Blog Post

Top 3 Challenges to an Ebola Response in Liberia

Aug. 15, 2014
Evangelical Free Church leaders suit up for Ebola response

The EFCWA Ebola Response Team (EERT) is a national church-based response out of the rising needs seen by the leaders of the Evangelical Free Churches of West Africa in response to the deadly Ebola Virus disease that has claimed over 1,000 lives in the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

This fast-grown church movement with membership in the three countries agreed together with the leadership of ReachGlobal to responds to this national catastrophe. As reported from EFCWA leadership and the Ebola Response Team coordinator, these are the top three challenges they are faced with in their efforts:

1. Illiteracy

Many people in villages and communities that we are reaching cannot read and write. The few educated cannot read comprehensively and their messages are widely respected by the majority. The need for the church to engage in quality education with partners more intentionally after the Ebola crisis is of great need. Many are dying because of the lack of knowledge.

2. Diverse religious perceptions

Diverse religious perception of the cause of Ebola on Liberia and their proposed religious solution have served to confuse and frustrate many. Many religious clergy consider the outbreak as “A curse on Liberia because the president’s son and others are promoting homosexuality” or “This is the end times and there’s nothing we can do about it because God said it will happen.”

Others are promoting religiously-conceived hygiene methods at the expense of sound medical advice. For example, one church is calling on people to use salt for their protection. They are buying it at the expense of their life which actively undermines our efforts. After three days of national fasting, Liberians woke up to the calls  of relatives in Monrovia to “bathe with salt placed in hot water before 6 a.m. This will bring the spread of Ebola to a complete halt.” This rumor went wide across the country and many participated.

3. Travel limitations

Our inability to travel at our convenience and desire due to fear of riding in congested vehicles that ply the roads around Liberia. This will hinder our ability to educate and train the churches to respond as most of our own EFCWA pastors cannot adequately develop their positions for the battle against Ebola and they live in remote villages that rental cars cannot go.

How you can help

Be in prayer for an important training happening next week on social mobilization, counseling and bleach making. Also pray for the vitally safe arrival of the bleach making material from the Ivory Coast over the weekend.

Additionally, there is a need for generous funding. You may give online or mail a check designated Ebola Response #21709-39882 to:

EFCA
901 East 78th Street
Minneapolis, MN.
55420-1300

Learn more here >>