It didn’t hit me until the students left the classroom to get on their bikes and head home that this might be the last time I see some of them. Many of them will be attempting to evacuate to their home countries this weekend. Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized how much I love these students who drive me crazy at times but make me smile everyday. I also thanked God that I had the opportunity to have a few last days with each one of them reminding them to be strong and courageous because God was with them. Many teachers all over the world did not get that luxury.
I am sure that many of you can relate to the roller coaster of emotions that this last week has been. Noel and I are no strangers to crisis, but this one feel different. First of all, it feels really odd for things to look scarier in the states than where we live. And even though our kids are adults, we feel the distance between us as longer during this time. Lastly, the travel window has closed to head back to the States. We are comfortable with our decision to stay and be a help here, but it can still feel a bit disconcerting. Thankfully we serve a God who knows all things past, future, and present. In this season of unknowns, He can be trusted. Yet I find myself like the father in Mark 9 saying “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief.”
So what does life look like for us here? Precautions such as hand washing, avoiding handshakes, and social distancing were in effect weeks before we had our first case. Soon after the first case, the precautions ramped up with masks in stores, not going out unless necessary, and making sure to have extra food on hand. The people of Liberia remember Ebola and do not want any sickness ravaging the country again. They were very upset that the first case was one of their officials refusing to follow guidelines.
For our team, our projects staff is looking at how to change our programing into education on prevention of the infection and what the symptoms are. They did something similar during Ebola that was successful. Noel will continue to fly people and supplies as needed. I will be on campus and continue to teach the two students I still have. Our roles may change as the weeks go on but for now we are keeping a low profile and doing the next right thing.
We also want to let you know about Samaritan Purse’s work in Italy. They have set up a emergency hospital and are already helping taking care of patients there.
Here is a video link about the work in Italy: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/field-hospital-opens-receives-patients-in-italy/
We are thankful for these fellow workers who are willing to be on the front lines during this time.
We are praying daily for all those who have been affected by this virus. We ask that you would join us in also praying for Liberia. The health system is not set up to handle a lot of patients contracting the virus at once. It is hard for many to do a good job of hand washing when they don’t have running water in their homes. Pray that God will miraculously stop the spread here but also all over the world.
Let us know how we can pray for you during this time. Teresa for the Fouts Family.