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Rev. Mahn Krua Sr.
“Di it yourself , you’ll get it done.” Rev. Mahn C. Krua, without formal education, he founded Ziah Mission School and educated thousands of lawyers, doctors, engineers and diplomats.
The Baptist Mid-Missions in Cleveland, OH sent white missionaries to Liberia as early as 1933 and established churches to win Africans to Jesus Christ. They settled in Bong, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Nimba counties and made Tappita, Nimba County their headquarters. Baptist Mid Missions through out its history fielded only white missionaries who could neither spoke African languages nor understood African cultures. In fact the white missionaries were so racist, they never allowed Africans into their homes nor allowed Africans to drink out of their cups. The white American missionaries carried with them the racial discrimination in America to the mission field. While the homes in which the missionaries lived were built by Africans, the white Americans never allowed Africans to live close to missionaries nor were Africans allowed to have the same amenities such as electricity, running water in their homes.
The missionaries established School for white missionary kids only in Tappita and when they were finished there, they went on to Boake’ Ivory Coast to further their education. As for the Liberian children of the Christians in missionary planted churches, the missionaries discouraged African children from pursuing education. “Elementary school education is the best for Liberians because Jesus is coming quickly.” The missionaries said. “After sixth grade Liberians should get married, go to Bible School and start winning souls for Jesus. Jesus is coming so quickly education is a waste of time and money.” The missionaries would say.
There was an ongoing debate about the education opportunity for the Liberian children who could in the future take over the work on the mission. These debates which were tense from time to time swept under the rug by the missionaries. One missionary was once quoted as saying” We came to win souls for Jesus and not to educate your children”. Some of the Christians took this remark as an insult and this did not end the debate for opportunity for the children of people the missionaries worked with.
In 1954 during their Annual Conference in zondoblee, Grand Bassa County, a visiting preacher from America, Dr. Armah told a story during a sermon. Dr. Armah told his audience that during the Korean war, American missionaries in that country did not build schools for the Christians in Korea. It was the collectively efforts of Korean Christians that pulled resources together and established schools for Korean children. We are not sure why the visiting preacher decided to bring this story during his sermon at the Annual Conference, nor are we aware of Dr. Armah’s concern for Christian education in Liberia. It could also be that Dr. Armah wanted to ease the tense relationship between missionaries from America and their Liberian counterparts. However, his story fired up the mood at the Zondoblee Conference that year.
Immediately following the end of the conference, an emergency meeting was held and the late Rev. Moses Dorleah elected Board Chair and his Co-chair was the late Rev John K. Demey. Others named on the Education Board were thus:
The Board went ahead and voted Ziah Town the venue for the new school some (17) miles from Tappita the district headquarters. This means Ziah was very remote and it was only human effort to transport materials for construction work for the school. The Board did not establish the long term financial source but noted that churches will make collective contributions annually to fit the school budget. They held rallies and raised funds and people volunteered their services for the construction work to build the school.
The work started and was completed in 1960 and the Board appointed Rev Mahn C. Krua and his late wife Esther Krua to go to Ziah and take care of the school. His job description was Bible Teacher, Treasurer, Recruit Teachers, support the school , head Pastor, Ziah Church. Other men appointed on Rev Rev. Krua’s team were: Deacon Peter Markor, Deacon Tarwo Yezian, Old Man Paye and others…………..
Rev. Krua planted rubber and cocoa two leading cash crops in Liberia to insure availability of funds in the future. The school excelled over the years at times having difficulties collecting contributions from the churches who themselves had their own financial burden to deal with. Mr & Mrs Peter makor were in charge of the girls dormitory while Rev. & Mrs. Krua were in charge of the boy’s dormitory on the 250 acres of land owned by the Ziah Mission School.
The school was blessed to have one of its former student named Liberia’s Ambassador to the Food And Agriculture Organization of the United nations In Rome, Italy in 1982. Also Beautiful Voices from the school selected to perform in County Headquarter, in Sanniquellie, Nimba County in 1974.
During the Liberian civil war, the school was looted and all material used as wood to make fire. However during the latter part, the school has since opened and is now operational.
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Family Independence Initiative (FII) organized in Oakland, California, this organization helps Americans get out of poverty. Tori Krua joined the Boston, Massachusetts Chapter in 2015. Krua's goal was to establish a similar organization to help Africans get out of poverty.
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