Ebola Affects Worship Service

Pastor Oulai, Praise Director over West Africa A word about Ebola from Pastor Joseph Oulai, Praise Director of West Africa:
On TV they said that one person had died in Biankouma, a town after Man, due to Ebola. [Editor’s Note: Man is the name of a large town near Dakoupleu, where Joseph and his family live. It is a region where Praise International sponsors many national pastors.] The person who died of Ebola was entering Cote d’Ivoire from Guinea, but the disease was contained.
In Cote d’Ivoire, it is a pressure of fear for some people. However, for most Christians, they are leaning on Psalms 91 “A thousand May Fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes.” This faith animates many Christian and they feel confident.
Here in Abidjan, there is more fear than harm. God is watching over us. The only thing affected, is the decline in personal greetings and hugging.
In Guinea, it’s worse. Any encounter with people is difficult. Even at the worship services on Sunday, the Guinean believers feel threatened because they are afraid of contamination.
Nevertheless, God has a solution. He is our only hope.

Ebola Started with 2-Year-Old in Guinee

Praise International’s ministry to national pastors and their family is focused in West Africa. The doctors/researchers recently discovered where this Ebola Outbreak started. It began with a little 2 year old boy in Guinee. It was then transmitted to his family.  Most of his family died of Ebola. At the funeral of the grandmother, the Ebola virus was transmitted to those who were at the funeral and consequently to the whole world. The Ebola virus is ravaging West Africa, wanting to push its way into neighboring countries, and even into neighboring continents.

I find it so sad that it all started with an innocent little 2-yr old. I won’t enter the debate of whether it was a demonic attack on a child. However, I can’t help but think of the vulnerability of a child, who so often becomes the innocent victim. It’s sad to think that this destructive, blood-thirsty disease began by attacking a family, the most important unit in the world. God created the family and He loves the family and yet … so many families suffer and are ravaged by the all forms of evil behaviors, which yes, seem to be contagious.

I think about the pastors that our ministry supports in West Africa, their families and their congregations.  Of course, I think about all the families in these countries touched by this murderous outbreak.

Please pray for all of them.  Pray for the safety of those brave souls, the health workers, who are risking their lives to keep victims alive and to contain the virus. I read another article about missionaries who felt led to go to this region to bring grace, mercy, love, peace and healing to people in need.

The below article is from the Medical Daily.

As of Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) had on record 1,825 cases of the Ebola virus, with mortality rates of up to 60 percent. With the virus spreading so rapidly, many people have started to wonder where it started. It seems they may now have an answer. A report published in The New England Journal of Medicine links the emergence of the deadly virus to a 2-year-old child who died from the virus in the town of Guéckédou in southern Guinea in December 2013.

If the 2-year-old child, who had symptoms like fever, black stool, and vomiting before dying four days later, is indeed patient zero, then it would make sense why the region bordering Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia are the most affected by the virus. According to the NY Daily News, the virus spread from the child to his mother, grandmother, and 3-year-old sister, all of whom died soon after. It was at the grandmother’s funeral where the virus was able to spread to the rest of the world — a result of most funerals taking place in the person’s home, with little safety precautions, and lots of contact with the dead body.

Since then, the virus has spread throughout West Africa, and has affected people in the U.S. and Spain as well. Doctors Without Borders were part of the initial efforts to trace the disease to its origin after it was alerted, along with the Ministry of Health of New Guinea, about “clusters of a mysterious disease characterized by fever, severe diarrhea, vomiting, and an apparent high fatality rate,” the report’s authors wrote. Through blood tests, hospital documents, and interviews, the organizations were able to pinpoint patient zero.

“We suppose that the first case was infected following contact with bats,” said co-author Sylvain Baize, who studied the virus in Guinea, according to the Daily News. “Maybe, but we are not sure.”

If the virus was transmitted from a bat, then it would most likely be due to cooking the bat for human consumption improperly — bats and other animals are often caught in the wild for eating. From there the virus spreads to humans, and from humans, it spreads through contact with bodily fluids. These fluids include saliva, blood, feces, and urine from a person who’s infected. Soon after, an infected person will begin experiencing fever and other aforementioned symptoms, as the virus attacks the immune system’s T cells. Unfortunately, most people end up experiencing what’s known as the “cytokine storm,” which is the last, and deadliest, stage of the infection, causing internal and external bleeding as blood vessels explode and organs are destroyed.

There is no cure for Ebola, however, there is promising treatment, as seen by the experimental use of a drug on two infected Americans. But with limited supplies on the drug, it will take months to regain control of the virus. “What is difficult in this situation is that we are dealing with countries with weak health systems,” said Dr. Keiji Kukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general of health security, according to Reuters. “And we are dealing with areas in which practices like good infection prevention and control practices are not the norm in some hospitals and in families and communities.”