From Sierra Leone to Cape Town: Quite the change!
From Sierra Leone to Cape Town: Quite the change!

From Sierra Leone to Cape Town: Quite the change!

Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa, which is known as one of the most beautiful cities in Africa.  After three weeks of limited electricity, connectivity, running water, and road challenges, I arrived in Cape Town with two suitcases that were full of water due to the downpour in Kenya.  But amazingly, I arrived at my hotel room to meet a washer/dryer – the first time I’ve ever had that in a hotel room! – and I was definitely in need of it!  I thank God for this provision! 

But back to Sierra Leone, this was my first official trip to Sierra Leone.  Having lived in Liberia for several years, there were a couple of times that I “dipped my toe” in the land of Sierra Leone when doing some work near the border.  I thought that I knew what Sierra Leone was like – I made some assumptions that it was similar to Liberia, and it is in some ways, but in many ways, it is not.

The biggest difference (from my limited perspective) is that Sierra Leone is about 77% Muslim and only 22% Christian, compared to Liberia which is majority Christian.  Sierra Leone is also more economically depressed than Liberia in terms of average income, which was a surprise to me.  For some reason, I always thought it was stronger than Liberia.  But driving through Sierra Leone last week was eye-opening to a significant level of poverty, coupled with a significant lack of access to stable electricity.  

So I moved from a heavy heart for Cameroon to a heavy heart for Sierra Leone.  In my conversations with Sierra Leoneans, there seemed to be a lack of “hope in the heart” for positive change anytime soon.  And, as is typical in many nations where we work, the answer for change seems always to be perceived as lying only in the hands of the government leaders.  [While it’s true that the government wields power, seeing them as the only change agent often leaves us feeling like victims, as government behavior is often outside of our control.  Instead, we need to ask “what is in our hand” (i.e. what can WE do) especially as Christians, made in the image of God with the capacity to work and bring flourishing to a nation.]

As we drove through the country, I saw acre after acre of unused land.  I saw many, many mango trees, ripe with fruit, yet many mangoes were rotting on the ground.  

I saw latent potential, yet undeveloped and released, amongst people who seem to think that there is nothing “in their hand.”

But then we spent two days with the leaders of the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone.  There is a high degree of transparency and accountability within this church.  There is an openness and eagerness to look again at the structure of the church and examine if some methodologies could be changed.  The bishop is a humble servant, willing to listen, dialogue, and discuss how to bring positive change in discipleship within the denomination.  

We are excited to work with the Wesleyan Church as they implement workplace ministries in their local assemblies and begin to help those without hope to see that they are a miracle, made in the image of God, with the potential to be the answer to someone else’s prayer through their work!

PS – You may have seen that we have a matching grant campaign for scholarships going on for the last four weeks and we are close to reaching the end of this campaign.  We can’t over-emphasize the potential for change that can come as pastors and church leaders who hear the message of “work as worship,” revealing the God of Business and the need for discipleship in the workplace.  These scholarships allow pastors, church leaders, businessmen, and businesswomen to see their individual purpose, and the purpose of the church, with new eyes.  We have an incredible opportunity in a $20,000 matching grant for scholarships and wish to invite you to join this effort and see your gift doubled!  These funds will impact many church leaders and will allow us to continue to promote the message that our work matters to God.  If you have already given, we thank you!  If you would like to give, please click here.  

Thank you for your continued partnership!  This work can’t be done without you!