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This is the first time in a long time that I, Claire, have expressed my views or opinions about our missionary ventures.  I’ve titled it “A Long Walk Home” because in my opinion we are in the country God intended to bring us to when we started this venture back in 2011. Every step of the way has been profitable to build and prepare us for what we are currently embarking on: evangelism, cell/church ministry and helping street kids.  I call it home because finally I’m ready to role up my sleeves and dig into the work.  It’s not the kind of home I would have imagined or even selected, but it’s growing on me and I’m feeling more relaxed each day. The people are friendly, laid back, chatty; it’s easy to evangelize here even to the Muslims.  The challenges for me after living here for 6 months is the enormously high level of debris almost everywhere we look, and, of course, the oppressive heat which is not nearly as intolerable as we expected and even provides natural air conditioning occasionally. 

I like the Krio language that dey speak although I have a lot of catching on to do.  Their relaxed manner is kinda like walking into someone’s living room and finding them with a towel wrapped around their nakedness, and most every woman is either preparing food or plating hair.  Very relaxed and friendly.  The people are mostly Muslim but the Christians are attracting and drawing many of them into their faith.  Becoming “born again” is less common but is easy to explain to people of both religions. The challenge is discipleship.  The laid back Sierra Leonese tends to not be too interested in exerting the self-discipline necessary to study the Word of God. So the attraction or payoff from their study must compel them to continue.

Our cell is growing weekly by 5 or more people and we have a pretty good retention of those folks.  At this rate we may be starting a church in the next 6 months.  We are showing teaching videos on Biblical truths every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon which is good for the illiterate and motivated Bible student.

 

Street kids run rampant downtown and on the far western side of Freetown, so we are exploring what we need to do to help those kids. Poverty is common among the majority of the people, so selecting families that can’t afford to send their children to school is easy.

 

Since I returned from visiting my family in the U.S. over Christmas, I’ve been much more enthusiastic and committed to the work here in Sierra Leone.  It seems that after traveling around Tanzania, Uganda and Sierra Leone for 13 months, I felt like a displaced person. Returning to my roots both reminded me and established me back in the work I committed myself to doing: serving the Lord.  Certainly I could  serve the Lord in the U.S. which I did heartily for 25 years, but the Lord sent us to Africa and more specifically Sierra Leone to accomplish a work that we’ve been prepared and designed perfectly to do.  So Lord, we have reported for duty.  We’ve got our marching orders and we shall carry them out to the best of our ability.  Thank you Jesus for establishing us here and for protecting us from injury and sickness, and giving us favor in our community and church.