As concerns and fear about the Ebola epidemic continue to increase I feel compelled to address here some of the harsh realities of this epidemic and to invite each of us to respond as individuals and church communities as we are able. As many of you already know Rhode Island has one of the biggest Liberian communities in the US; that community, our partners in Global Ministries, and Dr. Fine of the RI Dept. of Health are keeping us informed about the increasing urgency of the situation in Western Africa. The CDC’s projections are mind boggling! Dr. Michael Fine has confirmed that the forecast now suggests 1.4 million people infected with Ebola in West Africa by January 2015 (now considered a conservative prediction) with 700,000+ deaths. By February, there may well be 2.8 million cases and 1.4 million deaths. The hope is (according to Dr. Fine) that if the epidemic doesn't spread to other countries, it should burn itself out… In the meantime the aim is to stop the epidemic and prevent its spread to other countries – both miracles that we need to pray for. In addition to prayer we are aware of the following opportunities for response:
1. Rhode Island Council of Churches is serving as the fiduciary agent for collecting and distributing monies to aid the Ebola crisis in Africa. Collections from individuals and congregations during the second and third Sundays in October are encouraged. These moneys will go directly to the Generations for Christ Mission Church in Sinkor, Liberia (a suburb of Monrovia) so food in quantity can be purchased and centrally distributed through churches. Financial donations can be sent to: Rhode Island State Council of Churches 100 Niantic Avenue Providence, RI 02920
2. EbolaBeGone is a R.I. grassroots nonprofit organization of more than 25 Liberian Youth volunteers who are responding by collecting and sending supplies directly to sites in Liberia. Their final shipments will be Oct.15 and Oct. 30, 2014. See detailed information about products to collect and collection sites below in this newsletter. Donations to purchase an ambulance are also welcome - Make checks payable to: Christ Center of Praise Church (CCPC) 93 Prudence Ave. Providence, R.I. 02905 (memo: EbolaBeGone)
3. Current information and updates are being posted on the Global Ministries site regularly with additional suggestions for donations: http://globalministries.org/news/africa/update-on-ebola-outbreak-in.html Please continue to hold this situation and all those impacted in our prayers. Let us each do what we can to respond to this urgent situation. As people of faith we trust that we can make a difference!
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