Δευτέρα, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2015

Ebola scare at the Holy Orthodox Mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone, when mission worker passes away

Moses Babin 
Moses Babin

By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST and ASSIST News Service

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE (ANS) – There has been a major scare at the Holy Orthodox Mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone, when Moses Babin, who worked as a driver with Fr. Themi Adams, the former Australian rock star-turned-missionary who now runs the Mission, passed away.
Because Ebola has already claimed the lives of 2977 people in the West African nation, the staff at the mission wondered at first if Moses may have become yet another victim of the terrible virus.
But now, a contact has told the ASSIST News Service, "It is now understood that he died, not of Ebola, but of pneumonia.  However, nearly every sickness here is a death sentence because of the fear of Ebola."
Moses, who was also the personal driver for other staff members, including Mary Adams and Eleni McDermott, had been on leave for a month and had not interacted with Fr. Themi for that time, and so his untimely death came as a shock to the staff who, along with Fr. Themi, are courageously battling the Ebola virus.
A spokesperson for the Holy Orthodox Mission said, "He was, and his family still is, one of the poor that God has given us charge over; for whatever we did for (him) one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Jesus, we did for Jesus." (Matt 25:40)
Eleni McDermott, an Australian who is also Head of Department and Senior Lecturer at the Orthodox Christian College of West Africa, said that Moses was "far from perfect," but he "loved his family and felt the responsibility to provide for them."
She continued: "He dreamed of moving his wife and 3 children out of their little one bedroom rental, into their own 2 bedroom with a parlor home.  [He was] a man that showed such humility and appreciation when you gave him eggs to take home to his wife or a text book for one of his children.
"[He was also] a man that stubbornly refused to give permission to his wife to continue trading in the market for fear she would get Ebola. A man that never stopped telling me what a good son he had or admiring his daughter's love for learning, 'she is so clever Ms. Eleni.... and you know she was baptized and has your name too'.
"A man that openly cried when accusations related to his character were spitted at him in a confrontation. A man that was an excellent time keeper, always punctual and with a polite morning greeting for me and whoever else was in my office. A man who would bounce into work on Friday's, knowing I had breakfast in the college kitchen waiting for him. It was nothing special, just some bread and spread but he always got boyishly excited about it.
"And finally, a man I caught sitting at the back of the church head bowed in reverence, after a particular conversation we had. Yes there was so much more to this man."
She added, "I'm not sure of all the details leading to his death. Moses recently became sick and Fr. Themi gave him money for treatment. He was hospitalized a few days ago but like so many that arrive there – he never came out.
"In the meantime, health authorities wasted no time in burying him. Ebola or not- a hole was dug and he was put in the ground. No time to arrange a burial service, perhaps not even time for a grave site prayer. No 'goodbye Moses'.
"Whilst I take comfort in the fact that Rev. Fr. Themi will give him a memorial service as soon as possible, I feel we have been deprived (like so many Ebola victims and loved ones) the opportunity to honor him and pay our respects with a funeral.
"This afternoon, I am thinking about how Fr. Themi did not give up on Moses. He continued to give him a salary even when I left and he was no longer needed as a driver. Time and time again Fr. Themi forgave him for his transgressions despite popular opinion that he should be told leave the mission. Perhaps in his wisdom Fr. Themi was giving Moses chances to redeem himself.
"From my experience, every time Moses did the wrong thing, I watched him struggle with denial. But then a kind word or a deed of good to another in the days that followed, showed me that he, (like all of us) was a work in progress. After all, do we not all fall and get back up again, in the struggle to become better human beings? I believe in my heart those times of forgiveness gave Moses the opportunity to become a better man and gave time, for God's grace and mercy to intervene.
"I remember Moses' catch phrase whenever I asked him to drive me somewhere, deliver something or simply stay close by in case needed .... 'I am here for you Ms. Eleni anything you need.'"
She concluded, "Moses, I will not forget your friendship and your loyalty. I will not forget your promise to be there when needed and I hope I can do the same for your children, who I know will struggle now to get an education.
"I believe in the hope of life everlasting for you Moses, in a place where there is no pain or sorrow or grieving. May your memory be eternal and you rest in peace and in the knowledge that you were loved and will be missed so much by so many."
Note: Themi, now a Greek Orthodox Priest, was a member of Australian rock group, The Flies, and once shared the stage with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, but after a dramatic conversion, became a missionary to West Africa, and is now facing the greatest challenge of his life - Ebola -- which is sweeping his adopted country and causing panic, death and destruction. Despite the great danger to himself, he refuses to leave his post and is continuing his battle against the virus.
January 11, 2015

http://www.assistnews.net/index.php/component/k2/item/77-ebola-scare-at-the-holy-orthodox-mission-in-freetown-sierra-leone-when-mission-worker-passes-away

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