|The first Liberian Ebola survivor with Dr Lance Plyler of Samaritans Purse
(Who I had the pleasure of listening to on the #EndEbola panel at the recent #AYASummit I attended)
I'm sat on a comfy leather sofa in my warm and dry house in a beautiful rural setting in East Sussex and there are tears rolling down my cheeks. I find myself in this position very often now and I can't seem to stop it. I am affected by what I see on my TV and read on my computer.
The reason for the tears tonight is that I'm watching the BBC news and seeing how Sierra Leone is coping with the Ebola crisis over there. When you hear the President say he is hopeful for containment of the spread of the disease rather than confident and you watch as a group of 30 or so school children are asked to raise their hand if they have been orphaned and practically all of them raise their hand. You pray that they misunderstood and really that tragedy has not happened but deep-down you know this is what is happening. The outbreak in Kigbal is severe and about 10% of this villages population has died already in the last few days.
It would be so easy for me to do what I did for years and years, probably 30 or more years and that was to hide. Switch over the channel, choose not to read anything too depressing and perhaps even spout a crap statement like 'we have our own problems in Britain, charity starts at home'. I do feel ashamed now of my severe lack of compassion and action to help others in my younger years but I refuse to let it effect me now as I'm different.
Nowadays I just want to do something, I don't know what, I've not been given that sign yet but I feel sure there is something ahead, something big that I am destined for. Not for my glory or so I can feel good and say I helped but because it is part of God's plan for my life and I feel I am being trained up for whatever it is I must tackle in the future.
For now I'll keep doing what I can and no, it doesn't feel enough, of course it doesn't but it is better than nothing and you'll know by now that I completely believe in the power of many coming together and forging a synergy to exert change.
Here is what we can all do -
1. Add our voice to campaigning organisations like ONE and lobby our parliamentary leaders to make sure they pledge the right amount of help to fight Ebola. The world leaders meet at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia on 15th and 16th November and we need to ensure they act appropriately.
2, Donate to the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committes) Ebola appeal. You can give as little as you like. I easily did a £5 donation as part of a paypal payment yesterday and whilst I do not have money to give away, I'm happy to go without a couple of coffees.
3. Consider giving to charities that have been working in the main suffering countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) for quite some time and are working with local people and medical professionals to better equip the community to deal with this terrible disease. Charities like Samaritans Purse, Doctors without Borders or Catholic Relief Services.
4. Share information considerately. Check sources before you retweet or share on FB, please do not fuel Fearbola. There is so much wrong information out there and one of the best ways of keeping this disease in check is by Joe Public being well informed and scare free.
5. Pray for those affected by Ebola and those working with the patients. Also please pray for those living and working in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea who have no been infected but are sadly being affected by problem with commerce, agriculture and trade.
Thank you friends for joining with me and saying enough is enough, we will not stick our heads in the sand. We will listen and learn and it does make a difference that we care. Who knows when your post or tweet might tug the heart strings of someone who has serious cash they can donate or a doctor who feels compelled to help the cause. We will never know the full impact of our actions or prayers, we just have to trust and walk in faith.
Be blessed, Mich x
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