Montana has its first confirmed case of influenza. The US has had its first case of Ebola. And now a second. A recent poll in our newspaper asked which people were most worried about, flu or Ebola, and the answer was Ebola. Four thousand people have died of Ebola in West Africa thus far. The UN expects it to go to 10,000. We need to be concerned about Ebola, not so much because it is an immediate health treat in our communities, but because God's people are dying, and we can help.
I got a coll from one of our congregations asking: "What is the ELCA doing about Ebola?" Two weeks ago the ELCA sent $100,000 to West Africa to help. Right now the ELCA is raising money to send to West Africa. Lutheran Disaster Response, a ministry of the ELCA, is collecting funds for medical and food assistance for the people in affected areas. Because of quarantine, people are not able to leave their homes, work in the fields, or purchase food. Bishop Jensen Seyenkulo, of the Liberian church says: "There is a saying now: If we don't die of Ebola, we will die of starvation." 100% of funds collected by Lutheran Disaster Response go to the most vulnerable.
There are 2 Lutheran hospitals in Liberia-Phebe Hospital and Curran Hospital. Along with partners and companion churches, we are sending supplies and protective gear to these hospitals, so that they can safely tend to the sick.
If you go to the ELCA web page, www.elca.org ,
Bishop Jessica Crist
Bishop of the Montana Synod of the ELCA