Three West Africa countries have been ravished by an outbreak of the Ebola virus; Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history has been blamed for 729 deaths in actually four West African countries this year… 339 in Guinea, 233 in Sierra Leone, 156 in Liberia and one in Nigeria. The numbers tragically continue to grow and Christian workers and institutions are not exempt from the disease’s impact. Recent reports by the World Health Organization say almost half of the 57 new deaths reported occurred in Liberia. Also in Liberia, authorities say 28 out of the 45 health workers who have contracted the disease so far have died. In Sierra Leone, among the deaths was that of the chief doctor treating Ebola, Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan.
A friend of mine, Larry Brown, teaches at the African Bible College in Malawi, fortunately far from the center of the breakout. He sent me a notice he just got from Paul Chinchen, president of African Bible College [Liberia / Malawi / Uganda].
“Due to the Ebola crisis in Liberia, Sierra Leone & Guinea, African Bible Colleges has made the decision to postpone the fall opening of ABC University in Yekepa, Liberia.
At present our Liberian faculty and staff at the campus in Yekepa are at low risk. The ABC University is 200 miles from the Ebola outbreaks in Monrovia and Lofa County. Meanwhile the 6 American and Canadian missionary staff who were scheduled to be at the college this fall are all stateside for the summer.
The Ebola crisis in West Africa is the worst in history. More people have died than in all other Ebola outbreaks combined. The U.S Government has withdrawn all of its Peace Corps staff from the region, SIM is evacuating 60 missionaries from the three countries — as have Samaritans Purse and COTN. Meanwhile the President of Sierra Leone (where some of our ABC students come from) has closed all schools and government offices. In Liberia the President has stopped all public gatherings, closed all land border crossings, and at least three airlines have stopped flights to Monrovia, including Delta Airlines.
Please be in diligent prayer for the two missionaries who contracted Ebola at the SIM/ELWA Hospital in Monrovia – (our ABC Monrovia Guest House is located on the same SIM compound). Both Dr Kent Brantly (Samaritans Purse) & Nancy Writebol (SIM) were working with Ebola patients when they became ill. They are at a very critical stage right now and your prayers are urgently needed.
ABC will make the decision when to reopen the campus in Yekepa when the Ebola crisis is under control. Meanwhile our mission has started work on literature that will be printed, translated and distributed by our ABC staff in Liberia that will educate local people on the virus, and how to prevent or control future outbreaks.”
Fox News reported (online, 7/31) about the workers that ABC President Chinchen mentions, and the seriousness of the Ebola disease.
Two gravely ill American medical workers in Liberia who were infected with the Ebola virus are said to be in stable condition as the humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse works to bring them back to the U.S. for treatment.
Dr. Kent Brantly, the second American stricken by the disease, yesterday was offered an experimental serum but only one dose was provided. “Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol,” a nurse working with him who also infected, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse said in a press release. “However, Dr. Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly’s care. The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor that saved his life.”
Samaritan’s Purse is working with the government to bring Brantly and Writebol back to the U.S. for treatment. Graham told Fox News that all agreements are in place and that he hopes they will be on a specially-equipped aircraft back home in a few days. He also noted that the plane will likely have to make a stop for refueling.
With regards to the experimental serum and blood treatment administered to two American patients, Frieden said the CDC does not know the details of what was given. The CDC have not found any evidence that any treatments are effective against Ebola.
“There are no proven treatments, no proven vaccines and there is not likely to be one for at least a year, even in the best case scenario,” he said.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is worsening and is the largest known in history and it will take at least 3-6 months, if everything goes well, to manage the outbreak, Frieden noted.
“It’s not going to be quick, it’s not going to be easy, but we know what to do,” he said. “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
African Bible College In Liberia Has Seen Tough Times Before…
The first African Bible College campus was opened in 1978 in the West African country of Liberia by Jack and Nell Chinchen. In December of 1989, the civil war began in Liberia. The Liberian Civil War claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians (one out of every 17 people in the country) and sent a million refugees into camps in neighboring countries. And then in 1999 the Second Liberian Civil War broke out which further disrupted the operation of ABS.
ABC Liberia managed to stay open on and off during the early years of the war, but in 1992 the college was forced to close down completely for the next 16 years. In November of 2008, after two years of clearing brush and complete renovation of staff houses, dormitories, classrooms, offices and dining hall, the college was once again up and running.
…And The College Carries-On the Good Fight
The chief aim of African Bible College is to train Godly men and women for Christian leadership and service. The curriculum is designed to prepare the college’s graduates for Christian vocation. The degree is designed to be either terminal or preparatory for further education. Students are being trained for Christian leadership; consequently, the college desires students who are committed to God’s guidance and dedicated to the Lord’s service. ABC is distinctively a Bible college, and its courses are designed to hold to the highest academic standards. Its four-year program is of university standard, and the degree offered is parallel to the Bachelor of Arts degree awarded by other international universities and liberal arts colleges.
ABS is training Christian leaders that take their training to the world where they live. Today African Bible Colleges has nearly 800 graduates serving in a wide spectrum of Christian ministry from program production at TransWorld Radio, orphan care with Children of the Nations, leadership positions at Campus Crusade (Life Ministries), and HIV ministries with World Relief, to planting churches in the former communist stronghold of Mozambique. These are only a few of the places ABC graduates are making an impact and they are proving to be a key component in the evangelization and transformation of Africa.
1. Pray for the people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia that are affected by Ebola either personally or by family members.
2. Pray that African Bible College will be able to re-open soon so they can continue their work of preparing students.
3. Pray that Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol will survive their sickness and live-on to continue their mission in Africa.
4. Pray that God will show His glory during this season of suffering in West Africa.