Category : Sierra Leone

(AI) Bo bishop on trial for theft of Ebola fund

Four senior officials of the Anglican Diocese of Bo in Sierra Leone have been sentenced to three years imprisonment after having been convicted of stealing over 2 Billion Leones (approximately $275,000) in donations gathered by Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) and the United Society (USPG) to support of victims of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The trial continues for the Bishop of Bo, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Tucker, who remains free on bail after posting a 500 million Leones bond.

An estimated 11,000 people died over 21 months beginning in 2014 from the virus in West Africa, leading to travel bans from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone from a number of Western nations, and a collapse in the local economy.

In February 2016 Bishop Tucker was lauded by the USPG’s Mike Brookes, who told a fringe meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod the bishop had helped combat the virus through health and sanitation education, and dispelling fears the virus was a curse.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sierra Leone, West Africa

(NBC) Thursday Morning Inspiration–From War Orphan In Sierra Leone To Dutch National Ballet Soloist

Posted in Children, Poverty, Sierra Leone, The Netherlands, Violence

(CSM) In aftermath of Ebola, Sierra Leone finds forgiveness is a powerful resource

Sierra Leone, one of the world’s poorest countries, was startlingly unprepared for the Ebola outbreak that tore through the country last year. It had only 120 doctors for a population of 6 million people, and life expectancy hovered below 50 years. The Rhode Island-sized district where the disease first struck lacked both electricity and paved roads.

But the country is rich in a resource that may best promote recovery from an epidemic that killed nearly 4,000 people and turned whole communities against one another: forgiveness.

“It begins with honest conversation,” says Keppa. “I wanted him to know that by isolating his son, we prevented others from getting sick here. He died, but that was the last case we had in this village.”

Just over a year after their ordeal, Tommy and Keppa stand side by side as they recount the story, not betraying even a flicker of the hurt and suspicion that both men say nearly broke them after the younger Tommy’s death.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) New Ebola death confirmed in Sierra Leone

A woman who recently died in northern Sierra Leone has tested positive for Ebola.

It comes as a setback to the country’s effort to eradicate the deadly disease.

Sierra Leone was celebrating last week when it discharged its last known Ebola patient from hospital.

News of the new case means the country is no longer Ebola-free. High-risk contacts of the woman have been identified, isolated and will now be watched for symptoms.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

(BBC) Ebola outbreak: Liberia has no new cases for a week

Liberia has gone a week without reporting any new cases of Ebola, the first time such a milestone has been reached since May 2014, the World Health Organization says.

But officials say there have been 132 new cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone in the week to 1 March.

They have warned that populations are so mobile in the area that there could easily be fresh outbreaks in Liberia.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Pastoral Theology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Reuters) Ebola end game in sight as new cases fall sharply in Sierra Leone

A military-style operation to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone has helped to dramatically reduce new cases, in what health officials say is a major step towards defeating the deadly disease.

Since it was launched about one month ago, the operation has doubled the number of ambulances for patients in the densely populated west of Sierra Leone, the worst-affected country where more than 3,000 people have died.

Police halt vehicles at checkpoints in the tumble-down streets to check temperatures, while posters proclaim in the local Krio language: “Togeda we go stop ebola.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

(NYT) Ebola Doctors Are Divided on IV Therapy in Africa

Medical experts seeking to stem the Ebola epidemic are sharply divided over whether most patients in West Africa should, or can, be given intravenous hydration, a therapy that is standard in developed countries. Some argue that more aggressive treatment with IV fluids is medically possible and a moral obligation. But others counsel caution, saying that pushing too hard would put overworked doctors and nurses in danger and that the treatment, if given carelessly, could even kill patients.

The debate comes at a crucial time in the outbreak. New infections are flattening out in most places, better-equipped field hospitals are opening, and more trained professionals are arriving, opening up the possibility of saving many lives in Africa, rather than a few patients flown to intensive care units thousands of miles away.

The World Health Organization sees intravenous rehydration, along with constant measuring of blood chemistry, as the main reason that almost all Ebola patients treated in American and European hospitals have survived, while about 70 percent of those treated in West Africa have died.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone

Archbishop Justin Welby on God, Suffering, Ebola and Sierra Leone

Last week, I visited Sierra Leone very briefly, far too briefly in fact. The purpose of the visit was to meet and talk with faith leaders who have been among those leading the struggle against Ebola. What a difference! Living their lives at risk, passionately and deeply involved in the people around them, they demonstrated a love and a reaching out to the grieving, to the ill and to the frightened that was utterly inspiring. The orphans of Ebola are being cared for, not least due to the generosity from this country. All those I met spoke of that.

