Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ebola Casualties.....

I’ve written before about seeing the remnants of Ebola all around us.   The signs, the empty treatment units, etc.  Yesterday I felt the effect in yet another way.  During the peak of the crisis, several people from the States decided to help sponsor some kids who were orphaned by Ebola.  In an effort to keep them out of an orphanage, they were helping support the “foster families” that they were living with.  Yesterday Nicole (a girl from my home church who’s here for a year) and I went to go see how these kiddos were doing.

The first girl we met was 12 years old and was staying with a woman who used to be her neighbor.  We talked to the woman who explained that this little girl used to play with her children.  When the girls’ parents died, the girl was just walking around, didn’t have anywhere to go.  “I didn’t want to her straining, so I invited her to stay with us," she said.  The woman lives in house made from mud bricks.  There is no man in the home to help support she and the kiddos so she sells what she can to try and eek by.  

James is another boy that we met who lost both of his parents to Ebola.  He is an only child and actually had Ebola himself, but survived.  He is currently staying with his aunt and uncle, although the auntie is very sick. She miscarried and after the miscarriage she became very sick.  They eventually took her to a different province because “it wasn’t a hospital sick.”  (This means that they believe the sickness is from some kind of curse or witchcraft).  

Another boy that we went to visit wasn’t in the house because he was out selling cassava that his auntie had grown.  He needed Le5,000 (about $1) to get his report card from school and they didn’t have it.  He is one of seven children that his parents left behind when they both died of Ebola.  His older brothers have stopped going to school in an effort to work to help support the younger siblings.  The kids are all living with different relatives.

I knew the stories. I’ve read all the articles about the orphan crisis and I’ve even seen these kids’ particular photos and heard about their struggles.  But there was something in me that just broke when I came face to face with the devastation that Ebola caused.  Forever.  These kids’ lives are changed. Forever.  Even as I write this, I know that my words will fall short and there’s no way that I can communicate the pain that I saw yesterday.  

I know that pain during this holiday season is not relegated to Sierra Leone.  It's everywhere.  Every year it feels like I see more and more of how broken our world is.  In the same vein, I think this year, more than maybe any other in my life, I am thankful for the hope that we have in Christ.  This life isn't the end.  Thank you God, for Christmas!!

P.S.  If any of you are interested in helping one of these kiddos, we have four more in homes that are struggling to feed all the mouths.  If you'd be interested in making a one year commitment of $25 a month, we'd love to hear from you!  This money will help with school fees, food, and some other necessities.  You can FB message me or e-mail at   Thanks!

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