July 30, 2014
Dear Prayer Partners
As many of you are aware from the national news, the Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia and in the West African region has been getting worse and affecting more people.
I have been wanting to send out an update for the last couple of days, but the situation keeps changing so fast that it has been hard to settle down and put something into a cohesive letter. For those of you who are on Facebook, Debbie or I have been posting some more frequent updates about the situation in Liberia there, so it would be good to follow along there if you are praying and want more details.
The key points to be aware of now are these:
The Ebola virus has increased in severity in Liberia. ELWA Hospital, in cooperation with Samaritan's Purse, has been running an isolation unit there caring for patients affected by Ebola. However, over the weekend two of our missionaries tested positive for the virus and now are undergoing treatment for the disease. Their names are Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol.
Ebola is a virus which is spread only by people who are sick-those who are not ill cannot spread the disease. It is spread by direct contact with a sick individual or with bodily fluids. It carries a high mortality rate, often in the 50-90% range. There is no specific treatment-only IV fluids and other supportive measures while waiting for the person's immune system to respond.
I had been planning to make a trip later in August to ELWA to help there for a few weeks. I am praying now and consulting with our SIM leadership about the timing of my trip. Please pray for us as a family as we are asking the Lord to lead and guide.
*Please pray for Kent and Nancy, for their recovery, and that the Lord would draw near to them.
*Please pray for the team in Liberia, both missionaries and Liberians who are caring for many of the sick, as they are getting tired out and of course are experiencing fear themselves.
*Pray that good information about Ebola will be distributed and understood, so that precautions can be taken and so that the current epidemic can come to an end.
*Pray that Debbie and I would receive guidance from the Lord about my going to Liberia.
By prayer, Rick and Debbie Sacra