- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The threat of Ebola, a disease that’s caused several thousand deaths in West Africa, has caused some Tulsa organizations to rethink their mission efforts in that part of the world.

David Rogers of Youth Vision International told the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1uGZ57v ) that he has directed his leaders to stop holding weekly Christian youth meetings in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. One of Rogers’ leaders has died, but it wasn’t from Ebola, he said. The man suffered an asthma attack and couldn’t get the medical attention he needed due to the Ebola outbreak.

“We’re talking to our leaders every day,” he said. “It’s very serious. They have to carry hand cleaner and use rubber gloves. They take a risk every time they get in a taxi.”

Rogers lives in Catoosa, Oklahoma, and said he was in Togo in August before canceling a trip to Liberia, fearing that he wouldn’t be allowed to leave that country. He said he’s not traveling to Africa until the situation improves.

The CEO of Blessings International in Tulsa, which provides medicines and medical supplies for missionaries, said he’s seeing fewer people going into affected areas. The organization has been in contact with a pastor in Sierra Leone who has lost five members of his church congregation to Ebola.

“They’re under great duress,” said David Harder, communications director for Blessings International.

Real Impact Missions, which started about 30 years ago, takes 400 high school students a year on short-term mission trips to five countries. Founder and director Scott Boss said a trip was scheduled for next spring to Burkina Faso, but that it will likely be changed to India.

“We’re watching it - very much so,” he said. “We take minors overseas, so we will err on the side of caution.”

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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