With the current Ebola outbreak at various places in the world, many people have expressed concern about the fact that my son Jordan and I are going to Africa on Wednesday. I know people mean well, and love us very much. I appreciate that. I don't get angry when people express their concern to me, although I do get perplexed at times.
Even before the current Ebola outbreak, there were people pleading with me to stay home from Africa for various reasons. I have traveled there alone, this being my fourth time -- and I've heard concern about everything from a plane crash to a terrorist attack. So you can imagine, with the Ebola outbreak in a few countries, people have gone into overdrive expressing their fears, begging me to reconsider this trip and stay home. Yesterday alone, I heard it from at least 15 people.
I do not mean any of this in a condescending way. I am trying to educate because by the way others speak to me about this in such fear, I realize they do not know the truth. Or if they do, they have momentarily placed all reason aside.
Africa is not a country.
Africa is a continent.
Three of the United States would fit inside the continent of Africa.
There are 54 countries within the continent of Africa.
I am going to the country of Kenya.
As of today, there are no reported cases or outbreaks of Ebola in Kenya.
However it's interesting that there are several in the United States!
I am actually closer to Ebola by being in the United States, than in going to Africa.
Please let that sink in for a moment...
All of you precious ones who are worried about Jordan and me, wringing your hands and pleading that we stay home. We are more in danger in Florida than we are in Kenya! (At least when it comes to Ebola.)
People hear the word "Africa" and assume it's all the same no matter what country is being referenced.
Earlier this week, it kinda took the cake when someone told me they were going to stay away from me for a while when I return from Kenya, just to make sure they don't catch Ebola. And they were not joking.
Whaaaaaaaat?????? [Shaking my head.]
Please take a look at this "Ebola map." The countries indicated are those with Ebola outbreaks. The rest of the countries have no cases at this time. I am going to east Africa. As you can see, the Ebola outbreaks are to the west.
This is not to diminish the horrible plight of those countries and people including our own in the USA who are experiencing an Ebola outbreak. My prayers are with them.
I also realize that people can be at risk on flights. However, this can happen anywhere, including the USA, as was evidenced recently, when a plane full of people traveled with someone who had Ebola, from Dallas to Cleveland. Yet I don't hear a lot of people gasping in horror at people taking flights within the United States. It seems as if Africa is getting a bad rap here. And really, anything is a risk. I am taking a risk this morning as I get in my car and drive on 75 South to work. If we avoided all risk whatsoever we would become hermits, have no life and miss the destiny on our lives.
I ask that your prayers go with Jordan and me as we go to Africa. Pray for safe travel and that many lives be changed and touched. But please, don't feel the need to spend any more time pleading with God (or with us) that we don't catch Ebola. Truly we needed the prayers to be protected from Ebola much more while still here in the United States.
If you have been one of those people worried about us, please let your heart be comforted and your mind at ease.
I am not afraid of catching Ebola in Kenya because first of the geographic reasons explained, but also because God called Jordan and me to go on this trip, and He is going with us.
Thank you for loving us so much. We love you all.