Hope for Liberia
“The Ebola crisis is as devastating as the civil war.”
According to Emmanuel Bimba, the emotional, financial, and physical repercussions of the Ebola outbreak have been comparable to the desolation of the Liberian civil war. And yet, in the midst of such fear and trauma, God is moving in miraculous ways.
Emmanuel’s cheerful voice on the telephone line is the first indicator that the gloom and doom reported by global news outlets is not the only story shaping up in West Africa. His quick laughter and sure declaration that “God is good all the time!” is enough to make one wonder if he is living in the same country that we see highlighted on the news. But then he starts sharing... And the tales he tells are filled with wonder and hope and grace.
There’s an old adage that asserts you must hit rock bottom before you feel compelled to look up, and that seems to be holding true in Liberia right now. More and more people are coming to Christ, drawn by the hope and redemption that the Good News has to offer. In the midst of suffering, lives are being transformed in beautiful, extraordinary ways. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Emmanuel has been taping a radio program for months now. It is aired across the country and Liberians are responding to his sermons. His topic last month? Finding contentment in every circumstance.
- Three churches have been added to the AVDC sisterhood since the Ebola outbreak began.
- Because of the partnership between AVDC and OBOH, the sisterhood of Liberian churches we support has been well cared for throughout the medical crisis. Rice, oil, and hygienic supplies have been delivered monthly, and they’ve used these resources to both provide for their congregants and be a light to the surrounding communities.
- Only one person in the AVDC family has succumbed to Ebola, a nurse in Harbel named Fatu. Although her loss is deeply felt, we praise God that her family and the rest of her community was spared.
- The construction of the high school on the campus of the Christ Our Hope orphanage and Dumbar Farm branch of AVDC continues! In spite of difficult circumstances, we continue to plan for a beautiful future.
- New Life Reformed Church was able to raise the funds needed to provide AVDC with a much-needed all-terrain vehicle. Several of the churches are located in remote locations that are difficult to access with the church vans.
- A four-wheel drive will dramatically enhance their ability to stay connected.
- Two separate fundraisers that were spearheaded by the community raised nearly $20,000 for Ebola relief and the construction of a new orphanage in Lofa County, Liberia.
Great things are happening! God is alive and at work in his people. We are so grateful for your prayerful and financial support of our ministry in this difficult but hopeful time. In Emmanuel’s own words:
We are grateful to God for the successful distributions of the rice for the month of November 2014. It was great and fruitful. everyone was happy and thankful to God for you and all those working along with you. The Lord is doing many great things during this Ebola period in the history of our church. Many soul are won to the Lord on the weekly basis. This was our dream and vision for Liberia. We are indeed overwhelm with what God is doing in our midst at this particular time while our country is in a restless period.
Carry on, prayer warriors! The Ebola crisis is not over yet, and with 8-12 new cases reported in Liberia every day, we cannot become too complacent. But God promises us that he works all things for the good of those who love him, and his covenant is sure. We need not despair. Have faith, have hope, and pray without ceasing!