Thursday, January 19, 2012

Justin and Monica Tarr

I want to introduce you to two of our students at the Camphor Mission Station. Justin and Monica Tarr are brother and sister, same pa different ma. Their father's name is Rev. Joseph W. Tarr Sr. Rev. Tarrr is second in command at the St. John River District office. Monica's mom's name is Mary James and Justin's mom's name is Nyonjay. Mary is a midwife who sometimes brings goods like cola, bitterball and fufu to sell in the market. Nyonjay sells clothes in the big market in Buchanan that she brings from Monrovia. Justin was born in Buchanan at the government hospital while Monica was born in a home in Buchanan. Buchanan is the provincial capital, a large town just 15 miles from Camphor Mission Station.

Justin is the older brother, 15 years and Monica is just a year younger, 14 years old. They live in the dormitories on the mission. Justin has lived on the Camphor Mission for 6 years and Monica has lived on the mission for 3 years. Both attend school on a church scholarship. This means that they each bring 1 bag of rice, oil, and pay just $125 a year for school fees. Before living and going to school on the mission Monica and Justin lived in different homes in Buchanan but always knew one another. Justin was raised by his mom and Monica was raised by her grandma. As you watch them interact you can see a real love, respect and relationship between them. They look after one another and care about each other deeply.

Monica Marjay Tarr was born on July 1, 1998. She is in the 5th grade and wants to be a United Methodist pastor when she grows up. Meanwhile she likes to play with her friends, study, eat, dance and sing. Monica likes living on the mission better than living in Buchanan. "The teachers teach us good things," she says. Monica's favorite thing to eat is rice, palm butter with cassava leaf. Her favorite colors are pink and blue. She has her ears pierced. Her favorite television that she watches when in Monrovia is African shows and her favorite music is Me and You. Monica is looking forward to connecting with the pastor from East Ohio on the next UMVIM teams to arrive.

Justin Oliver Tarr was born on April 26, 1997. He is in the 9th grade wants to be either a journalist or a mechanical engineer. He was excited to hear that two engineers will be visiting the mission soon from the East Ohio Conference. Justin likes being at Camphor Mission where he can play with his friends. He likes soccer/football and basketball. He also likes being in Buchanan where he can walk all over (have more freedom), ride a bicycle, and watch football/soccer at the video club (a room with a generator and television to pay for viewing a live games or dvd). Justin's favorite football team is Barcelona. He even enjoys driving a motorcycle! He paid his friend to teach him to drive! Justin's favorite food is dumboy with palm butter. (Dumboy is cassava, a root vegetable, boiled and pounded and served as a staple food in Liberia.) Justin's favorite music is BayJay. Justin will graduate from the 9th grade this year and will attend school in Buchanan at another UMC school, Brumskin.

Monica and Justin want you to know that they their father has 8 children. The oldest brother Joseph is in the Armed Forces of Liberia. The oldest daughter Vicki finished high school and the next 2 older sisters are raising children. Monica has 2 younger sisters by the same ma same pa, Comfort and Patience. Justin and Monica are both sad about their relationship with their step mom, the woman their father is married to now. They say, "She hates us.. We love her and want her to be our mom but we are not allowed in their house," says Justin. Monica reinforces his words with "She does not want any part of us." They are still able to see their father when he comes to the mission to visit and when they are in Buchanan they go to his office.

All of the schools are coming to a close of the first semester. This week has been exam week for the school. They will have one week of classes then a two week break. Justin will go home to Buchanan with his mom for break and Monica will be with her grandma in Buchanan. Pray for Monica and Justin that they do well on their school exams, that they have an opportunity to visit with their father and relationship with their step mom, and that they are safe and healthy.

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