LIBERIA (INS)—Physical and spiritual healing are important focuses for two ministries Intercede works with in West Africa. Canadian Christians are playing an important role by praying for these ministries and giving generously to them—for food, medicine and an orphan home for children affected by the Ebola virus.
With the help of a vehicle provided by God through Intercede, Christ Evangelical Fellowship Ministries in Liberia has been running a mobile health team. Five nurses travel to refugee camps and villages in rural Liberia. There, they provide treatment to orphans, the abandoned, elderly, widows, infants and child-bearing mothers.
Many of the cases treated are malaria, stomach pain, fever, diarrhea, and high blood pressure. Emergency cases that cannot be handled by the nurses are quickly transferred to a hospital for medical doctor intervention. The beneficiaries are truly appreciative of the care in bringing medication to them for saving lives, reports CEF leader James Cuffee.
Intercede and its supporters have also helped CEF to set up a 10-room Medical Clinic in the village of Kpanjah. During 2014 and 2015, CEF helped out many families affected by the Ebola virus. Liberia was affected deeply by Ebola, with more than 7,000 cases and 2,900 deaths reported by the World Health Organization.
“I’ve had the opportunity to encourage the villagers, giving them hope that Jesus is in control of the situation and that there was no need to lose hope,” Cuffee reported. Since the outbreak of the disease in March 2014, many people came to his ministry on a daily basis seeking food, medicine and financial support to try to meet their daily needs. CEF provided them with food and medicines from their limited supply. Liberia was declared free from the virus in January 2016, although there have been a small number of cases since then.
Besides its medical work, CEF also holds evangelistic crusades—at which some people are healed through God’s power. In January 2017, Cuffee reported, “We had a soul-inspiring crusade. The presence of the Lord was great among us. We had more than 1,000 persons in attendance. We held this crusade in a Muslim community and 110 persons got saved. The Lord Jesus proved Himself during the crusade and healed a lot of people including the blind receiving their sight. To God be the glory!” Cuffee was excited to meet one blind man who regained his sight at the crusade.
An Ebola Orphanage
Neighbouring Sierra Leone was also deeply affected by the Ebola crisis. Intercede partners New Creation Ministries responded by providing food and other necessities to affected families—and by starting an orphanage.
“During this time we have been able to distribute more than 120 bags of rice, and more than 120 gallons of cooking oil, 40 bags of onions, 50 cartons of tomato paste,” reported NCM leader Mitford Macauley. “Our distribution spans across the entire nation. These distributions were great blessings to families, communities and even entire villages—and in some cases opened doors for ministry where there is no presence of Christ. We have seen scores of precious souls being converted through the power of the living Christ. The Ebola crisis also caused many souls to seriously consider their eternal status and make a decision to surrender their lives to God—a decision they might not have made at other times.”
Since the Ebola crisis first struck Sierra Leone in 2014, thousands of children became Ebola orphans. NCM is helping out many of these children by building a Children’s Home—which is now on its way to completion.
“We have enough human resources to operate it and care for the children, but we will need much financial support,” explains Macauley. “We already have a piece of land in Makeni–the northern city of Sierra Leone, which is one of the regions mostly hit by Ebola.”
For the orphanage, NCM is constructing several buildings. Three will be dormitories of five rooms to accommodate 20 orphans each (60 total); one will be the dining hall and kitchen; one will be accommodation for the workers; one will be a hall for learning and other indoor activities, and one will be for administration. NCM also plans to dig two water wells. The total cost for building and furnishing the orphanage will be about $95,000. In April 2016 NCM started building the orphanage, which it calls the Calvary Children’s Home. Currently, NCM needs to raise about $66,000 to complete it. “The provision of funding by God through our friends at Intercede international has brought great satisfaction to God,” reported Macauley recently.
NCM’s ministry to more than 80 Ebola orphans continues as missionaries provide ongoing psychological-social counseling and caring for them. Currently most of them are with some church members and others are with some trusted people to provide them with some care for now, while the new orphanage is under construction. At present NCM has one person who is in charge of seeing that these children are cared for.
During Sierra Leone’s devastating civil war, which raged from 1991 till 2002, hundreds of people were senselessly mutilated by rebel forces, and now live as amputees. NCM continues to minister to many of these amputees and their families by giving them food relief and helping them find useful work.
“We continue to minister to war amputees mainly in Freetown and Makeni,” explains Macauley. “There are 72 amputee households in Freetown in six settlements that we minister to psychologically, spiritually and materially, as we give them periodic food supplies as God provides funds, mainly through Intercede.
“The bread-making project in Makama Amputee Settlement continues to make bread, which is sold. The proceeds are accumulated to meet needs of some of the amputees in Makeni town. There is need for more of these projects in our ministry to the amputees, because many of them who could not have food for themselves and families go out into the streets to beg. Most of these people were at one time very responsible people in society but now they are looked as the unfortunate ones in the whole activity of the past war. These people are now left greatly handicapped and greatly in need—and of a truth, these people have been marginalized by both the government and most people of our society.”
But NCM missionaries have been a great encouragement to these amputees since 1999. “We have always made it clear to them that we are able to minister to them in this way only by the donation of people who empathize with them and send some money to support them through Intercede,” reports Macauley. “Thanks to our many friends that have made the needs of these unfortunate people their concerns. May God continually bless them all.”
In addition to these projects, NCM brings healing in another way. Recently NCM completed a six-week outreach to 22 villages that saw outstanding results, Macauley reports. “All of these 22 villages had no church presence previously, and all of them have never heard the Gospel preached until now. During our film shows and campaigns, we saw hundreds of people encountering the power of God in deliverance from sickness and diseases, and also from demon possessions and oppression. Thousands of people turned from their sins of immorality, idolatry and occultism to the Lord Jesus.”
Your prayers can enable these ministries to reach even farther afield as they bring healing and the Gospel to people with physical and spiritual needs.
Photo: A nurse checks a patient at Christ Evangelical Fellowship Ministries’ health centre in Liberia.