October 21, 2014
When the Ebola epidemic worsened in West Africa, the Anglican Church was on hand to respond. The countries most affected have been Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, all part of the Church of the Province of West Africa. The West African church’s response is being directly supported by two international Anglican partners, Us (formerly USPG) in the UK, and Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) in the US. Both these Anglican agencies are long term partners of the West African church.
17/11/14 – It is now estimated that over 5,000 people have died from Ebola in five countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there are now more than 13,240 confirmed, suspected and probable cases across most of these countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that:
The Church is in a good position to assist in the emergency response because its structures and membership go deep into both urban and rural areas. The key responses being made by the Church include:
Because medical supplies in Liberia are limited, Episcopal Relief and Development have procured protective masks, gowns and gloves through their Ghana Office and are also providing a lot of food to people who are isolated or quarantined. Lack of food is also a big issue that is not getting much news.
The death rate has gone up to 70% for those who contract the disease according to WHO.
Janette O’Neill, Us Chief Executive, said: ‘This is the worst Ebola outbreak in history. When communities face such terrible suffering the church must be there to combat fear and hopelessness with both love and tangible support.
‘The church can also be a source of knowledge to help families understand the situation, and the church can help to make sure governments are fully aware of what is happening at community level.’
Episcopal Relief and Development report that the Archbishop of Liberia, Most Rev’d Jonathan Hart, has said that he, along with the clergy and government leaders, are urging people to set up hand-washing stations and to wash their hands frequently in chlorine-treated water, in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
21/10/14 IRIN News – Ebola outbreak is affecting Food Security
West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, which has been disrupting agricultural and market activities, threatens to erode food security and negatively affect the livelihoods of millions of already vulnerable people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone unless more is done to meet their immediate food and nutritional needs, say aid agencies. View the article here: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportID=100738
Us has published the prayers below, which people are invited to use to pray for this terrible epidemic.
Two Prayers for West Africa
1. God of our anguish, we cry to you
For all who wrestle with Ebola.
Grant we pray, peace to the afraid,
Your welcome to the dying and
Your comfort to those living with loss.
And, merciful Father,
bless those many loving hands
That bravely offer care and hope.
2. God of healing,
whose Son healed those who were brought to him.
Hear our prayer for the peoples of West Africa
suffering from the Ebola outbreak.
Inspire and enable your church
to be a source of healing, comfort
and hope to those affected,
and an agent for the education and equipping of communities
to stop the spread of this disease.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
If you wish to donate to the work of Episcopal Relief and Development or Us in helping the Church in the Province of West Africa to combat the Ebola Virus Disease, ABM will send any funds on to our partners, Episcopal Relief and Development and Us.
Please click the “Donate” button to show your support and give to the “Ebola Crisis Response Fund – Global”.
Alternatively, you can phone 1300 302663, Sydney 02 9264 1021, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a cheque/money order made out to the Anglican Board of Mission to:
Anglican Board of Mission – Australia
Locked Bag Q4005, Queen Victoria Building, NSW 1230
Bishop Emmanuel Tucker of the Diocese of Bo in Sierra Leone has written:
Thank you all for your concerns raised and your firm commitment to
stand by us both in prayer and action against this dreadful epidemic.