Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.
UN: Ebola increasing in Congo due to ‘security challenges’
MARIA CHENG. Associated Press•March 22, 2019
LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization says Ebola has spiked in Congo in recent days because of “increased security challenges,” a week after its director-general predicted the outbreak might be contained within six months.
The U.N. health agency said in an update late Thursday the recent attacks on Ebola clinics slowed response efforts for days. Congolese officials reported dozens of new suspected and confirmed cases recently. Last week, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the outbreak was “contracting” and praised the efforts to avert a larger crisis.
Tariq Riebl of the International Rescue Committee, who is currently working in Congo, had a starkly different perspective.
“I think all of us in the field are aware that we’re very far from being near the end of this outbreak,” he said. Riebl said the recent jump in cases also points to ongoing surveillance failures.
“The increase in cases also shows we are catching up with all the transmission that we haven’t previously been aware of,” he said.
In recent weeks, more than 40 percent of new cases in the hotspot towns of Katwa and Butembo had no known links to other cases, meaning doctors have lost track of where the virus is spreading.
WHO reported this week that many people with Ebola are refusing to seek care in health clinics and are dying at home, further increasing the chances of transmission, since the bodies of victims are highly contagious.
Outbreak responders have also been targeted by rebel attacks; Doctors Without Borders was forced to shut down two of its Ebola clinics in Eastern Congo after repeated attacks and has called conditions at the epicenter “toxic.” Eastern Congo is home to numerous armed groups and the Ebola epidemic has deepened the political and economic grievances of many in the area.
WHO teams often visit communities with a police escort for security reasons, a move that some think could undermine community trust.
“We understand why some people might be scared of this and we believe that the use of force should be a last resort,” Riebl said, adding that IRC doesn’t use armed escorts.
He noted that the outbreak would soon hit 1,000 cases; it is already the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. To date, there have been 915 confirmed cases, including 610 deaths.
“It’s a sad threshold to reach, but it should also be a time of reflection,” Riebl said. “We will not be able to stop this outbreak without local support.”