Responding to Ebola, Orphans Needs in Swaziland

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It is unfortunate that the EBOLA epidemic came to Sierra Leone and interrupted many good works which were underway and added more problems to handle. Needless to say, the country has been suffering many months from the ongoing EBOLA crisis. Families have been left fatherless and motherless. It is not unusual today to see a home with a child acting as mother or father since all their adult relatives are dead—moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Some of our churches’ members have now taken in children that were left orphaned, and are caring for them. But, I am happy to inform you that our immediate COGOP membership was spared any extreme loss, as we only lost three or four people. So, we give God praise for His mighty hand of protection and grace over our precious church family.

Although the ugly EBOLA claimed the lives of a reported 3,951 people in Sierra Leone thus far, and has left over 3,000 children orphaned without either parent, the work of the church has still remained faithful, functioning, and ongoing. We were able to undertake and provide much needed psychosocial counseling for many, and provided some safety materials such as chlorine, soap, and washing basins or buckets. Some of our local congregations and a new mission field were able to receive food items with funds provided through your help. Thank you.

Our church under the guidance of the Liaison Team set up by Bishop Clarke was able to conduct seminars and teaching sessions to sensitize and educate the entire church membership of Sierra Leone as to the attack and danger of this disease. We were able to provide and set up hand washing stations at all our churches. This surely helped lessen the spread of EBOLA among our own church people. We are ever thankful for God’s guidance and protection.

Several orphans are being cared for by members at the Kuntoloh Church:

Please pray for these orphaned children and their needs to be met.

The EBOLA crisis caused a huge strain on the already suffering economy and, especially, on the access of food. There were sanctions on movement from our homes and from traveling place-to-place. Funds have been distributed to the pastors and churches as they have become available to help out in this long, long crisis. We truly extend many thanks to our donors who helped our people be able to purchase food.

All schools were shut down by the government during this crisis, but praise to our God, they have now re-opened and most students have been able to return to their classes. However, some are still reluctant because of the lack of information and lingering fear.

Government officials have stated the situation of the EBOLA has decreased and is under control and that they are very confident all will be cleared up soon. However, inasmuch that our political leaders are announcing a decline on the rate of infection, please know that the numbers are still great and, sadly, the death rate has now increased among infants and younger children. According to my recent findings from the Waterloo Cemetery where all EBOLA corps are buried in the Western area, 78% of every day’s burials are now children. Thus, we still need your prayers for protection and healing grace as we continue the battle against this dreadful EBOLA epidemic.

The issues of so many complications afterwards on those that actually survived the epidemic are also increasing. After survivors are discharged from the treatment center, many complain of serious joint pains, kidney problems, and vision issues. These people are found in all communities where we have operating churches. Please help us know how to encourage them to place their trust in our mighty God who is far bigger than the crisis they’ve been through. And, help us to pray healing and miraculous prayers for these people to come to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

While things were very hard and movement from our homes was restricted, the National Overseer was the only source of financial relief to our ministers and their families. Both he and Sister Clarke sought for information about everyone and they responded to all. Truly, we convey our special thanks and deepest appreciation to them and all that they were supporting in order to reach us. It was also such an encouragement to know that we were being cared about, supported, and prayed for by our church family around the globe. Thank you.

Despite the isolation of this crisis, we were able to still evangelize in some areas. Churches were kept alive through home prayer meetings and, at least once per week, we met in the church buildings when possible. We are trusting God that very soon everything will be back to normal.

Since our last report, two church buildings have been completed—Hasting and Calaba Town churches.

These photos are of the Hasting church showing the completed structure, including the tile, electrical, and painted church. Below shows the toilet project that is in process. 

Calaba Town 

 

Tengbeh Town

New Mission at Songo 

Portee School 

We also want to share that the Portee school has 4 new classrooms that have been completed during this time.

 

Songo Primary School

Image 17Previously, the well had mechanical problems that rendered it out of operation, so we are grateful to have the water source running again. This new well not only provides the needs of our Songo Primary School, it also serves our community in this area. We praise God that the water well at the Songo Primary School has now been completed. 

Our sincere appeal is that you continue in faithful prayers for Sierra Leone. Your partnership means so much more than we could ever express in this newsletter. Again, please receive our grateful, heartfelt thanks to our many friends and donors who are praying for us, and also lovingly supporting us financially. And, please know that our prayers are with you as well. May God bless each of you abundantly as we await Christ’s return to gather us all as one big family together.

Thank you, Harvest Partners, for the bread and water support you generously give to support Sierra Leone through your monthly Mission Giving (HPL1). The ministry of Sierra Leone is deeply grateful for your love, encouragements, and faithful support. Churches and Individuals can also give to special needs through Project Giving (HPL2 or HH) by designating your gifts for a specific project.

If you would like to know more about Project Giving for Sierra Leone, please contact the Global Missions office.

Harvest Partners Ministry
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
PO Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
Phone: 423.559.5207
Fax: 423.559.5238
E-mail: harvestpartners@cogop.org

Content provided by: Pastor Issa L. Bangura, Sierra Leone, and Floreth M. Clarke, National Overseer’s Wife

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