During the Ebola crisis, our reporter Patrick Lahai was approached by a young man in need of help. This is his story.
To read Patrick’s real time reporting during the outbreak, click here.
“On our way through life we don’t know what is going to happen. For the man in the story, the journey from Jerusalem to Jericho turned out to be catastrophic if he would have chosen a different way or another day for the journey.
In our lives we face many risks. We often have to choose our direction without always have to knowing the end will be; because life is so risky, we experience both successes and failures. Our choices may bring destruction or even death.
Let me tell you what happened to me one day last week. A young man knocked at my door. When I opened the door he handed me a certificate. On it, it was written his name and his standing as a university student in social work. I returned the certificate to him and I say sorry, I have no work for you. The young man said, I am not asking for a job, sir. He said, please can you help me? I looked at the paper it was a test result and on it was written: EBOLA Positive. You see my situation, he said. I am a university student from a nearby town. I should have finished my course this year. But I’m not able to I have been sick for several weeks. Last week I got tested as you can see. I had a girlfriend sometime ago, and — I interrupted him — you needn’t tell me everything. He continued, I beg you, sir. I am so weak, but I must reach my village. If you can, help me with fifty thousand leones (Le 50,000), I will make it home. I looked at the young man, he looked to be about age 25, but his thin frail body was already marked by the sickness. I gave him the money to travel and food to eat on the way, and he said, thanks very much, and God bless you. This I will never forget. As he turned and went on his way, I couldn’t keep back my tears. What an awful disease that kills young people at the most productive years of their lives. How unfair and totally meaningless, I thought of the young man’s parents who sent him away with great expectations. In a few days they will receive him back. He is returning with just one desire: to reach his village to die.”