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West Africa confronting rapidly expanding Ebola epidemic
Adventist News Network (ANN)
September 26, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | ANN staff
Seventh-day Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson issued the following statement today:
On behalf of the leadership and membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in its 13 world divisions, and indeed the more than 18 million members in 215 countries, I would like to express my deep concern for the people in West Africa who are living under the threat of the Ebola virus—particularly in the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal and Nigeria.
I am urgently imploring all Seventh-day Adventists around this globe to make Sabbath, October 11, 2014 a special Day of Prayer for our brothers and sisters in West Africa and for the entire population in that region as they face this virtually unprecedented tragedy. Let us pray that God will put a halt to the spread of this virulent virus.
Having had the wonderful privilege of living and serving in West Africa with my wife and family for nine years, our hearts go out to the families of the more than 2,800 people who have already died from the epidemic. After news from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which projects that by January cases could number between 550,000 to as high as 1.4 million, coupled with a 71 percent fatality rate according to the World Health Organization, we are devastated by the potential of this outbreak to destroy lives.
I especially want the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide and specifically the church members of the West-Central Africa Division to know that we who serve at the Church headquarters are praying for you, and we are joined by a global family of hope in God’s power to save.
There are many initiatives that are taking place on the part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its entities to assist in this extremely challenging crisis in West Africa. You will see or hear about these through ANN, Adventist Review, Adventist World, Hope Channel, Adventist World Radio and elsewhere.
On Thursday, September 25, 2014, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency hosted a prayer event in the Atrium of the General Conference building and were joined by many others via Google Hangout.
On October 1, 2014, the General Conference Ministerial Association will launch a global prayer campaign for those impacted by the Ebola virus. People around the world are expressing their support via social media through the hashtag #UnitedinPrayer.
On October 11, during 2014 Annual Council, there will be a live connection between the many world leaders who will meet at the General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Pastor James Golay, the president of the West African Union in Monrovia, Liberia. He will be staying in Liberia with our church members to encourage and support them during this very traumatic time instead of attending the Annual Council but will be connected electronically with the meetings. He will share with the world leadership a first-hand report about the critical situation in his territory of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia where we have 33,000 Seventh-day Adventists. After the report from Pastor Golay there will be a special prayer emphasis for those living facing this devastating situation.
Please remember the special Day of Prayer on Sabbath, October 11, 2014, for West Africa as the population confronts the rapidly expanding Ebola challenge.
In all of this we want those in West Africa to know that, not only during the Sabbath prayer emphasis, but day-by-day, hour-by-hour, the people affected by this crisis will be lifted up in prayer to our Creator, Savior and Master Physician. Let us earnestly pray for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit and the proclamation of the three angels’ messages, which will point people to Christ’s soon coming when illness, diseases, the Ebola virus, fear and death will be conquered through God’s almighty power to save for eternity. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
With kind Christian regards and sincerely yours,
Ted N. C. Wilson
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists