Liberia Relief Distribution Report
By The Reverend Philip S.Saywrayne
Senior pastor, Christ Assembly and Vacancy pastor, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
Staten Island, New York
December 24, 2014
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in this advent season!
When the deadly Ebola virus began in Guinea, West Africa and spread to Free Town and Liberia, my native land earlier this year taking innocent lives to glory, promoting massive global dread especially among people of the affected West African nations, I felt before the altar of God and broke down in tears pleading for mercy, protection and eradication of the disease. I declared few days fast and prayers on Staten Island, New York. Brought together several African leaders including presidents of the Staten Island Liberian Community Association, Staten Island Sierra Leonean Association, Staten Island Guinean Association and discussed ways to assist people of the affected West African region.
I immersed in several teleconferences relating to helping Ebola affected nations. Still in my quest for aid, The Reverend Dr. Johnson Rethinasamy, Mission Executive of the Atlantic District contacted me and strongly suggested that I do something to help people of Liberia which prompted me to pen a letter to The Reverend Dr. David H. Benke, president/Bishop of the Atlantic District disclosing that the Ebola virus in Liberia has taken many lives to glory including 15 relatives of my wife and escalated famine in the land; I therefore craved his usual mission aid to feed the people which request he unconditionally embraced and began to raise funds for the project as a result he gave me $25,000.00 to begin the feeding process.
I immediately contacted a rice company and made financial reservations which delivered 400 50lbs bag of rice@ $25.00 each along with 50 sacks of water containing 30 pouches in each which equal 1,500 pouches on the campus of Christ Assembly Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa where over 250 worshippers both members and non-members of the church within the Monrovia city area had gathered on Sunday, December 7, 2014 to freely receive the items under the supervision of an organized Relief Distribution Team. I greeted the people via speaker-phone and could hear them praising the Lord for the gifts. About 400 heads of household comprised of 3 – 6 families were served. A second consignment is being arranged for distribution in town and villages across Liberia. The cost of both deliveries will total about $25,000.00.
News of the distribution was reported in The Inquirer Newspaper and spilled down on All Africa.com site titled: Liberia: Christ Assembly Evangelical Lutheran Church, U.S.A. Partners Hold Ebola Relief Distribution
I want to express my profound gratitude to every pastor/supporter of this relief project including The Reverend Dr. David H. Benke, President/Bishop, Atlantic District, The Reverend Dr. Johnson Rethinasamy, Atlantic District Mission Executive, The Reverend Dr. William Diekelman, Former LCMS first vice president, Coral Mittelstaedt, Atlantic District Mission Society Coordinator, The Reverend David J. Born, Director, Church Revitalization, Howard J. Capell, Esq.
Worshipers speak many different languages at Christ Lutheran Church, located in Woodside, New York, in the borough of Queens. Despite any lingual ebb and flow at this multicultural congregation, the 11 a.m. service always includes sign language, READ MORE....
Hope and Prayer by the Sea
Click any photo above to get a better view all the photos!
Dr. Benke acknowledged a leadership gift from Kenneth Ko in memory of his wife Karen and dedicated the Center in Far Rockawy as the Kenneth and Karen Ko Hope and a Prayer Center by the Sea. Click here for a video of the Dedication on October 29, 2014 of the Center at 2517 Seagirt Avenue --2 years to the day after Superstorm Sandy hit coastal New York and surrounding states.