LANCASTER – A group of concerned local residents directly affected by the Ebola epidemic gathered recently at Lancaster United Methodist Church and organized the Antelope Valley Ebola Response Team. They’re inviting the entire community to join the effort to collect needed supplies to ship to West Africa.
The team includes Sierra Leone natives Josepheus Weeks and Desmond John. Both men were directly affected when the wife of their hometown pastor died last month in Sierra Leone, after contracting Ebola from a patient who was not suspected of having the disease. (Read more on that here.) The men also know of other friends and neighbors in Sierra Leone who have been deeply affected by the epidemic.
The Antelope Valley residents have connected with a Southern California network comprised of people from Sierra Leone, Liberia and other West African nations who are all working to gather supplies and ship them to West Africa.
The supplies needed include:
- Disposable gloves,
- Medical Face Masks,
- Hand Sanitizer,
- Bleach, and
- Clorox pills.
Additionally, funds are being collected and sent through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), a world-wide charity known to deliver 100% of donations to the people who need it most. (Read more that organization here).
Local prayer service set for Ebola victims
Lancaster United Methodist Church will hold a Prayer Service for Ebola victims worldwide at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 12, at the church, located at 918 West Avenue J in Lancaster. Attendees are encouraged to bring needed supplies to the prayer service for dedication, blessing and shipment. Following the prayer service will be a discussion about further activities in the Antelope Valley.
“This is a serious health crisis that is ravaging the people and families of West Africa. However, we must be careful not to panic, become hysterical or lose our perspective on this,” stated Rev. Terry Van Hook of Lancaster United Methodist Church. “We have met and controlled previous epidemics of Polio, Influenza, HIV/AIDS, Measles and Small Pox. Let us stand with our brothers and sisters in Africa and defeat this as well. Everyone can help.”
For more information on the Antelope Valley Ebola Response Team, contact Lancaster United Methodist Church at 661-717-0149 or visit http://www.lancasterunited.org/Ebolacrisis.
For detailed information on the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/Ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa.