MONROVIA— Dr. Mark Allison, chairman of the Free Presbyterian Church of North America (FPCNA) mission board, remarked on Friday that the decrease in the Ebola virus ravaging Liberia coincided with the two special efforts made, both in Northern Ireland and North America, for prayer.
He was referring to the October 11 prayer meeting called by the moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church (FPC) in Northern Ireland, the Rev. John Greer, and the FPCNA bi-annual week of prayer held October 5-10 in Vancouver.
The prayer meeting was called because the FPCNA has two missionaries stationed in Liberia, Rev. David DiCanio and Miss Joanne Greer, both of whom were evacuated on August 5 because of the virus.
News reports coming out of Liberia indicate that the virus peaked toward the end of September into early October with approximately 80 new infections per day. But, as of early November, that number decreased significantly to only 30 per week.
Because of this, on November 13, the Liberian government lifted the state of emergency imposed in early August.
“According to news reports, the sudden downward spiral in new infections puzzles those who monitor the situation,” Allison said, “but God’s people can be encouraged that the Lord answered prayer.”
The FPCNA mission board continues to monitor the situation in Liberia to determine a return date for their missionaries, DiCanio and Greer.
Rev. DiCanio held deputation meetings in the Free Presbyterian churches in North America during September and October, and Miss Greer just returned from a three-week trip to Uganda on November 13 to help the FPC of Northern Ireland mission board with their new work in that country.
DiCanio leaves November 27 for a two-month stay in Jamaica to help the FPCNA mission board with their church and bookstore in Little London, and he is scheduled to hold deputation meetings in Northern Ireland during February and March.
In a press statement, Dr. Allison encouraged God’s people to continue to pray since the Ebola virus is still destroying lives and could flare up again. “We can be thankful for what the Lord has done and continue to ask that the Lord would protect the nationals as they labor in our Liberian churches,” Allison said.