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As Ebola subsides, churches grow

After 11,000 deaths in West Africa, Christians see new life.

The West African town of Gueckedou, Guinea, near the borders of Liberia and Sierra Leone, is thought to be the birthplace of the region’s Ebola crisis. 

It now serves as a rallying point for Christians who want to spread the Gospel throughout their continent.

More than 150 believers, representing 15 Churches of Christ in the three nations, gathered in Gueckedou for a Bible conference, said Nestor Tonguino, minister for a Church of Christ in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. 

Between presentations, conference attendees did door-knocking evangelism, Tonguino said.

Such outreach was nearly impossible at the height of the Ebola crisis in 2014. The virus has claimed about 11,300 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hugs, handshakes and baptisms could help spread the deadly virus. Still, ministers with Churches of Christ in the three countries continued to reach out during the crisis with the message “Ebola kills, but Jesus saves.”

In Liberia, the virus hindered outreach to rural communities, said Alfred Beyan, minister for the G.S.A. Road Church of Christ in the capital, Monrovia. With cases of Ebola now in single digits, churches are growing. 

One church plant, in the village of Gbarkomah, has experienced 12 baptisms in recent weeks, he said.

“At the same time, we have been conducting several marriages at the church,” Beyan told The Christian Chronicle. “We intend to reach more and more families in this new year.”

Filed under: International

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