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Published on 21 November, 2014

Liberia after Ebola faces new normal

Ebola

Color-enhanced electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles.

Liberia (MNN) — Ebola: the crisis swept through West Africa over the course of several months, prompting a global scare.

The World Health Organization released figures this week showing that nearly 3,000 Liberians died from Ebola since it surfaced last spring and exploded this summer.  The country bore the brunt of the illness, but now it seems, things are turning a corner. Liberia’s president hopes to defeat the dreaded disease by Christmas.

While Peggy Maynard, Global Fingerprints Liberia Coordinator, shares some relief at good news, there’s a cautionary note. “We’re very thankful that the rate of infections does seem to be slowing, and we pray that it will continue. However, I don’t want people to think that the crisis in Liberia is over, because it isn’t by a long-shot.”

Ebola has left long-lasting scars in Liberia. “Their economy has been devastated. About half of the people in the country are unemployed still because of the crisis, and they had a high unemployment rate before that. The price of food is still very high.” The healthcare system has been decimated because the caregivers paid the ultimate price to help other Ebola victims. “This is going to take many years to replace these healthcare workers and bring their healthcare back up to standard and open the clinics. This is going to be a long recovery even if Ebola is eradicated today.”

(Photo courtesy Evangelical Free Church)

(Photo courtesy Evangelical Free Church)

Plus, with 3,000 deaths, there’s an orphan crisis now. Maynard shares about one of their church partners. “A pastor and his wife both died, and they left eight children orphaned. So they have been taken in by relatives. These children are fortunate to have been taken in. You can imagine the family that already has their own family, probably unemployed, and then suddenly, they have eight more children to take care of.”

Global Fingerprints is working on family-based solutions within Liberia for the orphans because, says Maynard, the government in Liberia put adoptions on hold 6-8 years ago. “So, adopting these children out of the country is not an option at this point.”

Another facet of the problem is the fear and stigma that surrounds Ebola in Liberia. “Some of these children are not being accepted by anyone because of the fear of Ebola, and they’re left on the streets to fend for themselves. So, organizations are trying to reach out and provide a safe place for these children.”

They need help, and Global Fingerprints–the child sponsorship wing of the Evangelical Free Church, is stepping in to assist. “We have entered these children into our Global Fingerprints system, and we are trying to find sponsors for them, which will pay for their healthcare, their education, and it’ll help the families with food.”

(Photo courtesy Evangelical Free Church/Reach Global/Global Fingerprints)

(Photo courtesy Evangelical Free Church/Reach Global/Global Fingerprints)

Church partners plan to open a temporary orphanage to get some of these children off the streets. This has been met with such a strong positive response that “church partners in Liberia have a plan to plant 50 new churches by January because they see that this crisis is making people think about their mortality. It’s putting them into a position where they feel vulnerable, they’re seeking answers about life, and they’re open to the Gospel.”

What can you do? You can provide an avenue for hope to grow. Maynard says first, there’s prayer: “Pray for our church partners there who are bravely ministering to people, without regard for their own safety, in order to bring them the hope of the Gospel.”

Then, there’s action: “Our church has set up an Ebola Crisis Response Fund, and that money will be used to meet some for these urgent needs for food and healthcare. Just pray that the crisis will be brought under control.”

Click here if you can help support the Ebola Crisis Response Fund.

3 responses to “Liberia after Ebola faces new normal”

  1. We are so grateful for our niece’s impressions of what is happening in Liberia during this time of testing for the Liberian Church and letting us know how bravely they are standing! Her heart for the children and their families is so touching as she gets the plight of these dear ones out to various churches and prayer circles so they can bear them up on eagle’s wings! God says…”Not by might nor by power but by MY Spirit” will victory come over these deadly diseases ravishing West Africa right now. The chorus… “In the Name of JESUS, In the Name of JESUS, we have the victory” and Satan will have to flee. Believing God to that end. Lovingly, Aunt Betty & Uncle Bill Thompson, retired ELWA & SIM missionaries in Wheaton, IL.

  2. We are so grateful for our niece Peggy Maynard’s impressions of what is happening in Liberia during this time of testing for the Liberian Church and letting us know how bravely they are standing! Her heart for the children and their families is so touching as she gets the plight of these dear ones out to various churches and prayer circles so they can bear them up on eagle’s wings! God says…”Not by might nor by power but by MY Spirit” will victory come over these deadly diseases ravishing West Africa right now. The chorus… “In the Name of JESUS, In the Name of JESUS, we have the victory” and Satan will have to flee. Believing God to end Ebola & Liberia to live in VICTORY. Lovingly, Aunt Betty & Uncle Bill Thompson, retired ELWA & SIM missionaries in Wheaton, IL.

  3. John says:

    God will surely save us in Jesus name Amen

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About Liberia

  • Primary Language: English
  • Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
  • Evangelical: 14.6%
More News About Liberia
Info About Liberia
Data from the Joshua Project
Phone: 800-745-2202
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Evangelical Free Church of America901 E. 78th Street
Minneapolis, MN
55420-1300

Call to action

  • Ask God to protect the staff who are helping in Ebola areas.
  • Pray for wisdom for church partners as they reach out.
  • Pray for more Gospel opportunities.

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