As a way of enhancing the Government of Liberia’s final drive to stamp out the Ebola virus in the country, the United Methodist Church of Liberia through its Publishing Team on Friday, December 13, 2014 launched the training and distribution project of the Ebola Disease Facts Booklet at the Tubman UMC in Paynesville outside of Monrovia. The booklets are intended to provide hand-on awareness on the Ebola virus in churches, schools, health centers, and work places.
According to the Leader of the UMC Liberia Publishing Team, E. Julu Swen the booklet is expected to out live the Ebola virus and help to prepare Liberians for future occurrence of the virus. “This is not something that we are hoping to see in our country,” he added. The booklets were presented to the Monrovia District Conference during its annual gathering which brought the leadership of the district together including representatives from the various local churches of the district. “We expect our pastors to add a line or two of Ebola prevention information from this booklet during their regular Sunday Worship service,” Swen stressed.
Receiving the booklets, the District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Samuel Brown, thanked the Publishing Team and General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) for persistently helping the UMC Liberia in its fight against the Ebola virus. “This booklet is rich with all that you need to know to prevent yourself, your family, your local church, and the entire from the Ebola virus,” Dr. Brown asserted. He assured the Publishing Team that the leadership of the district and the various local churches will use the booklet to fight the Ebola virus.
In separate remarks, another clergyman, Rev. George Wilson said the booklet was a perfect tool in the fight against the Ebola virus. “I liked how the issue of “bush meat” was treated in this booklet,” Rev. Wilson said enthusiastically to his clergy colleagues.
In a related development, UMC Liberia is continuing its food distribution that was funded by a grant from the GBOD and UMC Germany by giving food to local pastors, senior citizens, and the “physically challenged” in and around Monrovia. On Monday, December 15, 2014 the St. Paul River District distributed 25kg bag of rice each to all of its pastors. The District Superintendent, Rev Christopher Marshall said the food was part of the food UMC Liberia entrusted to him for the pastors after receiving the food grant from the GBOD and UMC Germany. “We as a district wanted to add other sanitizing materials to the food package and to also make the Christmas festive one for our pastors,” DS Marshall added.
For her part, the Director of the UMC Liberia Ministry to the Aged, Rev. Anna S. Kpaan on Tuesday, December 17, 2014 handed out food packages to senior citizens and the “physically challenged”, and other needy Liberians who gathered on the UMC Liberia Central Office. The Clergywoman said the distribution of food to the needy was also funded from the grant provided by GBOD and UMC Germany. The needs are overwhelming as you can, Rev. Kpaan said pointing at the vulnerable senior citizens seated on the pavement of the UMC Liberia Central Office. As part of the distribution process, the Director of Health and Social Welfare, Victoria Tomah lectured the beneficiaries on several Ebola preventive measures.
Meanwhile, The Government of Liberia has launched a nationwide “No New Cases Campaign” aimed at eradicating Ebola from Liberia by the end of the year, 2014. An Executive Mansion release quotes President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as saying, “Ebola Must Go!! Ebola is Everybody’s Business, it must leave Liberia.” The Liberian leader emphasized that through the efforts of the Liberian Government and partners, the disease has retreated to places that are hard-to-reach and some communities across Liberia, especially rural areas, “We must all be committed to say Ebola must go.”
Story by Julu Swen. Photos by Julu Swen (top) and Joseph Zoegar.