What's New?

Update from the Health Centre

The Health Centre in Sierra Leone was officially opened in December 2022. The building stands opposite The Connexion’s Bethesda Orphanage, and is named the Ralph O’Shea Memorial Medical Centre, in honour of Ralph’s friendship and support

Magnus Bendu now brings us an update of this life-changing project for our communities in Sierra Leone:

Since its official opening, the Health Centre has been undergoing the process of registration with state authorities, which is now well advanced. It is almost normal in Sierra Leone that registration of such facilities take approximately six to eighteen months. However, within the process, we are allowed to operate fully while they monitor and guide. Quite a few of the monitoring agencies have showed up and have all given the Health Centre a clean bill of health with the exception of concerns around sustainable power supply and sufficient number of staff to cover all required departments and units of a clinic/medical Health Centre.

It must be noted that solar was paid for and installed before the beginning of operations, but as all the diagnostic machines start working, it became clear that more wattage is required to ensure regular supply of electricity. In the area of staffing, the Health Centre at the moment cannot employ practitioners in all departments as the overwhelming majority of its patients are from very poor communities where patients cannot be charged for profit making when even cost recovery is a huge challenge. Thus, just basic consultation, laboratory, nursing (Paediatric, maternity and general), security and sanitary staff are being employed for now.

The maternity building is very near completion, thanks to support from the UK, which has enabled us to do as much. We are currently using part of the staff quarter for maternity purposes until the building is completed. We have been advised by medical supervisors to do a separate solar installation for the maternity building as the one currently used has been struggling to upkeep the medical Health Centre day and night. Solar is generally expensive at installation but a very safe source of electricity when properly installed. Many Hospitals around the country use both solar for the day and some parts of the night and then generator plants further in the night towards dawn and also for situations when high power consuming machines are used for certain tests and operations.

The hospital has been a big blessing to many. Patients come from far and wide, and many from very remote areas. They mainly use motor bikes to access the Health Centre. Pregnant women and children face several challenges sometimes with the motor bikes. We pray for the day when we will have ambulance services to salvage some of these risky situations. We have been seeking help from government ambulances when we have critical referrals but have proven most ineffective in our district.

The Health Centre mainly offers the following services: general outpatient consultation of both medical and surgical care, in patients with both male and female wards, laboratory facilities, full maternity services with antenatal deliveries and post-natal care and eye care services. The total number of patients between January and December 2023 according to the administrator, not counting follow up patients and eye care patients, is 1468. Eye care patients are by far more than 500. I have tried to present some statistics here of the 1468 in and out patients that are registered.

 healthcentre patient stats

healthcentre stats

 

Watching the figures closely, I really felt bad about the figure on malnutrition. And I am very sure that the figures on diarrhoea are also linked to the problem of malnutrition. Poverty may be the crowning factor of most of these. We know people lack the physical food that is why we think we should give them more spiritual food because man cannot live by bread alone. Giving them the Matthew 4:4 food will give people strength, knowledge and wisdom to acquire the rice, the potato, the cassava and the yam, whose lack could be part of the reason for malnutrition. It is also important to know that malaria also thrives in the arena of malnutrition and diarrhoea.

I must finally note here that we have not done any official marketing of the Health Centre for fear of not being able to chew what we bite. Once we are able to complete the maternity building, fix up the electricity problems and employ the required staff, we will properly take from the ground and proclaim Jesus even more loudly through the healing ministry. Please continue to pray for the staff and administrators and for God’s provision towards the electricity, staffing and maternity building.

Magnus Bendu

 

SIERRA LEONE DONATIONS

If you would like to make a donation, to help SLM's work in Sierra Leone, just click on the Donations button, located at the top of each website page. Please also state if you would like your donation to go towards a particular project.

Alternatively donate by Bank Transfer

Barclays Bank

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

(NB We are very grateful to receive anonymous donations, but when making a bank transfer donation, the donor's name is needed for auditing purposes. Please be assured this information will remain private.)

Or send a cheque to 

Sierra Leone Mission. Postal address: Janet Foord, 2 Cheyne Close, Church Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SQ

Helping the Street Children - Sierra Leone

The SLM committee were delighted to welcome Magnus – via zoom – to their monthly ‘catch up’ meeting last week, and hear directly from him about the work that SLM supports in Sierra Leone.

Street children

Magnus has a heartfelt concern for the thousands of street children in Sierra Leone, who he visits regularly with food, drinks and medical items. Over the past couple of years there has been a massive rise in drug taking among the children and in particular the drug ‘kush.’

Below is a YouTube clip explaining the real dangers of this drug, which is mixed with human bones. It is so addictive, users can become hooked after a single hit, then find themselves quickly trapped in a cycle of self-destruction

Magnus says that working with these children has become more dangerous as they are desperate for food.

