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In November 2014, just after the peak of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, West Africa, the country's government put a plan in place to decentralize management of the epidemic. Leaders divided the country into four sectors, and, beginning with Liberia's largest county, Montserrado, they recruited and organized local response teams. Each team was empowered to engage and educate communities, as well as to track the cases of Ebola in those communities. According to the World Health Organization, the new approach helped to turn the tide and slow the spread of the disease.

Before the government's intervention strategy was ever implemented, however, Lutheran Hour Ministries was already reaching out at the community level in Montserrado. On July 30-31, 2014, LHM—Liberia held "Kick for Christ," a sports event that brought together area youth for two purposes—to join in a friendly soccer competition and to help raise awareness about Ebola in the community. (See our September 4 post about this event on the LHM International Blog.)

Eight months later on March 20, 2015, Lutheran Hour Ministries returned to Montserrado.
Lutheran Hour Ministries—Liberia Director Alphonsus Claimett writes, "After several months of fighting with this virus, with thousands dying, but with a lot more people surviving, we jointly went back to where it all began to give thanks to God that our messages helped save lives."

At the event, two soccer teams met in a commemorative soccer match. Afterwards, says Claimett, "the Snow Hill community in Gardnersville was overwhelmed by the presence of our evangelism team. They spread the Good News of the saving grace of Jesus from home to home with renewed strength, empowered with testimonies of God's guidance and protection during the Ebola crisis.

"We give thanks to God," Claimett says, "that He has once again proven Himself to be the source of hope and comfort, a strong tower that we can run to and be saved!"

To learn more about the Gospel-driven work of Lutheran Hour Ministries—Liberia, visit the LHM—Liberia blog!

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