Talking Mission With Edison Toe
PHOTO: CYNTHIA MACK
What three words best describe you?
Whom do you admire most?
Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.
When is God revealed for you most often?
I always feel God most when I am ready to give up on a difficult situation. Especially at the point that I have given up—that’s when God shows up for me.
My faith journey...
A significant point along my faith journey was when I received a scholarship from United Methodist Women to attend college. At the age of 10, because of conflict between rebel and government forces, I was forced to flee from Liberia without my family. I spent two years in a refugee camp in Côte d’Ivoire, when, through attending a United Methodist church in the camp, another Methodist family took me in. I had to flee again with my foster family from Côte d’Ivoire to Ghana when conflict broke out in Côte d’Ivoire. I finished secondary school in Ghana, but I never would have made it through college without the financial help of my church. At age 22, I was finally able to reconnect with my family in Liberia.
Global Mission Fellow calling...
I was motivated to get involved with Global Mission Fellows because I feel privileged, and I feel opportunity in life comes with responsibility. Having been sponsored by the United Methodist Women, I feel I have a responsibility to contribute to society, thereby working to support the vision and mission of my church through engaging and working with communities to alleviate poverty and promoting social justice.
My dream is to provide education to children, youth, and teenage mothers. To achieve this, I plan to establish a daycare and recreational center in my home country. Both centers will serve as places where kids and youth will grow and learn in a safe space. The children will be trained to be innovative and creative. I also dream of empowering at-risk young people who feel rejected by society and their parents because of their involvement in drug addiction.
What I hear from at-risk youth is that they lack empowerment skills. They want to become self-reliant, but they don’t have the skills needed to work and earn a living for themselves. As a result, they tend to live in the streets and harass others—posing a threat to society. Some of these at-risk young people are former child soldiers, while others got involved in drug addiction through peer pressure. The above-mentioned situation motivated me to establish a local charity organization called Visionary Youth Empowerment-Liberia in Monrovia.
Edison De-Conti Toe (Advance #3022389) was commissioned as a Global Mission Fellow in August 2017. He has been assigned to South Korea at the Border Peace School as a peace educator. Edison is a member of Burns Phelps Memorial United Methodist Church in Brewerville, south of Monrovia. He received a Bachelor of Business degree in human resource management from Pan African Christian University College in 2015.