Nimba County Report 2013
In Association with the United Liberia Inland Church (ULIC)
Date: 19th March - 6th April 2013
After the reconnaissance visit to Liberia in July 2012 it was decided that a team will go to serve Gods people in Liberia doing both gospel and medical work.
Upon arrival at Monrovia, received a very warm welcome by the President of the United Liberia Inland Church - who hosted us in a church guesthouse for a night ready for the 11 hour journey the next day across bumpy roads to Saclepea which is the interior of Liberia started by missionaries about 70 years ago. This was led by Rev John Bleah, Director of the Saclepea Mission. Over 100 members of the local church waited to welcome us by the roadside in traditional costume, with dancing, banners and great joy! We stayed at the newly renovated guesthouse at the Saclepea mission station.
Each day started with a 5 minute gospel talk before the medical work commenced. Queues built up and there were opportunities to pray with patients as they were treated from various pains, infections, women's problems, children - providing physiotherapy and occupational therapy, as well as popular glasses. In Saclepea, evening missions were organised by ULIC and members of the team were involved in giving testimonies and preaching after the Jesus film was shown. and the team members prayed for those who came forward to commit their lives to Jesus at the end of the evening.
God had sustained the team in the heat and about 800 patients were seen over 3 days in Saclepea. The team also encountered great joy when a baby was born 10 minutes away in the bush! The mother and child were cared for by the team and a local gynaecologist (volunteering from a nearby maternity hospital) and some baby clothes were dispensed to the mother for her new born. At times the team encountered deep pain for e.g. A 3year old boy had malaria affecting the brain 3 months ago since we arrived and had been deaf, mute, and epileptic all that we could do was pray for him . Malnutrition is not an isolated problem children and adults face as they only eat a single meal of rice each day so it was encouraging to see 30 acres of swamp that was cleared to grow rice for the area.
The team members were divided and took part in the Sunday services in 2 churches with vibrant t African worship songs and vigorous dancing while some team members were tasked with preaching others bravely ran a Sunday school for 200 energetic children.
From Saclepea, the next mission station was Flumpa spending 3 days at each. Patients were examined on the dusty floors for lack of beds but the only difference was that no evening missions took place but gospel work was done through sharing testimony with patients and praying for them and with them.
In hilly Bahn, the team were greeted by joyful singing local women which felt like a celebration, as a kilometre uphill march to the mission station on a steep path. The local church converted their hall into 16 temporary clinic rooms, constructed with wooden frames and plastic sheeting. The patients and local believers sat on the hillside around the entrance as we started the day with a song "Above All Powers" followed by a testimony and then the medical work . A local gynaecologist, joined the team for 2 days and patients were treated lying on an old mattress on the floor. The team continued to encounter deep sadness. Many epilepsy patients suffering from stigma, where families refuse to share food with them, and they are driven out from schools. Another issue was a girl who was deaf, mute and unable to walk after neurological damage from a failed abortion.
On the Saturday before Easter, the team ran seminars for the local church community and about 500 children attended the children’s programme. Seminars included diabetes, water sanitation and cardiovascular disease, how to share the Gospel clearly, how to disciple, for the youth it was on sex and marriage.
Easter Sunday was a great celebration. A team member spoke compellingly about Jesus' death and resurrection. 3 Liberian guys acted out the account, carrying homemade wooden crosses through the church hall. The 4 hour service was full of joy and up to 400 children attended Sunday school.
The mission trip concluded with a visit to a leper colony, the African Bible College, which offers theological training combined with practical courses like education and media but civil war destroyed the infrastructure - running water, electricity, sewer system, international schools, restaurants - putting the country 70 years backwards. The team also stopped at Hope Orphanage to donate clothes to babies whose mothers abandoned them, died in childbirth, or needed help with malnourishment and then the Liberian International Christian College building a library which will be open to local schoolchildren. It also has plans to build a health centre, and develop local agriculture. Most foods like rice and meat are imported currently, which Liberians find difficult to afford. During the trip, we've seen how the churches and Christian organisations are motivated to make a difference, step by step and many Christian men and women in their 20's and 30's have dreams of serving their country- as pastor, teacher, civil engineer, nurse, administrator, geologist- despite incredible hurdles in their personal lives. What a privilege to walk a few steps with them on this journey. A highlight had been the privilege of praying with a patient to accept Christ. What joy!
Nimba County Report 2012
Reconnaissance Visit to Nimba County 2012 In Association with the United Liberia Inland Church (ULIC)
Date: 20 – 26th July 2012
Since the end of civil war in 2006, medical mission groups have not returned to the villages of Saclepea, Bahn and Flumpa. EMMA organised a reconnaissance visit to the region to assess where both gospel and medical work could take place for a future mission in March 2013.
EMMA was invited by Daada Luogon (Mission Partner of All Soul’s Langham Place, UK) and Pastor John Bleah (ULIC) in 2010 and 2011 respectively as they felt that this county would benefit from such an intervention.
The Old Mission Stations
Three of the six ex-mission stations were visited and assessed and it was sad to see what the war had done to both the county and its people there. Churches and medical centres were in disrepair, neglected and lacked basic furniture. Some of the rooms were not used to their full potential, and pharmacies were practically empty. There are numerous nominal Christians and many locals still believed in witchcraft.
There is no agriculture in that area, although at one time that county provided food supply for the whole country. There is much poverty and no capital to fund small business projects. Rice (staple food) and eggs are some of the provisions being imported.
It is felt that with the medical teams encouragement the Christian brothers and sisters in Liberia can live transformed lives and this can have an impact in their economic situation. Even though it is a drop in the ocean we can still make difference with the help of our Lord.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2Chronicles 7:14
By Caroline & Henrietta Louis and Daada Luogon