Because of travel constraints in Sierra Leone, we had to wait several weeks until our in-country director was able to collect the last church plant reports available before the country was placed on lockdown and public gatherings were banned.
The results were extremely encouraging, despite the changes that have taken place related to the COVID pandemic. In the months of March and April alone, 13 churches were planted in Sierra Leone! In just those two months, over 3,500 watched the JESUS film, nearly 500 made a public declaration of faith in Christ, and 255 are in follow-up discipleship.
We were especially excited by the fact that two new plants have penetrated even deeper into the unreached Bom tribal District! Pray with us that the follow-up groups will continue strongly, despite some of the challenges faced because of the COVID-19 restrictions and the rainy season. If you have access to Google Earth/Maps online, to get a sense of just how remote these villages are, type in these coordinates on Google to reach the Topain Village location: 7°13’55.51″N 11°56’51.30″W.
Musa Fowundu (see photo) of Topain Village shares: “I watched this film before in Bo Town, but I did not understand it because the translation was English. I love [this] film because of the Mende dialect, I understood everything in the film and I enjoyed every bit of it. The film actually touched my heart because of what was done to Jesus as a result of His sacrifice for us all. Indeed God is actually good to us. It is a fact that we are the ones that are creating problems for ourselves, because we don’t love God and do not want to obey Him at all. Because of this film, I will learn to trust and obey God for the rest of my life because He cares for me, and also because of what He did for me by sending His Son Jesus Christ to come and die for us. I appreciate God tremendously.”
Impactful COVID-19 Engagement!
In the same way 9-11 was a defining moment 20 years ago, COVID-19 is likely to be a defining event in our generation for years to come. On a global level, many people will, in fact, define their world in terms of pre-COVID and post-COVID.
Although on a smaller level then in many other countries, the coronavirus pandemic has still had a dramatic impact on the lives of our workers and communities in the countries where we minister. It required us to be creative in how we adapted the ministry.
In all of the countries that JFCPS and GAIN minister in, our teams and ministry partners have been ideally positioned to adapt to meet the needs of the people in their communities. For the time being, we may not be able to show the JESUS film to large gatherings. However, God has provided the means for our teams to demonstrate God’s love by equipping communities with hand washing stations, hygiene training, and best practices to ensure vulnerable people do not contract COVID (or other diseases). This demonstration of grace has even extended to Muslim and military members of the community.