Mission Station is sure to spread to all of these partner ministry areas!
Please be praying for the things we hope to accomplish.
Nine clean water wells dug.
Preaching and worshiping in local UMC congregations.
Developing relationships.
Completing the 3rd unit of the Judy Olin Guesthouse.
Continue library training.
Gaining knowledge on agriculture needs.
Painting a mural of the world on the school wall.
Tutoring students.
Continue training Traditional Birth Attendant.
Building of a generator house and submersible pump for guesthouse and dining hall.
Preparing for East Ohio Pedaling Parsons in 2013.

Rev. Kathy Dickriede will be back in the states in April 2012 and will be eager to share the story of the 3Cs Mission of the East Ohio Conference. Get her on your church’s worship or meeting schedule now by contacting Follow the missionary partners on the 3Cs website, and click on Liberia. While on this website learn more about the way the East Ohio Conference is at work in Sierra Leone, Russia, and Zimbabwe.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Camphor Updates

We just received great updates from Obediah at Camphor Mission


We have been having a nice time since you left especially with the opening of school, the distribution of the back packs that were supervise by Rev. Kulah, Cecelia's general clean up campaign with the student and all of the mission staff involvement and many other new developments around campus.

The clearing of the palm farm to give camphor a face lift for visitor has just begun.Since you left us salary has been current with only December to contend with.While it is true that the feeding of the student is our priority we are still concern with salary payment.

The present enrollment at the school is 306 out of this number there are 53 boardings students which includes 11 church scholarship students, 5 missionary sponsorship students, 2 students sponsored by Terry from Norway and the rest are regular boarding students. the balance of the students are villager or day students. Due to the election period in our country, parents were a bit not responding to tuition payment but promise to do payment after the christmas break. Extend our sincere greetings to all of our friends at Mentor, Garfield and the entire East Ohio Conference on behalf of the kids at camphor.
pls say hi to Danny and the rest of the friends of camphor in East Ohio

just forgot to inform you yesterday, with the funds left and that of what was received, we were able to repair the vehicle UMC-26 and is now in good running condition. A new Nissan Pathfinder engine (used engine) was bought along with a double water tank,battery and the repair of the under career as well as tires were all bought and the vehicle is now serving the clinic as well as the mission station. The cooling system is now under repair so please consider this in your search for a vehicle during your arrival with visitors in January. We spent almost four thousand dollars to do all of these. there was no way to trade the ambulance as it is still packing at the same place. The African car is also not been sold.

These are the villages that have been selected for the 2012 water well projec comes January. The villages are: Doubai Town, Fineboy Town, Banwon Town, Whenzon, Oldlady Market, Lee Town, James Zayway Town, Goah Town, Joe Johnny Town, Giahdyu Town. Joshua is already inform about these villages and will soon be called upon to start the site selection along with the Elders.

May God bless you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who is Camphor?

Clink on this link to learn more about the namesake for the Camphor Mission Station in Liberia West Africa.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Prayers for the Liberia National Election Runoff

Brethren Of The Household Of Faith, my sincere greetings to all of you in Jesus Precious name.

My sincere appeal to you is to individually and collectively remember Liberia in your prayers as we prepare ourselves for the run off election on November 8,2011. We want the process to be peaceful, free fair and transparent. We do not want post election violence. Add your voices to our voices that God will work on the hearts of those that do not to see a peaceful Liberia.

Thank you for your powerful prayers.

In Mission,
Rev. G.Roosevelt Goah,Sr.
District Superintend
St.John River District, Liberia Annual Conference
United Methodist Church
Grand Bassa County

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tommy Paye

We just learned that Tommy Paye, our friend and landscaper/caretaker of the Camphor Mission guesthouse died. Tommy was a reliable worker who walked from his village in Goba to work every day. He planted plantain trees at the guesthouse for us. He kept our grass short and made us smile each day with his greeting. We ask for prayers for Tommy's family. We will miss his presence when we return to Liberia in January.
Peace and prayers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Goals for 2012

Three UMVIM teams are being organized to travel to Camphor Mission Station! We are taking over 20 people from 4 Conference (East Ohio, Detroit, Texas, and New York) and 14 local churches.

