Ebola is a deadly disease caused by a virus spread through contact with bodily fluids such as blood. After entering the body, it kills cells, making some of them explode. It wrecks the immune system, causes heavy bleeding inside the body, and damages almost every organ. The virus is scary, but it’s also rare. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, and chills. Later, a person may experience internal bleeding resulting in vomiting or coughing blood.
Liberia has endured the largest Ebola outbreak in history. This VR video shows the story of one woman who seeks healing through faith. She is an Ebola survivor who uses her immunity to care for orphaned children in her village.
Liberia is just one of the hotspots of this deadly disease. You can download this map for use in your ministry.
How to use this video to teach
Empathy for people who live far away is often hard to feel. This VR video makes it easy.
The Catholic Church teaches that “God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them” (Catechism #2443). And, “The Church’s love for the poor is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, by the poverty of Jesus and his love for the poor” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, #184).
We are all called to follow Jesus’ model of responding with love (which begins with empathy) to those on the margins, the suffering and the dispossessed. This includes ebola victims in Africa.
By using this video in your catechism class, youth group, or any parish opportunity, you can stir up empathy while teaching about being charitable. Then, develop a classroom project that utilizes their newly awakened concern for the poor.
Suggested discussion or homework questions:
1. How did Decontee’s faith help her with her sufferings?
2. Where can we find people who are suffering near us?
3. What can we do to help relieve their suffering?
4. How can we take Jesus with us to help those who are suffering grow stronger in faith?
Take it a step further:
Download the classroom handout The “Our Father” Prayer: Do I really mean what I pray? Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “The Our Father contains everything: God, ourselves, our neighbors….” End the class session by praying the Our Father together with a new awareness of the social justice we’re praying for.