Yup, two blog posts in one weekend! This topic has been heavy on my heart the last few weeks for many reasons. While my heart breaks for those affected, I am angered by American’s ignorance. Headlines read, “Woman Who Visited Africa Throws Up In Pentagon Parking Lot” with no clarification where in Africa she visited within the article. The final straw was a joke news article going around my hometown saying two missionaries in Lybia had been admitted and quarantined and people were believing it. Lybia is a different country no where near the hot zone. I understand joking elevates tension, but when I read first hand accounts from friends, I can’t joke. But, as I have coached others, if no one has taught them any different how are they to know? So, my friends, please take the time to read, be educated and educate others. I do not claim to be an expert nor guarantee my info is 100% accurate.
Some quick facts:
1. Africa is a CONTINENT not a COUNTRY
1. There are 47 countries on the continent including islands there are 53 African countries.
2. Liberia is approximately the size of Tennessee.
3. I am as far away from Liberia as Alaska is from Florida (maybe a little further).
4. Ebola has been reported in 5 countries but two have now been declared ebola free so it is currently only present in Liberia, Seirra Leone, and Guinea.
Why do I care that people don’t know the quick facts? I care because every day I am reading how the world’s ignorance is impacting the economy all over the continent such as this one.
I care because it is directly impacting those I care about here. I had an alumni leave last week for a vacation in the states. I was concerned people’s ignorance would impact her trip. I knew most people would have never heard of Tanzania and even more have no clue the distance from the hot zone. I warned her to not even joke about ebola and to be prepared for people’s ignorance. I currently have alumni all over the world. A couple came to visit friends here. When they returned, co-workers offered to pay for them to get tested for ebola.
I work at an international school that serves missionaries and an international population. One of my student’s dad is working for the UN in Liberia. He only comes home every few months. He is supposed to come home in November. This girl may have to go several more months before she can see her dad again. One family trains pastors and shared this blog today.
I care because even though it isn’t here, it could have been here, it could still come here. I earnestly pray it doesn’t. Co-workers and I were talking about it a few days ago. What if it did come here? Would we stay? Leave? How could we leave? How could we look in the faces of our students and friends and tell them good-bye? I started crying just at the thought. Lord, please, protect Tanzania, clear the world of this virus!
Yes, I understand it is scary to think of Ebola on American soil, but we have the means to control it and take care of those affected by it. When I read the doctor in New York was taken in an ambulance with a police escort, I thought why a POLICE ESCORT?! one person… all those resources. Liberia does not have those resources. Sierra Leone does not have those resources. Most of Africa does not have the resources.
So what can you do? Educate yourself, don’t feed the ignorance, and pray! Another family at my school are the directors of Young Life Africa. They are sharing updates of their staff on the ground in Liberia and Sierra Leone. They have also started 91/91. Please join us in praying Psalm 91 for 91 days. In our youth group at God’s Tribe we started today and will continue through til January 26. Will you join us?
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”