We hope to
build new relationships and strengthen old ones,
work with the people in Liberia to paint a mural of the world on the school wall,
work with Traditional Birth Attendants,
complete the construction on the 3rd unit of the guesthouse,
build a water tower and generator house,
participate in girl's health education,
train a Liberian Librarian,
work with the agriculture staff,
tutor students,
train teachers,
dig at least 8 new water wells in villages without a clean water source,
continue staff salary payments,
and more!
We are ambitious but we are empowered by the holy spirit! Who knows what we can accomplish!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A new longterm UMVIMer to Camphor Mission

Deb is a midwife from the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Here is how she got connected to Liberia!

When Debra and Jeremiah Johnson asked me to come to Kenya for baby #8, I opened my heart to God and said "if I get to Africa, where else would You like me to work?" Immediately, Nancy Eubanks, trainer for the longterm UMVIM program, invited me to the GBGM Ind. Vol. training in Ark. and while I was there, she told me she knew the perfect place, mentioned Kathy and Camphor Mission Station, and God connected us!

I've worked as a midwife now for over 30 years, taught ICEA (Int. Childbirth Ed. Assoc.) Prepared Childbirth classes, graduated from nursing school in '90, worked in several hospitals a total of 12 years, incorporated the Women's Health Clinic in '83, received federal N/P 501(c)3 status in '85, and over the last 6-8 years, have been exploring candidacy for ministry. That door hasn't opened, but this one did. I look forward to sharing with my sister midwives in Camphor the support and skills that I've been practicing here.

We are so excited that Deb will be at Camphor Mission from February until the end of May! Praise God for answered prayers!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize

Have you heard the news? Our very own Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia was among three woman honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Please be praying for Liberia this week and next. The National Elections are being held on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. They will be electing a president and vice president and many of the legislative offices. Pray for wisdom, peace, hope, calm, justice, and nonviolence.

Thank you for partnering with Camphor Mission Station!

New from Camphor Mission Station

An official notice from Cecelia M. Cephas, Directoress of the Camphor Mission Station in Liberia

The school was open on schedule as per the mandate of the Ministry of Education and the Department of General Education.
We are very graceful to all of our donors especially the Mentor UMC, Church of Savior, Charles and Judy H. Calkins, Pocatello First UMC, Washington UMC, Wooster UMC, Brecksville UMC, Garfield UMC, Gay Street UMC, Main Street UMC, St. Lukes UMC in Kansas City and Ken Lutgen, Peoria UMC, Oregon/Idaho Conference and all of those donors who have made financial and moral contributions for the kids and families at Camphor. Please extend our sincere gratitude from the Camphor Mission and their brothers and sisters in Liberia and in My own name as Directress of the Mission Station.

As mentioned previously, the school was open as schedule and we presently have 305 students from kindergarten to 9th grade. of the above number of students we have: 31 Boarding students, 11 local church students from the mother District of St. John River, 6 missionary sponsored students, 4 students on sports scholarship yet to be funded, with a total of 52 students living in the dorms. There are 253 village day students, 200 are on the Irene Innis Scholarship sponsored by the Peoria fund and 53 are supported by the Oregon/Idaho funds.

The back packs sent by churches in East Ohio were distributed to all of the students and they were very much happy about the donation because these back packs were a great help to them during the rainy season in Liberia.

Another interesting incident at Camphor is the full payment of salary for the months of August and September on schedule with October and November pending, sincere thanks to the donors for this boast.

The Camphor families are in a joyous mood with respect to this development, all of the mini projects on the campus (repair of boy's hand dug well, basketball court repair, boy's dormitory renovations) are expected to start this October as we are now in the dry season but we are still experiencing a little rain. Photo exhibits of the opening activities at the mission will be sent to you right after our election break. The school was closed on yesterday,October 6,2011 for the pending election and is expected to resume on Thursday, October 13, 2011.

Please be in prayer for a peaceful election season. The national election for president and the legislative branch happens on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Please be in prayer for Liberia.

Please extend my gratitude on behalf of the Camphor Mission Station and all of the workers to our donors. We are grateful for their help especially those who visited at Camphor during my illness and absence at the mission.

All of the 15 teachers are back at the school as well as the other work force.
Christ above all yours,
Cecelia M. Cephas

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reflections from some volunteers.

Two teams made up of members from Mentor United Methodist Church
served at the Camphor Mission Station, Liberia, West Africa this summer.
Read on as they share some of their thoughts and experiences.

June 25-July 11 Tom Holt & Laura Vidmar
July 9—25 Rhonda & Larry Hoon
Paula & Bob Coleman

From Laura . . .
When we received our commissioning for the trip to Camphor Mission, we were given a rock and scripture was read from the book of Joshua. In the scripture, Joshua was commanding the people to place rocks as a reminder of what God had done for them that day. We were asked to take our rock to Liberia and to leave it somewhere we felt the presence of God most strongly.