Janet O’Shea, Chair of SLM, also witnessed this: ‘I have had the privilege of joining Magnus several times on previous visits to minister to the children and offer them food and drink. Sometimes the children are so hungry they can get boisterous; these children see no future for themselves, they have no hope.

'We praise and thank God for giving Magnus the vision for Bethesda Orphanage, a sanctuary for street children, which has enabled him to rescue many helpless boys and girls and provide a safe and loving environment, where they can thrive.

'We also offer thanks for the generosity of people who continue to support this amazing outreach. When God guides, God provides'.

Schools

During the meeting, Magnus also provided an update on the structural condition of several of our Connexion schools in Sierra Leone. SLM has been able to send money this month to treat five schools that were infested with termites.

The nursery at Mongeba is also expanding, but the building where the children meet is unsafe. Magnus is currently liaising with the villagers to encourage them to build better construction for the nursery.

At the end of our meeting Magnus was joined by the children of Bethesda. They had just finished their nightly devotions and sang to us a song about the greatness of Jehovah, Yahweh. Janet said, ‘It was a wonderful testament to hear these children singing, and a strong reminder of why we are part of the Sierra Leone Mission’.

 Click on the YouTube recording below for a report about the drug 'kush'.

 

SIERRA LEONE DONATIONS

If you would like to make a donation, to help SLM's work in Sierra Leone, just click on the Donations button, located at the top of each website page. Please also state if you would like your donation to go towards a particular project.

Alternatively donate by Bank Transfer

Barclays Bank

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

(NB We are very grateful to receive anonymous donations, but when making a bank transfer donation, the donor's name is needed for auditing purposes. Please be assured this information will remain private.)

Or send a cheque to 

Sierra Leone Mission. Postal address: Janet Foord, 2 Cheyne Close, Church Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SQ

Prayers for Sierra Leone - March

Please join Amidu Koroma in prayer requests during March

Firstly, we praise God from whom all blessings flow.

We thank God for a successful 232nd Annual Conference, for all of the fruitful deliberations. To God be the glory

We also thank God for our Bishop Magnus Bendu re-elect, and pray for God’s richest blessings over his leadership of The Connexion Sierra Leone.

Please ray that God continues to fulfil His plans for The Connexion

Please also pray for our country, Sierra Leone, especially our economy, we ask that God will continue to restore.

We pray that God continues to strengthen our relationship with our UK partners. We pray for the leadership in the UK and that God continues to empower 'Aunty' Janet O’Shea with more grace in Jesus’ name, Amen.

We pray for all of our pastors working in God’s vineyard, and ask that God will continue to empower us to preach the gospel of Jesus to the unreached.

Please pray for our Connexion pastors in the UK and ask that God’s grace will continue to be with them in Jesus mighty name, Amen. 

We pray for all of our dynamic teachers and the sacrifices they make in order to impart knowledge to our children.

Please pray for all of the pastors and missionaries around the world who suffer for the sake of the Gospel. Please ask that God continues to strengthen them in Jesus’ name.

We also pray for God’s provisions over the Connexion in Sierra Leone and the UK.

Please too remember the sick. We pray for God’s healing power over every painful moment.

We join together to thank God for answering our prayers, recalling the verse: 'Ask and you shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open'

In Jesus mighty name, Amen.

Sierra Leone Conference

Magnus Bendu led the 2024 annual three-day conference of The Connexion Sierra Leone in February. This year the theme was ‘Wholistic Enlargement for Greater Impact’ focusing on 1 Chronicles 4 verse 10 and Luke 2 verse 52.

‘Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.’ (1 Chronicles 4:10)

‘And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.’ (Luke 2:52)

At the 2023 conference, the key theme was the prayer of Jabez and this year this was revisited and expanded upon.

The 2024 conference also marked five years since Magnus first ‘took up the reins' as leader, which required a vote to be taken for the right person to lead The Connexion for the next period of office.

We are delighted to announce that It was unanimously decided for Magnus to continue in his role for another five years!

Praise the Lord!

Trip to Sierra Leone

In May 2024, Janet O’Shea, Chair of SLM, is planning a visit to Sierra Leone, accompanied by Simon Allaby and Bethany Burrage, Connexion Trustees and Ministers.

Simon and Bethany will have several opportunities to work with, help and instruct the pastors and leaders of our Sierra Leone communities, and Janet will be working with one of The Connexion schools, likely at FooFoo Water.

As in previous years, Janet will be helped by children from Bethesda Orphanage children to redecorate and make improvements to the school classrooms.

At Brama and Mabang Schools, Janet created some template designs to paint onto the classroom walls and used as educational aids for the teaching staff.

However, last Christmas she discovered a company called Arabesque, who produce and sell ready-made stencils. Janet was so impressed with their work that she wrote asking if they were able to produce larger-scale stencils that could be used in the school classrooms in Sierra Leone. The outcome was receipt of a fabulous selection of designs for just a nominal fee. Huge thanks go to Arabesque for their generosity. We look forward to seeing the new stencils brightening up more classroom walls!

