Ebola: Crisis of Nations and Hope from the IWU Community

The Community of Indiana Wesleyan University shows support and care through prayer and contributions. The call for support has been championed by The Wesleyan Church, names Dr. JoAnne Lyon, General Superintendent. At IWU the call was echoed by Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo, Dean, Office of the Dean of the Chapel. The students and faculty are responding. Now it is our turn, the alumni. We are part of the IWU community!

This post encourages all of us to respond in an effort to be part of the solution. So much news has been centered on this tragedy. It is our turn to provide hope through the combined response of our community. The following is an open letter from Dr. Lo. Please respond to this need. Let’s show that the IWU community cares!


A cry for help – an open letter from Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo:

Dr. JoAnne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church contacted me to see if I would consider asking our academic community to donate funds to help Kamakwie Hospital in Sierra Leone purchase an ambulance. A major reason for her request stems from the spread of Ebola in this western African country. The number of individuals needing to get to the hospital for medical care has been immense. But Kamakwie only has two ambulances which are not able to keep up with the demand of going out and bringing to the hospital all those who need to get there. From what I am told, these two ambulances are getting old and soon will need to be replaced. The need for a reliable ambulance is URGENT- and the Ebola crisis has made it imperative that they get one as soon as possible.

Dr. JoAnne shared that the ambulance they would like to purchase costs in the neighborhood of $30,000 US. She shared, “Jim, the reason I am contacting you is because of the desperation of the situation. I am hoping the generosity of IWU will once again surface

As I listened to Dr. JoAnne share, I thought to myself, “I am too busy to get involved in this.” But the Lord checked my spirit very quickly. There are people dying each day due to Ebola. I hear the crisis is severe. It would be easy to say I am too busy with other things that are on my calendar for me to give much attention to this project… but the Lord impressed upon me the urgency of this need for an ambulance… it could mean life or death for someone… do I care enough?

At first I was thinking about only asking our residential students to give, but I sense God would be pleased to throw the net even further, to include asking faculty, staff, administrators and even IWU alumni. I sense God is calling our academic community to respond to this critical need during this time of crisis. It is for this reason I am approaching you with two “calls”

Call one: I am calling us to prayer. When asked what is the number one thing American Christians can do to help, those in Sierra Leone quickly answer, “Please remember us in prayer.

Call two: I am approaching you, asking if you would pray about donating to the purchase of an ambulance.  $30,000 seems like a lot. But if we all commit to giving something, I sense we can meet this goal. I was thinking, if 3,000 gave $10 we could easily meet this urgent need. Will you join me in giving to this project?

Will join me in praying and giving to this needy cause?

Rev. Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo+
Dean of the chapel- professor of Religion
Indiana Wesleyan University


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