Yesterday, Liberians gathered in their numbers in their various places of worship and in the street to express how grateful they are to the Almighty God for the manifold blessings He continues to bestow upon them and their nation.
The day was declared National Thanksgiving Day in a Proclamation by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and was observed throughout Liberia as a national holiday.
The President, in her Proclamation, called upon all Liberians and foreign residents, clergymen and women and all religious organizations to gather in their places of worship to give thanks and praises to the Almighty God that His mercies may continuously rest upon Liberia as a nation and upon all Liberians.
Christians, adhering to the President’s request, gathered in churches and on the streets to thank God for keeping them alive and for “carrying Liberia through the Ebola crisis,” even though the country is yet to be declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Liberian leader, who is also a Christian, joined her fellow Methodists at a thanksgiving service, held at her church, the First United Methodist Church on Ashmun Street.
President Sirleaf, who did not give any formal remarks during the service, was, however, seen during the service giving thanks and asking God to continually bestow His blessing upon the land.
Liberia’s Ambassador to the US, Mr. Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, a Christian, too, told the Daily Observer in a text message: “There is a time for everything. Today is Thanksgiving Day in Liberia and I want to join all Liberians in giving thanks to God for the positive trend now in our fight against the Ebola virus.”
Other group of Christians gathered before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where President Sirleaf has her offices. They shouted, sang and praised God.
The same group, who wore the bold letter inscription on their T-shirts: “THIS NONSENSE MUST BE STOPPED IN JESUS NAME,” also moved before the main entrance of the Capitol Building, which faces the back of the Executive Mansion.
They again sang songs of praises to God and prayed that He would continually shower His peace and blessings on the nation. The leader of the group specifically told his followers to mention in their prayers, the Executive Mansion, Capitol Building, Temple of Justice and Liberian National Police Headquarters in their prayers. All of these strategic buildings are located within the same vicinity.
One of worshipers told our reporter that the Ebola epidemic was one of the “nonsenses” that they want stopped immediately.
Before the Capitol Building, they raised high the nation’s flag as they prayed for divine intervention in the domestic affairs of the land. The worshippers also held flags of the counties, too.
18th Street Calvary Baptist
One of our reporters caught up with the senior pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church on 18th Street after his thanksgiving service.
Pastor G. Larque Vaye urged Liberians not to only remember God during calamity, but also when they are in good time. He told the Daily Observer that Liberians need to live at all times to reflect the image of God and not to draw closer only when they are in hardship or calamity as the case is with Ebola.
He described this year’s Thanksgiving Day a special one for the fact that those alive have been spared through the mercy of God as Ebola rages and claims lives in the country.
Victory Healing and Deliverance Ministries
At the Victory Healing and Deliverance Ministries in Caldwell, Rev. Mother Deborah J. Moore urged every Liberian to pray for God’s healing power to touch those affected by the deadly Ebola scourge.
“We, the children of God, need to pray for His mercy to rescue our brothers and sisters who are sick in various ETUs,” she prayed.
She said God is the Hope for the hopeless. While urging Christians to give thanks and praises to God without ceasing, she beseeched God to comfort Liberians, who have lost relatives to the virus.
Body of Christ Evangelistic Ministries
At the Body of Christ Evangelistic Ministries in the Stephen Tolbert Estate, along Somalia Drive, Pastor Paul S. Pauluma urged all Liberians to continue practicing the preventive measures put in place by the Government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in order to stop the Ebola spread in the country.
Pastor Pauluma cautioned Liberians to put aside the early celebration of reports of reduction in Ebola cases, and enforce the precautionary measures in combating the killer disease.
Speaking of healing prayers, laying of hands on the sick, he warned all religious leaders to be very careful and stop laying hands on sick people, as the religious leaders just don’t know which one of the sick persons has the virus.
“God has many ways to heal people, not only by touching the sick. We should stop putting God to test by laying hands on the sick.”
At the St. Stephen Episcopal Church, the Rev. Fr. Richard Kpehe noted that many of Liberia’s friends who have benefited from the nation’s resources, are now deserting Liberians because of the virus. But when Ebola is no longer here, they will come running back to undertake more exploitation of the nation’s resources.
He, however, urged parishioners to continue to trust God and He WILL deliver Liberia from this deadly virus. Liberians should, in all circumstances, continue to praise God for, Fr. Kpehe declared, “when praises go up,” and the congregation joyfully joined him in the answer: “blessings come down!”
About the Thanksgiving Day
It was in 1883 that the National Legislature, in session, enacted a statute declaring the first Thursday in November of each year as National Thanksgiving Day. This came after the nation had gone through some rough times.