The African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration issued a statement that its constituent members—the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention; the National Baptist Convention, USA; the National Baptist Convention of America; the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America; and the Progressive National Baptist Convention—immediately will launch a series of financial and spiritual initiatives to battle the deadly Ebola virus that has ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The coalition was formed in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and has continued to provide disaster recovery, volunteerism and advocacy in partnership with Haitians in Haiti and its diaspora. Now, coalition members are being urged to pray regularly for the West African victims, families, communities and nations hardest hit by the Ebola virus. Participants say they also will encourage their constituent members and churches to support food security and sanitation needs in affected areas. Organizations are being asked to provide special offerings, through the national bodies, designated for the Ebola outbreak during the remainder of 2014 and during the first quarter of 2015.
American Baptists authorize emergency grant for Liberian Baptists. The American Baptist Churches USA approved an emergency grant of $120,000 to provide food and medical supplies to Liberia, the West African nation hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak. The grant, which is on top of $20,000 sent in August, also will fund educational resources on Ebola prevention. The funds, generated from the ABC’s annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering, will be allocated to American Baptist International Ministries partners—the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Baptist World Aid and IMA World Health. A portion of the funds for educational resources will be used by Rick Gutierrez, an International Ministries missionary based in South Africa, to produce an animated Ebola prevention video, similar to one he did earlier on HIV prevention. The video will be translated into several African languages.