The rock that I carried was left under the front seat of our Land Rover. It was in that Land Rover that three of us set out in the very dark of night to make the journey from Camphor Mission to the government hospital in Buchanan, carrying with us a Bassa woman who was very near death. I prayed ardently throughout the trip for any number of different things. First that we would all arrive safely in Buchanan, later that if we didn’t we would not be left in pain along the roadside. God quickly answered those prayers and we delivered our patient to the hospital where she received life-saving surgery. The following day we returned to Buchanan in that Land Rover to give blood for her to continue to help her to heal. That didn’t go smoothly for me and I overheard others of our group consider the possibility that I might need to remain in that hospital overnight. When I was able I told one of my fellow travelers, ―If you can just help me to the Land Rover I will be alright.‖ He did and I was. In the weeks that followed, a young Bassa boy was not as fortunate and ended his fight with malaria in the same Land Rover making the same trip.

My overwhelming thought while in Liberia—at Camphor Mission, in Buchanan, in Monrovia and most notably in the Land Rover—was ―Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Rhonda Hoon . . .
The maternal health clinic at Camphor Mission has painted walls courtesy of Tom Holt. Paula Coleman and I installed a tile floor with the help of a local contractor and other clinic staff. During this time a baby girl was born. God gave us the opportunity to work for and with the women from Grand Bassa County.

Paula Coleman . . .
I think that it is great fun to sing and play games with children. At Camphor Mission I had the opportunity to spend parts of five days doing what we termed ―VBS.‖ It was different than VBS at Mentor UMC because we never knew who was coming and we were also not always able to communicate directly with all of the boys and girls (as most of them used Bassa and Liberian English). So, our expressive hand motions and some translating made VBS fun and exciting for the 25-80 children
that came on different days. We had a great time together.

Bob Coleman . . .
One of my projects at Camphor Mission was to get a solar panel kit (donated by Jim & Mary Lou Haines) up and running. Working with Emmanuel Josiah, a Camphor teen, we assembled the kit and tested a light bulb that came with the kit. All who were watching were amazed to see it light up. As there is no electricity at Camphor their only ability to create power is through a generator that runs off gasoline that costs about double the U. S. price, if you can haul it the hour and a half trip to and
from Buchanan, the nearest source. After our initial set up, every morning I would place the components out for Emmanuel who would assemble the panels on his own, hooking them up to a battery storage device. The panels were able to create sufficient power that we could run a fan and Rev. Kathy was able to charge her computer. We supplemented our physical work with some reading about solar energy which Emmanuel and others soaked up like sponges. They were amazed at the size and scope of some of the solar arrays that exist around the world that power entire cities. Perhaps the Camphor Mission solar project will create a budding solar engineer!

Larry Hoon . . .
I was given the responsibility to disassemble the church pews donated by the Andover church and re-assemble them when we arrived at Camphor Mission. With help from Bob Coleman, Matthew (our driver) and Stephen (a 15 year old student at Camphor), we had the pews together and in place at the church in time for service on Sunday.

The following week, Stephen and I took some extra pieces from the pews and made some more comfortable sitting benches at the girls’ dorm. We also tightened up as many of the wobbly school desks as we could. Working with Stephen was the highlight of my week. We shared water and food. I found him to be a quick learner and a hard worker. When I asked him if he was ready to quit for the day, he said, ―I’m with you,‖ meaning he was done when I was done. He made me stretch

Dr. Danny & Rev. Kathy Dickriede will again travel to Camphor in January 2012 returning home in early March 2012. You are invited to join them in ministry at the Camphor Mission Station in Liberia, West Africa. The next dates for Camphor Mission Station UMVIM Trips — January/February/March 2012.

Brochures and applications available from Becky & Charlie Suran, UMVIM coordinators at MUMC – or Kathy Dickriede,

UMVIM, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission is the UMC arm of the General Board of Minis-
tries that provides a way for everyone to serve and share the love of God in ways that make a Chris-
tian difference.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Garfield UMC Renovations

Funds were provided by Garfield UMC, Pepperpike, Ohio, East Ohio Conference for renovations to the sanctuary at the Garfield Church on the Camphor Mission. Ceramic tile is completed! Praise God. The church leadership is moving on to complete the proposed project by replacing the ceiling of the church.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Traditional Birth Attendants and New Water Filters

Bob Sterken from Main Street UMC in Mansfield helped to procure 40 water filter systems. The water filter system is a simple device that attaches to a local bucket to filter dirty creek water and turn it into clean drinkable water easily and quickly. Bob taught the clinic staff how to make and use the bucket and together they taught and shared this resource with the over 40 TBA's at their monthly training in June 29th. The TBA's were amazed and excited about this new life saving resource. Some traveled home with a bucket other's will carry a bucket to the clinic for their next meeting and make and receive the water filter system.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How far to Camphor Mission Station?

