During her trip to Sierra Leone in January and February, Janet accompanied Magnus for three nights to meet and feed children, who are forced to live on the streets in Kabala, Makeni and Waterloo.
Magnus has been visiting the street children for a number of years, and several of those he has cared for have joined Bethesda Orphanage to live a very different life. His great compassion and strong faith in God, enable him to build trust and instil hope by feeding the children both spiritually and physically, sharing the encouragement of Jesus and the nourishment of food and drink.
Travelling late at night, between 11pm and midnight, enabled Janet and Magnus to meet and feed approximately 180 children.
The reasons for children needing to live on the streets are various. Many are orphans with no means of tracing family members, others may have been abandoned or run away from home. Sierra Leone suffers from great poverty, and food or nourishment of any kind is often hard to come by.
The street visits follow a typical routine of firstly sharing the Gospel, then sharing victuals.
At the first destination in Kabala, dealing with the children was relatively easy. Everyone settled down quietly to hear a bible reading and the distribution of food and drink was carried out smoothly.
The next visit to Makeni, however, was not quite so straightforward. The children's age span was wide, ranging from a 3 year-old boy, who lives with his mother and brother on the streets, to older boys and girls in their teens. The group listened well to the bible readings, but when Janet started to give out the food, she needed to be rescued by Magnus as she was faced with a sudden surge of children, who were so desperate to receive something to eat.
A similar experience also took place at Waterloo. Everything started off well and the children listened attentively as Janet read to them. But the moment it was anticipated that food was on the way, the mood changed considerably, presenting a safety threat. She and Magnus attempted to leave in their car, but children were clinging to the vehicle and begging for food. They were able to drive off and parked the car some distance away, before returning to the scene after about 20 minutes to a smaller group of children, who they were then able to provide for. Magnus noted that the group included a young girl, Augustine, who was probably about 8 years-old. He and Janet prayed for her and Magnus is currently making enquiries to try to gain more information about the little girl.
Janet's three days with the street children provided her with a stark reminder of just how hungry these children are and how their instinct for survival overrides everything else. She said, 'None of the children meant to cause any harm, they are just so VERY hungry, and desperately trying to survive'.
We would welcome your prayers for all of the street children and any financial support you can provide, if that is possible.
All contributions, big or small, are very gratefully received.
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:
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