UMC Liberia Bishop visits Guinea amidst the threat of Ebola

 

The Resident Bishop of the Liberia Area of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis on Thursday, June 4, 2015 visited the United Methodist Church Ministry in Guinea as part of his episcopal tour of the area. Accompanied by the District Superintendent of the Gompa District, Rev. Aaron Yankee and other UMC Liberia staff members Bishop Innis drove into Diecke, in the forest region of Guinea which is the headquarters of the 15 UM Churches, a clinic and school now operating in Guinea.

Addressing the UMC Guinea Ministry leadership and students, Bishop Innis said his visit was intended to give thanks to God for bringing all of you through this Ebola crisis engulfed our three countries. “This is a trip of thanksgiving,” Bishop Innis said. “I know your country has not been declared free from the Ebola virus, but as your leader, I cannot wait for that time to come and see you,” he added. He challenged members of the UMC Guinea Ministry especially the young people to keep respecting the rules and regulations that will keep them safe from the Ebola virus until the Guinea is declared free. “Wash your hands at all public places including your churches and schools,” Bishop Innis warned.

Amidst shouts of amen, the Resident Bishop of the Liberia Area to gathered crowd that the UMC Guinea Ministry was of great concern to the global United Methodist Church. We will soon be in discussion with GBGM to create the Guineaan Ministry as a Mission Post for GBGM and in the future, the Guinean Mission would become a Provisional Annual Conference.

Earlier, the UMC Guinea Ministry through its founding member Harry Bamy welcomed Bishop Innis to the First United Methodist Church Diecke by presenting kola nuts which according him is a symbol of peace. “We missed you as our leader and have been waiting for you to come and visit us,” Bamy said. The 78 years old said the UMC Guinea Ministry was hopeful that the visit of Bishop Innis was going to improve the status of the ministry. Also welcoming the bishop, the Supervising Pastor of the UMC Guinea Ministry, Rev. Ebenezer Belleh said the visit of Bishop Innis to the ministry was going to lift the spirit of the leadership and members. “We are glad to see you visiting us with the news of Ebola still raging in this country,” Rev. Bamy said.

During the visit, Bishop tour the facilities of the UMC Guinea Ministry which include the Diecke United Methodist School and the Diecke United Methodist Hospital where he encouraged staff and students to be law abiding in the performance of their duties. “Study hard so you can be the future leaders of this church and the country,” Bishop concluded.

The growing UMC Guinea Ministry started in 1995 and became a part of the Liberia Area United Methodist Church in 1997 with the Liberia Annual Conference assigning pastors. Intended to serve refugees who fled the Liberian civil war, the UMC Guinea Ministry has grown to 15 churches, a clinic with a catchment population of 82,000 and a high school that is educating 500 students. Reports indicate that Diecke United Methodist School was among the five high schools in Guinea that scored high marks in the nation’s public test.

 

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