Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many African governments have now closed down public gatherings, including churches. Many Christian radio stations are providing free airtime to pastors; radio dramas are being produced for oral cultures on the topic of the prevention of the coronavirus; some are setting up helplines for their communities to help the most vulnerable. One partner station has opened up airtime to the Muslim community to give advice to their followers, not allowing them to preach Islam but as a way of showing love to the whole community. Pray that many people will witness these as salt and light and begin a journey with Christ.
Po River Medical Clinic is the only clinic in the district of Lower Yarnee, Rivercess County, Liberia. The closest hospital in Cestos City is 10 miles away. It takes two hours to get there via motorbike and canoe. If there are no doctors there the next hospital is another six to eight hours. Pray for isolated Liberians with only limited access to medical care and essential services. Give thanks that those at highest risk, including children, pregnant mothers, elderly and disabled people, will soon have access potentially lifesaving flights with MAF.
The Dental Clinic at ELWA Hospital in Liberia has begun treatment again despite the Ebola crisis. The need for dental intervention and treatments was extreme as all dental clinics have been closed since late July and the team could no longer stand the suffering caused by untreated infections. The team all received full training in donning and working in full protective suits, including total decontamination of the clinic at the end of each day. Pray God’s protection for them, as dentistry cannot be done without contact with bodily fluids.
Since February, more than 900 people have died as a result of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with suspected cases in Nigeria. Tearfund partners are working with churches to improve awareness and understanding of Ebola among their communities and to help prevent the spread of the disease. Pray for the disease to be contained, for the recovery of those already going through treatment, and for the international community to provide additional health expertise swiftly.
“Everyone wants to listen to Calls to my Sister, and every child in that community has learnt a lesson from the programme.” These are the comments of a manager from Echo Radio, a Christian radio station in River Cess, Liberia, talking about Calls to my Sister, a short radio programme covering health, nutrition and hygiene topics in an entertaining drama format. The programme has generated a lot of interest and even the Chief of the township has noticed a change in behaviour in people in the community. Pray for continued impact as people make healthier choices based on what they hear on the radio.
During the devastation of Liberia’s civil war, the African Bible College campus in Yekepa was gutted and closed. In 2008 it reopened as the ABC University and many of the current 100 students are Liberian refugees who lost fathers, brothers or even children in the fighting. The city of Yekepa has no radio stations, but the ABC University is working to build a Christian station on the campus to reach a wide area, including nearby refugee camps and even into neighbouring Guinea and Cote D’Ivoire. Pray for this project and for the impact of the gospel over the airwaves.
Population: 4,503,000 (2015)
Official languages: English
GDP (PPP) per capita: $881 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 57 years
Religions: 48% indigenous beliefs, 34% Protestant, 13% Muslim, 3% Catholic, 3% other religions