This is the official release regarding the evacuation of all the missionaries in Sierra Leone and Liberia:
Salt Lake City — August 1, 2014Due
to the outbreak of illness related to the Ebola virus, as a
precautionary measure, all missionaries serving in the African nations
of Sierra Leone and Liberia are in the process of being transferred out
of these countries and reassigned to other missions. Ensuring the health
and safety of our missionaries is our top priority. In recent weeks
measures have been taken to reduce risk to missionaries, including
asking them to remain in their apartments. To date, there are no reports
of illness among the missionaries. Families are being notified as the
missionaries arrive in their new assignments. This is a very challenging
situation for the missionaries, members and citizens of these
countries, and like other organizations, we are taking every practical
step to reduce risk.
Missionaries Serving in Two
African Nations are Reassigned
Missionaries Serving in Two
***Some interesting information is that there are 274 total missionaries in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Of those, 157 are from other African Nations, and 117 are from outside Africa, mostly the United States and Canada. There are 13,078 members of the church and 30 congregations in Sierra Leone with the first approved church meeting in 1988. Liberia has 8,081 members and 22 congregations with the first formal branches starting in the early 1980's.
The news of the evacuation was released on Friday Aug 1 so needless to say it was a bit of a stressful weekend. On Monday morning I opened my email to find some pictures (no message just pics!) from Taylor's camera. About a year ago we sent him a camera with wi fi capabilities that could upload pictures if he was ever near wi fi - he didn't like to plug his sd card into the computers at the internet cafes because of viruses. Apparently he was near wi fi on Monday :)
We still do not have any official confirmation of where he is but because of some of the pictures we can kind of piece together where he might be.
In order to fly out of Sierra Leone you must take a ferry to the airport and some of the pictures are of missionaries in life vests on a ferry so I am guessing that they were on their way to the airport-this is encouraging.
Thank you everyone for you love, support, and prayers on behalf of Taylor, the missionaries, Church leaders and most of all the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia. We will continue to keep you updated when we do! The mission president said it might be several days before we hear from our missionary and with 274 missionaries to transfer I imagine it is quite a daunting task!
|Elder A and Elder Ray|
|Saying Adieu to Elder L|