Liberia, at only 43,000sq miles, is smaller than England. Its stunning coastline is characterised by swamps, lagoons and sandbars
Violent thunderstorms are frequent and average rainfall is over 4.6 metres a year, making it difficult to travel by road as vehicles get stuck in deep thick mud on the country’s unpaved roads.
Created to receive freed slaves from North America, the country was christened ‘Liberia’ in the 1820s by its American colonists.
In recent years, the country has struggled to find the freedom its name implies. Battered by a 14-year civil war which ended in 2003, claimed more than 250,000 lives and left the country in economic ruin – today, around 80% of the population live below the poverty line.
According to a national census, 85.5% of the population practises Christianity, but the Church is fragile and many believers live in fear and spiritual bondage.
The terrible impact of the 2014 Ebola epidemic on the country is yet to be realised, but its legacy is likely to be felt for many years to come.
MAF is preparing to begin operations in Liberia to serve around 80 NGOs and mission groups working to bring hope to Liberia’s poorest, including those living in refugee camps along Liberia’s borders.
NGOs who currently spend long hours and days travelling to reach remote locations have expressed renewed enthusiasm for an MAF programme in the country.