FORT ERIE, Ont. (INS)—Physical and spiritual healing are important focuses for ministries Intercede International works with in many parts of the world. Canadian Christians are playing an important role by praying for these ministries and providing vital supplies to them—such as wells for villages of lepers in Vietnam, and food, medicine and an orphan home for children affected by Ebola in West Africa.
Ministering to people suffering from leprosy and cancer are key focuses of Intercede partner ministry Vietnam For Christ.
There are a total of 27 leper colonies in the Central Highland provinces of Vietnam, which VFC has access to. Most of these desperate people are Christians and have children. Many of them have died, not only due to this terrible disease but also due to the living conditions under which they live, reports VFC leader Daniel Lee. Other sicknesses and hunger are a way of life for them. Many have no legs, hands or fingers and cannot work in fields. They eat wild roots and leaves to survive. There is also a great need for clothing and medicine to survive in cold weather and to fight off other sicknesses such as malaria and chronic diarrhea.
Authorities refuse to assist them, explains Lee. But VFC missionaries visit and help them, also sharing the Gospel with them.
“We support 27 leper colonies but only 11 of them have gotten a well,” Lee reports. “The others are longing for one. Please pray for these desolate brothers and sisters in Christ.” The need of water is acute since Vietnam had a drought for the last couple of years.
Lee is grateful to Canadian supporters of Intercede who donated funds to provide wells for some of these communities. “Your funds for life-saving water wells were delivered to different areas that are suffering from drought the most, especially in the Central Highlands area,” he explained. “With these funds, we dug 11 wells or re-dug deeper in this area. All of them are filled with good and clear water.”
Please pray for funds to provide food, clothing and medicine for these desperately needy Christians with leprosy.
Ministering to Cancer Patients
There are hundreds of child patients in the few cancer hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City. VFC missionaries visit these children once a week to bring toys and milk and to tell them about Jesus through Bible stories. Due to the hopelessness of their situation, many parents are open to the Gospel, and in some cases, parents and children have accepted Christ, reports Lee. Several children have been healed by prayer and many other parents ask to pray for their children.
In 2016, Lee reported that 98 AIDS prisoners, 1,059 cancer patients, 106 lepers and 245 homeless children professed faith in Christ in one year alone.
“The staff and children of the Vietnam orphanage we support routinely visit a poor, rural hospital to go bed-to-bed to give food and to minister to cancer patients who are in their last days,” Lee reports. “Many patients have no relatives or they live far away and cannot afford to travel to them. Most endure painful chemotherapy treatments in isolation. Occasionally, we also hold an evangelical meeting, where a number have been healed and saved, although most die soon after arriving at the hospital. On average, 10 to 15 patients are saved each week.
“For only the first few months in 2016, we already brought the Gospel to hundreds of these unfortunate cancer people. Most of them received Jesus as their Saviour just before they went home to be with their Heavenly Father.
“Thank you so much for your love and concern about these unfortunate people,” Lee declares. “I believe that God will open His doors for us because He loves them more than we do. We need more funds to bring the Gospel to these miserable men, women and children by visiting and witnessing to them at least once every week. Many of them die without receiving our Lord’s love, if we skip to visit these places each week.”
Helping Refugees and Ebola Victims
With the help of a vehicle provided by God through Intercede, Christ Evangelical Fellowship Ministries in Liberia has been running a mobile health team. Five nurses travel to displaced refugee camps and villages in rural Liberia. There, they provide treatment to orphans, abandoned, elderly, widows, infants and child-bearing mothers.
Many of the cases treated are malaria, stomach pain, fever, diarrhea, and high blood pressure. Emergency cases that cannot be handled by the nurses are quickly transferred to a hospital for medical doctor intervention. The beneficiaries are truly appreciative of the care in taking medication to them for saving lives, reports CEF leader James Cuffee.
Intercede and its supporters have also helped CEF to set up a 10-room Medical Clinic in the village of Kpanjah.
During 2014 and 2015, CEF helped out many families affected by the Ebola virus. Liberia was affected deeply by Ebola, with more than 7,000 cases and 2,900 deaths reported by the World Health Organization.
“I’ve had the opportunity to encourage the villagers, giving them hope that Jesus is in control of the situation and that there was no need to lose hope,” Cuffee reported. Since the outbreak of the disease in March 2014, many people came to his ministry on a daily basis seeking food, medicine and financial support to try to meet their daily needs. CEF provided them with food and medicines from their limited supply.
Rescuing Ebola Orphans
Neighbouring Sierra Leone was also deeply affected by the recent Ebola crisis. Intercede partner New Creation Ministries responded by providing food and other necessities to affected families.
“During this time we have been able to distribute more than 120 bags of rice, and more than 120 gallons of cooking oil, 40 bags of onions, 50 cartons of tomato paste,” reported NCM leader Mitford Macauley. “Our distribution spans across the entire nation. These distributions were great blessings to families, communities and even entire villages, and in some cases opened doors for ministry where there is no presence of Christ. We have seen scores of precious souls being converted through the power of the Living Christ. The Ebola crisis also caused many souls to seriously consider their eternal status and make a decision to surrender their lives to God—a decision they might not have made at other times.”
Since the Ebola crisis first struck Sierra Leone in 2014, thousands of children have become Ebola orphans. New Creation Ministries plans to help out as many of these children as they can by building a Children’s Home.
“It is my conviction that hundreds of these orphans will end up left out to fend for themselves,” declared Macauley in an Intercede Field Report. “I have been strongly thinking of pursuing a vision to start an orphanage for both boys and girls. I feel strongly that now is the right time—yet we know we cannot do it alone. We have enough human resources to operate it and care for the children, but we will need much financial support. We already have a piece of land in Makeni–the northern city of Sierra Leone, which is one of the regions mostly hit by Ebola.”
For the orphanage, NCM plans to build six buildings. Three will be dormitories of five rooms each to accommodate 20 orphans each; one will be the dining hall and kitchen; one will be accommodation for the workers; one will be a hall for learning and other indoor activities, and one will be for administration. NCM also plans to dig two water wells. The total cost for building and furnishing the orphanage will be about $95,000. NCM has already started building the orphanage, which it calls the Calvary Children’s Home. “The provision of funding by God through our friends at Intercede international has brought great satisfaction to God,” reported Macauley recently.
Photo: New Creation Ministries leader Mitford Macauley stands on the foundation for the new Calvary Children’s Home for Ebola orphans, in Sierra Leone.