We talked to Dorothea and Garnett (our National Directors of Sierra Leone) late last week. They had the same prayers that much of West Africa has—they need strength, perseverance and direction from our Lord to get to zero. The Ebola outbreak has now lasted a year. There is one simple goal, get the number of new Ebola cases to zero for 42 days so that the outbreak can be declared over.
A year is a very long time to be in a crisis mode. I think it is hard for us in the United States to really appreciate what the stress, the complete disruption of lives and the constant fear of knowing a life threatening situation is all around you for an entire year, feels like. We have tornados, hurricanes, and snow storms….yet they all go away and we bring in the resources to make it better. A quick recovery is not the case in West Africa, with many hospitals shut down, many out of work, and the constant fear of infection. We have teachers who have not been able to work for a year. We have children who have been confided for months to a compound. It is time to get to zero.
In attempt to quickly rid the country of all cases, all Sierra Leoneans were not allowed to leave their homes for three days while public officials went door to door to seek out cases, educate each household and try yet again to bring the situation under control.
The hope is to open schools in Sierra Leone the middle of April. We have been assisting Dorothea and Garnett as they prepare to welcome back children to the school while at the same time keeping them all safe and infection free. The need for support and prayers remains high. We pray that the Lord will bring this year-long outbreak to a close. We pray that many will come to know him through this large scale ordeal. We pray that God will open the hearts of our faithful supporters to pray and financially support our children as the ordeal continues. Once we get to zero, then the work of true recovery can begin.