Wilimena Gbayou’s life changed completely last year when Ebola arrived in her country, Liberia. One by one, as people in her community started dying, she began taking children orphaned by the virus into her house.
There are now more than 100 orphans living in Wilimena’s house, which has now become the Taffy Dollor Children’s Welfare Centre. And more are arriving all the time as health and community workers bring her children from across the country. She receives no government funding, relying completely on donations. But by December she was desperate, not having received anything for five months.
She was delighted when the Bible Society, which had heard about her work, arrived at the home just before Christmas, bringing rice, clothes, shoes and Children’s Bibles.
“I know that God sent you,” she told them.
More than 3,500 people have died from Ebola in Liberia – the worst affected country – leaving behind around 3,000 orphans. The Bible Society has been reaching out to thousands of Ebola patients and their families, as well as to the bereaved, offering them practical and spiritual help.
Donwon Dahn and his daughters, Blessing, 3, and Nuwon, 7, are the only survivors in their family. His wife and other three children died, along with many others in their community. He told the Bible Society that the food and other gifts would help him to take care of his daughters.
“So many other children lost both their parents so I am thankful that God saved me to take care of these little ones,” he said. “I am now mother and father to them.”
18-year-old Victoria Shariff, a student, lost both her parents and all her siblings to Ebola. She contracted the virus, too, but survived. She received Scriptures, clothes and food from the Bible Society just before Christmas.
“I know that God saved me for a reason,” she said. “I want to serve him and do his work. I’m so grateful for the food and clothes but I’m especially thankful for the Bible you’ve given me.”
Please pray as the Bible Society continues to provide relief and Scripture materials for thousands of people affected by the Ebola outbreak, including patients, orphans, health workers and the bereaved.