I Need you!

ebola kits screen shot

That might seem like a strange blog title, but it is true, I really do need you. This Saturday we will be assembling 250 Ebola Caregiver kits to ship to Sierra Leone. I have partnered with World Vision to help protect the men and women who have courageously chosen to deal with containing this outbreak, as well as helping people through the devastating loss of friends and family.

I really need your help in 3 areas:

1. Funding the cost for 250 kits. The cost is $30.00 per kit. On your phone, text the word “GIVE30” to: 1-855-581-1777 you can donate $30.00 safely and securely.

2. Show up and build some kits. If you are able to come to the gym at Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church this Saturday from 10am to noon with your family and friends, we will have a great time doing something meaningful together! directions All the items will be grouped in stations ready for us to assemble and prepare for shipping. I will have some info at the bottom of this post about what is in the kit.

3. Spread the word. While Ebola is not a daily threat in the U.S, it is still a crisis in West Africa. Help me keep people informed and motivated to make a difference where they can. Feel free to share this blog post as a way to do just that!

When people in the  U.S heard the report of one or two people confirmed to have entered the States carrying the  EBOLA virus, panick ensued. In Western Africa Ebola is still spreading. In fact, there is widespread belief by WHO and CDC officials that the outbreak numbers are much higher than are being reported.

As of December 12th, 2014 there are now more cases of ebola in Sierra Leone than in Liberia or Guinea with total cases just under 18,000 globally. This is particularly alarming as there remain far fewer ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone as compared to Liberia. This graph displays the total ebola treatment centers completed or planned in the three countries. Note the significant lack of centers in Sierra Leone. There are currently 4 centers with just 8 more planned.

ebola treatment centers


What is in the Kit?  Latex gloves, face masks, face shield, protective gown, biohazard waste bag, soap, disinfectant, spray bottle, Acetaminophen, oral rehydration salts, information about disease control, and a handwritten note of encouragement from your congregation

Who determined the contents of the Kit?  Combination of WHO recommendations plus input from WV health experts and World Vision Sierra Leone staff.

Who supplies the products in the Kit?  McKesson, the largest provider of healthcare products in the country, is our supplier.

How will the completed Kits get to Sierra Leone?  Completed Kits will be shipped to Sierra Leone through World Vision’s established supply chain.

In Sierra Leone, World Vision is:
  • Providing personal protective equipment for health professionals
  • Organizing awareness, prevention, and education campaigns
  • Training and coordinating burial teams

World Vision-trained staff in Sierra Leone are organizing massive awareness, prevention, and education campaigns to protect children from the disease through radio and house-to-house information sharing.

The organization is training faith leaders, other influential community authorities, and frontline community health workers to share prevention messages at the community and household levels.

Spiritual leaders, including many pastors, have been central to Ebola prevention efforts. “When so many communities face such terrible suffering, the church must be there to combat fear, stigma, isolation, and hopelessness with both love and tangible support,” said Bruno Col, World Vision communications director in West Africa.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden is now expressing concern over the rising cases in Sierra Leone and the need for quick action by major governments and others. “Speed. That’s key to ending the Ebola epidemic, otherwise, Ebola could become a permanent disease in West Africa. That’s exactly the risk we face now. That Ebola will simmer along, become endemic and be a problem for Africa and the world, for years to come,” Frieden tells NPR. “That is what I fear most.”  The biggest challenge right now is in Sierra Leone, he says, where the epidemic shows no signs of slowing down. New cases continue to rise exponentially. Last week, the country reported nearly 400 cases, or more than three times the number of cases reported by Guinea and Liberia combined. (taken from WV church response update)

World Vision is also helping through education. Working together with faith leaders to help inform people about curtailing the spread of Ebola, and helping in a sanitary and dignified way to bury those who have died from the disease.

Bodies of those who have died from Ebola carry high concentrations of the virus that can spread to others through contact. Family members and friends who follow the local practice of washing and preparing their loved ones’ bodies for burial are at high risk of contracting the disease.

With funding from the British Department for International Development (DFID), World Vision is taking a leadership role in training, equipping, and coordinating burial teams to provide burials for Ebola victims in Sierra Leone that preserve tradition, yet prevent further contamination.

World Vision leads a national consortium of organizations providing safe burials, and coordinates burial teams in six districts. When a death call comes into one of the organization’s call centers, an eight-man team responds. (taken from WV church response update)

Thanks for partnering to make a difference.


Sierra Leone: Safe and dignified burials curb Ebola from World Vision Church on Vimeo.

Ebola Response: Channels of Hope Sierra Leone from World Vision Church on Vimeo.

The Size of Things

Here’s a rough edit of the video that I used in the conversation on Sunday about the “Incarnation” There are a number of good videos that have been created that try to show how small we are as a planet in comparison to all the stars we have found.

So often we do think that we are the center of the universe rather than a part of the over-all macro story of God in the universe(s). For example, take our own star the Sun. It is so big that you could place 960,000 earths inside of it! That is huge, but even our sun is a blip compared to Canis Majoris.

You could fit 7 quadrillion earths inside of the star Canis Majoris, that is so unfathomable. Louie Giglio noted that if earth was the size of a golf ball, 7 quadrillion golf balls will completely cover the entire state of Texas not just once, but up to 22 inches deep! That’s a lot of golf balls, and that puts our infinitesimally small size into focus when compared to Canis Majoris.

This also reminds me of how great, grand, awesome and infinite God is. That there are galaxies and universes that we have not even created the technology to discover yet. But they exist solely because of God’s pleasure. The stars are His,  the worlds are His. Everything we see belongs to Him and was created by Christ.

That is why the Incarnation amazes me. The Incarnation means that God came to our world. But not only that He came as a god on a visit, but incarnation tells us that He “enfleshed” Himself with humanity. Yes He came, but He also be-came one with us. The immortal became mortal so that the mortal could taste immortality  God became human so that humanity could experience God’s indwelling grace.

I’m still amazed that bedraggled and  befuddled humans have received so great a love from our God who is untamable  unfathomable, all-powerful, and all-knowing. Even though He knows us so well, He still chooses to love us, forgive us and empower us to be His hands and feet on this little ol’ planet. Because of that great love, I want to be a planet changer that brings about a God-reality everywhere I go.

Global Day of Prayer for BURMA

Sunday March 11th 2012 is the Global Day of Prayer for Burma. While there has been some positive recent developments, there continues to be great oppression, killing and displacement of the peoples of Burma by its militaristic government. Please download the this years update and pray with me on Sunday March 11th!

click here to download the magazine  DOP 2012 Booklet