When I See the Blood, I Will Pass Over You

by Vidal Cole/

This afternoon, I was in class at Waterloo during lunchtime when I received a paragraph from Larry Myer, the Africa West Field Jesus Film coordinator:

I would be remiss to not share about our Jesus Film Leaders in Sierra Leone that, despite the literal barrel of Ebola pointed at them, they gathered, showed and led MANY to the Lord in the midst of this terrible outbreak, seizing the opportunity to offer Hope in what some call a hopeless situation.  I am moved to tears at their steadfastness in sharing the Gospel Message where illness and even death could strike!  Their dedication is an example for us all and a fulfillment of what we are called to do, to lay down our lives for our brothers for the cause of Christ!  Well done good and faithful servants, may the Lord keep you in His embrace!

When we returned after lunch, I read it to the class and everyone was deeply touched. After I finished reading it, I invited the class to pray just like we normally do every day after lunch and suddenly Pastor Steven’s phone rang. The next thing we heard was his voice screaming. “What!?”

He then told us that he had just been informed that his closest neighbors, one on either side of his house, had just died from Ebola. They had been sick and they were taken to the hospital over the weekend. We considered the way Larry had described our situation and we all broke down; the entire class burst into tears. After a while, we pulled ourselves together and we prayed with Pastor Steven before he left to be with his family.

Upon arriving home, he called to tell us that he found every member of his family okay though worried and fearful. We praised God with him in spite of it all. It had suddenly dawned on him that the virus had been in their home area. It had hit the house in front of him, jumped over his house and landed in the next house after theirs. We consider this a miracle and we started singing the song “When I See the Blood, I Will Pass Over You”.

As we continue to minister in the jungle, in the valley of the shadow of death, we refuse to fear any evil. We are assured that The Lord is with us and His rod and staff will comfort us.

I called Pastor Steven this evening and he told me that the disinfectant team sprayed and disinfected the entire neighborhood. We are trusting that his family continues to be okay.

Please continue to pray for us, your prayers have kept us going. Honestly, sometimes, I really wonder where we get the grace and strength to move on in the midst of this crisis, however, I have no doubt — it is The Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our sight.

Responding to Ebola

Standing together as a global church.

For months, the Church of the Nazarene has been responding to the needs of sisters and brothers in West Africa who have been affected by the Ebola virus. The global church is continuing to partner with local churches to bring critically needed supplies, educational materials, and a compassionate presence to those in need. Today we ask that you join us as we pray, fast, and give.

Will you watch and share this video and encourage your church, small group, and friends to join us in supporting our global church during this time of great need?

 

To download the video, prayer guides, and fasting resources, or to give financially visit NCM.org/EbolaRelief.

Thank you for joining us as we stand together as a global church. 

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Beauty from Ashes in Ebola


Beauty from Ashes in Ebola Weary West Africa
By Monica Carr
While the world watches on in fear as the deadly Ebola snake strikes down one victim after another, there are those who are soldiering on with one foot on the snake’s head and both hands outstretched to those in need. Some have paid the price with their very lives like Rev. Joe and Hannah Sonkpah of Monrovia, Liberia, who helped a pregnant woman with Ebola. They are our heroes, heroes unsung by the media, heroes reflecting the true nature of Christ–Christ who laid down his life so others might live. In Sierra Leone, also shadowed by Ebola, Rev. Vidal Cole, observes, “In the midst of fear, God has been our source of hope and strength. We have chosen to stand upon His Word and put our trust in Him and He has really proved Himself faithful. We believe this is the time for the Church in Sierra Leone to arise and shine in the midst of darkness.” Isaiah 60:1-3 proclaims:
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth . . . but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
This brightness shines through the actions of pastors in Waterloo who organized a prayer revival as a way to confront the virus. Pastor Kanu reported. “Fifty-five people gave their lives to Christ during the revival. Many testified that their spiritual life was strengthened. They felt empowered; their hope and courage was restored to go back and face the reality of the current situation.” In Kissy, local churches engage in personal evangelism. Pastor Manna describes. “As we go, we share the Word of God and let [our neighbors] know that in such times Jesus is the only hope. Our message has been greatly welcomed as it is very different from the message of fear.” Many people have come to Christ, and are now in discipleship classes. Lives are being transformed. When children in Lumley were no longer able to attend school because of Ebola, several pastors decided to reach out and minister to them. Pastor Marie shares. “Our youth are very excited with this initiative.” Many young people have come to the saving knowledge of Christ, and we are now planning to begin a discipleship class for them. Because of this outreach we are also experiencing growth in our churches. We are very grateful for what God is doing and we give Him all the glory.”
These praises in Sierra Leone echo Paul’s testimony:
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but
not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not
destroyed . . .Therefore we do not lose heart . . .For our light and
momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far
outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9,16,17)

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Prayer Response to Ebola in S. Leone


Since the 3 days shutdown (Three-day nationwide stay at home campaign initiated by the Government) for this weekend (Friday – Sunday) was confirmed in the news, it’s like a spirit of gloominess and depression descended over our nation, Sierra Leone. As a church we have however chosen a different attitude.

