By Holly Meriweather, Lifeword Media Ministries
The Ebola outbreak caused worldwide hysteria in December of 2013 when the first case was reported. In West Africa, 28,000 people were diagnosed with the disease that eventually claimed more than 11,000 lives. Liberia was the hardest hit country with 4,800 deaths, and Abraham Cheyee was on the front lines of the battle against the disease and its rapid spread.
At the time, Bro. Abraham was the pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Monrovia (capital of Liberia) and Lifeword’s Western-Krahn speaker. His home and his church were across the road from the main treatment centers during the outbreak, so he and his congregation were greatly affected by the shutdown of stores, the pile-up of bodies, and the anguished cries of victims and family members.
Liberia was declared Ebola-free in September of 2015. During the aftermath of that declaration, Bro. Abraham Cheyee sent an email to the offices of the BMA :
“As we minister in post-war, Ebola-affected countries, we extend many thanks and appreciation for your prayers, care, concern and BMA Missions supports that enable us in fulfilling the command of Christ to reach the unreached cities, towns, and villages in our places of ministries according to Acts 1:8: ‘But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and that ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’
Thanks also for standing by us during the Ebola outbreak in our countries Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. In Liberia, there is no more new cases, and we are now free to carry out our ministries and church activities. There are many Ivorian (Cote-d’Ivoire) refugees in various camps in Liberia. Their places are not safe for their return and due to their long stay in exile, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is cutting down their rations. Church planters and pastors are ministering to their needs there.
Thanks to the Lifeword family for supporting the Western Krahn broadcast (called Kahowulu) over the past years to reach the many native Krahn-speaking people in both Liberia and the western Ivory Coast that speak the same language. Also, Lifeword Community Radio stations have greatly fueled the promotion and expedition of the gospel message.”
Less than a year after sending the email, Pastor Abraham was called away from the capital city of Monrovia with better infrastructure, access to health care and education opportunities. After the Ebola crisis, his heart had begun to ache for his own people group hundreds of miles away. God’s call became more and more clear, and he, his wife and children made the difficult journey to the eastern part of Liberia near the border of Cote d’Ivoire.
The Ebola crisis had changed his pastoral values, and he now lives and ministers among his native people to win them to Christ. In addition, he continues his ministry to refugees (mentioned in his email) who are affected by war and disease, who are suspicious of government officials, and who are enduring unimaginable living conditions. Pray for Bro. Abraham Cheyee, a true ChangeMaker in West Africa.