It’s funny to think about how long it takes to become accustomed to living in a new environment. Upon arrival and throughout my first few months living in “the provinces” (as my urban Freetown friends refer to the Bombali District) I truly felt as if I were struggling to adjust to living the “suffer-posh” life as friends jokingly call life here. The inconsistent electricity, water, internet access, and my daily use of motorbikes, packet waters, bucket-bathing, and mosquito nets were all so foreign to me when I first moved to Makeni, Sierra Leone.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 5:1-11
Prayers for Sierra Leone:
O creative God, we are amazed by your awesome ability to transform everyday human functions into sacred acts of hope that draw people closer to you while infusing them with your vision of peace, love and justice.
We ask that you inspire us and give us the courage to move past our fears, limitations, and frustrations that we may trust you with our whole lives and become fishers of people.
Today we pray for our families in Sierra Leone as they continue to strengthen their country and fight for the rights of women and girls. Assist all of us in letting go of troublesome societal norms so we can follow you whole-heartedly, knowing that you will make our lives meaningful and productive. We pray for strength to those who advocate for equality, so all may have long-term, transformational impact.
In the name of our loving and transforming Savior we pray, Amen.Read more
The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL)
The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone is appalled and dismayed to learn of the recent violent sexual act committed on an innocent five-year-old girl. This recent act is indicative of the endemic rise of such violent abuse on our girls!Read more
On the 26th of September I traveled to the city of Kabala, located in northern Sierra Leone. Once there I participated in an unforgettable General Assembly of the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone (CCSL). This event reunited CCSL staff working in different offices throughout the country, as well as partners, ministers, and families. I admired many aspects of the General Assembly, and particularly the genuine interest of participants in working together, staying connected, and responding to crises and injustices. This gathering made it possible for me to share conversations and laughs with a variety of dedicated people who continuously use their gifts and skills to enhance the mission of CCSL. The General Assembly in Kabala didn’t feel like the typical conference that I’ve become familiar with in the U.S. Instead, it was more like a family reunion. There was a strong sense of support and oneness that bonded the large body of people together, especially between the high numbers of CCSL staff in attendance.Read more
Last September, I arrived in Sierra Leone to serve on the staff of the country’s Council of Churches and join efforts to advocate for girls and women. In the past 10 months of working in the Tonkolili District, I have gained a deeper awareness of and appreciation for the love of God as made known through the peace and justice ministries of the Council.Read more
Before working in a village, it is important to greet the chief because he is the head of the village and needs to be informed of all events. Receiving his approval and support is important before proceeding with organizing any gathering that will be held in the village. I operate a girl’s Safe Center and Boys and Girls club in the Mathora village. Safe Centers provide girls with an after school support group that is focused on keeping girls in school and eliminating child marriage, female genital mutilation, and teenage pregnancies. We also discuss topics relating to health, hygiene, goal setting, and self-love. Our boys and girls club functions to empower young people to reach their full potential. My coworker, Assiatu, and I monitor these programs by creating weekly lesson plans, daily activities, and organizing outreach events. We hire community leaders to serve as mentors who meet with the students twice a week.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 17:6-19
Prayers for Sierra Leone:
God of peace,
We praise you for directing us towards unity. We know that through unity we reach joy, love, and protection. Today we pray for guidance toward visible unity so that we can overcome brokenness and reject oppressive practices such as colonialist values, racism, and economic domination. We praise you for Christian unity that translates to love and justice.
Father, we ask you for continued peace and undividedness in Sierra Leone as we go through transitions in the government. We pray for clarity and strength for all who work for love and dignity to be realities for all. To this end, we pray for those who seek to disrupt childhood marriage practices that exploit young girls and for the dismantling of the unspeakably horrible tradition of female genital mutilation that serves no purpose other than to subjugate and control the lives of women and girls. We pray for the victims of such practices that they would know freedom, experience healing, and live lives of wholeness that flow from the power of your love and the value of your dignity.
May everyone be transformed through Christian unity. Amen.Read more
The run off elections are complete; at 10:05 PM the National Election Commission read the results as follows:
Julius Maada Bio of the Oppostion Sierra Leone Peoples Party, is the new President with 51.81% of the votes; his opponent, Dr Samura Kamara of the ruling All Peoples Congress had 48.19% of the votes cast.Read more
The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone was organized in 1924; existing first as a forum for fellowship for the mainline Protestant Churches. Today they are a communion of 18 Protestant Churches existing to corporately address the issues facing contemporary society from a united Christian perspective. Current departments are Human Rights and Social Services, Development and Ecumenical Relationships.
August 18, 2017
|Photos from The New York Times|
On Monday, August 14, houses built in vulnerable areas on the steep hillsides of Sugar Loaf Mountain were struck by a torrent of water and soil. Lumely, the community affected by the mudslide, is located several miles outside of the capital Freetown, Sierra Leone. While totals vary, it is estimated that over 9,000 people have been injured and displaced and more than 400 people have died.Read more