Local Mission "Ray of Hope" Traveling to Africa As Ebola Death Toll Rises

By BROOKE WELCH | bwelch@wfft.com

Published 08/19 2014 05:59PM

Updated 08/20 2014 08:52AM

Ray of Hope, their mission, to identify children in Africa who are in need of life changing medical procedures...then fly them here to northeast Indiana, get them the surgery they need, locate a family for them to live with while they heal, and then return them to their loved ones.....With the recent outbreak of the deadly virus Ebola, hitting that area, you might think, Ray of hope organizers say they're not letting fear keep them from helping these children in need.

Siriki came to the United States at just three weeks old, to have lifesaving surgery on his cleft pallatte. Fast forward 18 months, and now the only family he's known, will take him back to his parents waiting for him in Africa.

"I think it will be horrendously emotional."

This isn't just a normal return trip. Siriki's village is located in Cote De' Ivoire, and while there have been no cases of Ebola in that country, they won't be far from Liberia, Sierra Lione, and Guinea. The three main countries involved in the outbreak.

Ray of Hope founder Rebecca Ghent.  "Honestly I have said before that God has gotten Ray of Hope this far, and I don't think Ebola is going to stop us at this point."

Ghent says travel precautions are being taken by everyone.
"We are going to go in. We do know there are precautions. They will take our temperature upon arrival, and they will take our temperature when we leave. If we do have a fever of sorts they will not let you come in or go out."

Ghent gets referrals for children with debilitating illnesses everyday, and says the most important thing is keeping everyone healthy to continue their mission. "Ya know, it is traditional to, give three kisses when you arrive. We have already told them, and they have told us that we won't be offended. That we will keep our personal distance, and we will make sure we take all the precautions, so that we can get in there and bring three kids back.

Siriki will be reunited with his parents in a week and a half. If you would like more information about Ray of Hope and the children they help, you can go to their website here:  http://www.rayofhopemm.com/

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