|Ganta mission station seek funds for land survey|
Miller McAllister United Methodist Church stands on the grounds
of Ganta United Methodist Mission Station in Liberia. Funds are being
raised for a new land survey to prevent encroachment onto the mission's
property. A UMNS file photo by Jane Malone.
By United Methodist News Service
Staff members at the Ganta United Methodist Mission Station in Liberia
are trying to raise money for a property survey to stop people from
encroaching upon the station’s land.
July 24, 2007
Sampson Wolloh Nyanti Sr., mission station superintendent, reported
that the denomination’s property is at risk because of the aggressive
actions of some trying to claim sections of the land as their own.
In March, Nyanti said in a July e-mail message, the Magisterial Court
of Ganta tried to intervene in the dispute by bringing together
representatives of the Mission Station Council and the leaders of those
encroaching on the property. "At that gathering, it was decided by both
parties concerned that the portion of land in question be resurveyed and
that the Mission Station underwrites the cost of the survey," he wrote.
The March decision has not stopped others from continuing to build
structures and plant rubber trees on the mission station’s land, Nyanti
said. In early July, the Nimba County superintendent ordered the land
commissioner to halt all activities in the disputed areas. The
superintendent also said the land should be re-surveyed by the first
week of August.
"The encroachment is getting bolder and bolder and government officials, in the past, turned a blind eye to it." -- Mary Zigbuo, a missionary assigned to the Ganta Mission through the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries
Nyanti estimates the survey will cost about $9, 000 USD and is asking
for immediate support to help complete it. Donations can be made
through The Advance, the denomination’s second-mile giving program.
A partial survey occurred before the last round of civil war in 2003,
according to Nyanti, when surveyor John Bishop provided more than
$3,000 to survey the south and southeastern portion of the mission
"We lately discover that both the areas surveyed by John Bishop and
the other side of the road going toward St. John River are being
encroached upon," Nyanti said. "This means that we will redo what
John Bishop did in addition to the surveying of the northeastern side."
Mary Zigbuo, a missionary assigned to Ganta through the United
Methodist Board of Global Ministries, affirmed the need for a new survey
and noted that the Nimba County superintendent has been more helpful
because he is a United Methodist. "We have been struggling with this
problem for more than two decades now," she explained. "The encroachment
is getting bolder and bolder and government officials, in the past,
turned a blind eye to it."
Credit card gifts in support of the mission station survey can be made online at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/give/advance,
The Advance Web site, or by calling (888) 252-6174. Checks, payable to a
local church, can be dropped in church offering plates or be made
payable to Advance GCFA and mailed directly to P.O. Box 9068, GPO, New
York, NY 10087-9068. Checks should include the name of the project and
the Advance number. The Advance Special Capital Project Number for Ganta
United Methodist Mission Station is 14369T.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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