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© ELWA Ministries Association USA
Our dear friend and ELWA Ministries advisory board member, Christine Norman, left this life to be with her Lord and Savior on June 23rd.. We are sad that we will no longer hear her voice, laughter, singing or prayers, but we also celebrate her birth into eternal life. In the first and second century, there are many writings that detail the celebrations Christian family members would have after the death of their loved one. They would literally have a party at the funeral. Their faith in Jesus and in His promise of resurrection and eternal life was so strong that they literally threw a party in honor of their departed loved ones good fortune. Christine had this kind of faith-and she always loved a good party!
Join us in celebrating her life and birth into eternal life. Christine was an international educator, humanitarian, social leader, advocate for peace and reconciliation, and agent of positive change. Since 2002, Christine has been working to provide hope, opportunities, and empowerment to youth, young adults, ex-combatants, widows, orphans and other marginalized groups in her home country of Liberia through her NGO Restoration of Education Advancement Programs (REAP). In addition to serving on the ELWA Ministries Advisory Board, Christine served on the board of directors of the William R. Tolbert Jr. Foundation, which honors the legacy of her father, the late President Tolbert (20th president of Liberia) by providing scholarships, leadership development initiatives centered on character-based leadership and ethics in management for emerging leaders.
Christine also co-founded the Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School in Monrovia, Liberia and served as principal for several years. From 1972 to 1980, she served as Assistant Superintendent of the Monrovia Consolidated School System and then Deputy Minister of Education for Instruction, the position she held until the time of the April 12, 1980 military coup d'état which toppled the Liberian government. After the coup, Christine and her family settled in the Ivory Coast where served as an educator at the International Community School of Abidjan. She started the International Friendship Center, a community and recreational center that hosted educational workshops, vocational training, athletic programs, and entertainment for youth and adults in the community. In 1990, a civil war broke out in Liberia, forcing hundreds of thousands of Liberian refugees to flee across the border into neighboring Ivory Coast. At that time, Christine founded the Liberian Refugee Tutorial Program (LRTP), an educational establishment still in existence today. She also convened and participated in several peace and reconciliation conferences aimed at fostering peace and unity in Liberia.
When the Liberian Civil War came to an end, Christine returned to Liberia to found REAP and to assist with the post-conflict reconstruction. REAP focused in the areas of education, skill training, youth and women’s empowerment, leadership development, and peace-building. When Christine's health began to decline, she wanted to make sure her beloved REAP was in good hands. As a great leader who was always prepared, Christine brought on Mr. Julius Wesse to take over the reigns as Director of REAP before her passing.