The Ebola outbreak
Adjusting ministry focus
Liberia and the Ebola outbreak
Adjusting ministry focus
From March 2014, as maps of Liberia began to indicate how the Ebola virus was spreading from Guinea and Sierra Leone throughout Liberia, the number of deaths in Liberia were quickly rising. The infections and deaths of health care workers, including doctors and nurses led to the closing of all hospitals to regular care so that diseases such as Malaria, Cholera and Typhoid with similar initial symptoms were being counted as Ebola with no available testing to determine if it was an Ebola virus death. Women with pregnancy emergencies had nowhere to go for help and many died, along with their infants. Almost 100% of infants with Ebola infected mothers die as a result of infection during their birth process. As of Jan 14, 2015, the number of Ebola virus deaths in West Africa is 8,429 with 3,538 occurring in Liberia.
How close it gets
Cremation is not a part of the Liberian culture, consequently Liberians stopped calling the health care workers to collect their dead but instead they washed, dressed, embraced, and buried the body themselves thus getting infected when the body is most virulent.
The Liberian government responded to this practice by donating a new 50-acre plot of land for a cemetery where people would be buried and previously cremated victims would be given a marker to indicate their death.
Vision Impact published this poster in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak.
When county borders were closed Pastor Eric delivered bags of rice to these isolated villages. The reputation of Vision Impact spread throughout the mostly Muslim villages of the Interior, and even to people who had never heard of this Christian ministry and we believe in this way God has prepared their hearts to allow us to return and show the Jesus Film or put down a well which has in the past led to an invitation for us to build a Christian church and share God’s Word on a regular basis. By God’s grace we will experience these new opportunities created by the Ebola Virus epidemic.
Eric teaches villagers on Ebola
In 2014, Lahai, a Muslim since birth, lost his whole family to the ravages of the Ebola virus. When he began to feel unwell, he was very fearful, and someone told him to call Pastor Eric who prayed for him over the phone and promised to pray for him for the crucial days of the next week. Lahai tested positive at an Ebola clinic and remained for treatment. After a week his blood showed no further signs of Ebola virus, and he was discharged. In his gratefulness he called Pastor Eric to report the good news. Eric invited him to our office where he led Lahai to the Lord and provided him with literature to help him.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”