Ebola Good News in Sierra Leone!
But ‘please continue to pray for us’
We reported at the end of 2014 on the Ebola crisis in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone. This was to help the Langham family pray with insight, especially for the pastors who are part of our preaching networks there. They are often at the frontline of caring for the afflicted in the villages.
On 5 January, Christo Jonah, the Langham Preaching Coordinator for Sierra Leone wrote:
‘It is difficult to describe the mood here; certainly there is frustration, resignation and anger. The radio programmes are quite revealing. Most callers are tired and want to resume their normal lives. The combination of hardship and restrictions is quite difficult to cope with.
‘There is hope … The figures for new infections are reducing … We do hope that this is the beginning of the end.
Then on 23 January he wrote again, this time with more good news!
‘It is with gratitude to God that I write to inform you about the significant drop in new infections in Sierra Leone. For the first time in eight months we are having single-digit figures some of the days … We want to thank you all for praying for us and helping us to respond to this epidemic … When it was very difficult some of you wrote to encourage us. Those letters of encouragement meant a lot to us.
‘We praise God for this.
But, Christo continues, many challenges must now be faced:
‘We are not there yet. Please continue to pray for us.
‘We do hope to wrap up our relief by the middle of February. In April we will visit all the leaders and pastors to evaluate, plan and encourage them to persevere.
‘Our post-Ebola recovery will be very challenging as every sector was affected.
‘For example, if schools reopen at the end of March there will be only three months remaining in the current school year – many schools were used as holding- and treatment centres.
‘Many people have lost their jobs – two main mines made redundant most of their staff.
‘Most people have not tended their farms for several months. This is very serious, in the rural areas where people depend on produce from their farms to survive.
‘We have more than 1200 schoolgirls who have become pregnant during this time …
He acknowledges that only God’s mercy can help them through this recovery.
Please pray, very particularly:
- that we will not be complacent as restrictions are lifted
- for God’s continuing mercy on Sierra Leone
- for God’s wisdom for our leaders to know the way forward
- that the church will be relevant at this crucial time
- for God’s guidance how to proceed with Langham Preaching training
by Langham Preaching