MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — Hundreds of refugees from western African now living in the greater Austin area wait anxiously each day for news regarding the Ebola outbreak in their native land. They hope and pray for American aid to make it in time to protect their friends and loved ones from the deadly outbreak.
Paul and Dorcas Tiah came to the area in 2003 from Liberia and live in Manor now with their four children. Paul Tiah left behind 11 brothers and sisters, and his aging mother Francis, whose own doctor has died from Ebola. He says his country recently ended a 15 year war and is now in another. “It is a spiritual war, because you don’t see the thing that is attacking you.”
Dorcas Tiah has four siblings back home, where life is a struggle. Even getting water from the nearby village is a challenge. “The whole family where you get water from, the whole family died. So they cannot go there to get water anymore.”
In Austin, Johnson Doe is also waiting to hear from his family. He has three brothers and three sisters in Liberia. He is trying to arrange for sanitizing and medical supplies to ship home. He says his people are frightened to go out, frightened to socialize and even frightened to go to the hospital.
Now, he is organizing an outreach campaign. “We’re putting it on the local radio stations there in different languages, that it is important to go to the hospitals. Not be afraid, because it is the only place you can go for help.”
Dorcas Tiah believes her people will make it through, thanks to American aid, and their faith. “All I tell them is to get well, it’s going to be better. There is nothing stronger than God, the power of God is great.”
Doe is hoping to get contributions of things like surgical gowns and gloves, sanitizer wipes, masks and shoe covers, and much more. Donations can reach his cause through the Triumphant Love Lutheran Church in Austin at 512-346-5683, or through the Grand Gedah Association in the Americas.
Paul Tiah is a deacon at the Westlake Hills Presbytarian Church, where an effort is ongoing to get food and medical supplies to western Africa. They can be reached through the Faith in Christ Ministry International.