Husband: Ebola Nurse Doing WellPosted by Kim Trobee
David and Nancy Writebol are missionaries to Liberia with Sudan Interior Mission (SIM), where Nancy works as a nurse. She recently contracted Ebola along with Dr. Kent Brantly, a doctor serving there. Both are back in the U.S. receiving treatment. Nancy’s husband, David, is still in Liberia and spoke recently with representatives of SIM.
SIM: What have you been thinking and feeling throughout this ordeal?
DW: It’s surprising the peace and comfort of God through all this. It’s a singular experience to look upon a loved one, especially one that we’ve spent 40 years together – you know we were junior high sweethearts – to see her on the brink of death and knowing there was nothing I could do to prevent that. God provided peace and God continues to provide peace and there have been so many instances of His providence in ways that we’ll spend a long time cataloging and looking at. I’m grateful and happy that she is in a place that enables her to receive the best care possible and that will give her every opportunity to get better and to recover.
SIM: Speak about some of the ways you’ve seen God at work through this.
DW: There were things that we put in our house innocently and unknowingly, yet those things were needed at certain times. I think of a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope that was needed to get Nancy’s blood pressure. I had given those articles to Nancy last year after she finished a two-week medical course just as kind of a graduation present and of course we brought it with us. I’m glad she knew where it was because I had no idea. Little things like that God used and provided and certainly the big things like having such a marvelous medical staff all together here at the same time. I really want to give thanks to God for providing those people, but also more than that to thank them for their contribution. I’m thankful for SIM, for Samaritan’s Purse and for the staff of both organizations that have done so many things both medically, logistically and then also just a matter of personal kindness to me and my family both here in Liberia and there in the United States. Those are precious things, and it just demonstrates to me the way that the body of Christ comes together to show love and God’s love and grace to its own.
SIM: There has been some criticism about Dr. Brantly and Nancy being brought back to the U.S. for treatment. How do you handle that?
DW: I know people are saying, “How could these missionaries be so foolish or worse and put themselves in danger? You know they can take what they deserve, but to put everybody else in danger by going there,” and yet it’s that very calling and that sending that demonstrates the characteristics and the great things Christ has done for humanity. He left Heaven, and he came to a place of woe and suffering and trouble, and he went about doing good, and he did not consider his office or his privilege or his position as something to be held onto. He condescended to come and to give His life as a ransom and not only in doing good, by healing and teaching and also by laying down his life. If our Lord has done that, then we willingly and gladly will do that so that others might hear about Christ. It’s astonishing to see the reaction of people and I think it exposes the underlying philosophy and worldview of the age where each individual is really of no account and when someone goes to extraordinary lengths and measures to minister to and perhaps help an individual, then that’s looked down upon. We’re losing our humanity. We’re losing the idea that human beings are created in the image of God and therefore inherently valuable, inherently worth something. And it’s not just the ones who are in rich countries that have the elite status, that are valuable that deserve some kind of something, there are billions of people that are living in abject poverty and suffering, who have no hope. So when someone does something to step up to reach or to save one of them, they are doing no less than if they are doing something to reach someone who is perhaps in the upper stratus.
SIM: It sounds like you are aware of a greater purpose in all of this.
DW: Part of that is the love and prayers that have been ascending to God’s throne of grace all over the world. It’s just been a humbling experience that God would choose Nancy and I to be on display and to be trophies of His grace and how He works. I’m just so thankful for that and humbled by it. I also want to mention that we have felt so strongly supported by our home church.
SIM: How are you doing personally?
DW: I’m OK. I’m in a small apartment and I seem to spend a lot of time pacing around the floor. I’m in a comfortable situation. I’m feeling just as I always have in these past weeks and days, just an overwhelming sense of peace and God’s grace when I should be totally beside myself and completely out of normal thought. I feel good. I feel like God has just put His hand upon me, filled me with the presence of the Holy Spirit. He’s taken care of me. It’s wonderful to know that I’m not abandoned. God is right here with me. I’m finding just wonderful depth of meaning and expression. I’ve been reading through the Psalms. Each days reading has been food for my soul so I’m having a bit of a feast.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about SIM
Alabama: Silencing Religious Expression Through Courts and LegislaturesPosted by Guest Author
CitizenLink is proud to work with the Alabama Policy Institute and other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state.
by Richard Garrett
Feb. 20, 2014
Within the last couple of weeks, federal judges in three conservative states have ruled that those states’ bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional. These bans were instituted in legislation passed by the Legislature and state constitutional amendments approved overwhelmingly by the voters. Unfortunately, the endgame of homosexual activists is not simply to upend duly enacted laws defining marriage. The ultimate goal of their agenda is to use the force of law to silence sincerely held religious beliefs in opposition to same-sex marriage.
