In Ebola’s Hot Zone, Bereaved Says 'We Have Jesus'
MONROVIA, Liberia -- In Liberia, churches are helping fight the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
Volunteers, trained and equipped by CBN's Operation Blessing, are distributing sanitation equipment and delivering much-needed food and supplies to quarantined victims who are cut off from society.
Liberian Pastor Allison Dole is determined to bring hope back to his community and to a country gripped with fear. Spend time with Dole and soon you'll hear the cry of his heart as he prays with Operation Blessing volunteers and together affirm that God is able.
How You Can Help | Give to Operation Blessing
"Let us pray. Father, in the name of Jesus, we want to thank you today," he prays. "I know my God is able to carry me…."
In his visits to nearby communities, he often tells residents, "We've come to share Jesus with you and say that Ebola is real."
On Tuesday morning, Pastor Dole, along with dozens of church members and volunteers from Operation Blessing, visited residents of a small town south of Liberia's capital city, carrying buckets and supplies to chlorinate the water.
Operation Blessing International has come to stand with the Liberian people, affirming the love of Jesus and saying together, they can fight Ebola. The keys to battling this deadly disease are awareness and prevention.
Operation Blessing is in partnership with numerous local churches, especially in the small villages and towns of Liberia. They are distributing buckets with the message, "Stay safe from Ebola!"
Volunteers put a few drops of chlorine in the buckets, fill them with water, and distribute them to residents. "We are giving you a bucket so that as your customers come to eat bread and whatever, they should wash their hands before they are served so keep the virus out," Pastor Dole told a restaurant owner in the village where his church is located.
It's a poor community, he said, and the majority of folks living there cannot afford the basic, yet critical, supplies to fight the pervasive virus. "I'm happy because I got a bucket that will help prevent the disease," a resident told CBN News.
Around the corner from the village, people with Ebola or people suspected to have Ebola are stigmatized by their friends and neighbors. There's so much fear that no one wants to be around them.
Operation Blessing head David Darg and his team of volunteers distribute much-need food to families in quarantine because they're not able to go out and get supplies and no one is brave enough to go near them.
Volunteers carry sacks of rice, oil, flour, sugar, and other supplies. Darg said they can't take the supplies into the house so they leave it on the doorstep. The recipients are so grateful.
"Thank you so much for your generosity! We highly recognize your generosity and really appreciate what you're doing," one grandfather, whose daughter and ex-husband died last week, said.
"You are not alone. We are here with you," Darg told him. "We are never alone," the bereaved grandfather responded. "We have Jesus with us." Keeping a safe distance, CBN News talked to his grandchildren, ages 15 and 6, who were orphaned last week.
"I'm trying not to think about them [my parents]," the teenage son said. "I'm just asking God to give me a successful life through all this hardship."
His 6-year-old sister nods, then looks away, when asked if she misses her mom. This is the sad reality of life in the Ebola hot zone -- an invisible enemy that continues to claim lives and bring untold heartache to thousands of families.
For aid groups like Operation Blessing, it's all about prevention, awareness, and helping those caught in Ebola's deadly strain. CBN News will continue to bring you the latest on Operation Blessing's outreach and daily behind-the-scenes reports on life in the Ebola hot zone on CBNNews.com, Facebook and Twitter.