Mission Update: Sierra Leone

Mission signs

We at the Board of World Mission are thrilled that in the coming year we will be posting regular updates in The Moravian to share news from around the Moravian Unity.  We hope that this will give each of you a more up-to-date picture of what is happening in the Moravian world so that together we can be at prayer, provide support, and be in partnership to help build up the kingdom of God.

The primary purpose of the Board of World Mission is building relationships through mission outreach and mission engagement to be faithful to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.  This is a high calling and we would not be able to answer it without the support of the Northern, Southern, and Alaska Provinces here in North America. 

In addition to what you will read here we invite you to regularly visit our web site at www.moravianmission.org where you will find more information. 

Our Board of World Mission Director of Mission Outreach, Bishop Sam Gray, recently visited the mission area of Sierra Leone on Africa’s west coast to help with the planning and coordination of a National Conference of the Moravian Congregations which will be convening this year. This conference will help to further organize the work in that country with an eye towards sustainability and move them towards provincial status within the Moravian Church structure. 

Brother Sam reports that there is a lot of amazing work already happening there and the potential for the future is bright. Among the noteworthy accomplishments in Sierra Leone was  the Southern Province (which provides partnership and oversight with this Mission Area) approving Sister Safiatu Braima as a Provincial Acolyte, which allows her to administer the sacraments of Holy Communion and baptism in the mission area.  This was important since their only ordained pastor, her husband Mohammed Braima, passed away in November of 2018.  He was the driving force in moving the Sierra Leone mission effort forward and Sister Safie now seeks to continue the important work that she and her husband had begun. 

A significant ministry in Sierra Leone is the Moravian Secondary School in Ngehun, supported with prayer, time, talent and treasure by the Sierra Leone Mission Committee of Little Church on the Lane Moravian Congregation in Charlotte, N.C.

Brother Sam shares the following from his report concerning this growing school:

“I was surprised to discover that, because of the high percentage of superior scores by Moravian Secondary School students on the national tests, some students from other schools (who did not pass the test) have moved to the village to attend the Secondary School, and many more students have enrolled in the Junior Secondary. So now there are over 400 students in the school (we used to say 200 – 250). There is a need for teachers and desks. Plans are in place for building housing quarters for teachers in order to attract more teachers to be willing to live in the village. While I was there, there was a meeting with two representatives from the Sierra Leone Ministry of Education. They officially announced that the Moravian Secondary School has been fully accredited by the government and certified teachers will continue to be paid by the government – good news!”

The hard work and determination shown by the church leaders in Sierra Leone is a testament to their commitment to sharing the love of God, and to work for peace and justice.  Please keep Sister Safie, the pastors and the congregational leaders in Sierra Leone in your prayers as they move into this important year of organization, mission and continued growth.

The Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler is director of mission engagement for the Board of World Mission.