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Foofoo Water School

Foofoo Water School is in urgent need of funds for enlargement. The school is currently bursting at the seams, with 340 children attending.  

The Sierra Leone Mission (SLM) supported the original construction of the school, but with ongoing projects requiring additional funding, the folk in Sierra Leone have come together to build a new extension themselves.  

Three years ago they started to build three additional classrooms, by raising the funds locally, and they have now finished the walls using mud blocks and cement mortar. To finish the project they need to buy twelve bundles of CI sheets. 

Magnus Bendu says: ‘This is the big giant standing in our way’. 

The amount needed to complete the extension building is £875. This would represent a massive contribution in terms of improving education facilities for the children and reducing the pressure on teachers.

Please pray with us that the necessary money will be raised to complete the project.

How to make a donation

Click on the Donations button at the top of the website page. This will take you through to the SLM donations account. If you would like your donation to go to a particular project, please state.

You can give by Bank Transfer to: 

Barclays
Sort code: 20-16-08, Account number: 30799076, Account name: Sierra Leone Mission 

If you would prefer, please send a cheque to: 

Janet Foord, 2 Cheyne Close, Church Milton Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SQ 

Every pound given, goes to support our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone. 

 

Amazing God! Heartfelt People!

Deciding to tidy away Christmas cards in the bookshop at the weekend, Jan Foord found an envelope on the doorstep addressed to her, containing £1000 for the Health Centre in Sierra Leone from an anonymous donor. 

This wonderful gift will be added to a generous donation received before Christmas of £500 and funds generated from a December stall outside Zion Community Church, which totalled a further £500. 

And minutes after receiving Jan’s email, sharing the news of the ‘bookshop’ donation, to her surprise, Janet O’Shea received another donation of £1200 to put towards university fees for Abdul and Mariatu.

Praise God!

Abdul and Mariatu

Abdul and Mariatu are the two oldest children at Bethesda. At a very young age they were rescued from the streets of Freetown by Magnus Bendu and brought to live at Bethesda orphanage. He gave them a home, new brothers and sisters, and ensured that they had a good education and studied hard. Now their time at Bethesda is coming to an end and they are moving on to further education - something they could never have dreamed of doing living on the streets. 

When Janet visited Bethesda in 2018 with Bethany and Esther Green, they spoke to the children about their career aspirations and received many answers: Pastor, Doctor, Lawyer, Nurse, and even Prime Minister! 

Abdul and Mariatu have continued to apply themselves to their studies. Abdul has been appointed Head Boy and Mariatu is Student Chaplain. Both are working towards their final exams, and depending on the results, they will be eligble to go to university. Abdul hopes to study law and Mariatu hopes to study medicine.

An appeal was made at the end of 2020 by the Sierra Leone Mission for financial contribution towards the cost of enabling these bright, hardworking teenagers to achieve their dreams and go on to serve their communities. The estimated cost of Abdul’s four-year course is £542 and Mariatu’s seven-year course is estimated at £620. We thank God for his answer in prayer of bringing such a generous donation to the SLM to help these deserving young people gain access to opportunities that will change their lives! 

With the creation of the new Health Centre, it would be equally amazing if Mariatu will one day be able to work there.

Health Centre

The completion of the Health Centre will make a vital difference to people’s lives, as Magnus describes:

The healing ministry in Sierra Leone is a huge need. This is an even greater need for children whose health care facilities in Sierra Leone is one of the poorest in the world. For many years now, we have always been among the worst countries in terms of maternal, infant and child mortality rates. Beyond the statistics, I see this practically every now and then. Many children die of illnesses and diseases that could have been prevented with access to health care facilities. In the location where the new clinic is being built for instance, there is no specialized clinic or hospital for children in over 50 miles radius with very bad roads to add to the problem. The only hospital focused on children which is 28 miles away serves the entire city of Freetown and its environs, which means those from the rural areas will sometimes return with their children dead without going beyond the queue.’

