This information is used by permission of First Fruits. Read more of their interview with SIM president, Bruce Johnson.
When Ebola first came to Liberia, Samaritans Purse and SIM were really the only two NGOs in that country beginning to address the Ebola outbreak. This is the equivalent of two NGOs with garden hoses trying to put out an out-of-control wildfire. We set up the initial care centers for patients of Ebola, we began to broadcast information about it, and so we really were on the frontlines.
Location of Ebola Outbreak provided by SIM
When it was this little tinderbox up there and starting to spread, the world health people noticed it but didn’t really do anything about it. There were just a few of us in the countries trying to do something, and eventually Doctors Without Borders (MSF) started to respond as well. …
But the turning point actually was when two Americans got infected and then a Spanish doctor, and then a German, and then a Brit. And that’s when the world I think kind of took note and said, wow. That was actually the first time Ebola had jumped and had come to different continents. It had always been contained in Africa – just an Africa problem – until it got the world’s attention.
From a human perspective, it’s a wildfire of Ebola, totally out of control, and no sign of abating. I heard one report last week that a village of 100 people had been wiped down to 20 people, and of those 20, 10 tested positive for Ebola. So entire villages are being wiped out. It’s bleak because there isn’t the infrastructure to fight it properly. No beds, no healthcare and so forth on the ground, particularly in Liberia where it’s out of control.
On the hopeful side, is that it has captured international attention, particularly governments and world health authorities, and there have been expressions of a willingness to help. However, there is confusion. No coordinated plan seems to really be in place to make a difference right now on the ground. And so, that’s really the prayer request. … We’re praying that God will bring reason to people that want to respond, and that are able to respond, and a plan will come in such a way that people will stand back and say not that man has done so much, but God will get the glory.