Liberians on the coast of West Africa have faced unimaginable hardship over the past thirty years. From a civil war to the world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak, the country of Liberia has suffered tremendous loss. Witness how God is working through Samaritan’s Purse to bring His hope and restoration to the country as you join Kristy Graham on the ground in Liberia.
In this episode, Kristy Graham and Joni Byker, the country director of Liberia, discuss Joni’s calling to West Africa at a young age, her eleven years serving with the ministry and her daily tasks directing programs, resources and staff in the country.
Listen to Joni’s first-hand account as she shares with Kristy how the Ebola virus spread like wildfire when it hit in 2014. In her conversation with Kristy, Joni sheds light on the trauma she and her team faced each day and how the deadly outbreak affected their every decision. Even while fighting physical and spiritual battles, Joni expresses how her team reminded one another of the God’s faithfulness.
“Most days all we could say to each other, is look at each other, and just remind each other: Jesus is Lord. He is still on the throne.” – Joni Byker
Samaritan’s Purse shifted its focus to Ebola survivors after the country was declared Ebola-free one year later. Joni tells Kristy the team is passionate about seeing the country heal and showing families how the Gospel can return hope and joy to their lives. Samaritan’s Purse team members continue to meet the needs of recovering families through trauma counseling, sanitation messaging, and livelihood programs. .
Join Kristy as she speaks to Finda, a Liberian woman who lost her husband to the Ebola virus – and her family’s source of income as a result. Years later, Finda learned how to raise sheep and goats through the Samaritan’s Purse Restore program. She expresses her gratefulness for the skills to help her family grow – giving all glory to God.
“That’s one of my favorite aspects of Samaritan’s Purse—every program is about more than just teaching people a skill or helping people physically. They meet the people’s needs while sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Kristy Graham
Through meeting unexpected needs after the crisis, Samaritan’s Purse continues to see lives changed in Liberia. Joni dives deeper with Kristy as they talk about how meeting physical and spiritual needs gives glory to the Kingdom of God and has an eternal impact.
Please continue to pray for healing and hope for the people of Liberia. Thank you for joining us as we hear how God is using Samaritan’s Purse to help rebuild the community.
An Inside Look
The Samaritan’s Purse Rebuilding Ebola-Affected Communities Through Agriculture and Livelihood (RECAL) program teaches beekeeping as a livelihood skill. Read more here!
Want to learn more about how Samaritan’s Purse responded to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia? Watch this video.
The photos below are taken by Joni Byker, the country director of Liberia. You can hear her story in episode 4 of the On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse podcast.