Magnus adds:

‘The new clinic, which has been named the Ralph O’Shea Memorial Children’s Clinic will initially focus on providing primary health care for children and also treat other patients generally. The structural part of the building is at a very advanced stage. This is thanks to the SLM for supporting the initiative and to the late Morgan Pearce of the UK who mainly funded over 95% of the work done so far, yet preferred to be anonymous until his departure to be with the Lord on the day we started roofing. His legacy in Sierra Leone will never die.’

roof on health centre

Thanks

The Connexion and the Sierra Leone Mission express huge thanks to all those who have so kindly and generously contributed to these life changing causes. We also give thanks to God for his amazing answer to prayer and need.

How to give to the Sierra Leone Mission 

Click on the Donations button at the top of the website page. This will take you through to the SLM donations account.

You can give by Bank Transfer to: 

Barclays
Sort code: 20-16-08 

Account number: 30799076 

Account name: Sierra Leone Mission 

If you would prefer, please send a cheque to: 

Janet Foord, 2 Cheyne Close, Church Milton Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SQ 

Every pound given, goes to support our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone. 

 

Christmas at Bethesda

We are delighted to receive some photos of the Bethesda children celebrating their Christmas in Sierra Leone!

sl christmas bethesda1

The children were clearly very happy to receive their Christmas gift shoe bags, which contain treats and toys donated and packed by members of our Connexion churches in the UK. After which, they were able to enjoy an outdoor lunch and a cooling swim in the sea!

sl christmas treats 2020     sl christmas swim 2020

 

Pastors Retreat - Sierra Leone

The Connexion pastors in Sierra Leone were able to gather together from their villages - at a safe distance - to take part in their annual retreat. 

The event was very different from previous years, but everyone was thankful for an opportunity to join in reflection, discussion, worship and prayer.

Sierra Leone has, to date, registered 2518 cases of Coronavirus and 75 deaths. The borders were closed as soon as the first cases were detected, which seems to have had a positive impact. We pray that this will continue. 

Prayer

Magnus Bendu sends his thanks to The Connexion community for their prayers and support for the churches and communities in Sierra Leone. He also asks for continued prayer for the necessary funds needed to complete the new Health Centre, which will be invaluable to so many people in need of this facility.

Donations

At the end of November, Magnus appealed to members of The Connexion, of all ages, to make a personal contribution, if they were able. To his amazement and the glory of God Le 38 M was raised (equal to £3167). Magnus said: 'We are so grateful to those who contributed and to God. It may seem like a small amount to some, but in Sierra Leone such an amount is very very huge. We still have a long way to go with the clinic but I can see the hand of God in it all.'

To Donate

If you would like to contribute towards the important work of The Connexion both in the UK and in Sierra Leone, please click on Donations at the top of the web page. All donations, no matter how small, are of huge value to enable us to continue the legacy of the Countess of Huntingdon.

Connexion Wide Service!

The Connexion wide Advent service was the third in the series of virtual events, bringing together our Connexion churches and their congregations for online worship.

The service contained news updates from our churches, a special prayer for the Sierra Leone Mission, prayers for our churches and their members , bible readings, an inspirational sermon and sung worship. Just click on the YouTube link below to join in and enjoy!

 

 

Other available recordings

  • The new Lockdown Band website is hosting songs, video and audio recordings put together during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Link: www.wormleylockdownband.com
  • Copthorne Chapel has begun posting a weekly services on their website. Link: www.copthornechapel.org.uk
  • Wormley Free Church is posting Sunday services each week, which can be accessed though their website. The services are followed by a Zoom get-together for a virtual cup of coffee and a chat. Link: www.wormleyfreechurch.org.uk
  • Rosedale Community Church has a selection of Sunday messages available on their You Tube page. Link: Rosedale Community Church
  • Bolney Village Chapel is streaming Sunday services on their You Tube page. The services begin at 10.30am for approximately 45 mins and include worship, Bible readings and teaching. Link: Bolney Village Chapel
  • South Street Free Church has also been posting Sunday services on their You Tube page, including Bible readings, hymns, songs and sermons. Link: South Street Free Church
  • Goring Free Church is streaming Sunday video recordings on their You Tube page. Each week there is a playlist of worship songs to accompany the series of sermons. Link: Goring Free Church
  • Sheppey Evangelical Church is posting recorded messages, including prayer and scripture readings each Sunday on their You Tube page. On the first Sunday of each month Communion is celebrated. Link: Sheppey Evangelical Church
  • The Countess Free Church, Ely meet together each Sunday via Zoom. During these gatherings members share how God is working in their lives and the community; there is a thought for both young and old, and a message is given. For details, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Messages are also put out by podcast. To access these, go to their website: www.countessely.co.uk

 

Voice - Winter Edition

A huge thank you again to Esther for putting together another fabulous edition of The Voice.