We are 5070 miles from home when we are at Camphor Mission! Larry Hoon created a mile marker post at Camphor telling each of us and all of Camphor how far we have traveled to do the work that God has called us to do!

Bicycle Distribution

Thanks to donations on our recent container that arrived at Camphor we were able to distribute bikes to people. A bike was given to one of our students who travels the farthest distance to school. He rides his bike over 8 miles to school. He had been walking beginning his day at 5:30 in the morning to make the trip. Another bike was given to Rev. Zack Erickson who teaches on the mission and walks 15 miles to and from Camphor to community college and one and half hours to preach on Sundays. Another bike was given to Solo, one of our builders who lives in Buchanan and lives and works with the effects of polio. Solo is like a son to us, is the hardest worker we know, and has been more than generous with us.

Ganta Hospital Supplies

We were able to deliver medical supplies to the Ganta Hospital through the efforts of Laurie Joyce, MedWish, and the Bishop 3Cs Initiative in the East Ohio Conference. These supplies will help meet the needs for better sanitation and surgeries at the hospital.

Thank you East Ohio and MedWish for these needed supplies.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Team 2 Update

We have been busy at Camphor Mission . . .
playing with kids
doing a Vacation Bible School
tiling the clinic and the entry to the girl's dorm
putting Andover church pews in the Garfield church
making benches for the girl's dorm
cooking lessons
fixing basketball hoops and playing a pick up game with students and staff
experimenting with solar panels
visiting villages
getting dresses made
giving away pillowcase dresses
hanging up signs on the mission
canoeing to the chimpanzees
tightening up chairs and desks
beginning tile work on the church floor
teaching and being taught crocheting
learning about agriculture
pushed a car
swimming at the beach
introducing Liberian children to their ocean! so fun!
visiting LAC, Liberian Agriculture Company, and the waterfall on their property
stimulated the economy with lappa shopping
learning more about Liberia than we know about Ohio!
Buchanan market
worshiped with the people on the mission
experienced the death of a child in a neighboring village, malaria
hosted Peace Corp volunteer on the mission, welcome Natalie!
ate terrific food, thanks to Irene
visited Team 1's miracle patient who survived a ruptured uterus
baby born on the mission!
exercised with Coach Toe
story time with Helen, Tall Tales of the Bush
and enjoyed the quiet, relationships, and laughter on the mission.

We were blessed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A blessing

Oh, the backpacks! They are so excited about 300 of them! An announcement has been made on the radio in Bassa that the first 300 people who register for school at Camphor Mission will get a backpack filled with school supplies. They are trying to encourage especially girls to come to school and be strong learners. Today, I met a boy from a village, Abel who did not go to school last year because he could not afford the school fees and the school supply he needed. He was coming to the mission today to get the registration information. He heard the radio announcement and because of the backpacks and the supplies he does not now need to buy, he is able to register for school. You who donated items and funds, you are changing lives, making a real difference in the world, and being a living witness to new life that is found in Christ. Praise Jesus!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Team 2 from East Ohio

The group has arrived and doing well at Camphor. Already two church pews constructed and one Liberian trained in power tools! A tour of the mission and supplies purchased for tiling project in the new Maternal Health ward at the clinic at Camphor. God is good, all the time! All of the time, God is good.

Peace. More news soon!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Team 1 and Team 2

Team 1 is about to go to the airport to head for Ohio! They have had a great time in Liberia; Camphor Mission, West Point, the Beach and Buchanan, Mamba Point, pizza, and plenty of rice.

Team 2 is about to land and begin their adventure! Praise God for visitors, laughter, fun, love, faith, and surprises! Stay tuned for more posting and photos from Team 1 as they return to the states.

Keep us all in your prayers.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Camphor Mission Container Has Arrived!

The 20 foot container that was sent by Mentor UMC has arrived on the Camphor Mission. Danny needed to find a crane to get it off the semi truck. It was a not an easy task. He traveled to an international company BRE then to the port and finally arrived on the mission with a very large crane that lifted the container and set it in place. Tada!

