URGENT EBOLA APPEAL
REPORT ON LIBERIA EBOLA OUTBREAK
Liberia Country Director / Serve The Children
August 2, 2014
Friends of Serve The Children,
I am writing with an update on the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Ebola hemorrhagic fever has infected more than 1,300 people and killed 729 of them in the current West African outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
We bless the Lord that we have not received any death reports from any of our schools.
We took a trip to the 15 Gate School this past Wednesday to check on our campuses, and all is well. We wanted to go to Civil Compound School, but our van could not. We had a breakdown. And it was raining heavily.
Our administration at the Sinkor School in Monrovia is working hard during this time. Today we were on our Sinkor campus cleaning the entire building with bleach and other stuff to help prevent the virus.
The Ebola outbreak is very serious here. Lots of cases have been reported.
I want to ask the administration to help me take a trip to all of our campuses to have an awareness program.
All of our staff are doing well. We are in day-to-day contact with most of our staff. We have suspended classes for now. Some of our kids come on campus every day, but we are telling them to wait.
Please keep praying for all of us, especially for Louise, our school nurse. She has been really busy helping at the ELWA hospital taking care of people infected with the virus. She was asked by ELWA to take a 21-day rest from work. I also told her to take the 21 days off from work at our schools. She is very, very much afraid.
The cost of living in Liberia has climbed up very hard because of the outbreak. Many business people have raised the prices of commodities here in Liberia. Life is getting more hard on the people. A bucket we once bought for less than USD$3 has now climbed up to USD$15 to $20. This bucket is the one many people are buying to use for washing hands. The smallest size of hand sanitizer is now sold for USD$2. This is very bad. The price of rice, our staple food, has climbed up, making things very difficult for the poor.
I will keep you informed as things unfold.
Liberia Country Director
Serve The Children
As the deadly Ebola outbreak continues to grip West Africa (826 confirmed deaths as of July 30), we are thankful that none of our staff or students have contracted the disease. Nevertheless Ebola's impact is being felt. Prices of essential sanitation items have skyrocketed, creating hardship and making important, basic precautions more difficult. Can you help? Please donate today to help provide these critical items.
JOIN OUR COLOR RUN FOR KIDS!
Reflections On The
Liberia Mission Trip
Serve The Children volunteers who travel to India or Liberia are motivated to serve the children and staff we support in those countries. But more likely than not, they return home feeling as if they are the true beneficiaries.
Did you miss your opportunity to grab a stylish T at the auction? Don't worry ... you can still order them here! Our unique chicken-themed T-Shirts help support the chicken farm at the Ankoor Children's Home & School in India ... an important part of our goal to make this haven for children self-supporting.
Now you can update your look and
feel good doing it.
Wear Chicken Wear!
The Ankoor Children's Home & School in India is an oasis of love and learning for children like Rebecca. In this short interview with "Mommy" translating, Rebecca tells the story of how her life was forever changed when she was brought to Ankoor.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Are You My Person?
This October I traveled to India with Doug Collier, Josh Collier, Julie York, Ari and Jessica Chamberlin and was later joined by John Keay. This was my second trip to India this year. Previously, Julie and I had visited friends from nursing school for a wedding. Both of us left India with the same favorite memory: leaving the chaos of the city to visit our friends' house and drink chai on the roof with them. Our busy trip to Kolkata was enjoyed, but we both desired to return to a smaller setting.
I thrive on getting to know the stories of others. There is deep encouragement in hearing about the grace of God in others' lives. Our return trip allowed me just what I desired.
If you have ever spoken with anyone who has been to the Ankoor Children's Home, you have heard about Nalini. She retired recently from nursing in hospital settings that make my brain explode. Julie and I listened in awe as she told us about caring for 70 surgical patients at a time. I cannot comprehend this since my maximum patient load is 5. Interesting how God prepares us for what is ahead. Mommy (Nalini) uses her many life skills at Ankoor. Not only can she treat medical issues, but she is highly organized and effective. The children know what tasks they are to do and are quick to come when she calls. I was amazed by the discipline of the children and all of the things they can accomplish.
One day, Mommy had tears in her eyes while telling me of her frustrations. Children are human beings and no matter how disciplined, they are still broken, just like the rest of us. She fights constantly for the children's best interest. The kids are not always obedient and this is what brought Mommy's tears that day.
I agreed that it must be frustrating to work so hard and at times see no results. She began crying harder. She said, "No, no..." and then spoke of how precious the children are to herI was stunned into silence as I listened to her stories of the children. Eventually not just Mommy but also Julie and I were crying. Mommy finds enormous grace for these children specifically because she knows their stories. She still experiences frustration, just as God does, but never gives up. God shared His heart with Mommy and Daddy. What a beautiful illustration of His feelings toward us.
