Bible Societies in West Africa met together recently to agree a joint response to the crisis created by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. People in the region are in fear of their lives and many are turning to God.
“People are seeking the comfort of God during this challenging time,” states Robert Iffono from the Bible Society in Guinea-Conakry, “we have more people requesting free Bibles.”
Mr Iffono says the Ebola virus is already having a negative effect on the economies of West African countries including Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. Many businesses have closed or are operating on reduced hours and overseas investors are leaving the region. Bible Societies have seen a sharp decline in Bible sales, but the number of requests for free Bibles has soared in the areas most badly affected by the Ebola virus.
People seem to get closer to God at a time like this and there is need for more of God’s Word.
If funds become available, Bible Societies are hoping to supply Bibles and a selection of Scripture Portions to all the Epidemic Centres treating Ebola virus victims and their families. A spokesperson from the Nigerian Bible Society confirmed that, “people seem to get closer to God at a time like this and there is need for more of God’s Word.”
Bible Societies in the region are already considering the longer-term needs of communities shattered by this current deadly outbreak of disease. They have identified the need to set up trauma healing programs, particularly for orphaned children.
Please pray for all those affected by the Ebola virus and for the Bible Societies’ plans to provide hope and support in the midst of this crisis.