Monday, December 29, 2014

Ebola Update

Although the amount of attention that the media is giving to the ebola outbreak in West Africa has waned, it still continues.  Last week, the BBC had a good article detailing some of the current statistics.  Read it here.

Our work, in Gabon, is just one piece of the larger work of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  Some of our colleagues are on the front line of the fight against ebola.  You may have heard of the very sad story that, due to fear and misinformation, a team of C&MA healthcare workers were attacked and killed in  September, while trying to care for and educate the people of Guinea.

Please continue to pray for our teammates in Africa, who continue their efforts to care for the victims and educate communities, in the name of Jesus.  Here is a story shared by some of our friends serving in West Africa, Stan and Jaynee W.:

Ebola: Desperation Yet Hope 
Stan passes out educational material to a shopkeeper.

Ebola’s spread continues to devastate more and more families—mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and now Mali, where cases have been reported in the capital city, Bamako. The death toll is now above 5,400 and continues to climb (late November 2014 stats).

One of Ebola’s significant side effects is fear, which is creating panic in West Africa and the United States. Thanks to donations, we’re printing Ebola-awareness brochures in French and providing them to several of our local shop owners to distribute.

We also gave copies to a leader in our neighborhood who will hand them out in the local house of worship during Friday prayer times. This plan sounded great to us, since a Christian organization designed the brochures, printing John 8:32—“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”—on the back. 

Opportunity for God’s People

Fear also is affecting those living in a number of Ebola-free African countries where Alliance international workers serve, creating an alarming ripple effect:
A local church worker on an educational visit to a village.

  • Economies are suffering due to the decrease in tourism.
  • Food prices are increasing because of the lack of trade.
  • People are losing their jobs due to the decrease in commerce. 

In addition to these harsh realities, many parts of West Africa experienced a shortened rainy season this year. It is a recipe for disaster: the United Nations is predicting up to 750,000 people will die from starvation and malnutrition-related diseases in the next few months.

Amid this grim outlook, there is an opportunity for the Church to shine by reaching out in love to many who are in need. Please pray for revival in Africa’s churches and for God’s people across the continent to be a testimony to those who are suffering or living in fear—so that many more will be led into His Kingdom. 

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