Activists in states that allow gay marriage have been targeting bakeries and photography studios owned by citizens who oppose gay marriage based on deeply-held religious beliefs. (Beliefs, it might be pointed out, that have been held by every religion and the vast majority of people for thousands of years.) Despite being in cities that have dozens, if not hundreds, of other bakers and photographers available, these activists demand that the religious bakers and photographers provide services for their gay weddings. These conflicts are not accidents; they are targets.
Keep in mind that these bakers and photographers are artists. They do not just sell a product off the shelf; they apply their training and talent to produce a unique experience. But the activists are demanding that these people use talent for something they believe is in violation of their religious beliefs. When they refuse, they are dragged before a court or a “Human Rights Council” and ordered to comply. Criminal sanctions and loss of their business license can also be imposed. Most, if not all, of these business owners have given up their businesses instead.
Targeting, intimidation and coercion are the tactics of regimes our nation has fought time and again over its history.
Thus, in a country primarily founded to protect freedom of speech and religion, people are being denied those freedoms and also the freedom to choose a vocation where they can support their families and at the same time honor God. Freedom of religion is our first freedom. Certainly it is a breach of that constitutional right to require a business person to violate deeply held beliefs in order to do business in the public square. In addition, free speech rights and rights under some state’s Religious Freedom Restoration acts are implicated.
Ask yourself why these activists target religious business people instead of going to any of the other dozens or hundreds available. The answer is obvious. They seek to create public examples demonstrating what happens to those who reject the homosexual lifestyle. Civil disagreement and divergent perspectives on controversial issues are hallmarks of a free society. Targeting, intimidation and coercion are the tactics of regimes our nation has fought time and again over its history. The battle to protect basic freedoms never ends and all freedom-loving people must engage or those freedoms will soon be lost.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Alabama Policy Institute.
‘Talking 2 Teens’ About SexPosted by Chad Hills
A new website, “Talking 2 Teens,” discusses how important parents’ influence is on their children’s behavior, particularly regarding sex. The Utah County Health Department developed and launched this commendable site. I would highly recommend that parents utilize this site when approaching the issue of sexuality with their kids.
After reviewing all the tabs and hyperlinks on this site, overall, I was impressed with its useful content. I did notice, however, the Sexually Transmitted Disease section on the site was slightly vague, but used alongside the STD Chart, the information was adequate.
The site’s information on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) lacked the oral cancer link with HPV (from oral sex), which is becoming increasingly prevalent. The actual in-class curriculum likely goes into more detail on STDs, and the site will necessarily be updated as new research arrives.
Click on the “Resources” tab (across the top of the web page), and you can access the Utah Secondary Health Education Core Curriculum. The curriculum teaches high-school teens a series of important issues regarding sex, and it intentionally involves parents as the primary influence in their children’s decision-making skills.
The “Resources” tab also includes other useful ‘helps’ for parents to teach their children about sex, such as:
- Ten Tips for Talking
- Parents, Speak Up!
- Teen Chat Booklet
- Good answers for tough questions
- STD chart
Applause to the Utah County Health Department for helping parents – and including parents – in the education of children about sexuality. Talking 2 Teens is a good website with useful materials presented in an easy-to-use format for parents and teachers, alike (teachers and schools can contact the Utah County Health Department for more details about the secondary school curriculum). Utah County created a quality resource, which has much of what is needed for both parents and schools to educate children about sexual risk avoidance or abstinence.
It’s important to understand that as a public resource for schools in Utah County, this site cannot necessarily incorporate God’s design for sexuality or discuss God’s context for sexual activity within marriage, like Focus on the Family; but, as Christians, these are important components to include. See more in the Dig Deeper section below.
Dig Deeper …
- Sexual Health homepage [CitizenLink.com/Focus on the Family]
- Sex Ed: How Do I Find Out What’s Happening in the Classroom? [ThrivingFamily.com]
- Abstinence Works website – Excellent resource for articles, research, recommended materials …
- National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) – Very helpful policy/advocacy group for schools and parents wanting sexual risk avoidance/abstinence taught in their state and local schools
- Abstinence Works 2013 (abstinence education effectiveness)