Today is Election Day in Liberia. The results of today’s voting will determine the future of the country. I cannot understate the importance of today’s election. If all goes well today and in January when the president is sworn in, this will be the first transfer of power from one elected president to another since 1944. Today could represent a huge step forward for Liberia’s development! But first, people must be able to distinguish between all the truths and the lies that have surrounded this election process, and that can be a huge challenge in Liberia.
There are 20 official candidates for President and 988 people running for the 75 House of Representatives positions. So many parties, so many politicians, so many platforms, and so much information to sort through making this whole election process more than just a tad confusing, especially considering a multitude of other challenges. Approximately 50% of Liberia’s population lives in the bush (hours away from paved roads, electricity, and reliable news), 60% of the population is uneducated and illiterate (critical thinking skills are not fully developed), and 70% of the population is under the age of 35 meaning that about 1/3 of the voters are voting for the first time.
Complicating things even more, are the politicians themselves and the multitude of ways they’ve tried to convince people to vote for them. I’ve heard of how some politicians take advantage of people’s desolate poverty and use bribery (or false promises) to try and buy votes. Some politicians take advantage of the fact that people don’t know the faces or even names of everyone running and so set up fake debates in which it looks like they’ve beat their opponent, but their real opponent wasn’t even there. Some politicians take advantage of people’s fear and anxiety, and use a combination of cruel methods to manipulate people to vote for them. Some politicians, like wolves dressed as sheep, even take advantage of people’s faith and trust in the church as a way of claiming that it is the sacred “will of God” for them to win and “prophesying” in God’s name that there will be violence if they don’t win.
But despite all of the challenges, we know that God is here and that He has the power to overcome ALL. Nothing is impossible for Him. Only He knows the truths from the lies and only He can bring the needed change to Liberia. He is the only leader who we can put our faith and trust in and know that what He is saying is true. Today especially, Liberians must turn to Him rather than leaning on their own understandings and He will make their path straight.
Dear God, we ask today that you give Liberia the eyes of wisdom and discernment to be able to distinguish truth from lies and to be able to see right from wrong. Give them your vision God to be able to see beyond themselves and what is good for the individual, but instead to see what is good for the country and its people, what is the will of God. Help Liberians to not be manipulated or tricked by any evil, but let your truth prevail. Lead us in your everlasting ways into a bright future. Let your will be done today and every day, God. Amen. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Matthew 7:15