It is sad that over half of the 3.3 million people of Liberia are under the age of 18. One million of these people live in the capitol, Monrovia, but they have no running water or sewage system. Generators provide most of the electricity.
Liberia’s economy is nearly nonexistent. Unemployment stands at 85%, with over 80% of the population living on less than one US dollar per day. Jobs are desperately needed for the unemployed, but many of the young men are illiterate and vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups.
Less than 10% of Liberians currently have access to health care, and that is where the Luke Society’s partnership with nurse Denise Maxwell comes in. "The war literally destroyed most health centers and wrecked the economy, making Liberia one of the poorest countries in the world," Maxwell says. "Most people cannot afford the medical bills for their children. To even sustain their daily meals is difficult, and most of these children are out of school."
Nurse Maxwell’s work in the Luke Society supported clinic is making a difference in Monrovia. "The New Community Clinic is truly a blessing to the community," says Maxwell. "The entire community of about 10,000 people previously lacked a single medical center. Through this center, by the grace of God, many lives have been saved and affordable medical care or even free medical care has been given."
In November of 2007, a 28 year-old woman was brought into the clinic, unconscious and with respiratory distress. She was diagnosed with malaria and typhoid fever and was admitted for observation. "After she gained consciousness, she told us that she had been all around Monrovia and did not receive treatment for the typhoid fever that she had for the past two years," remembers Maxwell. "She was very happy to see a good establishment in the community. She asked us to continue to do an excellent job, and she promised to always inform others about the clinic."
Being raised in an Islamic family, Maxwell has felt their opposition to her work with the Luke Society. "They expect that I become a source of income," Maxwell says. "Rather, I have chosen to trust God and to do the kingdom work." They obviously do not approve of her sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ with her patients either.
As the New Community Clinic continues to attract the needy living in Monrovia, Maxwell prays that she and the staff will continue showing the light of Jesus Christ.