Prayer request

As Janet begins to make plans and preparation for the forthcoming trip in May, she asks our communities to pray with her for clear guidance, so that their time there will be used productively and wisely. Thank you!

(Image shows children in a classroom at Brama School, decorated with Janet's stencils)

SIERRA LEONE DONATIONS

If you would like to make a donation, to help SLM's work in Sierra Leone, just click on the Donations button, located at the top of each website page. Please also state if you would like your donation to go towards a particular project.

Alternatively donate by Bank Transfer

Barclays Bank

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

(NB We are very grateful to receive anonymous donations, but when making a bank transfer donation, the donor's name is needed for auditing purposes. Please be assured this information will remain private.)

Or send a cheque to 

Sierra Leone Mission. Postal address: Janet Foord, 2 Cheyne Close, Church Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SQ

Prayers for Sierra Leone - February

Our pastors in Sierra Leone meet together on a regular basis for teaching, prayer and fellowship.  Please join them in prayer for their personal spiritual wellbeing as they seek to minister to their congregations.

Please also join Rev Amidu Koroma in his prayer requests for February

We thank God for the new year 2024 and appreciate Him for this month of February.

Please ask God for His mercies as we cry to Him daily (Psalm 86:3).

Please also pray for Sierra Leone, in particular our economy, and ask that God will continue to restore. 

We pray for 232nd Annual Conference and ask that God will continue to bind us together in love.

We offer prayers for our leader, Bishop Magnus Bendu. May God continue to inspire him with wisdom to lead in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. 

We pray that God continues to establish our relationship with The Connexion in the UK.

We also pray for 'Aunty' Janet O’Shea. May God continue to increase her capacity with good leadership.

We pray for all of our charity givers. May God continue to bless them. 

We pray for all of our pastors in UK and in Sierra Leone working in God’s vineyard. May God continue to bless them with more grace to preach the gospel. 

Please pray for all missionaries preaching the good news, especially those in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. May God continue to protect them.

Pray also for our faithful teachers in Sierra Leone for their efforts to teach. May God bless them.

Finally we pray for those suffering from sickness. 'By His stripes we are healed' (Isaiah 53:1-5).

Thank God for answering our prayers.

Blessings for SLM!

Janet O'Shea, Chair of SLM shares news of an eventful day in late January - and the unexpected blessings she received to help our communities in Sierra Leone. Read her account below:

Friday 26 January proved to be a very interesting day for me and SLM. At the beginning of the school term a local school had given out an appeal for shoes for Africa. A parent at the school had instigated the appeal and then contacted me to tell me that the three-week appeal was for Sierra Leone. I collected a car load of shoes, mainly children’s, and managed to pack them into boxes ready for the shipment. The parent who launched the appeal is not connected with Zion Community Church and as far as I am aware has no Christian contact.

Later on the same day, I met with David Price (SLM treasurer) and Jonathan Redmayne (SLM finance and legal guru!). We discussed the support that SLM gives to Sierra Leone each month: grants for pastors, teachers, Bethesda, Theology students etc etc. The monthly money has not been increased for several years and at the SLM quarterly meeting it was decided that grants for the teachers and pastors should be increased from January 2024. A teacher in one of our Connexion schools receives a quarter of the money paid to a teacher in a government school.

I stand firm on the truth that God supplies our every need and I hesitate to ask for money. Therefore I am asking for our Connexion Community and churches to pray about the situation. Our current monthly commitment to Sierra Leone is approximately £6,000.

When I returned home from our meeting there was a huge parcel on the doorstep. Intrigued I opened it straight away to find well over 100 knitted items for babies and children. There was a letter from a lady called Sheryll in Sheffield...???? She organises 350 knitters across the north of England and they knit for charities. How she knew about Sierra Leone I have no idea!

January has certainly not been a quiet month and I am forever being surprised at the generosity of God. Our work in Sierra Leone has opened up so many opportunities to work with and witness to non-Christians in this country. If you haven’t already ‘spread the word’ DO !!

God Bless

Janet

MAKING A DONATION

If you would like to make a donation, to help SLM's work in Sierra Leone, just click on the Donations button, located at the top of each website page. Please also state if you would like your donation to go towards a particular project.

Alternatively donate by Bank Transfer

Barclays Bank

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

(NB We are very grateful to receive anonymous donations, but when making a bank transfer donation, the donor's name is needed for auditing purposes. Please be assured this information will remain private.)

Or send a cheque to 

Sierra Leone Mission. Postal address: Janet Foord, 2 Cheyne Close, Church Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SQ

Amidu's Testimony

Each month we join Rev Amidu Koroma in prayer for our communities in Sierra Leone. Following his ordination, Amidu took up the role of Minister under the leadership of Magnus Bendu. Read more about his life and career in his testimony below.

