Providence Baptist Church has joined the global campaign to fight one of the world’s most deadly diseases, Ebola.
The church, through the Providence Foundation, Inc., (the community development arm of the congregation, which provides humanitarian services throughout Liberia and beyond) visited several communities in and out of Monrovia to identify with Liberians amid the rapid spread of the virus in the country.
According to Rev. Joseph J. Roberts, Sr., Director of Congregational Life at PBC, the initiative is indicative of the church’s role in serving as a partner with Government to fight the spread of the disease and to minister to the moral, physical, material and spiritual need of the nation and its people.
Providence Baptist Church donated several items including: Rice, Chlorine, buckets, oil, chloride, money and soap.
Institutions that benefited from the donations, according to Rev. Roberts included, but not limited to: the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, the Antoinette Tubman Cheshire Home, the School of the Blind in Brewerville, School of the Blind in Gardnersville, the Love Orphanage Home on the Robert field Highway, the Bo-Waterside community in Grand Cape Mount County, the Government Hospital and the Amandu Town Community in Bomi County, and some members of the Muslim Communities in and around Monrovia.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the Convention, LBMEC’s Assistant Executive Secretary, Rev. Emmanuel Shaw commended the Church for the donation and called on other Baptist churches to see PBC’s example and follow suit. “We will distribute this donation to the needy people and all that is being donated here today will be documented for future reference,” Rev. Shaw lamented. He called on the Beneficiaries to make use of all the preventive measures being earmarked by the Ministry of Health to avoid contacts with the virus.
The donation in Monrovia and its environs follows similar gesture in Western Liberia, undertaken by PBC’s Rural Outreach Ministry, headed by Rev. Maria P. Smith, where the church donated some anti-Ebola materials to residents of Gborgbeh and Amadu Towns in Bomi County and Bo-Waterside in Grand Cape Mount County. Items donated included: soap, chlorine and buckets, among others. Rev. Maria P. Smith, Director of Christian Education at PBC, also stressed the importance of the donation to the people, adding that Ebola is real. The Church (Providence) which currently runs the DeVos Medical Center in Bo-Waterside used the occasion to launch a ‘house to house’ distribution exercise of anti-Ebola related materials to a community of 3,000 inhabitants.
Receiving the donation, the Bo-Waterside inhabitants lauded the Church for the timely gesture. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of the Tewor District, Madam Theresa Passewe has also extolled the Providence Baptist Church family for identifying with her citizens in the wake of the spread of the virus. She stressed in a very angry tone that everyone, including the Government of Liberia and their lawmakers have all abandoned them in this fight.
Acting Pastor Roberts, in our interview, mentioned that the church’s senior Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr. felt compelled, while on his working vacation in the United States, to speak at Churches and related philanthropic organizations out there about the needs and shortcomings of our nation and challenges of the congregation.
Donations were made possible through The DeVos Foundation Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Atlanta, Georgia; Shiloh Baptist Church, Trenton, NJ; Fountain of Raleigh Fellowship Raleigh, NC; Madison Square Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Genesis Baptist Church, Greensboro, North Carolina; Sister Cherly Clarke New York City; The Providence Fellowship, USA; among others.
As the distribution continues in Western Liberia, plans are underway by the church, through its DeVos Medical Center, to open a holding center for suspected Ebola patients before they can be transferred to a Government Treatment Center. According to the Chief Administrator of the Medical Center, Ms. Bendu Fully, consultations with the local authorities were ongoing for the establishment of such a center as early as possible.
Ms. Fully, also a Register Nurse, called on the Liberian government, individuals and humanitarian organizations to provide the center with Personal Protective Gears (PPES) and other anti-Ebola materials to cater to patients in its ‘expected holding center. Bo-Waterside is a border town that separates Liberia and Sierra Leone with estimated inhabitants of close to 50,000.