We have all been touched by news of the growing Ebola crisis in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria, a crisis that so far has resisted efforts at containment. Those of us with even brief personal ties to West Africa (I spent a couple of weeks in Togo and Burkina Faso in 1974) will never forget the people there and are especially moved by this unfolding crisis.
The August 7 e-newsletter from the Southern Conference (SOC) of the United Church of Christ contains information about a connection between the SOC and Liberia, and they are inviting help in sending basic medical supplies to that country. Here are excerpts from an article written by Rev. Margot Pickett about Hope Harvest, a new church start in Cary, and its pastor, Rev. Siechieh Redd.
[T]he nation’s attention has been particularly riveted on the two American missionaries who were evacuated to the US after contracting Ebola in Liberia. Meanwhile in Cary, NC, Rev. Redd’s heart, mind, and prayers have been focused on the more than 900 people who have died from Ebola in the past five months and on all those who continue to live there with no hope of leaving.
Rev. Redd’s concern comes from his deep roots and family ties in Liberia. His parents are both Liberian by birth, and Siechieh grew up there. His father worked for the University of Liberia, serving for many years as the Executive Director of the Biomedical Research Department of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Monrovia. Over the past several years the Redd family has established four health clinics…but these have been closed in recent months because of the increase health demands and the Ebola outbreak. As the epidemic grows worse and numbers of doctors grow fewer, Liberians are feeling more and more isolated and hopeless. NBC news reported that there are only 50 Liberian doctors for more than 4 million people! And there are only 2 functioning isolation sites that are in desperate need of supplies to help combat the spread of the deadly disease. To help with that need, Hope Harvest will be collecting the following items for the next three to six months:
Face Mask (Disposable)
1-2 Liter Spray bottles
Face Mask, Surgical, Disposable (M, L)
Please help reach out to the people of Liberia! Announce this effort to your congregations and ask for their ongoing prayers. Items may be delivered to the church at 2801 Piney Plains Road, Cary, NC. Please contact Rev. Redd at (919) 604-4974 or firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to make sure someone will be there to receive your contribution.
Please join me in prayers for the people most directly affected by Ebola, and please consider helping Hope Harvest collect medical supplies.