...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
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LIBERIA REPORT
The case numbers for COVID-19 continue to rise in Liberia; we are currently at 498 confirmed cases and 33 deaths. Please continue to pray that we will not have the sudden spike in serious, life-threatening cases that other countries have suffered; the fragile health system here would not be able to cope.

We are officially still in lockdown, although the curfew was changed a couple of weeks ago from 3pm to 6pm and then last week to 9pm, which makes life a lot easier. People are still supposed to be social distancing, although that is impossible in many situations (e.g. taking public transportation, which is how the majority of Liberians travel). So the Ministry of Health is encouraging everyone to wear masks when outside their homes, and most people are complying.

Churches were closed at the beginning of the lockdown in mid-March, but due to a lot of pressure from religious leaders, the government later announced that places of worship could reopen at 25% of their usual capacity, as long as everyone adhered to ‘the precautions’ (distancing, handwashing, wearing masks, etc). We met for the first time on Sunday, June 7, and held two worship services at 9am and 11am. Because the numbers had to be restricted, we asked everyone to phone us on Saturday to ‘reserve’ a seat, and thankfully no one had to be turned away. We even had four first-time visitors yesterday, which was a blessing! It was so good to meet again with God’s people to worship the Lord, even though we discovered that singing through masks is not very easy.

Mr. DiCanio has probably been as busy as ever during lockdown because the radio station has continued to broadcast and has been an even more vital part of the ministry than usual. In God’s providence, we sustained another severe lightning strike on 1st May, but thankfully the lightning protection installed after the last strike worked and most of our equipment was spared. We were off the air for only one day (while Mr. DiCanio and the technician checked everything) and things have been running well since then. The piece of equipment that was damaged has been circumvented for now so that we can still broadcast, but it will need to be sent back to the USA for repair when possible. We heard from friends that some of their electrical appliances went on fire that night from the severe lightning hits in the area so we are very thankful for God’s hand of protection on us. The electrical storms here are definitely the worst I have ever seen!

I have been spending two or three days a week in a local hospital since the lockdown started. I’ve been volunteering at a children’s clinic that is run by two English doctors. They deal with a lot of malnourished children under the age of 5, as well as with other childhood illnesses. I’m grateful that I have a chance to learn about this issue, as well as other tropical diseases that children face here. I hope to continue volunteering at this children’s clinic for another couple of months at least. I need to get some nursing practice each year in order to keep my license, so this has been a good opportunity.
Since some of you may be wondering, I haven’t yet nursed anyone with COVID-19 as far as I know, but we wear PPE just in case!

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers for us here. Please do pray that we will be able to open up again soon with the other aspects of the ministry – the bookstore, and especially the children’s work, which I am really missing of course! Thank you also to those who have contributed to the emergency aid fund. Although these funds were primarily raised for the mission works under the Ulster mission board, some money has very kindly been sent here also, and we have been able to help some of our church people who were unable to earn money for food or medical needs during the lockdown. They appreciate the generosity of God’s people and are aware that many of you are experiencing economic difficulties also and yet are willing to help others. Thank you on their behalf!
JOANNE GREER - JUNE 2020
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