Ebola distressing Africans at home and in U.S.

The Ebola crisis continues to take a toll on lives in West Africa but also among many Africans living in America, including some who belong to EPA Conference churches. Bishop Peggy Johnson visited First UMC Bristol Sunday, Nov. 23, specifically to pray with and for the group of Liberians who worship there.

“May God lead the people of Liberia and all those suffering from the disease of Ebola into a new day of healing and peace,” she said in her prayer among 20 Liberian members, including a group of singers and musicians.

“Everyone is sending money home to family members in Liberia because of the shortage of food and supplies there,” said the Rev. James Dolo, an Elder in the United Methodist Liberian Annual Conference and a volunteer assistant at First UMC. “The need is great.”

Meanwhile, the Sierra Leone Conference is still in shock over the death from Ebola last week of Dr. Martin Salia, the chief medical officer and only surgeon at the United Methodist Kissy Hospital. He died after he was airlifted to the United States for treatment, but reportedly, his diagnosis and departure came too late to save his life.

“We are trying to come to terms with the reality of his death,” said Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu. “We never thought we would be losing one of our head doctors to Ebola. He was everything to us.” Yambasu said Salia was one of only a very few surgeons in the country. Learn more from the UM News Service story by Kathy Gilbert.