This winter edition brings us a bible study focusing on the Magi from Joe Gregory at Sheppey Evangelical Church, news and activities relating to our Connexion churches in the UK, together with an interview with Peter Earle, the new minister at Shoreham Free Church. There is a message from our Connexion Trustees, and news updates from Sierra Leone with a special prayer from Magnus Bendu.

Esther has asked us to pass on her apologies for the quality of some of the photographs, a few became fuzzy during the print process. However, we are sure nobody will mind that one bit. 

Thank you Esther for another brilliant job! Please circulate the link to this page with your friends.

Voice - Winter Edition

Covid-19 Vaccines

The Recovery Group set up to support The Church of England during the Coronavirus pandemic, has produced a comprehensive Covid-19 vaccines update.

The information provided addresses questions about the vaccine's safety, immunity, suitability and outcome.

It is a useful resource for our church ministers and also offers guidance for our Connexion communities.

Click on the link below to access the guide:

COVID-19 VACCINES UPDATE (December 2020)

Container arrives in Sierra Leone!

The container dispatched from the UK to Sierra Leone at the end of October, has now arrived in Bethesda! 

When opened it was evident the container had been tampered with and a few boxes were torn, likely with missing items.

This is very common in Sierra Leone, but thankfully most of the goods have arrived intact.

Magnus and Daniel send huge thanks to all of our churches and donors of items, who have generously helped to make this possible, particularly during this year of the Covid pandemic. 

 

 

Inside the container

  • Childrens’ book and reading schemes for the schools
  • Study books and donated boxes of books from Christian Books Worldwide for the pastors
  • Clothes for children and adults, school uniforms and baby items
  • Toys, especially cuddly toys. These are gratefully received as most children in Sierra Leone have no toys
  • Knitted items, childrens’ hats, blankets, cardigans and jumpers
  • Health Clinic items: sheets, blankets, surplus from surgeries eg donated bandages, pads, saline, sample bottles, wound dressing kits and masks (at least 500 handmade masks are included) 
  • Additional: bedding, school items and Christmas presents!

The shipment is being held at Bethesda, which is a home for children in need. The goods and shoe bags containing mixed items will be distributed from there to the Connexion Churches by Magnus and Daniel, who make absolutely sure that the children receive their shoe bags!

In addition, when Magnus travels to remote villages he takes items, such as clothes and toys for the villagers, brought to them with the love of Jesus. This forms a valuable part of his Christian outreach and the folk are extremely grateful. Magnus also supervises the distribution of items to ensure they are divided fairly and equally - there have been occasions where a few skirmishes have broken out over who gets what!

On announcement of the container’s arrival, Magnus reports that “Bethesda was turned upside down with excitement!”

We look forward to receiving some pictures when the shoe bags are distributed, and we praise and thank the Lord for the safe delivery of these goods to our communities in Sierra Leone!

The image shows children in Songo Loko receiving their shoe bags following dispatch of items from the UK last year

Advent Calendar

2020 has certainly been a strange year, and with the countdown to Christmas now upon us, it will be good to take a minute each day to pause and reflect on what really matters.

Starting on 1 December, Simon Allaby, Minister at Bolney Village Chapel, has created a special Advent Calendar. Open a door each day to watch a 60 second video, which explores the meaning of Advent and Christmas.

Click on this Facebook link to view an Advent Calendar post each day – 25 in total!

Way Maker

The worship song, Way Maker, is both relevant and uplifting during the challenging times we have faced during 2020. So much so, we thought it would be good to share it with you. The recording below is from our Lockdown Band Worship, and was featured in our Connexion wide service on Sunday 22 November.

Click on the image below to view the recording of Way Maker with subtitles:

lockdown band full

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