The Liberia Conference of the United Methodist Church is organizing to deal with the Ebola outbreak. The Connection is real and helping in West Africa
In spite of the formation of the National Task Force on the Ebola virus and the subsequent establishment of provisional Task Forces in the afflicted counties, Ganta City, Nimba County is at high risk of Ebola cases due to the slowness of the Nimba County Ebola Task Force.
As I think about the prayers that our friends and members of the United Methodist Churches in Liberia pray for us, it is our time to continue to lift them and their country before the throne of God. I personally know of two women who often fast for our conference teams traveling to Liberia for a full 21 days and many often fast and pray for IGRC on Wednesdays or Fridays of each week. It is time for Illinois Great Rivers Conference to faithfully pray for this situation.
The recent waves of the Ebola virus have created fear and panic among the people of Weala area including members of the United Methodist Church who are residing in the area. According to the District Superintendent of the Weala District, Rev. Paye Cooper Mondolo, from August 6-8, the Weala District UMC lost five of its members to the Ebola virus. He also indicated that he is not sure of how many of his district members are afflicted with the virus.
Short video of Women of Liberia in a time of fasting and prayer to end Ebola. Video provided by West African Writers and Julu Swen, director of communications for the Liberia Annual Conference.
Amidst the rising Ebola related death rate the President of the Republic of Liberia has declared a State of Emergency as of August 6, 2014. In a televised statement to the nation, President Sirleaf said “the nation is currently affected by the deadly Ebola virus and the disease has now spread to eight counties.” The outbreak of the virus unprecedented and the larger ever since this virus was first discovered,” Madam Sirleaf asserted.
In the wake of the State of Emergency declared by the Liberian Government, the United Methodist Church of Liberia has called off some of its programs and activities. According to the Dean of Bishop John G. Innis’ Cabinet, Rev. Christopher Marshall, the planned Cabinet meeting that was scheduled to take place in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County has been called off indefinitely. “We will revert to praying at our various districts and asking God to let this Ebola crisis pass,” he said.
In less than 73 hours the declared State of Emergency is starting to bite in the rural parts of Liberia, especially in areas considered worst affected by the Ebola virus. The military has begun restricting movement in and out of those counties. Counties that were named in the President’s earlier announcement include Lofa, Montserrado, Bong, Bomi, Margibi among others. Marketers are now said to be stranded in various parts of the country.
The United Methodist Church continues to be present and respond through West African United Methodist church leaders and regional health boards, denominational health facilities, missionaries, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the church’s humanitarian aid and health unit. UMCOR is part of the church’s mission agency, the General Board of Global Ministries. The church has three hospitals and five clinics in Sierra Leone and one hospital and three clinics in Liberia.