Liberian disarmament moves slowly; takes its toll on ministries.

By April 12, 2004

Liberia (MNN)–A United Nations’ 14,000-strong peacekeeping force is now ready to proceed with the disarmament of Liberia’s three armed factions, following a four-month delay.

However, rebels, apparently frustrated at the slow pace of the money for arms swap, made their ire known by staging raids and going on shooting rampages.

With the country’s infrastructure in chaos, Liberians badly need education and medical treatment. The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism partnered with AFBM at a medical clinic in Gbarnga, which also assists Christian schools throughout the country.

ABWE’s Africa Regional Director, Ron Washer says their Medical Clinic team is feeling the rebels’ presence as well. “The instability has created uncertainties and the hesitancy to move out and to really begin to continue the ministries that God has given them in the interior. For instance, our medical clinic is still not operating full time yet.”

Washer urges prayer for those involved in outreach there. “Our new location, our new building that was just built, is going to allow us to go ahead and begin that kind of full time ministry. The dedication is going to be later this month.”

Washer says the rebel activity strains their staff, especially because they have struck the clinic once, deroofing it. Ministry continues, “But all of this is just keeping everybody on edge, knowing that these rebels could come in at any time, with their guns, and take whatever they want.”

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