Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Speaking of Ebola, Meet My Friend Stephen

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Ebola, it is scary. The sickness is life threatening and it is quickly spreading through the west coast of Africa. In fact, it is easy to say Ebola is reaching more than just Africa.

  
Meet Rebecca and Stephen.
 
 
 
 
I have a few really great friends in Liberia. Their names are Stephen and his wife Rebecca. They have two biological children and three children they have taken in for shelter. We were talking about my oldest daughter being in school. I return asked him about his children who are also school-aged. His response broke me.
 
First, will you meet their kids with me?
 
Don't even say, "Aww."
 
Whatever, you will. They are adorable kids.

 

 

 

 
 

Told you, they are adorable.
 
L to R: Yonconjay Immanuel, Monconjay Joy, Harrison, and Hattie
Anyway, I was quickly informed that the kids are not able to be in school because of the out break of Ebola. I was instantly convicted with how self absorbed I truly can be. You see, we watch the news, we hear the stats, and we shut off the news and continue on with our lives. I never stopped to think (or even come close to placing myself in their shoes) how massive, life-claiming sickness effects everyone in their culture. Stephen shared with me this a few weeks back:  
 
"According to the Ministry of Health (Liberia) September 10, 2014 situation report, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia has increased greatly since the second outbreak of the deadly disease. The total cumulative suspected, probably and confirmed Ebola cases reported since the epidemic began in March is 2,415, (confirmed - 796, probably – 1,080 and suspected 539). The total number of Ebola-related deaths in Liberia is 1,307.

 The affected counties now include: Bomi-77, Bong- 179, Gbarpolu-1, Grand Bassa-46, Grand Capemount-16, Grand Gedeh-3, Lofa-698, Margibi-393, Maryland-6, Montserrado-849, Nimba 134, River Cess 1, River Gee 9, and Sinoe- 3 cases.

 Besides, the Ebola virus Liberians are also passing probably daily of other sicknesses such as high blood pressure, malaria, diabetes, etc because health workers are afraid to treat people with everyday common sicknesses. The most challenging is the deaths of pregnant women in pains who go to the hospitals to give birth and the midwives and nurses reject them because of fear that they must have contacted the Ebola virus. This has caused the deaths of many young Liberians of child bearing ages. Our health system is broken down. We really need God more than ever before to help us get this nightmare from Africa.
 
Some government employees are placed under compulsory leave to avoid crowding of people. The prices of basic commodities have increased. Likewise, transport from one place to another in the country has also increased because commercial drivers are not allowed to take more than 3 passengers on a row in their cars."
 
Think about this with me. Hospitals are refusing to care for illness that is treatable because they fear someone is contagious. A mother in labor, and her child, can die because they are not taken in. School has been shut down. Children are not learning. The rates in West Africa are rising and jobs are laying people off. This is a terrifying reality for them.
 
When I am scared for my dear friends I go to the scripture and find comfort there. I have found that God calls us to action in times of need.
 
Matthew 25:40 says this;
 
And the King will answer them,
‘Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least
of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
 
Again in 1 John 3:17,
 
"But if anyone has the world's goods
and sees his brother in need,
yet closes his heart against him,
 how does God's love abide in him?"
 
I wonder how we, as their brothers and sisters in Christ, who live half way around the world can impact them. How can we make a difference? And does trying even matter?
 
 
Firstly, let us pray. Pray that God would heal their people and remove the disease from their land. God listens to the broken hearted. Be broken for them. Secondly, give. We hear this all of the time and we become numb to giving. But if we honestly look at what we spend money on we can find a really good way to cut spending for a short time to give more now. I quit my coffee shop trips. I won't even admit how much that saved us. If we quit just one coffee, that is $5.00. If we skipped one meal out, $20.00. You see where I am going with this.
 
Does it matter? Will it help? YES! Check this out...
 




"Many friends that I know are receiving funding from the U.S. to help respond to this Ebola outbreak. Americans are sending funds to purchase preventive materials, such as bleach, bucket with faucet, tide soap, including rice and oil. "



"A 25kg bag of rice costs $18 USD per bag, and a bucket with faucet costs $7.5 per piece, while the tide costs $ 8 per cartoon."

A bag of rice is $18.00, also equivalent to 4 lattes or 1 meal out with a family of 4.

A faucet or cleaning product, 1 coffee.

We can help. It does matter. It saves lives.







 
 
 

We can also sponsor families to receive the rice as well as home schooling materials. We can feed a family. Imagine how we would feel if we couldn't feed our children and this van showed up to say, "A family you have never met loves you and God sees you, he heard your cries for help."
 


 
 
And together, we can keep these kids educated with homeschool supplies. This supplies the learning aids they need to continue basic educational structure. This keeps them busy and occupied as well. A breath of fresh air I am certain in a time of stress.
 




 
 
 
 
 Your donation is not tax deductible, but 100% of it will go directly to a family in need. We can change the world in the name of Christ and we can pray. Pray and pray for a country who needs healing, restoration, and health. Click below to partner with us in helping them.
 
"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35
 
 

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