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Dear God, please stop Ebola, Liberian immigrants pray: Rhode Island minister hopeful as rate of infections slows in his disease-ravaged homeland.

A space vehicle named Philae lands on a comet 310 million miles from Earth? That news strikes close to home.

An Ebola outbreak kills thousands in West Africa? Many of us find that news harder to fathom — except when an isolated case of the deadly virus hits the U.S.

But for the 250 members of the Providence Church of Christ in Rhode Island, the pictures of disease and suffering on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean depict the faces of family and friends.

“We’ve been praying about it,” said William Horace, minister for the thriving congregation of Liberian immigrants. “We’ve been in contact with the people — daily contact.”

I enjoyed a wonderful visit with the Providence church in 2012 and recall how warmly the men clad in button-down shirts and the women sporting colorful African headscarves greeted each other — and me.

This column appears in the mid-December 2014 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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