Liberia (MNN) — Stopping Ebola in Liberia will determine the fate of West Africa, health officials say. Liberia holds the region’s most Ebola-related deaths and infections, and is struggling to keep people within quarantine zones.
Midweek, riots followed the announcement that a slum in the nation’s capital was now an “Ebola quarantine” zone. Stopping Ebola from spreading further will be difficult. Dozens of patients fled into the area last weekend following an attack on a government health clinic. Contaminated bedding and materials were also stolen by slum residents.
Mark Gaither of Global Aid Network, or GAIN USA, says God’s timing had them ready to respond when the Ebola crisis began in March 2014.
“We had a container that was already getting ready to be shipped [to Liberia],” shares Gaither. “When the crisis broke out, we reconfigured that container…to make room for medical supplies and medicine, and seeds.”
Ebola and seeds
At first glance, seeds don’t seem like they have much to do with stopping Ebola. But that’s not their purpose, Gaither says.
“When people get sick, they’re not able to continue subsistence farming,” he explains. Agriculture is a major food source in Liberia, and with no one tending crops, a food shortage can quickly develop.
“We ship a variety pack of heirloom seeds, non-GMO, that you can [use to] replenish and restart your growing process.”
Ebola and the Gospel
GAIN USA’s ministry partners began establishing relationships in Liberia long ago. As they respond to the current Ebola crisis, people get a new perspective on their message about God’s love.
“When you go in and you are distributing aid, you’re demonstrating grace. And, grace has this wonderful way of clearing the air and breaking down prejudices…because you see love demonstrated in action,” Gaither explains.
You can support their efforts here. Also, please continue to pray for the situation, and pray for those who are stopping Ebola from spreading further.
“When you go and you proclaim the Gospel to people who are in need, it’s very difficult for them to hear the Good News without first seeing it,” he notes. “We have lots of opportunities, all around the world…that are safe to go to, but are in very desperate need.”