Every day brings new heartache to Sierra Leone and Liberia as more than 4,000 have succumbed to Ebola. For weeks, we at VisionTrust have been praying about what our role will be in caring for the many orphans who have and will be left behind as their parents die from Ebola. To date more than 3,700 children have lost at least one parent. Pictures of children standing in the street abandoned, yet stigmatized with their exposure, are at times more than I can bear to look at.
In some circumstances, children are lucky enough to go to interim care centers—where they can go for a 21-day period to assure that they are Ebola free. According to a recent story by NPR, “The centers are meant to provide the ‘reassurance and the confidence that the communities and families would need to be able to take the children home…But it’s an uphill struggle, and the needs are far surpassing the available resources at the moment.’”
In the midst of yet another devastating reality of the outbreak, our local heroes continue to serve their communities with much needed food, disinfectant supplies and attention to how our children and their families are doing. There is a vigilance among our locals to attend to the needs of our children that is so very humbling.
In a recent note from Dorothea, one of our local heroes in Sierra Leone, she discussed the children who attend VisionTrust’s school when it is in session, but live outside the Transitional Home where we have isolated more than 100 children from the streets. “We collected them with the van, gave them food supplies and soaps and took them back home. Inform their sponsors all the kids in the home and outside are doing fine and have not contracted Ebola by the grace of God. On Sunday, parents and their kids in the community will be taken their food supply. We are making sure that all the kids in our program are cared for at this time of crisis. We thank God for VisionTrust, the rice they sent is greatly appreciated at this time.”
We have months ahead where we must care for the children and the potential orphans in the communities. Please continue to give and to pray. Can you make a commitment to share your heart for both Sierra Leone and Liberia with five people this week? Only God can stop this outbreak—we need to keep recruiting more prayer warriors and givers. Reach out and share today!