Kenora mission to Liberia lends helping hand to orphanage, village

Jubilee Church Pastor Frank Kowal will lead the Kenora contingent on the Alongside International humanitarian aid mission to Liberia, Africa, from Feb. 13 to Feb. 27. Reg Clayton / Miner and News

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A group of Kenora residents are headed to Liberia, Africa, as part of their ongoing humanitarian outreach efforts in the continent.

Jubilee Church Pastor Frank Kowal along with Kenora residents Gerald Yoder and George Wassaykesic are participating in the Burlington, Ontario-based Alongside International mission to support orphans and villagers in need of medical attention in Whomgbay Bang, Liberia, along with some evangelistic work.

This will be Kowal’s fourth visit to the remote Liberian village, where he’s assisted with the annual medical clinic and helped distribute donations of clothing from Kenora at the girls’ orphanage. Kowal and Wassaykesic, a member of Jubilee Church, and Yoder, of the Believers Fellowship, are leaving Feb. 13.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Kowal said. “This will be my fourth trip in five years. They know me quite well there.”

Last time Kowal visited Whomgbay Bang to help at the medical clinic, he said they set up shop for eight days, where they saw up to 100 people a day. Kowal said the ailments people were seeking treatment or medications for included: malaria, typhoid, respiratory problems, skin infections, parasites, dehydration, eye problems and gastrointestinal disorders.

In addition to the medical clinic, Alongside International is also overseeing the building of a new school in the village. Kowal said his partners will assist with the construction project during their trip.

They’re also bringing donations, including clothing for the girl’s orphanage, from Jubilee Church congregation.

Kowal said the orphanage has seen some changes over the years since he began visiting. For example, the girls have been planting palm trees to make palm oil for sale locally to become more self-sufficient.

“People work very hard there, it’s just very humbling to see how hard they work just to survive,” Kowal said.

Kowal, Yoder and Wassaykesic are set to return around Feb. 27.

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