Last time I reported on some of the challenges faced by our churches in Guinea and Sierra Leone caused by ebola. Now we shall look at Liberia.
Jonathan Nathan, from Monrovia, wrote recently to John Hammond (Bedford) who has coordinated the appeal, to report back on the use of the funds sent so far. It reveals some of the difficulties being faced there.
‘The churches in Liberia remain thankful to you all for coming to our aid when we really needed your help.
‘The first funds you sent (£2500) came at the time free movement was restricted. Hospitals and clinics were all closed and common curable diseases were killing people as a result of the closure of health centres. About 80% of our church members are young people who make their living by petty trading in the market, and so finding food and safe drinking water was difficult. Many of them could not afford to buy food because there were sharp price increases of food and anti-ebola materials.
‘We have been able to give:
- Food: $1500 for Rice, Cooking oil and eggs.
- Anti-Ebola materials: $1000 for Chloride, antiseptic soap, some buckets with taps for washing of hands.
- Medication and Awareness: $800.00 for essential drugs to provide emergency treatment for our people including Malaria treatments by our trained medical team. This is a mobile team organised by the church that had given themselves to do this. We also had a ‘Jesus is alive, Ebola is dead’ awareness team whose work was to carry on Ebola awareness in the various communities. This team has been very helpful in educating our people about Ebola prevention.
‘Another good achievement is the increase of people who come to out meetings because we always had something to share with them. Many have testified of the goodness of God for caring for them.
A smile at Christmas
‘The next £2000 was also very timely; many families who did know how they would eat and smile this Christmas were amazed and overwhelmed as we distributed food items. Traditionally, families buy their children clothes at Christmas; we distributed rice and used clothing to three churches and their communities. Over 400 people have benefited greatly from the money you sent us.
‘From the recent fund we were able to help a dozen students in our church who provided for us three truck loads of sand for our school building project to begin early next year. The guys were able to mine the sand from a river near our three plots of land and transported it on their heads to the church site. This would have cost us $1200 if we had a paid truck owner to bring it for us.
‘We have given some financial aid to one of our leaders who is a Ebola survivor. He spent one month and three days in the treatment centre leaving behind his wife and 6 children for us to care for. We have relocated him with his family at the newly planted church, (Fendell) where he is doing very well.
Plans for 2015
- Start our school building project on the church land
- Start the church school 2015 with three volunteers teachers in our temporary meeting tent. This will help our people who are not prepared for the heavy school fees after Ebola and a fallen economy
- Push forward with our church registration that was stopped for funds and evaluation
- Begin a small micro-finance project to help get potential petty traders back on their feet after Ebola
‘Ebola will end but we must move on after the storm is gone. Please pray with us to see our dream come true.’
John Hammond has been a faithful friend to the churches in West Africa for many years. For more details of how to give please contact him direct. Click here