Through our partnership with Hope Feeds and Global Strategies for HIV Prevention, the peanut butter house has found a home in Monrovia, Liberia at Transformation International.
Transformation International, or T.I as we’ve learned to call it, is an organization run by Luther Tarpeh to work with teenage boys, often former street kids. The organization provides mentorship and discipleship to these young men teaching them job skills, responsibility and leadership.
Here is a brief bio to introduce you to Luther.
Luther Tarpeh comes from a very poor village and was brought up by his godly mother, whom he credits as having introduced him to Jesus. Others recognized that Luther could have a bright future and because the schools where he was brought up hardly existed, a number of people were able to raise enough scholarship money for him to be schooled in Nigeria. There he went through undergraduate school, then seminary, then became a seminary professor. But all the while, he had a burning vision to return to Liberia with the dual vision of reaching out to the street boys, and a godly concern for the leaders of the country. He became a seminary professor at the Baptist Seminary there in Monrovia (without pay … with the only recompense being given a small home for he and his family to live in). Luther loves teaching so he continues to teach one class besides the current mentoring ministry with the street boys and supporting Samuel and Rebecca in the weekly Parliament Breakfast group.
Luther was kind enough to provide brief bios of the boys in Transformation International so we may better understand our very important partners in Monrovia. The team from First Presbyterian and Hope Feeds will be working in conjunction with these young men to build the peanut butter house and working to empower these young men to operate the peanut butter house independently. Affectionately known as Luther’s boys, it is our hope that through involvement with this project these young men will receive training, build relationships, and develop skills and responsibility which help them to succeed in life.
Here is a little about each of the 18 young men we look forward to working with.
Joe Toddeh was brought to Monrovia from the rural area by his sister. After a year in the city, his sister went insane and Joe had nowhere to live. Joe has completed high school and would like to go to college, but at this time there are insufficient funds for him to go. Joe is 17 years old and is growing in his faith.
Alex Sayon is 16 years old and came from a very large, poor family. He is a very smart young man who wants to follow Jesus and to be educated. Alex is very social and wants to walk with the Lord.
Leroy Holder is 14 years old. His father left the family when Leroy was a baby. His mother tried to keep the children, but when Leroy was 9 she was no longer able to care for him and he went to stay with his grandmother. While there, he met one of the Transformation House mentors, Isaac, who shared the love of Jesus with him and he came to live in the Transformation House. Today Leroy has changed from being selfish and rude to a caring and industrious young man.
Charles Sunday Doe is 17 years old. Charles was abandoned by his mother when he was just 1 year old. His father was too old to take care of him. He considered joining armed gangs to rob people just to survive until he was invited by Emmanual one, the first boy to move the move. In the home he got to know Jesus, now goes to school and is in the 9th grade. He wants to be a Civil Engineer. He is a young man with great leadership ability.
Samuel Lloyd is 15 years old. At age 7 he began living at the dump. He lost both parents and was left to fend for himself, searching for food among the rubbish. He was full of anger, feeling abandoned and unloved until he met someone who told him about the Transformation House. He received Jesus and moved to the home. He now loves the Lord and is in school.
Edward Flomo lost his Dad when he was very small. His mother could not afford to send him to school. He grew to know Jesus in the home. He is a very gentle and promising young man. He wants to be a Computer Technologist.
Lawrence Clark is a 15 year old young man who grew up in the slums of Monrovia. His father left his Mother to fend for Lawrence and his brothers. At age 7 Lawrence was forcefully recruited into child labor, carrying heavy loads of cement blocks for loaf of bread. Since moving to the Transformation house, Lawrence has turned his life over to the Lord, is in school, and wants to be a Civil Engineer when he grows up.
Emmanuel Quiah lost his father when he was just 3 months old. His mother abandoned him, and his Aunt stepped in to care for him. She could not afford to send Emmanuel to go to school and Emmanuel was forced to join gangs and steal for survival. He was also forced into child labor to get food. Once this 16 year old found the Transformation house and moved in, he gave his life to Jesus and has been growing since. He wants to be an Accountant when he grows up.
Benjamin Lewis is 15 years old, though he does not know his actual birthday. At just 2 months old his mother left him in a dump site near a popular hospital junction at 2am when no one was around. By day ants had entered his eyes, ears and mouth. Around 5:30am a Good Samaritan passing by heard his faint and failing cries, she found a helpless, dying child in the bushes. She cleaned the ants from his eyes and body and took him to the hospital and then reported the incident to the police who begged Ma Victoria to take the child home with her, as the war was raging in the city. Victoria and her husband took Ben in their home and adopted him as their son. in 2004 both Victoria and her husband passed away from high blood pressure. At this time Luther invited Ben into the home. He is growing in his faith and wants to be a Medical Doctor.
Wardea Richards is 17 years old. His father was killed by the rebels when trying to escape the war. His mother was left with Wardea and his 3 siblings. Wardea was so poor he turned to selling drugs and was becoming a threat to the community. Since coming to the Transformation house he has turned his life over to Jesus and wants to be a Journalist when he grows up.
Abel Lloyd grew up in a slum with no father, as he had passed away when Abel was 2. His mother could not afford to feed him and his siblings, leaving Abel to scour the dump for food. He desperately wanted to go to school, but his mother could not afford for him to go. Since coming to the transformation house, this 14 year old is doing very well in school, especially Math, and wants to be a Civil Engineer.
Emmanual T. Kollie is 17 years old. He lost his father and was left with his blind mother. He moved from Buchanan to seek greener pastures in Monrovia. He was sleeping on street corners when I met him. He came to live at the Transformation House and found Jesus. He says, “Now I know that God loves me and has a purpose for me.” Tweh is in school and is one of our brilliant boys.
Wendell Geah was born in Monrovia and given to a relative to care for him. That relative did not provide parental care and love to Wendell. At 13, Wendell was told to go out and fend for himself. He lived on the streets, doing anything for food. He came into contact with Isaac, who brought him to the Transformation House, where he received Jesus and began to follow him. Today he is happy and feels loved and accepted. He goes to school and hopes to become a Mechanical Engineer.
Samuel Newon is a 12 year old boy who lives with his Grandmother. He knows little of his biological parents. The grandmother cannot afford to send him to school, so he stays at home, helping his Grandmother with her petty trading. He has joined the Transformation House and is overhwhelmed that God has a purpose for him.
Alexander Saye is 16 years old. He was abandoned by his parents and has had to fend for himself. He grew up on the street with no parental guidance. Since hearing about Jesus from the staff at Transformation International he has moved into the house, is attending school, and is serving the Lord.
Aaron Paye is 14 years old. His father is paralyzed and his parents are very poor. He has been left to fend for himself. He had joined gangs to get food. He met Jesus through one of the staff of the Transformation House. He is serving the Lord and is doing well. He is focused and trusts in the Lord that he will be a great person in the future. He is a boy of great faith and is in the 7th grade.
Melvin Sieh is a young man with leadership qualities. He is 15 years old. His parents are too poor to send him to school. he became very bitter about why God should allow him to be born in such a family. He had to find food in garbage cans. He is now at Transformation House and is serving the Lord. He loves the Lord and is growing steadily.
In addition to the boys, there are 4 mentors in house. They are: Isaac Kerkulah, Alfred Mulbah, Arthur Payne, and Tabitha Walker.