The Ebola crisis, affecting thousands in several countries in Africa, may be more widespread than reported, an Africa church leader reported on Wednesday in Cleveland, Tennessee. He requested prayer for the virus’ containment and “healing” for the continent.
Bishop Stephen Masilela, who serves as one of seven general presbyters in the Church of God of Prophecy, shared in a special chapel service at the denomination’s International Offices in Cleveland, Tennessee, on Wednesday morning. The Church currently has more than 350,000 members throughout Africa.
Masilela, who oversees the continent and is in town visiting from his home in Swaziland, said the crisis is affecting more than has been reported.
“My heart is heavy as I read about the situation with Ebola,” he said. “It looks like nobody knows what we are dealing with. Nobody can understand this pandemic. There’s thousands of deaths, more than the 1,500 that they are estimating, because some of the families are hiding these kinds of deaths and nobody knows about it.”
Masilela said that the Church currently has mission efforts or established churches in all of the affected areas, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Senegal, which is a new mission nation.
“We have church work in all these nations that have been affected,” he said. “Just this morning, I heard that Senegal has been affected. We have four members of our family in Sierra Leone that have been affected and Liberia, Guinea, it’s an epidemic. Nobody knows how big the scale is of this pandemic now, but the figures that are on the ground are scary.”
Masilela shared prayer points with the group and the Church of God of Prophecy around the globe for the following areas:
- Families and Churches—Pray for the people being affected in these areas.
- Medical Breakthrough—Pray for those fighting the virus to receive the resources and wisdom to eradicate it.
- Containment—Open borders in Africa have made it difficult to contain the virus.
- Divine Breakthrough—“We pray that the Lord will bring us breakthrough so that this thing can be solved once and for all, so that we can arrest it on the ground.”
In the midst of the crisis, Masilela said there is still hope.
“There is hope,” he said. “The Bible says if God’s people who are called by My name will repent and pray, I will hear from heaven and heal their land. So my request is our family, our church family, to bombard heaven with prayer. I have hope that things can turn around.”