Liberia, torn apart by 14 years of civil war, is the fourth poorest country on earth. Now the Ebola epidemic threatens to wipe out thousands more lives. Yet some Christian leaders believe there is hope for Liberia.
James Cuffee of Christ Evangelical Fellowship Ministries (CEFM) told Christian Aid Mission that churches across the country have been “very busy fasting and praying” for God’s intervention in this health crisis.
“The Church in Liberia has agreed to stand together in faith and pray against this killer disease,” Cuffee said. “I strongly believe the Lord will surely work miracles as we pray in Jesus’ name.” Since the March outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea, more than 1,552 infected individuals in four West African countries have died. Liberia has reported the most cases (1,378) and has seen the most deaths (694 as of Aug. 28). Those figures surpass the total number of deaths for all previous outbreaks of the disease combined.
Reports of 13 suspected Ebola deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have heightened fears that the disease will spread further into Africa. The DRC is located in the central part of the continent, and, according to health officials, tests show that this strain of the virus is different from the one in West Africa.
If the outbreak worsens in Liberia, officials worry about its potential impact on the nation’s already tenuous food supply. The majority of rural Liberians practice subsistence agriculture. Farmers barely grow enough to feed their families, so if the family provider should fall victim to Ebola and could not tend to crops, his or her loved ones may go hungry.
“People are dying—physically and spiritually,” Cuffee said. “This is a wakeup call for the Church. We are taking our nation for Jesus.”
CEFM will step up its efforts to meet some of the food needs through a variety of agricultural projects. In addition, plans are underway to build a medical clinic in one rural area, so villagers will no longer need to travel three to five hours to seek basic treatment.
“All of these projects open the door to reach more unbelievers,” Cuffee said. “It’s proof that the Church loves, cares, and is concerned about people’s needs. Jesus saw and met needs, and because of that the multitudes followed Him. The early Church did the same when they followed the principles of Christ. So if we as the Church, and as a ministry, can follow Jesus and the apostles and do these things, we will gain more converts.”
AMIE COTTON is with Christian Aid Mission. Taken from Assist News Service.