INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 19, 2014)-- As the Ebola death toll slows in Liberia, a Lafayette couple will leave from Indianapolis on Thursday to return to their home in Ganta and get back to work.
Gina and Travis Sheets have been stuck in the U.S. since July, when a short pre-planned vacation to the Lafayette farm turned into three months of agonizing over their Liberian loved ones and grieving over the loss of a boy they were about to adopt.
“Ebola just shut down the country, shut down the economy,” said Gina Sheets. “We lost friends. People very dear to us that we are aware of and probably more that we are not aware of. And we're just anxious to get back there.”
The couple is also ready to start farming again. They went to Liberia to teach farming to young Liberians who lost their parents in the war and were left with acres of land and little knowledge on how to grow food.
During their three months in Lafayette, Gina and Travis Sheets have been raising fish and collecting eggs to take back with them.
“The fish that we take over will be parent stock for what can feed the country at a later date,” said Travis Sheets.
They are also taking precautions. Liberia is still not Ebola-free and the Sheets know what they are going back to.
“We did buy a thermometer that you point and shoot that gives you the temperature. We bought that as a security measure on the agriculture center so that we can check the temperature of the staff that comes in every day,” explained Gina Sheets.
Travis Sheets added, “We’ll play it smart and we’ll address those situations as they come to us.”
One of those situations they know they will face is what to do if they encounter an orphan. Do they take the risk?
After finding out there are about 100 orphans in their little town alone, Travis Sheets knows he won't be able to walk away.
“The good news is things are improving,” said Gina Sheets. “The Ebola cases and the numbers are going down very quickly. There’s only been one death reported in the last three weeks. There’s been no new or confirmed or suspected cases. The good news is that prayers have been heard and prayers are being answered.”
The Sheets are expected to arrive in Liberia late Friday. If you’d like to follow their journey and work, click here.