The Toulmins (CMS missionaries in Aru NW Congo) wrote on Good Friday –
“Dear friends, we just received this email from Ringo who runs our Butembo Dental Clinic as part of the Anglican Hospital there. We rang him straight away and they are very scared. Last night they had a patient arrive who was received by the nurse on duty not knowing it was an Ebola case. The patient died this morning. The response team came and decontaminated the room and everyone involved, they have been vaccinated already, but apart from that concern, the local population, like Ringo has said below, shot and killed a visiting doctor from Cameroon who came to help at the Catholic Hospital at 2pm today. There is an unbelievable local belief that the response teams are responsible for the virus.
“The police cannot contain these young people and bandits as they do not have the numbers in a town of one million like Butembo and they attack randomly. Bishop Isesomo’s life is in danger as are our health team – Ringo and the Dean of the cathedral were going to Isesomo’s house when we rang to advise him to sleep the night elsewhere as it is too dangerous to stay in his house as he has been a leader in getting these response teams in to Butembo along with the Catholic Bishop and supporting the response team. There is nothing we can do except pray for this violent madness, that has gripped the population as a result of this deadly virus and it’s continuing spread, to stop. Please pray and ask your congregations to pray if you are able.
“Ringo wrote, “Here at home things are not going well. Ebola disease continues to kill people. More than 24 nurses and two doctors have died since the year 2019. Now the population is attacking the health care team. I’m really scared. Yesterday we had a case of Ebola at the hospital here at home. In the evening we made the decontamination with the team of riposte. Today they promise to come to attack here at ours (they are young mix with bandits). They just killed a doctor today at the UCG at the Catholic hospital and they just burned the houses. Really pray for us.”
Your brother and pastor, Graham Crew