The FPCNA mission board established a general relief fund to aid their mission fields worldwide after several FPCNA congregations wanted to help those suffering from the effects of the Ebola virus in West Africa.
Dr. Mark Allison, the Chairman of the board, sent the following letter to all FPCNA ministers in North America.
As many of you are aware the Ebola virus in western Africa has resulted in our missionaries, Rev. David DiCanio and Joanne Greer leaving Liberia until further notice. They have remained in constant contact with the manager of the bookstore and have been able to receive first-hand and up to date information on the situation there. At a recent Mission Board meeting it was reported that some within our congregations at home have been asking how they can help at this time.
After a lengthy discussion it was agreed to establish a relief fund that can be used in situations such as is developing in Liberia. We understand that rice is readily available for purchase by the people. (Not all of the people in our mission congregations have the same needs; some actually have very good jobs). However we would like to have funds on hand so that we can purchase rice and other essentials as needed for distribution among our mission churches. This assistance will be supervised by Rev. DiCanio, similarly to what he has been doing already. (The mission field in Liberia has operated an emergency medical fund for desperate cases since Rev. DiCanio arrived 3 1/2 years ago.
That fund has been carefully distributed at the discretion of the missionaries on the ground. In recent days, because of the Ebola outbreak, the fund has been expanded to include the purchase of emergency staple food items that have been placed in storage. These stored food items are about to be either freely distributed or sold at a significantly discounted price to the attendees of the three mission churches that have the greatest need). We have agreed to make $3500.00 available and this amount has been kindly forwarded by our Malvern congregation, however we do need to reimburse them and hence the reason for this letter.
As a Mission Board we greatly appreciate all of the prayers, gifts and offerings for the work in Liberia. Without the faithful support of our congregations in North America and Northern Ireland we could not have accomplished what has been done thus far. We would ask you to make this present need known to your congregation and direct any gifts to either Mr. David Stair in Greenville or Mr. George Robinson in Toronto.
Rev. DiCanio has also indicated to the Mission Board that the completion and furnishing of the second house on the mission compound will involve an expenditure of approximately $60,000.00.
Please continue to pray regarding this need also. Your prayers and help are greatly valued for the work, the missionaries and the people in Liberia at this time.
Dr. Mark Allison, Chairman FPCNA mission board