What made the difference? The war lords claimed to be Christians, but left no space for Jesus in their lives. On the first Christmas, the shepherds, kings, Mary and Joseph, took the decision to allow God to take the central space in their lives; God who gave them every choice and freedom by revealing Himself space for in the form of a helpless baby. We still remember them for their joy, their generosity, their sacrificial self-giving. King Herod refused space in life for anyone except himself and we remember him for his cruelty.

For me, in all the busyness of Christmas there is one essential: that I gaze again at the reality of Jesus, God himself, in human and helpless form, who comes to rule and reign in this world, not by force but by love, and that seeing Him, I give Him His rightful place in my life.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christology, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Sierra Leone bans Christmas celebrations

Sierra Leone has banned public celebrations over Christmas and the New Year, because of the Ebola crisis.

Soldiers are to be deployed on the streets throughout the festive period to keep people indoors, officials say.

Christmas is widely celebrated in Sierra Leone, even though Islam is the largest religion.

Sierra Leone has the most cases of Ebola in the current outbreak. Some 6,580 have died, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Sierra Leone

(GR) Five glimpses of faith in Time's story on 'The Ebola Fighters' as 2014 Person of the Year

Is there a religion angle on this story? Of course. Kudos to Time for making that abundantly clear.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Media, Religion & Culture, Sierra Leone

(BBC) Scores of previously unknown Ebola dead found in E. Sierra Leone

Health officials in Sierra Leone have discovered scores of bodies in a remote diamond-mining area, raising fears that the scale of the Ebola outbreak may have been underreported.

The World Health Organization said they uncovered a “grim scene” in the eastern district of Kono.

A WHO response team had been sent to Kono to investigate a sharp rise in Ebola cases.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Reuters) Ebola still spreading in western Sierra Leone, Guinea's forest: U.N

“We know the outbreak is still flaming strongly in western Sierra Leone and some parts of the interior of Guinea. We cant rest, we still have to push on,” Nabarro told a news briefing in Geneva.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Nigerian medics deploying to Sierra Leone

About 100 Nigerian medical workers are expected to arrive in Sierra Leone to help with the response to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

The workers, who include doctors, scientists and hygienists, have been trained by the medical aid agency, MSF.

It came a day after residents in the Guinean capital, Conakry, protested about the construction of an Ebola treatment clinic in their district.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 6,000 people in West Africa this year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

(NPR) As Ebola Surges In Sierra Leone, Communities Take Control

If you think the fight against Ebola is going well, here’s a grim new number: 537.

That’s how many new infections were reported in Sierra Leone in the past week. It’s the highest weekly tally in any country since the West African outbreak began.

International governments and aid groups have scrambled to open Ebola treatment centers in the country. But, because of safety concerns, many of these centers are accepting only a fraction of the number of patients they were built to serve.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

World Bank chief in Sierra Leone ”“ almost 700 new Ebola cases in just 9 days

If the intention of the government of Sierra Leone today was to show the World Bank president, how effective its coordinating strategy has been in combating the Ebola virus, then Ebola must have had a different and shocking agenda.

As the World Bank chief arrived in Freetown today, the number of cumulative Ebola cases in the capital was fast making its way to an all time high of 2,223 ”“ an increase of 396 new cases in the last thirteen days.

Figures for the country as a whole was even less flattering for the man who controls the World’s finances, as the total number of cumulative confirmed new cases rose to 6,132 ”“ a massive 93 new cases recorded across Sierra Leone in one day, bringing the total number of new cases in the country to 691 in just nine days.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Struggling to change behaviour in Sierra Leone

he local headmaster – now out of work because the schools are closed – has become a fervent anti-Ebola campaigner and social mobiliser.

But Godfrey Kamara is finding it almost impossible to change the community’s behaviour.

“It’s not working. When they’re quarantined people should stay around and have security. And they still wash the dead,” said Mr Kamara, accusing Ms Bangura’s family of doing just that.

“They washed her body before calling 117. I know it. They shouldn’t do that. I tell everyone they shouldn’t wash the body but they still don’t believe Ebola kills….”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola outbreak: West Africa death toll nears 7,000

The number of people killed by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 6,928, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

The toll has increased by over 1,000 since the WHO’s last report on Wednesday, but it includes unreported deaths from earlier in the outbreak.

Experts say the infection rate is more significant that the death toll, as it reflects how the virus is spreading.

