October 21, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After much prayerful deliberation, leaders of the U.S. Christian and Missionary Alliance (The Alliance) made the difficult decision to temporarily withdraw all personnel from Guinea, West Africa, for several months to better assess long-term implications regarding staff location and ministry. This decision was reached based on the following realities regarding the rapid spread of the Ebola virus:
- Frequent contact with citizens in Conakry, where the majority of Alliance workers in Guinea serve, continues to place these workers at an elevated risk of exposure to the contagion. Although no team members have been in direct bodily contact with known Ebola victims, the public nature of Alliance ministries in Guinea will pose a growing threat of exposure to these workers based on World Health Organization projections for the escalation of the infection rate.
- Growing concerns about the potential spread of Ebola in the United States place greater scrutiny on U.S. citizens in West Africa and their return to the United States. It is likely that our workers will face stringent contagion screening upon return.
- The Canadian government recently advised its citizens leave Guinea based on the rising level of risk of Ebola exposure in Conakry. The Canadian Alliance responded by withdrawing all personnel from the country.
“Because our values are rooted in service during such crises, it is with heavy hearts that our team is planning this move,” writes Tim Crouch, U.S. Alliance vice president for International Ministries. “We are working in earnest with the national church in Guinea to ensure that the withdrawal is executed in a way that provides for ongoing service through national channels and promising bridges for return of staff. In the meantime, however, the risks continue to grow, and we must operate in a way that minimizes the threat to our workers and serves the best interest of U.S. health and security.”
The Alliance in the United States comprises more than 2,000 churches, mobilized to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20) by living out the fullness of Jesus Christ in personal experience and building His Church worldwide. Seven hundred U.S.-based Alliance workers serve in 70 countries.
Rev. David Lauffer, Assistant Vice President,
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