18 months ago, I was privileged to be in Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. As part of a team that launched the Voice of Hope radio station there, it was exciting to work with national believers and missionaries in establishing FM 100.7 to lift a message of good news across the capital region. We knew then that Liberia was suffering the destructive legacy of 14 years of civil war when as many as 200,000 Liberians were killed. Many more were injured or displaced, and much of the nation’s limited infrastructure was damaged or destroyed. After so much suffering, people needed hope.

What we didn’t know when VOH went on air was that a new destructive force would soon invade Liberia. Terrorizing many and bringing a new season of fear and death, the Ebola virus has spread from remote areas of the nation to the urban crowds of Monrovia. Insidious and incurable, Ebola looms a potential pandemic, casting a cloud of dread across the city.
 
Ebola infection rates are growing quickly and efforts to stem its advance are inadequate. The latest report from the World Health Organization is alarming: the outbreak is accelerating with more than 40 percent of the total number of cases occurring within just the past 21 days.

Liberia’s post-war healthcare system is marginal at best. With only 1 doctor for every 70,000 people (compared to 1:410 in the USA and 1:360 in the UK), the skilled medical professionals and treatment facilities needed to aggressively respond to the spread of Ebola simply do not exist there.

While no one knows the full extent of the outbreak, clearly its growth is eroding public safety and stability.  Airlines have suspended flights to Liberia. Most NGO personnel, foreign professionals and missionaries have been evacuated. Schools are closed and non-essential government workers on extended furlough. Shops and businesses only open on a limited basis if at all. Collateral food and resource shortages caused by quarantines and border closings threaten to multiply misery and loss of life.

As perhaps never before, the people of Monrovia need hope. This city of 1.5 million people needs to hear reliable, practical information that will help them avoid and limit the spread of Ebola.

They need extensive international medical aid and expertise to respond to the crisis and end the outbreak as soon as possible. Government leaders need wisdom and compassion in their response efforts. Most of all, people need to know there is a God who loves them and who offers them eternal hope through Jesus even when the day looks dark.
 
Writing to the Corinthians, Paul recalled a time of crisis in his ministry in Asia:
...we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.     2 Corinthians 1:8-11
These are challenging days for Liberia. What you and I can do directly is limited, but all of us can pray. Will you intercede for this nation and its people? As you do, please especially remember the staff and outreach of FM 100.7, the Voice of Hope. Thank You!
  • Pray education and treatment efforts begin to reduce the rate of infection.
  • Pray more international medical resources will be available in country soon.
  • Pray government urban outbreak response strategies will improve quickly.
  • Pray Christians will model compassion to neighbors and communities.
  • Pray Voice of Hope staff are protected from infection.
  • Pray for adequate funds for station operation despite economic instability.
  • Pray for insight and direction in providing positive programming that will help and encourage listeners facing extreme uncertainty, anxiety and grief.
  • Pray that even in these times of great difficulty for many Liberians, good news of great joy will be communicated through the Voice of Hope.
Multiplying Missions Through Media,

Henry Marsh
henry.marsh@agmd.org

Henry & Janet Marsh are specialist missionaries serving with International Media Ministries. Through production, distribution, training and consultation, they are multiplying missions through media!

Their service is made possible through the prayers and financial partnership of churches and individuals. Find out more about them and how you can get involved at multiplymissions.com.
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Vision: At IMM, we see people of all cultures experiencing a Christ-like change through the influence of media.
Mission: Our purpose at IMM is to partner with missionaries, national churches and media outlets to produce both mainstream and new media pieces, to train others in specific skills and to mentor a new generation in media missions.
Copyright © 2014 Henry & Janet Marsh, All rights reserved.


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