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Finding hope beyond Ebola

By April 17, 2015
(Photo Courtesy of GAIN)

(Photo Courtesy of GAIN)

Liberia (GAiN) — [EDITORS NOTE: Now that the Ebola crisis is subsiding, a new one is taking its place. Global Aid Network (GAIN) shares the latest updates in this frontline brief.]

From the deathbed of Ebola, joy has risen. It’s not a trite joy that ignores or minimizes extreme suffering, but a serene joy, anchored in divine grace. It’s a joy that endures with longsuffering the storm of death. It’s a joy that comes from walking with the Lord, matching His strides, and carrying a message of spiritual life while working to alleviate physical suffering. As Liberia begins the long road to recovery, our Cru partners on the ground continue to pray and work, just as they did at the height of the crisis.

When Ebola struck Liberia, imports of staple foods, like rice and vegetables, stopped altogether. As increasing numbers of people succumbed to the disease, the diminished workforce struggled to plant and harvest food. As Liberia’s economy spiraled downward, many lost their jobs, so few could afford what little food existed. Consequently, food security and sustainability became a major challenge. During that time, Wolobah Taylor, the national director of Cru in Liberia (known as the Great Commission Movement Liberia), and his team delivered food, water filters, medicine, and medical supplies.

Now that the epidemic in Liberia has subsided and the nation begins the long process of recovery, food security remains a serious problem. Rather than undertake the slower, less lucrative work of growing vegetables, individuals devote themselves to producing cash crops like rubber. What is helpful in the short term for individuals, however, may prove harmful to the nation at large. People are consuming, not producing. Consequently, some individuals will prosper for a brief time at the expense of economic recovery for all.

Everyone–outsiders and insiders, amateurs and experts–all agree that the immediate future of Liberia appears bleak. The devastation left in the wake of Ebola may last for decades. Even so, Christian workers remain hopeful. They are strengthening the local churches to raise resources and mobilizing congregations to take the lead in agriculture. They see opportunity for churches in Liberia to help the nation overcome food security issues. They are helping to provide ongoing awareness and health education to stifle any new outbreaks of the virus. They are delivering clean water filters to communities, and will continue as God supplies resources.

As the crisis subsides and mourning gives way to dancing, faithful Christian workers give thanks to God and bring glory to Him through their praise. Because they faithfully served the physical needs of their neighbors–and continue to serve as they receive provision from supporters like you, their spiritual message of life in Christ resonates within those who were helped.

As this darkness passes, the light of the gospel shines brightly. Now, more than ever, barriers to ministry have fallen and the fields are ripe for harvest.

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