Ebola forces Fayetteville church to suspend mission trips to Africa
Posted October 8, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — A Fayetteville church won't send any members on mission trips to Africa until the Ebola outbreak is contained, the pastor said Wednesday.
Village Baptist Church has sent members on humanitarian missions to developing countries around the world. Many of the trips involve countries in east Africa, where no Ebola cases have been reported.
Still, Rev. Bruce Martin said that the church is going to suspend its missions to Africa because of travel concerns.
"The real risk is not the people that you know about. It's the ones that are coming in and out of the country on air travel that we don't know whether they're sick or not," said Dr. Bruce Steffef, a church member who has spent much of his career training surgeons in developing countries for the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons.
One of his proteges, Dr. Jerry Brown, now runs an isolation unit for Eternal Love Winning Africa ministry in Liberia, which is one of the centers of the Ebola outbreak.
"I am in contact with these gentlemen by email, and they are afraid. They need prayers," Steffef said. "We haven't had anything like this on the face of the Earth since the black plague in the 1200s, 1300s, 1400s in which it's so tremendously lethal, and yet you don't know where it's coming from."
Two nurses from Village Baptist are returning Friday from a mission trip to Uganda, but they haven't been exposed to patients with Ebola, officials said.