Infection rates are decreasing in Liberia, but are high in Sierra Leone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(NYT) Despite Aid Push, Ebola Is Raging in Sierra Leone

Military choppers thunder over the slums. Nearly a thousand British soldiers are on the scene, ferrying supplies and hammering together new Ebola clinics. Crates of food and medicine are flowing into the port, and planeloads of experts seem to arrive every day ”” Ugandan doctors, Chinese epidemiologists, Australian logisticians, even an ambulance specialist from London.

But none of it was reaching Isatu Sesay, a sick teenager. She flipped on her left side, then her right, writhing on a foam mattress, moaning, grimacing, mumbling and squinching her eyes in agony as if she were being stabbed. Her family and neighbors called an Ebola hotline more than 35 times, desperate for an ambulance.

For three days straight, Isatu’s mother did not leave her post on the porch, face gaunt, arms slack, eyes fixed up the road toward the capital, Freetown, where the Ebola command center was less than 45 minutes away.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

BBC audio piece on the British nurse, Will Pooley, who has returned to Sierra Leone to treat Ebola

The British nurse who has returned to Sierra Leone after recovering from Ebola has told the BBC he’s “frustrated” by the “woefully slow” international response to the outbreak. Will Pooley is back at the heart of the crisis, treating patients at the Connaught Hospital in the capital Freetown. He’s been speaking to our global health correspondent Tulip Mazumdar.

Listen to it all (starts at 1:52 in using the link at the top of the page).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

(NYT) Researchers Seek Crucial Tool: A Fast, Finger-Prick Ebola Test

Searching for a new way to attack Ebola, companies and academic researchers are now racing to develop faster and easier tests for determining whether someone has the disease.

Such tests might require only a few drops of blood rather than a test tube of it, and provide the answer on the spot, without having to send the sample to a laboratory.

The tests could be essential in West Africa, where it can take days for a sample to travel to one of the relatively few testing laboratories, leaving those suspected of having the disease in dangerous limbo.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Post-Gazette) Ebola outbreak fails to generate donations for emergency aid

After a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti in January 2010, unsolicited checks immediately poured into Brother’s Brother Foundation ”” a North Side nonprofit that collects and ships medical supplies to hospitals and clinics worldwide and focuses on places in need of emergency aid.

But in the months since the Ebola virus crisis has dominated news reports, Brothers’ Brother has received, on average, one $25 check per day for Ebola relief efforts.

“It’s just not [generating] the same volume compared to other international disasters,” said Karen Dempsey, vice president of development and administration for the nonprofit, which last week loaded a 40-foot container headed to Sierra Leone in West Africa with face masks, protective gowns, gloves and medical supplies donated by hospitals.

While the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Sandy, the Indian Ocean tsunami and other tragedies raised millions of dollars for victims within days after they occurred and inspired celebrities to organize benefit concerts broadcast during prime time, nonprofits that provide assistance for the Ebola outbreak relief say the public has been slow to step up and donate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Sierra Leone

(VOA) US Envoy Samantha powers: 'Staggering' Need in Ebola Response

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called attention to the need for a greater response to the Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa.

Samantha Power posted on Twitter early Monday, after spending a day in Guinea, that the “scale of need is staggering” and that the “most basic resources will help save lives.”

She is on a multistop tour this week of the worst-hit countries, including Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Power also highlighted the efforts of those already working in Guinea to treat patients, build treatment facilities and educate people, including Doctors Without Borders and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Archbishop of York urges worship in 'small groups'

People of faith in countries struggling to combat the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola should not meet in large numbers, the UK’s Archbishop of York has said.

Dr John Sentamu, a senior Anglican cleric, urged people in countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia to practice their faith alone or in small groups, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Read it all (video also available).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Mali, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola serum for Africa patients within weeks, says WHO

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization.

Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people.

Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone

(Guardian) Ebola in Sierra Leone increasing to rate of more than 20 deaths per day

The number of people infected with Ebola in western Sierra Leone is increasing to more than 20 deaths daily, according to government estimates.

Forty-nine new cases of were confirmed on Monday in two Ebola zones in and around the capital Freetown, the National Ebola Response Center reported on Tuesday. There are 851 total confirmed cases in the two zones, called Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural, the centre said. The Ebola outbreak previously primarily affected eastern Sierra Leone.

Claude Kamanda, a lawmaker who represents a western area, told local newspaper Politico that more than 20 deaths are being reported daily, and authorities are struggling to keep up with the collection of corpses from homes in the area.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Sierra Leone

Keep Perspective and Learn the Ebola Facts–17 cases treated outside of W Africa

At least 17 Ebola cases have been treated outside of West Africa in the current outbreak, including two Dallas hospital workers who have tested positive for Ebola. Most of these involve health and aid workers who contracted Ebola in West Africa and were transported back to their home country for treatment. Four cases were diagnosed outside of West Africa: A Liberian man who began showing symptoms four days after arriving in Dallas, a Spanish nurse who became ill after treating a missionary in a Madrid hospital and the two Dallas hospital workers who were involved in the treatment of the Liberian man. These cases are compiled from reports by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders and other official agencies.

Read it all and examine the map.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Media, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola epidemic 'could lead to failed states', warns WHO

The Ebola epidemic threatens the “very survival” of societies and could lead to failed states, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

The outbreak, which has killed some 4,000 people in West Africa, has led to a “crisis for international peace and security”, WHO head Margaret Chan said.

She also warned of the cost of panic “spreading faster than the virus”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, History, Liberia, Nigeria, Psychology, Sierra Leone, Theology

CDC: Ebola could infect 1.4 million in Liberia and Sierra Leone by end of January

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, already ghastly, could get worse by orders of magnitude, killing hundreds of thousands of people and embedding itself in the human population for years to come, according to two worst-case scenarios from scientists studying the historic outbreak.

The virus could potentially infect 1.4 million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday. That number came just hours after a report in the New England Journal of Medicine warned that the epidemic might never be fully controlled and that the virus could become endemic, crippling civic life in the affected countries and presenting an ongoing threat of spreading elsewhere.

Read it all.

Update: The elves also recommend the latest post on Ebola at Lent & Beyond, with a graph showing the cumulative number of cases of Ebola in West Africa. There are also suggested prayer points, and links to donate to several charities on the frontlines in the Ebola struggle.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Post-Gazette) Ebola, the scorecard The virus is winning as the world plays catch up

It’s nine months into the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, and the situation is going from bad to worse. The outbreak simmered slowly in West Africa from December, when the first case was retrospectively documented, through March, when it was first recognized by international authorities. Now, terms like “exponential spread” are being thrown around.

Already, the number of cases (about 5,800 as of Sept. 22) and deaths (2,800) has dwarfed the numbers from every reported Ebola outbreak in history. And the case count is doubling every three weeks. Here’s where we stand….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

SIM Calls for a Week of Prayer for Ebola Crisis (Sept 29 – Oct 5) and launches #PraytoendEbola

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For more info: PraytoendEbola website and #PraytoendEbola and Pray to End Ebola on Facebook. Lent & Beyond is posting daily Ebola Crisis Prayers.

SIM, a Christian mission organization which has been on the frontlines of the fight against Ebola in West Africa has called for a special week of intercessory prayer, urging Christians around the world to join together in prayer against the Ebola outbreak that is ravaging West Africa. Here is an excerpt from their exhortation to prayer:

[blockquote]The fight against Ebola in West Africa has been going on since the beginning of 2014. As the final quarter of the year approaches, the spread of this deadly disease is escalating out of control. The infection rate and death toll continue to rise; hundreds of health workers serving on the front lines to fight the disease have been taken by it; and the resources brought to bear still pale in comparison to the desperate needs. What seems to us to be a desperate situation is not impossible for God. May our prayers be heard and used by God to accomplish the impossible.

Therefore, as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, let us join together around the world for a full week of focused prayer beginning September 29 through October 5. Our desire is for prayers to be raised continually on behalf of those infected and affected by the Ebola virus, for the sick and dying, for the courageous health workers, for grieving families, for pastors trying to serve their churches and communities, for government officials and decision makers who formulate policies and responses, for protection for those working in educating communities, and for all those waking up each day to the devastation of Ebola.

Though we are troubled, we do not despair. Though we grieve, we are not without great hope. For two millennia, the Church has prioritized the sick and marginalized. We are called to do no less today.[/blockquote]
[blockquote]May the God who answers prayer, the God to whom we pray, the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death so that we may fear no evil, may this God turn His face towards us and by His power and wisdom guiding all those involved, bring an end to the spread of Ebola. May He bring many who live without the knowledge of Jesus into relationship with Him. Updated prayer requests and other resources can be found at www.praytoendEbola.org . [/blockquote]

Please read the full details at the PraytoendEbola website. Please note if you scroll down to the bottom of the home page of the Pray to End Ebola website, there is a place to sign up for regular prayer updates via email. There will also be updates on Twitter: #PraytoendEbola. Lent & Beyond is posting daily Ebola prayers using the Ebola Crisis Prayers tag.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spirituality/Prayer