Word of the Week

Why We Must Care: Ebola

What does it mean to be in global community?

It's a question I've asked myself a lot lately.

In August, I made my third trip to Africa in the last two years. I will go again by the end of the year. The Addis Abba, Ethiopia airport feels as homey to me as the Chicago or Atlanta one does now.

Over the course of all of the traveling, the people I've met along the way have stayed close to my thoughts long pass my departure time. They've become friends.

I've become vested in their wellbeing and theirs in mine.

I've prayed for those with sick grandmothers. I've celebrated with dear ones over babies born. And I've taken joy in the life updates that come from all of the online programs that help us stay in touch these days. It's the beautiful part of what global community is about. (And I'm so thankful to Feed the Children for giving me this experience!)

And, so lately I've been wondering specifically about the Ebola outbreak. Though it has only affected those who live in the West African region and I frequently travel to the East-- still I've watched the coverage (and lack their of) with vested interest too. I want my friends and friends of friends to be ok too.

Last week, I wrote an op ed that was carried by the Associated Baptist Press. I thought readers here might be interested in it too. Ebola, if we say that we are part of the global family of faith-- we can't ignore it:

Early in August, I traveled with a Feed the Children delegation to Kenya to visit school feeding programs and a Nairobi orphanage, as I now do about twice a year. Part of my morning routine while there and for most Kenyans is reading a national newspaper. The headlines contained a single story: Ebola, the ruthless and deathly virus is infecting thousands in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

I’m sure such a headline would have not made it into my newsfeed at the time if I had not been in Kenya. Though a contagious disease, it was still an African problem. Why would Americans be asked to care? Read the rest of the article here.

And join me in supporting organizations that are on the ground now doing something about it!

Check out Direct Relief, Doctors without Boarders, and IMA World Health.