FPC Missionary Asked to Help with Ebola Book

Final Harm's way Book front coverMONROVIA, Liberia—FPCNA Missionary to Liberia, Joanne Greer, was asked to review and make suggestions for an upcoming book published by a colleague of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the two medical relief workers who made world headlines after contracting the Ebola virus in Liberia.

Nancy Sheppard, a 28-year veteran missionary to Liberia and author of the newly released book, asked Greer if she would give suggestions to help make the storyline better and also help with proofreading.

“Mark and Nancy Sheppard are Bob Jones University graduates and have been good friends to me and my colleague, Rev. David DiCanio,” Greer said. “They were a real help to us after our robbery, so when she asked for help, I was more than happy to have a part.”

Nancy Sheppard saw firsthand both the horror and compassionate care in the Ebola ward at ELWA hospital when an exhausted Nancy Writebol phoned to say the first Ebola patient had arrived and Sheppard’s help was needed.

Friends for over a year, Writebol and Sheppard worked side-by-side suiting up and decontaminating medical personnel, including Dr. Kent Brantly, as they tried to save lives in one of the few Ebola treatment centers in Liberia.

Nancy Sheppard (left), pictured with David and Nancy Writebol
Nancy Sheppard (left), pictured with David and Nancy Writebol

“I felt very responsible for these people and sensed the responsibility they felt for each other as well,” Sheppard writes in her book. “Once content everyone was properly suited, we gathered in a circle by the threshold going into the ward and joined hands. Dr. Brantly asked me to pray. I prayed for Juliet. I prayed for the team going in to care for her. I prayed for Liberia.”

Joanne Greer met Dr. Brantly when he helped treat a seriously ill boy from the Free Presbyterian Mission Church of Liberia (FPMCOL) in Balla Creek.

“He was very, very nice,” Greer said about Brantly. “He was very thorough and gentle with our sick child.”

Greer also had close interactions with Dr. Jerry Brown, the head of one of the Ebola treatment units at ELWA hospital.

“Dr. Brown assessed Abraham Mulbah for surgery for an enlarged spleen,” Greer said referring to one of the Sunday school children in the Paynesville FPMCOL church. “Thankfully, Abraham didn’t require surgery at that time, but Dr. Brown was extremely kind and very helpful.”

Sheppard finished her book on December 18th and wrote to Greer to thank her. “I have gone into the file and applied your most excellent suggestions!” Sheppard said to Greer. “I can really see God’s hand in my volunteers.”

The book, entitled In Harm’s Way: A View from the Epicenter of Liberia’s Ebola Crisis, is available on Amazon Kindle.