“You miss him, don’t you, Mommy?” This is the question my daughter asked as she looked at my phone and saw the wallpaper picture of me and a little boy from Sierra Leone.

“I do. I miss him a lot.”

I think about him a lot these days. I think about how he and his brothers and sisters at the Child Rescue Centre (CRC) have been out of school while the country desperately tries to stop the Ebola virus from spreading in communities. I am thankful that he’s receiving support from Helping Children Worldwide to continue his education at the CRC even if schools are closed. I find myself looking at pictures of the smiling children at the CRC and thanking God that they are healthy. I’m thankful that those responsible for the CRC thought to purchase much of their food in advance, anticipating the economic strain this epidemic would cause.

Had the Ebola virus flared up a few years ago, I wonder if it would have impacted me as much as currently does. Prior to my trip to Sierra Leone this past winter, I did not have the personal connection that I do now to the children of the CRC. They were just names on a page, faces in photographs. My visit changed that. They became real kids that I loved. There was the little girl who lost her tooth, much like my daughter lost her tooth this past week. There were the boys begging to play soccer at every spare moment, much like my sons who are constantly asking to play basketball.

I don’t have an answer to the Ebola crisis. Those that do seem to lack the resources to implement a solution. Many reports predict that the situation will get worse before it gets better. I pray that they are wrong, but I fear that they are not.

I don’t know when life will go back to normal for the children at the CRC, but I am so thankful that they are under the constant care of loving adults who are doing everything possible to keep them safe and healthy. They’ve spent these past several weeks staying on the CRC property, being taught academics and participating in the “School of Champions,” which includes Bible Trivia and weekly athletic events.

Please join me in praying for the people of Sierra Leone and West Africa. Pray for medical workers who are working tirelessly to help stop this epidemic from claiming the lives of more people. Pray for the children and adults in the CRC that they may continue to feel God’s presence in their lives, even during this time.

I am so thankful for the joy that these children bring to the world. They have blessed me so richly. Recently, the younger children of the CRC sang a song with these words: ” Sing, sing, sing; we will sing for the Lord. Dance, dance, dance; we will dance for the Lord. This is a Happy Day! Come join us to sing. This is a Happy Moment! Come join us to celebrate!”

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