Deadly Ebola Virus in Africa May Impact Local Church Mission Team

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By Ellis Eskew

 The Ebola virus in West Africa is making national headlines. Experts say it has become the deadliest virus to date... Killing  672 people.
This virus is impacting some here in Montgomery who may have to cancel a mission trip because of this.


Charlotte Robertson, a member at Frazer United Methodist Church,  is getting ready to lead a team of six on a mission trip to Kenya. They are supposed to leave in three weeks.
It will be her second time in 2 years to go to the East Africa country to minister to orphans at an orphanage there.

"We will be doing Vacation Bible School. We'll be doing crafts. But mainly hanging out with them. This is a ministry that we support financially and trying to get to know the kids better," said Robertson.

Robertson says there has been an outpouring of donations in supplies and clothes for the children.
But with the news this week of the Ebola virus spreading, killing more people, their trip is now in question.

"Ebola is very serious. From all of our little bit we are trying to learn about it, it's a different level of concern," said Robertson.

The center of the Ebola outbreak has been in West Africa, and Kenya is on the other side of the continent.
While health officials are trying to stop the spreading of the deadly disease, there is still a chance it could impact the group. 
Butch McPherson, Director of Missions at Frazer, says the church has taken mission trips to the remotest parts of the world. But safety is one of the main priorities.

"When we see that it is extremely difficult for our teams, we have pulled back, we try not to, but if it's going to put our lives in danger or others lives in danger we typically do not go," said McPherson.

So for now, they are monitoring the situation and praying they will be able to go forward with their mission trip.

"We're not afraid and not scared and freaking out right now. We're just trying to be wise and keep an eye on things," said Robertson.

 

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Susan Liang said on Friday, Aug 1 at 8:11 PM

Please read Richard Preston's The Hot Zone for a description of the death from Zaire Ebola of Charles Martel. The virus liquefies the victim's body while ambulator, and the body is often dripping. Further there is vpmiting & in final stages shearing of the intestinal track and ejection from the body w/copious amts of blood After death the corpse liquefies. See experts mentioned in the book No one is asking them about this. They had hands on experience. Pics online are not assuring.You have health workers spraying patients checked with hoses, making virus particles potentially airbourne. According to Dr Nancy Jaax it only takes a few bits of virus to infect. 2 ml of body fluids contain millions of filoviruses. Further there is so much improper burials of vics in West Africa.see the book for proper burial practices A perfect storm. Hong Kong has already instituted quarantine procedures for incominh flights.

Will said on Thursday, Jul 31 at 10:45 AM

I have a suggestion for the church. Why don't you spend your time "hanging out" with kids here in your own back yard? I've never quite understood why it's necessary to go thousands of miles away to "minister" to kids when you have plenty here in the United States that could use the help.

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