Teaching isn't exactly "my thing". I'm a nurse, so I function better on a one-to-one level. I pondered what I could teach these kids and I realized that I needed to do what I loved when I was little: crafts. My suitcase looked like a multicolored, neon chicken had exploded in it.
One day, Julie and I brought out the embroidery floss to make friendship bracelets. Most of the younger kids were doing homework or chores, so just Priti, Roshan and Tejas were with us. Tejas is an absolute master of friendship bracelets and needed basically no instruction, however Roshan was different.
I spent over an hour with Roshan going over the same concepts of keeping the threads in order 1, 2, 3, 4. There was absolutely no comprehension of this concept. I was raised in a family that pokes fun at everything and holds almost nothing as off-limits. Fortunately, Roshan and I are of the same kind. Eventually he and I were both laughing at this massive friendship bracelet failure.
The next day Mommy was telling us more stories about the children. If you ever experience this, you are now warned that you should prepare in advance to hear them. They are heart-breaking. She told us about Priti and Roshan and how they came to live at Ankoor. I was having difficulty imagining this bright and hilarious boy six years ago, begging for money on the street with only an eight-year-old sister to protect both of them. Apparently it took over a year for him to adjust to this new life. He was shy and had no friends. Now he is mischievous, bright and always with friends.
Yes, I observed God's grace on this trip. I heard the dark stories of the children's past and I know what they have been rescued out of. God not only showed me His grace on this trip, but His sense of fun, play, and joy.
Our team taught English (with an emphasis on phonics) as our "serious" purpose. I know we all enjoyed any time we got to see the kids, but we especially liked free time. The girls play a game called Laguri which was a little too intense for me, but the rest of the team were fierce competitors. The kids love having attention. It was so joyful to be included in their play.
One of the last days, we handed out cards and gifts from the sponsors. That day, Yash was sick, so Julie and I helped him make a sock puppet. He was called away to receive his card and gifts. He came back beaming and showed us his family. He read me the card and then proceeded to show everyone his prized possession.
That night at dinner, one of the boys in his class came up to me and said, "Are you my person?" I had no idea what he was talking about, but after further investigation and some help from some other boys, I understood.
He had seen Yash's card and wanted to know who his "family" was. After I determined that this kid had no sponsor, I decided, yes, I would be his person. Sponsorship is an amazing thing. I wonder what it feels like to know that someone exists on the other side of the world who cares about you and prays for you. You would want to tell everyone how you are loved, just like Yash did. How powerful.
Love is transformative and I am grateful that God uses broken people to communicate His love.
War has an appetite for children. As it devours lives and innocence, the distinction between victim and perpetrator can become confused and blurred.
Serve the Children was founded during the Liberian Civil War to help children like Tom -- child combatants and those at risk of becoming combatants.
Here, Tom generously shares the story of his journey through Liberia's civil war, and his subsequent search for peace.
Tom's journey is not finished, but his story is a reminder that God's grace is powerful and redeeming.
Join a mission team to Liberia or India!
Teams to Liberia travel every June.
Teams to India travel every August and October.
More details and an application can be found
in Mission Trip Resources below.
Or, just drop us a line!
In Liberia, $25 / month provides an education, medical care, counseling, school uniforms and a P.E. t-shirt. In India, $25/month provides a safe and loving home for a child, three nutritious meals each day, an education and clothing.
But did you know that the relationship you create by sponsoring a child changes the child in a fundamental way? Read here about research that shows how the very act of sponsorship raises a child's self esteem and has a profound impact on their outlook.
They explain this with the Hope Hypothesis!
Want to change the world? Sponsor a child! You'll receive a sponsorship packet by mail, and the opportunity to correspond and exchange small gifts with your child.
If you like the idea of radically changing a child's life and having an impact for generations, contact us now using the form below. Let us know if you prefer a boy or a girl child!
Come With Us!
The mission of Serve the Children is to improve the future of children by meeting their educational, emotional, and physical needs in a Biblically-based environment. We currently provide assistance to children in the West African country of Liberia and in central India.
In Liberia, we offer tuition-free education, medical care and counseling for children impacted by war and poverty. We are known in Liberia as the All God’s Children school system, with three schools and 1,400 students.
In India, we partner with Hosanna Ministries to operate the Ankoor Children’s Home and the Gnyan Sampada Residential School--a loving, secure boarding home and school.
Serve the Children is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in the State of Washington in 1997 and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
Zac Barnes, Vice President
Sara Sandefur, Treasurer
Amanda Carlson, Secretary
Kyle Bristow, Board Member
Joshua Carlson, Board Member
Dr Jeni Gregory, Board Member
Karen Toy, Board Member
Martha Berg, Administrative Assistant
Sackie Kwalalon, Liberia Country Director
Kiron Gaikwad, India Country Director
Dr Doug Collier, CPA, President
Mission Trip Resources
Serve The Children, 4423 Point Fosdick Drive, NW Suite 202, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 | TEL: 253.851.1794 FAX: 253.851.3997