Yes, twenty five days since we have had any new cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone! Our faces aren’t ‘purple’ from holding our breath yet but maybe they should be. We are so ready for this to be over! We are certainly grateful for being this far along without any!
The last CDC team members assigned to Bo arrived this week and are packing up their bags and freezers here. While some are packing, others are catching bats for research (now there’s an interesting job assignment we’re not cut out for…!). We will miss the times we were able to spend with them. They have worked so hard, working twelve hour days, seven days a week for three weeks or more straight! We are glad for them as they get to return to their families, and for Sierra Leone as it seems that Ebola is almost through here.
September for us has involved reports, finances and the annual renewal of important documents that allow us to work here along with getting the last items for digging wells and our rental arrangement. We are also reviewing our notes for a Leadership Training program coming up in the last weekend of October for the Emmanuel CinA Church here in Bo. We are expecting fifteen to twenty people from the congregation to attend our classes to learn more about godly leadership. There are some serious issues that will be dealt with so please be in prayer for the outcome of this training.
Our missionary friend, Kayla, who is a nurse/midwife working in Bo, scheduled for a well to be drilled by one of the Willamette (mission) well drilling teams already up and running full time, so we had three of our new crew – Idrissa, Jiyah and Joseph, working with them to get more experience. It was a good experience, though not a fun one, because they ran into ROCK. Apparently a massive one, about 36 feet below the surface. Granite rock– which made more of an impact on ‘the beast’ – ‘hammer’ than the hammer did on the granite!! Wow! So, learning the process and enduring the strain of digging of six or so holes in order to get one good well was a good learning experience, albeit frustrating for them.
Thirty more citrus trees have been planted at the JCC farm. We have more trees that need to be planted (including an avocado that sprung up 18” during our absence!) but need to wait on decisions made at JCC to know if we should plant there or elsewhere. Their lime trees are producing really well and they have sent out over 400 limes to the school in the last two weeks.
Sunday School is back! Three new teaching volunteers have stepped up and the program is resuming. I know we had AT LEAST 90 some children in that one room school last Sunday! Next month we will be bringing in another missionary friend from Freetown, Jayne Smyth, who will spend a couple days training local church leadership how to teach Sunday School. I am looking forward to that myself! There is always more to learn!
Health: We would appreciate continued prayer for Elmer’s lingering health issues resulting from the concussion, and for his allergies to not interfere with the work as much as they do. It’s very frustrating for him/us. Most days he is fine, but they are unpredictable.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian family and friends!
Thanking God for the life,
Blessings to you…
Elmer & Joann Reifel
To support the Refiel’s ministry click here – www.cinami.org/reifel