I will therefore like you to inform our brethren in Africa West Field and the church as a whole that the Church of the Nazarene in Sierra Leone has chosen to use the 3 days as a time to seek the Lord through fasting and prayer for Sierra Leone and for every other nation that is affected by the Ebola virus.

Since no services are allowed and no one is permitted to go out of their house on those days (while they check house to house for those who are sick), our strategy is that all of us will be praying in our homes on an hourly chain prayer basis. This will be going on in all of the sections in the country even the provinces. The church of the Nazarene is a praying church, therefore we are not going to sit down and watch the enemy ravage our nation and those close to us, we are going to arise and say NO to the enemy – Enough is Enough!!!!! West Africa must be set free.

We are going to arise and call upon the name of the Lord our God and we believe He will hear from heaven and forgive and heal our land. We are going to lay hold on the faithfulness of God and cry out to Him for deliverance from this plague.

We are asking that our brethren join us in at least 1 hour of prayer each day during those 3 days or however they may feel comfortable to do it.

 

Suggested Prayer Points are as follows:

  • For courage, wisdom and strength for those who are providing leadership during this time of national crisis.
  • That those working to combat this disease will work in harmony and for God in His sovereignty to wipe out this disease from all affected nations
  • For good stewardship of the resources that are coming into the country’s coffers to deal with this epidemic.
  • For the rapid deployment of medical professionals and erection strategically located treatment centers.
  • For encouragement, courage, strength, safety and endurance for those on the front line tending those who are already infected.
  • For creativity, insight and vision for those entrusted with the task of informing and educating the populace about Ebola. Also for quick access to those in remote areas.
  • For God’s provision of food and other needs during the shutdown.
  • That shipment of medical supplies will get to the country on time and rapidly distributed to all the affected areas.
  • That the Holy Spirit will take away fear from the hearts of the people and turn their hearts to the Lord
  • That the fire of revival will break forth in the church and that the Holy Spirit will rekindle passion for God and evangelism in the heart of believers.

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Children in Togo Praying

Picture Above:  Children of an orphanage run by Nazarenes in Togo praying for God to get Ebola out of West Africa.
Togo is one of the fifteen countries of the Africa West Africa and it has not been affected by Ebola. However, these children and many others are praying for all the children who are dying or living in fear and difficult conditions in the Ebola stricken countries.

 

 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7.13-14.

  • Have a time of fasting and a time of prayer at least once a week
  • Pray for God to bind any fear and loose peace in the hearts of the people of West Africa
  • Pray for our district superintendents, pastors, leaders, and churches in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea Conakry, that the Lord will use them powerfully as agents of hope and salt and light of Jesus in these difficult days
  • Pray for God’s wisdom and protection over the medical doctors and health personnel in the Ebola-affected countries
  • Pray for God’s wisdom for the head of nations and decision makers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea Conakry
  • Inform and educate by checking the World Health Organization and International SOS websites for updates

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Tap Buckets for Community


Tap Buckets Tap Into Sense of Community Well-being
By Monica Carr and Vidal Cole

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in West Africa has partnered with local leaders to provide valuable tap buckets to many churches in Sierra Leone.  Five areas: Lumley, Central City, Kissy, Waterloo and Segbwema received a total of 60 tap buckets.

At each location, the pastor/leader gathered with the people in the community, including church and local leaders, to discuss Ebola prevention strategies.  At the end of the health training session, the Church of the Nazarene gifted the tap buckets to the entire community so that everyone could use them to wash their hands.  Additionally, a church member was assigned to care for the bucket and keep it ready for daily use.

The gift of tap buckets has been a great blessing. Country coordinator Rev. Vidal Cole has received various testimonies.  One pastor shared, “We now have extra confidence to minister among the people and they really know we care about them.” A pastor from Kissy describes the sense of community and well being the tap bucket provides.

Every morning when the church fills its bucket with chlorinated water . . .everyone in the community is welcomed and encouraged to wash their hands as they pass by. This has brought much joy to the people in the community; it is a way of ministering to them and letting them know that the church cares not only for their spiritual life but for their health also . . . the church has made it’s presence felt and the people are very much encouraged.

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