The Ebola outbreak—labeled the worst health crisis in recent history by the World Health Organization—has claimed the lives of more than 4,900 people worldwide, including more than 230 health workers. The concentrated areas of the deadly viral outbreak have occurred in West Africa—notably Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
WorldVenture is closely monitoring the situation. With missionaries in the West Africa region, WorldVenture leaders are in constant communication with personnel about their current needs and assessments.
“While each crisis is different, past experiences in crisis have helped us learn and better prepare us for the next one,” said Marty Shaw, vice president of International Ministries. “In these situations we have a crisis team that becomes active.”
No WorldVenture missionaries have come into direct contact with the Ebola outbreak, as the clusters of the virus are still not in the locations of the mission’s personnel.
“WorldVenture leadership continues to regularly and systematically monitor the Ebola crisis in West Africa,” said WorldVenture’s official statement. “Regional leadership is in direct communication with local personnel regarding health measures taken, and safety triggered by the Ebola outbreak.”
Meanwhile, West Africa missionaries Glenn and Kathy Kendall report Ebola has become no longer active in Nigeria and Senegal, as well as certain parts of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“Our government here is aggressively trying to suppress Ebola, distribute information about the disease and quell rumors and panic,” said the Kendalls.
For the Kendalls, some precautions against Ebola mean washing hands with chlorinated water, limiting their group activities and washing food coming from infected regions more carefully.
In the Kendalls’ location, schools and a major mine have closed, resulting in less education and major job loss for the locals in the region. However, the increased awareness about the spread of infection has also resulted in fewer cases of typhoid, cholera and other diseases.
More than anything, the Kendalls hope that something good will come out of the crisis.
“Historically when a country has been in the news and the crises subsides more people go as missionaries to that country.”
(Photo courtesy of Flickr/CDC Global)