I greet you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thank you for all for the support shown over the past week.
I have been assured that tens of thousands of masks and gloves are in transit to our mission.
Brothers and Sisters, I find myself situated in an apocalyptic End Time scenario of which I would never have imagined could be possible. I am in the midst of the deadliest outbreak of Ebola, so far in human medical history.
Freetown, the bustling capital of Sierra Leone and the location of three of our Mission’s philanthropic, ecclesiastical and educational compounds, is starting to look like a page out of the New Testament’s End Times prophecies:
“..and there shall be pestilences in various places.” (Matthew 24.7).
The impact and fear of Ebola is starting to make Freetown, a usually vibrant though poor urban centre -resemble a ghost town with much of it infrastructure in damage control mode.
Many nurses and doctors have been killed by the virus.
A significant number of hospitals, pharmacies and clinics have shut down and remain empty. A considerable proportion of members of the medical profession are not reporting for duty preferring to stay home out of fear of being contaminated by the virus.
People are afraid to receive medical attention if they have a fever or a sore throat out of an irrational though popular fear that doctors will kill them.
This is not a time for even a minor symptom of malaria or typhoid – due to an anxiety that their ailment could be misinterpreted as Ebola.
Ebola victims themselves run away from clinics or hospitals when diagnosed with Ebola while some Ebola Centres are attacked by violent crowds who want the Centres removed from their neighbourhood.
The official statistics of the rate of infection appears to be far below the actual number. In a real sense this plague is now out of control here and it appears that international assistance and expertise is slow in coming.
Corpses of victims may only be burnt or buried in designated Ebola burial sites.
Public gatherings of people are now forbidden. Cinemas, bars, night clubs, football venues have all shut down. The only places where people may now gather in large numbers are in churches and mosques.
We are facing international isolation. All airline flights out of Freetown have been cancelled. The few flights that may still be available are now worth their weight in gold.
The majority of “expats” and international NGO personnel have flown out already. The popular elite resorts which they frequented in Freetown – restaurants, cafes and Lumley Beach are now almost deserted.
Street vendors have to stop selling by 60.00 PM. Banks must close by 1.00 PM. People are advised to stay indoors at night. Motor bikes are not permitted on the streets after 7.00 PM and cars should not be on the road after 10.00 PM. Freetown is becoming like a ghost town.
The sight of people wearing gloves and chlorine buckets outside those shops that are open is common. And the whiff of chlorine is in the air.
People no longer shake hands or hug for fear of contamination and there is a suspicion about everyone – because the deadly enemy is invisible so anyone you meet or talk – beggar or rich man, street person or professor – could be a carrier.
Entire regional districts of Sierra Leone are now under quarantine with military checkpoints – you cannot go in or out – and there is talk that this type of lockdown will also happen here in Freetown.
Please pray for us and the West African nations that are under siege,