FRANKFORT – An Indiana couple is desperate to get back to their home in Liberia as the country takes a huge hit from the Ebola virus.
Gina and Travis Sheets of Frankfort are missionaries who teach agriculture and farming in Ganta, Liberia’s second largest city. They returned to Indiana in July for a visit planned before the outbreak. It was days after they landed that the situation took a turn for the worst and airlines halted flights into West Africa.
“We’ve been living with Ebola since March. So we knew about it, thought we understood it, saw a little of it,” explained Gina Sheets from her farm in Frankfort. “Three days (after our return) the country of Liberia fell apart.”
While they are thousands of miles away, they haven’t quite been safe from tragedy. They recently found out that a young man they planned to adopt died from the virus.
“I’m so sorry to tell you this, but Gabe, Gabe died from Ebola,” she remembered being told.
“You can imagine how heartbroken we were to get the message.”
Travis left a few days ago for Zambia where he will continue his missionary work. Meanwhile, Gina plans to work from her farm, raising roosters and hens and tilapia. Eventually, the couple plans to take the eggs and fish back to help their Liberian family re-build.
“It’s difficult to deal with the fact that we’re so comfortable here. And I feel a little… a little guilty about that,” said Gina. “When we go back, our excitement is just to love them, to share that love, to let them know they’re not alone.”