By KABS KANU :
The ground virtually shook at the Corona Hotel in North Brunswick last night when muslims and christians in New Jersey –operating under the name SIERRA LEONEANS UNITED IN PRAYER AGAINST THE EBOLA VIRUS–arrayed themselves to conduct one of the most fiery and powerful interfaith prayer services against the Ebola scourge in Sierra Leone.
ALHAJI ABDULAI SAVAGE PREACHING
Both the prayers of the christians and the muslims were rendered in fiery candour, demonstrating the urgency and seriousness of the situation in Sierra Leone.
The public response to the Interfaith service was also remarkable. The hall was packed to capacity and one of the masters of ceremony , Alhaji Shamsu Deen Cole, noted with joy that this was the most crowded Ebola -related ceremony in New Jersey so far.
ALHAJI ALHARAZIM ADDRESSING THE PROGRAM
Representing the Christian clergy in New Jersey were Bishop Patrick Manages , Rev. Dr. Victor Fakondo , Rev. Chika Ademu-John, Rev. Bongay, Apostle Emmanuel Kamara , Rev. Emmanuel Tucker and Rev. Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, who served in a dual capacity as both clergy and a representative of the Government of Sierra Leone.
REV. DR. FAKONDO PRAYING
The Muslim clergy was represented by the Chief Imam of the Islamic Society of Franklin Township and Naibs , Alhaji Abdulai Karim Savage, the Deputy Imam of Dawatul Islamia and Naibs, Ahaji Hassan Savage, Alhaji Brima Rahman, Alhaji Muhamed Alieru Bakarr ( Who was also Program Coordinator ) , Alpha Unisa Deen Alharazim and Alhaji Shamsu Deen-Cole.
REV. KABS-KANU ADDRESSING THE PROGRAM
The prayer session was divided into two segments : The muslims went in first and prayed vigorously, with Koranic citations and incantations . It was solemn, as the incantations reflected the tragedy that has befallen the nation, with the muslim clergy fervently beseeching the intervention of God in the plague that is busy ravaging the country.
ALHAJI SAVAGE AND SHEIKH BALLAH
WARFARE PRAYER BY THE CHRISTIAN CLERGY
After a sustained period of Koranic recitations and prayer, the podium was handed to Chief Imam Abdulai Karim Savage , who delivered a short but powerful message in which he entreated Sierra Leoneans to continue to seek the help of God in the crisis that has befallen the nation. The muslim cleric, who often laces his sermons with koranic and biblical quotations , pointed the congregation to God, who is able to deliver Sierra Leone from Ebola.
REV. KABS-KANU TAKES HIS TURN TO PRAY
The Christian clergy , who had been waiting patiently , then had their turn. Each minister of the gospel was given three minutes to share the Word of God, during which they all , in various ways and using quotations from the Bible , preached messages of faith and dependence on God as the most important solution to the problem, since the Ebola outbreak is a spiritual problem that must be confronted spiritually.
REV. DR. FAKONDO PRAYING
After the ministers preached to the congregation , the christian clergy then held the jampacked congregation spellbound with what should rightly be called WARFARE PRAYER , led by Rev. Dr. Fakondo . Fakondo moved the congregation with his power-packed and anointed prayer . He was a literal ball of fire with his fiery prayers, which he interspersed with calls on each minister to come in one at a time to complement him with scripture or biblical reflections and prayer. The praying was hot and frenzied , manifesting the magnitude of the problem and the Kingdom of wickedness was definitely rattled . It was one of the most protracted moment of animated prayer I have seen. Obviously, it was God’s clergy, both muslim and christian, crying out to the Lord to intervene with dispatch in Sierra Leone. At the end of the service, everybody agreed it was one of the hottest prayer sessions they had ever seen in New Jersey. The clergy prayed with all spirit and power.
As the representative of the Sierra Leone Government at the vigil, Rev. Kabs-Kanu, who said he has the authority as Minister Plenipotentiary to talk on behalf of the government wherever he goes, told the congregation that he informed President Ernest Koroma about the New Jersey nterfaith prayer and the head of state is always delighted to see Sierra Leoneans come togethet in one voice to seek the good of the nation .He praised Sierra Leoneans for all the different initiatives they have been undertaking since the Ebola outbreak to seek international and logistical support for the country, emphasizing that the impressive thing about Sierra Leoneans is that they love their country , which they demonstrate during moments of crises when they always come out in full to help the nation in their different ways. He said the Ebola outbreak was not a curse or punishment from God, as some errant people are saying, but that it is the kind of unfortunate situation that would befall any country. He told the congregation about the present sensitization blitz that President Koroma has engaged last week , touring all the districts to help break the chain of transmission of the disease and he attributed the decrease in transmission presently to the sensitization trips the President has been making to the provinces.
DR. MAFUDIA SWARAY GIVING HER SENSITIZATION MESSAGE
Earlier , a young medical doctor, Mrs. Mafudia Swaray, provided a sensitization message about how to stop the transmission of the disease. She admonished the congregation to call home and use the same message to sensitize their families and friends since their voices carried a big influence in the lives of their family members who depend on them for financial support from the diaspora.
According to the Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Shamsu Deen, the message was absolutely necessary because the reason that Ebola transmission seems to be continuing is that our people back home are too stubborn and refuse to heed sensitization messages beseeching them to adhere to precautions and protocols.
Alhaji Shamsu Deen lauded the members who helped him organize the prayer service, commending them for their community spirit and he emphasized that this program was the beginning of many more initiatives to follow. He also commended the clergy for responding to the call of community service and the congregation for abandoning their chores to attend the service.
Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu
Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN
245 E 49th Street , NY, NY 10017