Christian missions: First and last in fight against Ebola

Religious persecution happens all over the world, and these days, it’s even at our own front door, America.

The very moral fiber of this country — the values that the free world were built on — are under constant attack on our own soil.

Living your life in God’s image, whomever you believe Him to be — should have a positive effect on the world. Christian missions have been providing aid to countries around the world to deal with health and socioeconomic crises for decades –  they’re willing to step up and help out when others turn a blind eye.

From HIV/AIDS epidemic to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, Christian relief groups like Catholic Charities, SIM USA, Samaritan’s Purse, Medicus Christi —  among others—  have been building and maintaining health centers, clinics, hospitals, patient education campaigns and providing ongoing care to those who need it most. Volunteers for these missions and countless others have been risking their own health and safety because God has called them to use their skills and talents to help others.

The first three Americans to contract Ebola were health workers with Christian missions who credited God’s calling as the reason they were working in Liberia at the time they became infected. In fact, the third patient, Dr. Richard Sacra, an OB-GYN from Massachusetts, said he plans on returning to the country when he is able, because there is still so much work that needs to be done there. Why are we not supporting these people and acknowledging their hard work?

Never passing up the chance to drum up controversy, Ann Coulter, a political commentator and author, called the first American Ebola patient to be brought back to the country for treatment, Dr. Kent Brantly, narcissistic for wanting to help people in the region. She wrote the comments in a post on her website in early August when news of the medical evacuation was released, claiming Christians have no choice but to go on “mission trips to disease-ridden cesspools” because they’re tired of fighting a culture war here in the U.S.

Coulter went on to question why people can’t serve God in America. And while I find her comments to be insensitive, inflammatory and just plain ignorant – I will say this – America isn’t exactly making it easy these days.

In the past year alone, some American schools have purged Christian books from their classrooms while Christian high school students gather medical supplies to send to West Africa; universities have forced the removal of religious symbols from athletes’ uniforms; American students have been punished for saying “God bless you” in school and teachers have omitted God from the Pledge of Allegiance.  The stories are endless. And for what? Since when is it a bad thing to show your faith?

I, for one, am so proud to be a Christian. And I don’t begrudge any American who takes pride in his or her faith, living a life of love and compassion for others.

One thing we can say is that Christians and other religious groups from across the country have been at the forefront fighting the Ebola crisis from early on. I know that it will take the great power of the American government to bring this epidemic in West Africa under control. But let’s not lose sight of who has been there from day one, and who will continue to be there long after Ebola is not the worst crisis facing the region.