Since then we have been busy unloading supplies for Camphor, Ganta, Gbanga, and other UMC schools. It has been exciting to share the resources. The visitors are convinced that the backpacks have been reproducing in the container! Over 300 backpacks for the first 300 students registered for school. It will be very exciting for the people in the village!

Thanks to the Wooster UMC for tables and chairs that will be put to use immediately with a teacher training that is being held at Camphor.
Thanks to Mentor UMC for backpacks, birthing kits, and so much more!
Thanks to Vienna UMC for office furniture.
Thanks to Andover for the church pews! The congregation is SO excited! Larry will be putting them together with some students over the next 2 weeks.
Thanks to MedWish and Laurie Joyce for hospital and medical supplies.
Thanks to Bill at Sagamore for the baby scale, the Camphor Clinic was thrilled!
Thanks to Faith UMC for little girl pillow case dressed, Nancy will do some distribution over the next 2 weeks.
Thanks to Garretsville UMC and Gay Street UMc for helping to send school supplies! Connie Irvin you're the best!
Thanks to Jordan Martin for toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Thanks to Orchard Path UMC for the school shoes.
Thanks to Kevin Shaner for sorting books.
Thanks to Jack for agriculture supplies.
Thanks to Bill Otte and others for lockers.
And for all of the people I have missed, the people at Camphor are dancing, singing, jumping with joy to receive these needed items! Praise God!

Peoria UMC, thanks for sending Kathy on this trip. She has brought much energy, laughter, and spirit to this group. She has been the blessed eyes and ears for you at Camphor. The folks at Camphor were thrilled to have her on the mission again and introduce her to the village students that you help to support. Kathy was the person who handed out the graduation certificates to the 9th graders at the closing ceremonies.

What a blessing to be a part of UMVIM ministries!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Camphor Mission

The team is having a great time at Camphor. The rainy season has not given us as many challenges as we anticipated. We enjoyed a day at the Buchanan beach on Saturday. As I post this entry, it is Sunday and we are preparing for worship at the Garfield Memorial UMC church on the Camphor Mission Station. We will celebrate communion with our friends here.

Some news about the team . . .
Laura has visited a village for vaccination, organized crafts with students, and helped deliver a baby.
Tom has hauled water, worked with children, helped staff, worked in the agriculture field, and removed spiders from rooms each night before bed!
Mary is organizing a staff team building workshop, working with Esther in the library, and playing with students.
Catherine and Kate are being loved on by ALL of the children and students here that are their age. They are building some strong relationships with some of the older girls that are their peers. Catherine and Kate are youth themselves.
Kathy "Steinie" is representing Peoria strong! Passing out graduation certificates to 9th grade graduates, interviewing the agriculture staff, vaccinating in villages, and organizing activities with students.
Jan is leading us in music, playing with kids, working with Esther in the library and dancing in the village of Duo!
Jane is working in the library with Esther, playing with students and leading us in devotions.
Bob trained the traditional birth attendants in life saving new clean water techniques and working with the clinic staff.
Meghan is organizing all of us with games, crafts with kids, library time, and cleaning the house!

All are helping with the container unloading, visiting villages, laughing, eating well, sleeping comfortably, and being a blessing. God is leading us on this journey and we feel your prayers and God's presence in real ways. Ipo Gredipo Szwo! We give God thanks.

Kathy and Danny

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hello Camphor Mission Supporters!

We arrived safely to the Camphor Mission on Sunday, June 26th. We have 10 visitors with us from Peoria UMC, Mt. Vernon Gay Street, Main Street in Mansfield, and Mentor UMC. As I write this on Tuesday people are already out in the villages doing polio vaccinations, reading and doing crafts in the library, in town buying supplies for tiling projects, paying salaries, preparing for lunch with other western UMC visitors, preparing staff team building workshop, and working in the agriculture department. We have been blessed by Irene's cooking and great hospitality. We have been visited by the children on the mission and will participate in the school's closing ceremonies on Friday. What a blessing it is to be here!
We will be in contact as we can.
Stay tuned for stories and photos.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mentor UMC Middle School Mission Week

Mentor UMC Middle Schoolers spent last week in mission all over Lake, Geauga and Cuyahoga County. They also advocated for and learned about the students at the Camphor Mission Station in Liberia. They raised over $600 for four student's school fees. Meet Jarlington, Daniel, O'George and Chinda, students at the JF Yancy School in Liberia. Lives have been changed, both here in Ohio and in Liberia.