It is always exciting to get ready for the annual mission trip to Sierra Leone and even though this is our eleventh trip it is no less exciting. Confirming participants, ordering medications, purchasing tickets, collecting Bibles, gently used clothing, books and other donations, packing, etc. It may seem to never end, but as we board the planes we feel a sense of relief knowing we have done our best. Exhausting, none the less, but the excitement that comes from anticipating what God will do this time around dispels every form of exhaustion.
This time eight (8) participants left various departing cities in the USA – Pastor Margaret Alasa, Remi Nicol, both from Dayspring Ministry, and, Yomi Emdin from Garland, Texas; Donna Faulkner from St. Paul, Minnesota; Margaret and Isaac Thompson, mother and son team, from Alva, Oklahoma; Grandma Ola Theodora Dunn and I, from Pearland, Texas. We teamed up in Sierra Leone from Monday June 4 to Monday June 18, 2012 to fulfill the Great Commission. I arrived a day early to be sure to welcome them in Freetown after their long trip. I had shipped ahead vitamins, pain medications, provisions, etc., to reduce excess luggage cost being charged by the airlines and I was very happy to learn they arrived about 3 days before I did.
My first stop, the day following my arrival, was to visit Javouhey House, the guest house of choice in Freetown, where we stayed. I was surprised to find that the cost had more than doubled since I spoke with the proprietress. Anyway, we were happy to find a decent accommodation, on the side of mountains past the United States Embassy with its natural A/C.
My next quest was to arrange transportation with the Road Transport Corporation (RTC), only to find out that too had more than doubled!!! Can you imagine my surprise?! I returned home without paying for it because I did not have enough funds. As I was praying and trying to sort this dilemma out, there was a knock on the front door. I opened the door and in walked Mrs. Christiana Sanu, my first time meeting her, smiling from ear to ear. She said she got my address from Yomi and Remilekun and she came to tell me she had arranged a vehicle to assist us in transporting some of the participants and their luggage from the ferry terminal. God works in a mysterious way!!! I want to take this opportunity to say a very special thank you to Christiana for arranging the additional vehicle to assist us. She, her husband and daughter, Marie, were with us
every step of the way, from the very beginning to the very end! What a wonderful angel sent by God to help us!!!
We arranged to meet at the office about 30 minutes before the ferry transporting the team from the airport was to arrive at the Government Wharf. Christiana arrived one hour early with prepared food!!! We visited for a while and then left together for the ferry terminal. About an hour or so later, the ferry arrived. We went to meet the team and among us was a Mr. Nicol, a friend of Remi and Yomi, who was also at the ferry terminal with an SUV to help carry them to the guest house! God works in a mysterious way. The baggage handlers loaded the entire luggage into one vehicle and we piled in the other two vehicles as the arriving participants were given their refreshments. We definitely needed all three vehicles to make it to the guesthouse and God, the Master whom we were there to serve, provided. Once at the guesthouse, after room selections, we said our prayers of thanksgiving, had dinner and went to bed.
The next two days were spent sorting out medications, our belongings, resting, sightseeing, shopping, dress making, confirming transportation with the RTC, etc. In the evening we formed teams of two to conduct group devotions in the mornings and evenings. Everyone was asked to pick someone they did not know before coming to partner with for the duration of the trip.
Thursday was our first full day of Medical and Evangelical Outreach at No. 2 Village, a Peninsula fishing village in Freetown. Together with other local volunteers, 19 of us, we arrived on site when the fishermen were bringing in their catch for the day. When we started very few people strolled in and before long the place became over crowded.
On Friday June 8, we set off early in the morning for Rokoloh Village, just past Rotifunk passing over narrow bridges, one washed out bridge, and two bridges made with palm tree trunks. At those bridges everyone had to disembark, except for Grandma Theodora, to ensure the bus made it to the other side safely. Rokoloh had a make-shift school of about 120 children of different ages. The only teacher present was zealously teaching while the children were distracted by all these strangers invading their village. A makeshift clinic was prepared for us on the other side of the school. I later found out that the people of Rokoloh had been praying for someone to come and build a church and they were very happy to see that God answered their prayers. A young gentleman, Immanuel Freeman who also came with us, will be the pastor to these new converts. While we were busy working, the people of the village were busy preparing food for us and after eating, we left for Moyamba through the dense forests with no other vehicle in sight.
At one point, we lost our way. At the fork of two roads, whiles trying to decide which direction to go, we were happy to see two men coming toward us. We called to them to give us the right direction. As the older man walk toward the bus, the younger man shouted at him, ‘what? Are you not afraid? They will kidnap you.” The man turned dove tail and in full speed ran the opposite direction from us. We could not help but laugh. The bus driver, however, with the help of Pastor Freeman, was able to get us on the right road.
We arrived late afternoon on Friday at Moyamba and we stayed at the Orphanage which is called Mustard Seed Foundation with Rev. Rosaline Freeman who is the General Overseer in Charge. They were definitely expecting us. More food was waiting for us after selecting out sleeping quarters. The men were in one building and the women in another building. After eating dinner, taking our showers and feeling refreshed we assembled for our evening devotion before going to bed. Everyone was given an opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences so far.
On Saturday June 9 we conducted Medical and Evangelical Outreach at the new church being built at the Mustard Seed Ministries compound. This was our second year in a row to visit the ministry and I was very surprised to see the nice big church building which we used to set up the clinic.
On Sunday we heard a rousing preaching from Pastor Alasa and left in the afternoon after lunch for Bo, another familiar city we visited the year before. I want to take this opportunity to thank Pastor Abraham George for arranging accommodation for us in Bo, which turned out to be our central location for this our follow up ministrations in Bo on Monday and Tikonko on Tuesday, before going to Kenema on Wednesday. Pastor Tamba Bockarie, the pastor for Bethel Temple at Kenema met us at Bo and directed the driver to his location. Upon arrival we were met by his wife who was eleven months pregnant!!! We ministered to her and gave some prayer points to pray for three nights and she gave birth on Saturday morning to a bouncing baby boy! We spent the night at Bo before returning on Thursday morning June 14 to Freetown.
This year we went to visit some areas we distributed some of the vitamins for pregnant and lactating mothers last year and we received very good testimonies. One of the nurses that worked with us the previous two years in a row gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. She said she had been looking for a baby for five years. Even though she was not using any contraceptive, nothing happened. She started taking the vitamins for pregnant women even though she was not pregnant and the result was she became pregnant and gave birth to a bouncing baby boy! Furthermore, she distributed some of the same vitamins to about 14 women in her neighborhood that had been married for many years without having any babies. They were labeled barren and they were all pregnant when were in Sierra Leone! Praise the LORD!!!
Thank you so much, Vitamin Angels, for all you do. God will continue to bless your ministry to women and children. Once again, thank you very much Vitamin Angels.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who prayed, made donations and volunteered their services and time. Your sacrifice of love is making a huge difference in the lives of the people of Sierra Leone. As you support our efforts in bringing more souls into the kingdom of God you are sending materials to construct your very own mansion in heaven. Keep up the good work! God bless you richly.