Childhood

I was born and grew up at Mongegba Community, Western Area Rural District of Sierra Leone, on 23 June 1986 with my mother, Marie Kargbo, and Lamina Koroma.

My mother was a Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion Church member from the 1980s, and one of the founding members of my first church in the Mongegba Community.

I was brought up as a Muslim because of my father, but I also attended King James Countess of Huntingdon's Primary School in Mongegba. On one occasion, the Head Teacher, John Brima Koroma, invited our class to attend a church thanksgiving service at the newly constructed King James Countess of Huntingdon's Church in Mongegba. After that service I felt the spirit of God in me, and from then on I made sure to always attend church services.

When I finished my primary school education and moved up to the Huntington Junior and Senior Secondary school, I was an active Christian. There was no problem with my father, thanks to the Grace of God, and I went on to become a Youth President at King James Church.

I received my official baptism and confirmation on 5 November 2005 at Christ Church Hastings, under the superintendency of the late Rev Sylvanus Alaba Nicol.

Dream

I had a dream after my baptism. In this dream I was standing in front of a church preaching. I was surprised at the time, but a year later I was encouraged by Rev Daniel Bockril Koromato to teach Sunday School. 

I saw myself as victorious and felt the power of God within me. Service and commitment to the church and my personal conviction had led me to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour.

Becoming a Pastor

I became a Pastor after my senior school education, under the Leadership of Rev Theophilus Nicol, and I was ordained as a Minister under the leadership of Rev Magnus Bendu, Bishop of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, Sierra Leone.

I feel much gratitude to the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion in the UK. I have successfully completed my course as a Bachelor of Theology and I really appreciate the scholarship that was given to me. I also pass on the appreciation of my wife Deborah and my two children, Daniel and Firstina.

With Thanks

I am what I am by the Grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10). Thank you, Jesus, for my life as a Pastor. I spent several years at King James Church, Mongegba before transferring to St John's Circuit, Goderich, Western Area Rural District.

I finally want to thank God for his blessings over my life, and the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion in the UK and Sierra Leone.

New Year Prayers for Sierra Leone

Please join Rev Amidu Koroma in prayer for the New Year in Sierra Leone

Firstly our children send thanks for the joy and delight of their shoebags for Christmas! Thank you so much to everyone who helped provide these precious gifts.

Prayers for the New Year

We bless the name of the Lord for a glorious year 2024. (Psalm 103:1-5).

We ask God for mercy and forgiveness.

Please pray for our nation Sierra Leone’s leadership - and for God’s divine direction.

We pray for a better economy in Sierra Leone, as we experience high cost of living.

Please also pray for God’s provisions over the leadership of The Connexion, Sierra Leone Mission (SLM), Bishop Magnus Bendu and Executive Team.

We ask for prayers for the SLM leadership in UK -  particularly for 'Aunty' Janet O’Shea and the SLM Committee. 

We pray that God will continue to establish and expand our churches and schools in Sierra Leone.

 

And we pray that God will continue to bless our pastors, working in 'God’s vineyard'.

Please pray for our teachers who make sacrifices in order to teach our children. May God continue to bless and inspire them.

We pray that God will continue to bless our relationship with The Connexion in the UK.

Please pray for all missionaries around the world who suffer from preaching the Good News to others. May God continue to give them Grace. 

We pray for all the sick people in the UK and Sierra Leone, especially our church members. May God’s healing power fall on them in Jesus' mighty name. (Isaiah 53:1-5)

We join together in prayer for God’ richest blessing in this New Year of 2024. 

Please pray for faith, courage, wisdom, obedience and love for one another. 

Finally, we thank God for answering our prayers. (Matt 7:7).

Amen

Shoe Bag Treats!

Receiving shoe bags at Christmas is the highlight of the year for many of our children in Sierra Leone.

Every year the bags are put together by volunteers from all over the UK and sent to Magnus for distribution to children from our churches, schools and Bethesda Orphanage on Christmas Day.

The shoe bags are made up from donations received throughout the year and contain a mixture of treats and practical items, small items of clothing, books and toys.

Typical shoe bag contents

2 x toys
water bottle
either T-shirt and shorts
or pants and vest (boys)
or dress and pants (girls)
2 x face cloths
2 x soaps
2 x toothpaste
2 x toothbrushes
2 x writing pencils
2 x pens
2 x exercise books
coloured pencils
ruler
rubber
pencil sharpener

Thank you!

Magnus Bendu sends huge thanks to all of the churches and individuals in the UK for contributing to the shoe bags, which provide an exciting and happy treat for the children in our Sierra Leone communities!

shoebags 2023 2

 shoebags2023 3

shoebags 2023 4

 

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