DANVILLE — The director of an orphanage in Liberia, Africa, is on a thank-you tour of churches in the Midwest, and he’s planning a stop in Danville.
People are invited to meet the Rev. Robert Sieh and his wife, Margretta, at a reception from 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday at St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion St. At 5 p.m., Sieh will give a mini-presentation about the Bishop Judith Craig Children's Village.
Sieh, who has a good command of English, also will preach at the 7:30, 8:30 and 11 a.m. services Sunday. The public is invited to the services.
Church member Ann Wagle said, “We are eager to welcome these guests to our community and want to invite others to join us.”
The couple will be in town Friday to Monday, and Lead Pastor Randall L. Robinson has a whirlwind tour planned for them. It’s their first visit to the United States.
The guests will be taken to various places that may be of interest to them — including the water treatment plant, Danville Area Community College, Danville National Cemetery, hospitals, wind farm, Fair Hope Ministry, Danville Metal Stamping, Arts in the Park, and other places. They also will visit with Mayor Scott Eisenhauer and Vermilion County Board chairman Mike Marron.
“He doesn’t have an extra minute to breathe,” Robinson said of the director.
After Danville, the couple will go to Michigan; earlier, they were in Ohio. Their mission is to visit churches that have supported the orphanage and to say thank you.
In January, four representatives from St. James and seven people from a Canton church visited Liberia; they also had visited in 2013. During each visit, the local people visit the Bishop Judith Craig Children's Village in Monrovia. This is an orphanage that was built by the United Methodist Church in 2000 as a response to the needs of children during Liberia's 14-year civil war.
Many friends at St. James sponsor children from the village to support them and the work of the orphanage. During this year’s visit, the workers spent three days building a fence.
St. James members hope to return to the village within the next two years, Robinson said.
Learn more about the African ministry under “newsletter” (June/July) at the St. James United Methodist Church website, www.stjames-umc.com, or by calling the office at 442-1504.