Panic stricken West Africa in the grip of death & dying

The Ebola nightmare: A silent killer spreads fear and horror everywhere but Lutheran Global Village, Liberia, is a lighthouse of faith and hope.

Corpses on the streets no one wants to touch, 35km from LUTHERAN GLOBAL VILLAGE (LGV) in Gbarnga, the provincial capital. Panic, sheer terror is written on the people’s faces. Black death is stalking them all.

Chaos also in Monrovia, the capital, the city streets and at the airport: most flights are suspended and all borders closed. It’s an absolute mess. Nearly all whites have left the country and the whole health system has broken down with hospitals closed and doctors and nurses deserting their posts at a time they would be needed most. A silent killer is on the loose!

Actually it is ignorance and panic that kills more people than Ebola itself. Right now many more people are dying of malaria, dengue fever and other diseases than from Ebola. For it is rainy season and many of the weak and sick can’t get treatment or medication - a national and regional disaster of highest order!

Then there is hunger itself. Many survive by eating bush meat, wild fruit but even this has been restricted and so the very source of survival of the poor is being threatened.

In the face of this national calamity LGV proclaimed THREE DAYS OF FASTING AND PRAYER – 72 hours without break!

I phoned them one day at 11pm their time. 37 people were gathered in their bush church just then assembled for Bible readings, homilies, singing, prayer both silent and loud, exhortation – as well as praise and thanksgiving. Some would go home later to have a rest while others would come to take their place.

David Siaffa (ex-Muslim) is the leading pastor at LGV.  

David Siaffa (ex-Muslim) is the leading pastor at LGV.  

Pastor David Siaffa is in a quietly confident and upbeat mood, We shall overcome, he says, with the weapons of the Spirit. We at LGV are fine. – Can you believe it? He said, we are fine, and he meant it!

I asked him about everyone leaving the country to save their lives. There are no white people left here, he said and then reminds me of John 10 where Jesus says that when the wolf comes all the false shepherds run away and flee. We won’t judge but we still ask why? Good shepherds, like Jesus, have always been willing to die for their sheep.

AFA is the lifeline of these LGV refugees. They sure live by faith and are triumphant in their faith as they know that their faith is the victory that overcomes the world.This gives them victory now!

We all are in the lions’ den, says Pastor David, the lions encircle us seeking someone to devour but, by the power of God, like Daniel, we shall not be harmed.

Liberian churches have started big fund raising drives in the West, but our friends at LGV are not sure whether huge sums are needed, but they need some help. While they are fine they hope to reach out to the community and start four health stations in the area with a budget of $1,000US each, $4,000US ($4,500Aus) all up. Pray for Liberia and LGV and for AFA being able to fund that through additional donations coming in.