Bishop Ward describes the unique role of The United Methodist Church in responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. To learn more about the crisis and what you can do visit: Ebola Crisis
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Great Physician.
I received the email just an hour or so ago from my friend, Vicki Morris. Vicki is a physician. Her specialty is infectious diseases. She’s a member of Soapstone United Methodist church in Raleigh, and she is just returned, having spent a couple months working in Liberia, in the Ebola crisis. I give thanks to God that she’s returned home safely.
Her reflections on her work in Liberia include this observation, “I found myself among the most courageous and resilient people I have ever known. Nurses, who could have fled, stayed and worked with the patients.” We give thanks for the mission partnerships that we share in West Africa.
Wrightsville United Methodist church is engaged in a partnership with mission with Rotifunk Hospital in Sierra Leone, and there, along with the entire Harbor district, there is great energy in the refurbishment and preparation of the hospital to expand its ministry in Sierra Leone. The Beacon district is connected with Liberia, and we give thanks for our missionaries in the region, for volunteers in mission who have journeyed to these countries and for medical personnel like Vickie who have given of their talents and resources to be engaged in the crisis with Ebola.
Wherever God’s people suffer in the world, The United Methodist Church is present. There are three important ways to respond in these sorts of moments in our local churches. The first is to pray. Prayer is not the least we can do, but the most we can do. This has been wisely observed and it is absolutely true, so let us pray for Liberia, for Sierra Leone, and for other places in the world in great need. Second, let us learn. Let us learn about the dynamics in these places, learn about the culture, about the people, about our life in mission together, and third, let us give generously through the Advance of The United Methodist Church. Your gifts are making a difference in West Africa, in Gaza, in Sudan, and in many many other places around the world.
Thanks be to God who connects us in ministry with all God’s people.