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Aug5TueCall to Action: Pray for Liberia and Sierra Leone August 5, 2014The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda Territory shares a partnership with Liberia and Sierra Leone and the recent news of the Ebola outbreak has many in our territory praying.
The Salvation Army opened fire in Liberia in May 1988 as part of the Ghana and Liberia Territory, but in 1997 it was given separate command status. Now in its 25th year, Liberia Command is one of the newest churches but because of its holistic ministry, The Salvation Army is ranked among the fastest growing churches in Republic of Liberia.
On January 1, 2010 Sierra Leone joined the Liberia Command and although still quite new, the small presence of The Salvation Army is making a big impact in rural communities.
The Ebola outbreak began in February 2014, originating in Guinea and quickly spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
• 21 March 2014, Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea notified WHO of a rapidly evolving outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) ¹
• 30 March 2014, MOH of Liberia reported its first case of EVD ¹
• 25 May 2014, MOH of Sierra Leone began reporting cases ¹
• 27 July 2014, MOH of Nigeria reported its first case of EVD ¹
• 30 July 2014, more than 1,360 cases have been confirmed throughout the four countries ¹
• 30 July 2014, 767 deaths have occurred ¹
• 30 July 2014, the government of Liberia shut down all schools
• 31 July 2014, Centre for Disease Control (CDC) issued a level-3 travel warning, warning everyone to avoid non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as a reflection of the worsening Ebola outbreak ²
• 1 August 2014, a total of 887 lives have been lost ³
• EVD currently has a 90 percent death rate
As the government of Liberia has shut down all schools to prevent the spread, this has also included all Salvation Army schools. The Canada and Bermuda Territory helps to fund 12 schools, which have a total of 2,992 children. This has clearly devastated The Salvation Army Liberia Command.
Recently World Missions received an email from a Liberian Salvationist who is in the middle of the Ebola virus outbreak:
Hope this email meets you in good health.
This Ebola virus have gone to the highest level three (3) which is the level according to WHO.
It's most certainly scary since the death of one the head doctors of Liberia and an American doctor (who have been working with Ebola patients at ELWA) plus the missionary woman at the Samaritans purse and other health workers in the country.
As a result of the current outbreak of Ebola virus, there have been lots of people leaving the country, and offices and businesses have closed for the next 21 days. Right now everyone is so scared. There is no one to trust because we don't know who has the virus and who doesn't. Right now, there is no cure.
The biggest concern I have is that the government is telling us not to eat bush meat, but the question begs what are we going to eat? There is no food. How can we get soap, chlorine, gloves and buckets to the poorest? How are we to survive when those places we get our living from are all closed for 21 days?
Only God can save us from this virus called Ebola. Please keep us in your prayers.
The Salvation Army International Headquarters is closely monitoring the situation and The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory continues to offer prayer support for our partner territory, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
• for those who are ill and nearing death
• for the medical teams responding to the crisis
• for the health and safety for the communities affected
• for the families who have lost loved ones
• that this outbreak does not spread to other African countries as people continue to travel
¹ WHO Affected Countries Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Plan in West Africa, 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014
² Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014
³ Ebola Virus Disease Update – West Africa, 4 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014