Monday, September 8, 2014
Dear Praying Friends –
I can hardly believe that it was less than a week ago that I wrote you to ask you to pray for Rick because he had contracted Ebola virus disease. You’ve all seen what has happened since then on the national news, so I am not going to fill you in on all of those details. I’m not sure I can get the timeline right myself! This has probably been the longest week of my life.
We have felt the power of all your prayers. I believe that the speed with which Rick was evacuated and his relative strength at the time of his evacuation is the result all that prayer. The trip was tough on him, but each day since then has been a little bit better. I have appreciated all the messages of concern and encouragement and admiration that I have received from hundreds of people in the last week. I hope that by posting on facebook and through this email, in addition to the information that we are releasing publicly, you feel that you know what is happening since I can’t get back to everyone personally.
Max and I arrived in Omaha on Saturday and the Nebraska Medical Center has welcomed us kindly and generously. Our country director from Liberia and his wife, Will and Jenny Elphick, have been with us over the weekend and Dave and Mary Decker will take their place when they leave today. The last two days have been full of meetings with doctors, signing papers, planning a media strategy, a little shopping for things we forgot in our haste to travel, as well as trying to keep family up to date and stay in touch with Jared and Caleb. We are extremely grateful to be a part of SIM in this circumstance—their commitment to their members and to prayer have made us so proud and blessed to be members of this mission.
Rick really did improve over the weekend, but the doctors are cautious because they don’t have a textbook on the clinical course of Ebola, and they are trying experimental treatments for the first time in a human patient with Ebola. They are literally writing the book. We pray that the expansion of their knowledge will contribute to some medical solutions that are viable in Africa, and soon.
I don’t want to make this long, but we do want to continue to use Rick’s story to remind the world of the tragedy that is going on in Liberia and West Africa. Finally, it is getting the attention of the West and some resources are being allocated to support the medical efforts to save lives and stop the epidemic. Pray that the money and supplies will be distributed quickly to the most effective partners in the battle. If anyone asks you where they can make a contribution, direct them to the sim.org website, where clicking the banner will direct them to the contribution page. http://www.sim.org/ebola/
Thanks again for your love, concern, messages and your prayers. God is with us.