Ebola Orphans

What will happen if the disease strikes our sponsored children?

Ebola has finally hit close to home for GlobalFingerprints Liberia. As the infectious disease picks up at an alarming pace, a new orphan crisis is erupting alongside it.

In communities where relatives regularly take in children of deceased family members, “Ebola orphans” as young as 2 or 4 are instead being shunned. The fear of exposure to the ravaging virus often outweighs family bonds and common compassion.

Last week, Liberian GlobalFingerprints staff was called to investigate a report about the home of one of our sponsored children, a 7-year-old boy named Kaleesa (pictured above).

Kaleesa was living with an aunt who had contracted Ebola and was taken to an Ebola treatment unit along with her two children. The children tested negative so the two of them, plus Kaleesa, were released into the care of Kaleesa’s mother. She was afraid to take them but did anyway.

Two days later, one of the children came down with a fever and was removed from the home. Now Kaleesa and his mother and other cousin are quarantined for 14 days. Please pray for them to remain free of this deadly virus. Pray also for peace, as they are very frightened while they wait.

By all counts, Ebola is responsible for more than 3,700 new orphans in West Africa—a number that could double before the end of October, by UNICEF’s assessment.

In this time of crisis, sponsorship not only provides for a child’s daily meals, medical attention and an education, but it also sends a life-changing message to those shunned by frightened family members: “You are cared for and you belong.” It could be the most important response the Church takes in this crisis.

“Jesus touched the leper,” says Daryl Anderson, GlobalFingerprints director, “and from that moment until this day, the Church has stepped in to care for those society dubbed ‘untouchable,’ despite grave personal danger in doing so.”

Pray for wisdom for our GlobalFingerprints Liberian staff members as they support this family and determine what actions to take if Kaleesa or his mother—or other sponsored children and their families—contract Ebola. Learn more about donating to the EFCA Ebola Crisis Response fund. And consider sponsoring a child in Liberia.

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