Ebola and Orphans

Whatever the crisis – from civil war to famine to natural disaster – it is often children who bear the brunt.  Tragedies break with special ferocity upon orphans and other children who live without the protection of family…while also often creating scores of newly-orphaned children.  This appears to be the case yet again as Ebola spreads across West Africa and beyond.

A Breitbart Report today describes:

The World Health Organization (WHO) updated their Ebola death toll to over 3,000 people this week, leaving scores of children parentless. Unfortunately, due to the stigma from Ebola, the children face a dim future. Children who return to their communities might be fed by neighbors or taken in by other family members, but many are avoided in their most desperate hour.

“Thousands of children are living through the deaths of their mother, father, or family members from Ebola,” said Unicef’s Manuel Fontaine. “These children urgently need special attention and support; yet many of them feel unwanted and even abandoned. Orphans are usually taken in by a member of the extended family, but in some communities, the fear surrounding Ebola is becoming stronger than family ties.”

This is most certainly a matter for great prayer, especially as the activities of many ministries, nonprofits and government agencies that have long served in the region have been forced to withdraw.

Pray for the one institution that remains in many areas —  the local church — as well as other brave souls who continue to serve.  May God give them great charity and great clarity amidst great hazard in discerning how best to serve those impacted…especially the current and newly-created orphans who have no one else to stand for them.

Photo from Breitbart.com