SIM USA, the Charlotte-based mission organization, announced Sunday that some of its missionary staff based in Liberia will be returning to Charlotte. Because the returning staff worked with or around patients infected with the Ebola virus, SIM USA is working closely with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health and the Mecklenburg County Health Department to prepare for their arrival and stay. For precautionary measures, state and local public health officials are requiring a period of quarantine for the staff and other people who were exposed to Ebola and are returning to North Carolina within 21 days after their last exposure. The release says no returning SIM USA staff member is sick or has symptoms of Ebola infection. The measures being taken are preventative, and public health officials say there is no cause for concern at this time. They also say that out of concern for the privacy of the returning missionaries and their families, details of their arrival and stay are being withheld at this time.Bruce Johnson, president, SIM USA said SIM USA has been working closely with international, national, state and local public health officials since this most recent outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa began. And he said, We will continue to cooperate and collaborate with them and adhere strictly to their guidelines in the return of our missionaries to the United States.
The latest statement from Dr. Kent Brantly, the Samaritans Purse doctor with Ebola who is being treated at Emory University Hospital came Friday, in which he said, "I am writing this update from my isolation room at Emory University Hospital, where the doctors and nurses are providing the very best care possible. I am growing stronger every day, and I thank God for His mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease. I also want to extend my deep and sincere thanks to all of you who have been praying for my recovery as well as for Nancy and for the people of Liberia and West Africa. "My wife Amber and I, along with our two children, did not move to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola. We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to serve Him at ELWA Hospital.
"One thing I have learned is that following God often leads us to unexpected places. When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients. I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror firsthand, and I can still remember every face and name.
- Written by Steve Frank