In Liberia, West Africa, Christmas is a time when parents make a special effort to get their kids spiffed up with fresh haircut.
“A new haircut for children during the Christmas season is very important for parents here in Liberia,” says Lutheran Hour Ministries—Liberia Director Alphonsus Claimett. “Parents take their children to barber shops and saloons—often at a high cost.”
Aphonsus and his team had an idea: provide haircuts at no cost for children under 15 from the Monrovia area, and treat it as an opportunity to share the reason for the season—the Good News that Jesus, Whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, is the Savior and Friend of all people everywhere.
So LHM’s 23 volunteers worked from 9:00 in the morning till 4:00 in the afternoon on December 23, and when it was all over, 137 kids from age 14 all the way down to age 3 had crisp new do’s. Everyone who attended was also treated to a hot meal, as well as a special Christmas message presented by the pastor of LHM’s local partner congregation.
David Sumo brought all four of his grandsons for Christmas haircuts. “It would have cost me a lot to have these four boys’ hair cut,” he told Aphonsus. “You have helped me put aside a little money for something else. God bless you people!”
The popular event generated ideas for future activity: “Interestingly,” says Alphonsus, “we got requests to include braiding for girls and haircuts for elderly people when LHM—Liberia offers this holistic ministry again!”