JOHANNESBURG (BP) -- While the International Mission Board has issued a statement indicating all its personnel in Ebola-stricken West Africa are safe, a Christian worker on the ground released a first-person account of her thoughts on "the invisible war" with the deadly Ebola virus.
IMB's statement said, "IMB personnel continue to monitor the Ebola epidemic. Our medical coordinators in West Africa have been in touch with Southern Baptist missionaries in the region to keep them informed of the changing situation. Currently in the affected areas, IMB has personnel in Guinea and Liberia, but not in Sierra Leone."
|"Over 1,300 cases have been reported with over 700 confirmed deaths. And the numbers continue to grow." |
-- Christian worker in Liberia
IMB indicated there are no plans at this time to ask personnel to leave their homes in these countries.
The number of Ebola-related deaths in West Africa approaches 730, with more than 1,300 cases now reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization.
Two American aid workers -- one with Samaritan's Purse and the other with SIM (Serving in Mission) -- who became infected remain in serious condition, and are being transported to the United States for treatment, according to news reports.
Rebecca Waters,* a Christian worker living and serving in Liberia, shared a firsthand account of what it's like to face an "invisible enemy" like Ebola on a daily basis.
Following is a portion of Waters' account of the situation in Liberia:
"A war is raging in West Africa, but this war is different from others. This time the enemy is invisible, sneaking up on its victims unaware. By the time the victim realizes he has been attacked, it is usually only a matter of days before he dies. That is, after he has infected dozens of others, and then they too die. This enemy is called Ebola.
"Ebola first reared his ugly head back in March, in the forest region of Guinea. Because of the porous borders, the disease quickly spread into Sierra Leone and Liberia's northern county.
"In May, it appeared as if the disease was coming under control, but I believe that was due largely to fear and irrational behavior. People have become afraid to expose themselves, so when they become sick, instead of going to the doctor they run and hide. They just do not understand. [Physicians have] been chased out with machetes from the forest region of Guinea ...
"Saturday I heard two women discussing their views of Ebola. They said many small clinics have shut down for fear of someone with the disease coming in. They said that parents, who take their kids in for headaches or malaria symptoms, simple diarrhea, etc., are rushed off to the Ebola clinic ... Read More