Call to Prayer

A Call to Prayer for Those Affected by the Ebola Crisis

A Call to Prayer for Those Affected by the Ebola Crisis
An educational poster about the Ebola virus hangs in a community center in Sierra Leone.

We recently received a letter from the United Methodist Women’s Organization in Sierra Leone about the Ebola crisis there. Please read the letter below.
 
And please also remember Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and the affected West African sub-region in your prayers. All those affected are in the daily prayers of United Methodist Women members here in the U.S. May God work through you and all in the churches to both prevent contraction of Ebola and alleviate the suffering borne through this disease. We ask God in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ to give you strength to meet the tasks laid out for suffering families and the new child-headed families.
 
Beatrice Fofanah, national coordinator for the United Methodist Women's Organization, Sierra Leone Annual Conference, sent us the following update:
 
Warmest regards, and God’s blessings to all. As you may know, we are going through challenging times in our country with the current Ebola crisis. It is worse than the rebel war. We are still in the process of recovering from the ravages of war, and now Ebola, too, is claiming lives on a daily basis.
 
… this Ebola pandemic has affected more women than men, and has further increased women’s vulnerability. This is because women, who are often mothers and wives, are the first point person for treatment when family members fall ill. The pandemic has reduced women’s income as well as families’ livelihoods and welfare. Furthermore, the Ebola crisis started during the planting season, which will have a negative impact on all household food security. The outbreak already has had an enormous impact on the entire nation because of the limited harvest we are expecting this year.
 
Schools and other educational institutions are closed indefinitely. Some children now find themselves in homes where their mothers and fathers have died, leaving them orphaned. The girls in these homes must assume the role of caregivers. Some may be exposed to early marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse, and HIV/AIDS…
 
In light of these challenges, we have decided to stop all United Methodist Women’s Organization programs for 2014 and use the funds instead to provide necessary care. The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone's response to Ebola is focused on the following four areas: prayers, training, prevention and care.
 
As women, we have decided to use the funds to buy food and donate to women in the worst affected Ebola areas. We cannot cover all nine districts of our conference because of our limited funds, but we believe that this is a start, and that God will make a way where there is none.
 
We strongly believe that God will see us through. Please remember Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and the West African sub-region.

 
Remain blessed,
Beatrice Fofanah

Posted or updated: 9/8/2014 11:00:00 PM
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