By BNG staff
The American Baptist Churches USA has approved an emergency grant of $120,000 to provide food and medical supplies to Liberia, the West African nation hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak, the denomination announced Oct. 28.
The grant, which is on top of an earlier $20,000 sent in August, also will fund educational resources on Ebola prevention.
“In addition to huge medical needs, food security has become a major issue,” ABC world relief officer Lisa Rothenberger said in a press release. “People have been unable to go to work at the same time as food prices have increased and access to marketplaces has become more limited. The combined impact for the people in the three affected countries is that many are now having trouble feeding their families.
“Our Liberian partners have shared their fear that more people will die of hunger than Ebola — that is something we need to respond to now,” she added.
The funds, generated from the ABC’s annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering, will be allocated to four American Baptist International Ministries partners: the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Baptist World Aid and IMA World Health.
A portion of the funds for educational resources will be used by Rick Gutierrez, an International Ministries missionary based in South Africa, to produce an animated Ebola prevention video, similar to one he did earlier on HIV prevention. The video will be translated into several African languages.
“All of these initiatives are in need of additional funding,” said Rothenberger. “Through the $120,000 … we are able to provide significant support, but each partner has needs that far outweigh our initial assistance.”
Meanwhile, two IM missionaries working in Liberia since March, have been temporarily reassigned to Hungary. Rebecca and Larry Stanton were working with the Ricks Institute, a Baptist school in Monrovia. While on a recent visit to the United States, Liberian Baptist leaders encouraged the couple and their three children to delay their return to Liberia, due to the danger of infection.
“We are grateful to God and thankful to our Hungarian Baptist partners for providing this opportunity for Larry and Becky to continue to fulfill their calling to cross-cultural, international missionary service,” said Charles Jones, IM’s area director for Europe, the Middle East and Liberia. “We are concerned for the people of Liberia and West Africa, and we pray that Larry and Becky will be able to return to Liberia in due time.”