In February 2020, the Mission Area of Sierra Leone held a National Conference to evaluate the current ministry and to plan ahead for continued growth and governance.
As a part of the conference there was a delegation of international visitors made up of representatives from the Sierra Leone Mission Committee (a ministry led by members of Little Church on the Lane in Charlotte, NC), the Board of World Mission, and the Moravian Unity. This delegation had the opportunity to visit the various congregations and communities where Moravian work is taking place.
One visit was to the village of Yandohun, which is the location of one of the newest Moravian congregations in the Mission Area.
The leaders of the congregation took us to see the structure they had built to be a temporary place to gather and worship as they save and plan for construction of a more permanent structure. Brother Samba Laminate reported that average attendance on a Sunday is around 40 people.
It was an inspiring sight to see this small structure built by the faith community there, without waiting for outside funding to feel like they could begin their work and ministry.
The structure is made of a wood frame, with a mud plaster, and covered by a roof made of braided palm leaves. Temporary structures like this are expected to last through a rainy season or two before needing to be replaced. This is due to the water getting into the walls of the structure.
When the leaders of the congregation were asked what their needs were, they simply asked for a tarp to cover the roof, and to help extend the life of the structure by keeping out moisture. Also, as a way to help the members of the congregation stay dry within the structure when gather for worship during the extended downpours of the rainy season.
Brother Pete Hiltz of the Sierra Leone Mission Committee immediately walked off the dimensions of the structure, and made plans to help give a quick response to this request.
The pictures below show that this tarp has now arrived, and has been installed.
It was a powerful witness to the Gospel to stand in a church constructed by the members who seemed to replicate the community in the early chapters of the Book of Acts. A new congregation, coming together and sharing all they have together.
At the BWM we are very used to large requests, often beyond the ability of our budget to respond in full. Yet, in this case, it is the small (to us) request of a tarp to stay dry in worship that again brings into perspective the ways in which any and all we are willing to share can make a tremendous impact.
Many thanks to the Sierra Leone Mission Committee for sharing the pictures of the newly installed tarp, and for their continual support of the Mission Area of Sierra Leone.