It’s been a rough few days. Yesterday afternoon Peter and I decided that we’ll be delaying our trip back to Sierra Leone. It was with heavy hearts that we made that decision. Very heavy. Several things happened within a couple days that just made us really unsure of what was going to happen. One airline stopped flying into Sierra Leone and Liberia started closing some borders with Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is surrounded by Guinea and Liberia and so we started getting concerned that if things continued to escalate, travel would be really difficult.
Originally we were going to extend for a couple weeks just so we could see where things were headed, see if they settled down or escalated. As of this morning, we’re not sure when we’re going to be able to go back. The president has declared a “State of Emergency” for the country which we think is good! This should provide better control and will hopefully stop the spread! We want to go back as soon as possible.
The hardest part about not going back is feeling like we’re abandoning our friends and family back in Salone. “Hey good luck with that Ebola thing! We’ll see you again after it’s nice and safe for our family to come back.” Yuck. During all the years that I was planning on becoming a missionary, I was going to be THAT girl. The one that stayed after everyone else left. I was single (and not looking to mingle) so I was going to be able to do things that people who had families just couldn’t do. I was going to be one of the ones in the space suit. And I loved that idea!
To be honest, there’s a big part of me that still REALLY wants to be over there in one of the space suits, right in the thick of the chaos. Part of this is because yes, I love the adrenaline. That’s why I work in the ER and ICU. But also…..they need help!! SOMEBODY needs to be there taking care of these patients. Somebody needs to take the risk. Sierra Leonean doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are taking incredible risks (as are missionaries) and I want to do our part!! And these are Peter’s people! He’s thousands of miles away from his family during all of this and I can’t imagine what that would feel like. That doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that Peter is the brand new Country Director for our NGO…and what will happen to the NGO? We have a lone missionary there right now and we wanted to go back and support him as well as all the other people working for the NGO. But I’m also concerned for my family!! What could happen to Marie? What could happen to us if we couldn’t get out? So many unknowns and so much to think about.
Peter and I have are from different cultures and had very different experiences growing up. For these reasons we often approach decisions with very different frames of reference. While we have been praying for wisdom and discernment, we have also been praying for unity in our decision. We are both really thankful that as difficult as the decision to stay has been, we both feel a peace about this.
Please pray for the situation in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Pray for those who are still there!! Please, please please pray that this will be resolved quickly!!