Saturday, August 16, 2014
EBOLA SHOULD BE DISCUSSED IN THE CHURCH!
Dearly Beloved, EBOLA SHOULD BE DISCUSSED IN THE CHURCH! “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 2 NIV). Since the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in some parts of Africa and its dramatic entrance into Nigeria about a month ago, many facts, rumours, and even jokes have emerged about the epidemic. One of my friends on Facebook recently posted this message on his wall: “IF YOU GO TO CHURCH TODAY AND THE MESSAGE CENTERS ON EBOLA... KNOW IT FOR SURE THAT THATS ONE DEAD CHURCH EXISTING AS A NEWS/CURRENT AFFAIR CENTER!” I totally disagreed with it instantly and commented on the post to express my disagreement. Interestingly, most of the people that commented on the post also disagreed with it. A fundamental question is raise here: should current affairs in general and the issue of Ebola in particular be discussed in the church? This may be controversial, but I am of the opinion that the church should not be indifferent to prevailing issues in the society. In fact, the church should be actively involved in what is going on in the society because the church is in the society, though it may not be of the society. The church should be a platform to inform its members about prevailing issues in the society. This information should include enlightenment, warnings, advice, suggestions, observations, comments, and the likes on the prevailing issues. If the church is not ready to do this, then, we should be ready for misinformation that will eventually mislead church members. The Bible says, “...my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge...” (Hosea 4:6 NIV). On the issue of Ebola virus disease (EVD), the church should rise up to enlighten its members about the possible causes of the disease, how to prevent them, the symptoms of the disease, and how to handle people that have been infected by the disease. Undoubtedly, there are many promises in the Bible against pestilence. Nonetheless, people should be enlightened not to take these promises for granted by not being precautious of possible causes of Ebola and all other diseases, and try as much as possible to prevent their infection. There is power in the blood of Jesus to heal one from any illness or disease, but, the church must not become healing centres while hospitals and other medical centres are neglected. Pastors and other spiritual leaders should not turn themselves overnight to healers of Ebola or any disease. It is the will of God that every church member should enjoy good health (see 3 John 2; Psalm 20:1-5; 91:10; Philippians 2:4, 27; Deuteronomy 7:15; Exodus 23:25; Isaiah 33:24). Therefore, Ebola should be adequately discussed in the church. In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Points: 1. Pray that as you take precautions, God will protect you from being infected with Ebola virus disease and other diseases. 2. Pray for divine healing for people that have been infected with the virus. 3. Pray that God will provide a sure cure for this disease. 4. Pray that our governments and other health institutions will expedite actions to control the spread of this deadly disease. NB To put this message into practice, let me briefly give some facts about Ebola virus disease (EVD): The disease is also known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever or simply Ebola virus. It kills up to 90% of people who are infected. It is a rare but deadly virus that causes bleeding inside and outside the body. As the virus spreads through the body, it damages the immune system and organs. Ultimately, it causes levels of blood-clotting cells to drop. This leads to severe, uncontrollable bleeding. How to get Ebola: Ebola is not as contagious as more common viruses like colds, influenza, or measles. It spreads to people by contact with the skin or bodily fluids of an infected animal, like a monkey, chimp, or fruit bat. It then moves from person to person the same way. Those who care for a sick person or bury someone who has died from the disease often get it. Other ways to get Ebola include touching contaminated needles or surfaces. You cannot get Ebola from air, water, or food. A person who has Ebola but has no symptoms cannot spread the disease, either. Symptoms of Ebola: Ebola can feel early like the flu or other illnesses. Symptoms show up 2 to 21 days after infection and usually include: high fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, weakness, stomach pain, lack of appetite. As the disease gets worse, it causes bleeding inside the body, as well as from the eyes, ears, and nose. Some people will vomit or cough up blood, have bloody diarrhoea, and get a rash. How it is diagnosed: Sometimes it is hard to tell if a person has Ebola from the symptoms alone. Doctors may test to rule out other diseases like cholera or malaria. Tests of blood and tissues also can diagnose Ebola. If you have Ebola, you will be isolated from the public immediately to prevent the spread. Please create awareness, not panic, about Ebola! (You can know more about this disease through the Internet.)