...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
We thank God for His hand upon Rev Harris over the past several months while he received medical care and treatment. We are delighted to report that Rev Harris has now been able to return to his position as Chairman of the Mission Board. We express thanks to Rev Park who stepped into the role as Interim Chairman – he will now return to his position as Secretary, and to Rev McMillan who temporarily covered the Secretary role.

Please pray for all of these men as they continue to labour for the Lord in the Mission work and especially for Rev Harris, that the Lord would continue to heal and bless him.
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!
On Thursday 14th May 2020, Miss Margaret Russell returned home from Kenya, after some thirty-seven years of faithful Missionary service in that needy land. Miss Russell had many arrangements to make and challenges to overcome, in her final few weeks, especially with the restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mission Board, being conscious of all the demands on Miss Russell, felt that it was important to pray that the Lord would open up the way for her to be able to travel home and that He would be pleased to keep her in health and strength as she journeyed. Therefore, the Board held a special online time of prayer with Miss Russell via Zoom, on the afternoon of the Lord’s Day 10th May.

The Lord was faithful, and prayer was answered in a very definite way and every need was met. As a result, Miss Russell flew home on 14th May as had been planned, on a flight organised by the British High Commission, especially for British citizens leaving Kenya at this time of crisis. The Lord led and opened up the way at every stage of the journey, and Miss Russell arrived safely at her home in Tandragee, late that same evening. Then, in keeping with the current requirements for those travelling into the UK, she immediately commenced two weeks of self-isolation.

Rev & Mrs Malcolm Patterson are also currently at home in Northern Ireland on Furlough, and not able to return to the Mission Field at this time because of the coronavirus. We, as a Mission Board, now find ourselves in the unusual position of having no missionaries on the ground in Kenya.

As a result of these exceptional circumstances Miss Russell will be continuing, for the interim period, to manage the administration of our Missionary work in Kenya remotely from Northern Ireland. This is an essential step to enable the ministry there to continue running smoothly at this challenging time.

So, although Miss Russell has returned home, she will not be retiring as a missionary just yet, and her involvement in the work in Kenya will be continuing a little while longer. This arrangement will remain in place until we again have missionaries on the ground in Kenya and the administration work there can be handed over.

We will keep you regularly updated on how this situation progresses. But for the coming months Miss Russell will carry on as a missionary working under our Mission Board and we would ask you to continue to pray for and support her in this additional phase of her Missionary labours in Kenya.
“I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME, LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” PSALM 122:1. There was great joy in our hearts on Wednesday, the 27th May when we were able to return to the church building, after over two months of lockdown because of the Coronavirus. We noticed quite a difference in the height of the children of the Sunday school, while in others an increase in their waistline because of inactivity!!!

All in all, it was a blessed experience to have practically everyone back together again. Even Alfonso at almost 99 years old has been attending as well as Pilar at 85. We want to thank everyone who remembered us in prayer during this testing time, and most of all, we thank the Lord for His good hand upon each one in the church.

Right at the beginning of lockdown, we commenced an audio devotional every morning and evening. Now, I continue to do a morning message since many do not come to church and are not converted. It has been a tremendous opportunity as people are receiving the Word of God on a regular basis. We have received some very positive feedback from some of these folk.

I just received this message this morning from a man who lives over an hour and a half from us: “…the Word of Christ comforts me and gives me faith to continue. Thank you, brother for sharing this with me. I rejoice to have known you. ………….” With such encouraging words like these, I press on in sending out the glorious message of the gospel in this manner, for it is still “….the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...”

Please continue to pray for these contacts that the Lord would graciously work in their hearts and bring many unto Himself.
The May 2020 edition of Missionary Vision is available in the gallery section. This edition includes reports about the Uganda School, teh ordination of elder in Australia, and details about FPC Kids.

Click Here to view the magazine.
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