A closer look at the latest numbers of Ebola cases in W Africa – Pray, Give & Act

October 10, 2014

Note: the graph below is my own work, based on the data in the WHO Ebola situation reports.  It shows cumulative reported cases of Ebola in each West African country, and in total, since the outbreak began in March 2014.

***

I’ve been looking tonight at the latest WHO report on Ebola in West Africa (October 10, 2014), and I took the time to update my spreadsheet where I’ve been tracking the cumulative number of cases each week.  The data is just scary.

  • In Liberia:  2000 new cases in the past 4 weeks
  • In Sierra Leone:  2000 new cases in 6 weeks, (but they’re now on pace for 2000 cases in the next 27 days if current case rates continue.)
  • It took 4 1/2 months (from beginning of March to mid-July) to reach 1000 total cases.
  • It then took only a month for the number of cases to double to 2000. (mid August)
  • Another month, another doubling.  4000 cases by mid-September.
  • And now, as we near mid-October, the cases have doubled again:  now over 8000 *REPORTED* cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Please note that word *REPORTED* because reporting systems in some areas are unable to keep up with the number of cases.  Liberia in fact has reported a sharp decline in number of new cases in the past 2 – 3 weeks.  But according to the officials from the CDC, with the exception of one district (Lofa) where that decline may be real, the decreased numbers probably only are due to inability to trace and document all the cases.  So, in actuality, the number of total cases is much higher than the reported numbers.  And the reported numbers are utterly DIRE as the graph below shows.

 

Ebola data 10 Oct 2014

At this point, three prayer requests seem critical:

1) A vaccine.  Without one, I can’t imagine this disease can be contained now.

2) Effective medicines and treatments that will dramatically decrease the mortality rate of Ebola.

3) PROTECTION, GRACE, WISDOM and STRENGTH for all who are fighting Ebola:

  • Those who are sick, fighting for their lives.
  • Those in the affected communities, fighting for their families, their livlihoods, their future,
  • the healthcare workers, fighting to save patients,
  • the government, NGO, and military  leaders fighting to get resources where needed
  • the scientists and researchers fighting to find a vaccine and a cure
  • AND the intercessors, fighting this battle on their knees in prayer, crying out to God for mercy

 

Lord, we look to You.  You are our only hope.  You alone can rescue.  Come in our hour of need and save us from this peril.  In Jesus mighty name.   Amen.

***

I urge you all to not only PRAY, but to GIVE and ACT as well.  The New York Times published a good list of charities on the frontlines of the battle against Ebola.  From personal experience, I have a lot of confidence in the work of Doctors Without Borders (aka MSF) [note, not an explicitly Christian NGO], and Samaritans Purse.

 

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Luke, Micah, and Proverbs

October 10, 2014

Now it came to pass, afterward, that he went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities–Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for him from their substance. (Luke 8:1-3)
      Jesus, come through our communities. Raise up more women who will minister to you. Raise up vocations for the Sisters of St. Mary.

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to him from every city, he spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 8:4-
      Lord Jesus, please help me to sow seeds that will produce a rich harvest. Whatever it takes, help me go out into the harvest fields that you have prepared for me to walk in.

But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)
      Holy Spirit, help me to have a noble and good heart, keep your word in my heart, and help me bear fruit with patience.

For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. (Micah 4:5)
      Help me to walke in your name, LORD, forever and ever.

The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
      Lord, help me to be righteous.

WORD: Look to me for blessing.
WORD: Keep coming into my presence and I will bless you.

Daily Lectionary
Friday: 140, 142 * 141, 143:1-11(12); Micah 3:9-4:5: Acts 24:24-25:12: Luke 8:1-15
Saturday: 137:1-6(7-9), 144 * 104; Micah 5:1-4,10-15: Acts 25:13-27: Luke 8:16-25

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Please pray for the ill and the dying caused by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and elsewhere. It is decimating whole communities. Pray for wisdom and compassion for the governments of the world as they confront this epidemic.

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, October 9, 2014, 5:10 – 6:10 p.m.. Torre Bissell from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Ted (volunteer in his 80s) — We prayed for him, for his granddaughter Camille, and for my wife Jean.

Dan (staff) — His kids are doing OK. We prayed for blessing on the whole family.

+ 199 Danny (32) and Tanya (29) — I asked Danny if he had ever given his life to Jesus. He said, “No. That would be a big step.” I challenged him to take it, which he did. He confessed his sins to Jesus and accepted the cleansing of forgiveness. I asked the two of them if they had ever prayed together before and they said, “Once.” They prayed silently together there at the table. I urged them to pray about getting married (they are in a “relationship”).

Gary (staff) — We prayed that his son Chris and his girlfriend Suzy will come to Christ and get married. We also prayed for Gary’s niece Jessica who was arrested for heroin possession.

+ 199 Christian (volunteer) — This teenager made a first-time commitment to Jesus.

Albany Intercessor


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