As the Nigeria family of churches prepares for the September 28th food support donation drive for our brothers and sisters in the heavily affected Ebola countries, please read below a desperate mail received from Dwight Sigismond Koroma , the leader of the church in Sierra Leone. May it move us to give, even beyond our abilities.
The Ebola epidemic is a very devastating problem for Sierra Leone; it has seriously affected the socio-economic fabric our country. It has claimed hundreds of lives. Every day, we hear about new confirmed cases being announced with the burial teams overwhelmed with dead bodies.
The church respected the decision of the government to have a three days lock down as a measure to minimize or reduce contacts in the fight against Ebola. Before the week for the shutdown, the leadership distributed assorted food items to disciples in all of our churches including rubber bucket for the hand washing in the provincial churches since Freetown had early bought buckets for our sensitization and hand washing process.
The three days seat down/lock down was able to expose so many sick people hiding in the homes and from them large amount of Ebola positive confirmed cases were identified after testing. At least 70 dead bodies were buried within the three days with others lined up for burial. There was no usual Sunday service for everybody; disciples were asked to organize services in their individual homes, since nobody should go out of their homes and I believed so many disciples realized that the first Church is your home.
The Ebola epidemic is fearful; things are getting worse by the day with Ebola positive confirmed cases and deaths. The cost of living is worrying, especially the astronomical rise in food items before the lock down. The food distributed to disciples came at the right time and it was highly appreciated, at least each family had a 25kg bag of rice plus condiments.
The current needs of disciples is food, the church will have to make provisions for the most vulnerable as the case may be. We normally have poor outreaches for vulnerable groups within and outside the church.
No Disciple has been affected yet in Sierra Leone…. we also have a Situation wherein one of our Sisters who is also a health worker, is trying to relocate to another part of the City because most of the houses around her have been quarantined, and People are dying of Ebola around her . But we believe the Lord will help us overcome. We will try to send some photos of the distribution tomorrow.