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    Liberia Ebola Outbreak Update

    08/12/2014


    Chart from a Wall Street Journal Article, August 7, 2014
    Since the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has worsened in the past several weeks, I thought you would appreciate an update on how the situation is affecting the children and caretakers at the Daniel Hoover Children's Village and the Oscar and Viola Stewart School for the Deaf. 

    Due to the rising numbers of people being infected with the virus and the dire need to contain the outbreak, last week the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, declared a 90 day State of Emergency. This action suspended the constitution and gave President Sirleaf full rights to make decisions she feels are needed for the safety of the country. Schools and many government offices have been closed. Some borders are closed. Check points have been set up throughout the country where people have to have their temperature taken to establish that they are not contagious with Ebola in order to travel. Overall, travel is very limited and people are limited from meeting in large groups. 

    These and other restrictions are having a significant impact on daily life. Due to the restrictions on travel and the fear of contracting the disease, the food supply has already been dramatically affected. The cost of food has gone up from 30% to 300%, depending on what is being purchased and from where. Those who have money are purchasing and stockpiling as much as they can since the State of Emergency is in effect for 90 days, and it's likely that things will get worse. Banks are open on a limited basis. Other necessities like medicines and hygiene items are also expensive and getting harder to find. 

    Many of the children were at home for summer break with family or community members when the outbreak got worse. About 100 of them are now back at the mission homes with more of them returning sporadically. Each family will evaluate where they feel the children will receive the best care over the next 3 months and decide individually whether to have them return to the mission homes or stay in their communities. Each child is evaluated upon returning to the mission homes to ensure that they are healthy when they come back.

    ACFI's goal at this point is to purchase as much as they can of food staples like rice and oil along with medicine and hygiene items as soon as possible and store them. They are trying to get vitamins and medicines to keep the kids healthy, so that they do not need to take them to medical clinics.

    Please pray for your sponsored child and ACFI leaders consistently during the next several months. Many of the current conditions are reminiscent of what people experienced during the 14 years of civil war that lasted through 2013. Having their freedoms restricted, fearing for their lives, not being able to attend school, and the possibility of not having access to food  can quickly cause instability in a country, especially one that has not yet fully recovered from war.

    On a hopeful note, difficult times often cause people to turn to the Lord, and there is already evidence of that in Liberia. Some of the ACFI pastors are living at their churches because people are showing up to pray and ask for assistance. President Sirleaf called for a three day National Fast and Prayer time last week and asked the people of Liberia to see the outbreak as an opportunity for healing, reconciliation, and to deepen their faith.

    Some of you have asked how you can help in a tangible way. In addition to praying, you can make donations on this site under Ebola Outbreak Assistance. These funds will be used to cover the costs of food, medicines, and hygiene items during the next few months. If the situation at either of the mission homes changes, I will send another update. 

    Thank you for praying with us! 

    Angel Rutledge
    Liberia Program Coordinator


    [Posted: 08/12/2014]


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