Category: Africa

Meet Abass from Sierra Leone, Africa

Meet Abass from Sierra Leone, Africa

Written by Elmer & Joann Reifel

Dear Friends & Family,

Several months ago we promised to familiarize you more with our well team members.  It seems to me that we got a little side tracked and here we are in 2017 already!  We are going to start with Abass Fofanah, our Well Team Leader.

Abass is 29 and was born and raised in Mile 91, about one hour west of Bo, where we live.  He is the third of six children and was forced to stop schooling in Class 3 (primary levels) due to the War in Sierra Leone.  When the rebels attacked Mile 91 his family was scattered in the bush and his mother was captured by them.  He and a friend named Joseph, whose sister was also taken by the rebels, decided to ‘infiltrate’ the rebels in an effort to free their family members.  After some time they were able to create a way for Abass’ mother to escape but it was almost six months before they found their own escape in the Hastings area, closer to Freetown. Unfortunately, Joseph lost his life to a land mine while trying.

Abass found himself in Freetown, a street boy– no home and no family to go to for some time.  He connected with those who stayed in an area he referred to as ‘the Dockyard’ where many displaced people lived.  At some point he left when cholera broke out.

He was able to learn construction work and save money so that he could go back to school. By this time he was older so he skipped a few grades intentionally and enrolled in Class 6, which he said was a struggle, but he was able to catch up.

In 2004 he learned that his father and family were staying with an uncle in Rokopu so he was able to see them, but he continued to work and to go to school until he sat his WASC (the final exam to graduate from ‘high school’ in Sierra Leone) in 2010.

During the construction work he met John Campbell and joined a well team. From that first well team he met us and eventually became our well team leader.

His wife lost a baby in 2014 so he was a VERY nervous father-to-be in 2016 as she carried their second child.  While I was visiting family and friends in December/January, his little boy “Elma” was born.   Baby Elmer (pronounced Elma) is doing very well.Abass

The most difficult aspect of well drilling for him is either too much rock in the soil or what is called ‘collapsing’ soil, which fills up the hole faster than it can be dug out.  This happened to our third hole in Wonah, causing some MAJOR extra work.

The part of well drilling that he enjoys the most is when the four inch pipe has been secured into the hole and the men have ‘clarified’ it— because at that point he knows that this well is going to be DONE.

Abass is a strong character and a hard worker but he does not appear to be in complete fellowship with Christ yet.  He believes in God, as many do, but the relationship with Christ seems to be missing right now.   Pray that he will be able to commit himself to the Lord “one hundred percent” (his favorite phrase)!

We invite you to partner with us in our Ministry, donations can be made by going online to: cinami.org/reifel

also check out the amazing “Clean Water” video on this site.

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Agricultural Program in Liberia, West Africa

Agricultural Program in Liberia, West Africa

Written by CinA Missionary Christian Kallon:

With the upgrade of our NGO status, the ministry took up an Agricultural Program with the Town of Tosor, a two-mile distance away from Robertsport early in January 2017 with identification of farm land, clearing of bushes and plowings.  There are presently 60 persons, mostly women in the community that have been placed into three groups of twenty in each.  The church being the fourth group uses its piece of land for demonstration purposes whereby community members are taught about good farming techniques. 

With the swampy terrain of the County, Corn (the three-month variety) would be planted for this season until April before starting the upland farming. Mostly vegetables are the program’s focus for now until April when the community will go into Cassava (liken to yucca) farming. The ministry’s strategy here is befriending and creating the occasion to reach out with the Gospel.  By this farming also, Christians in Action Mission will positively impact lives by being part of the Government’s outreach for FOOD SECURITY.

If you would like to support the Kallon’s ministry visit: cinami.org/kallon

Top student in the country was one of ours.

Top student in the country was one of ours.

It feels good to connect with you again, as we share what our Lord is doing in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  We hope you and your family are doing great by God’s grace.  You have been in our prayers, and we know you are praying for us too.The rainy season, which has brought us some relief from the heat and the dust is over, and the heat is back with a bang. Nonetheless we are hanging in there.

Soul Winning Seminar

Our churches have not held a Soul Winning Seminar for over a decade now, and we were so happy to be able to do so at this point in time.  A lot of our school and college church members were involved, as they were on school break.  Daphne and I traveled to one of the provincial towns to teach one of the classes.

Witnessing for Christ is one of two things Christians in Action is well known for in Sierra Leone, so it was a real joy to be able to revive this.  With the exception of the Kono church which rescheduled for January next year, we had a total of 942 souls who accepted Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior and Lord.  Reports and testimonies received, are very encouraging, there is an urgency and excitement on the part of some church members who have not evangelized in a long time, and have now made it a regular weekly activity.  There is also a corresponding increase in church growth.  These new converts will be discipled, and by God’s grace become remaining and reproducing fruit in the body of Christ.  We thank God for the great and amazing work He is doing in Sierra Leone!!

Christmas camp

December is the time of year when we organize Christmas camp for our children, during the Christmas break.  This year, we are planning for 300 kids, which will give them the opportunity to get to know kids from the other churches, make friends and enjoy a wonderful time together.  Please help us make this happen by giving financially and praying for everyone involved.

Mission schools

CinASL has five (5) schools in the country, and I spent some time visiting them.  The situation is dire as these school are facing a lot of challenges: – teachers are not adequately paid, because there are not enough kids enrolled in our schools, as parents can’t afford to send their kids to our schools.  These parents want the best of education for their offspring, but sadly cannot get it.  The Government run schools are overcrowded with some unqualified teachers, and not much learning. There is a need for school materials: – textbooks, notebooks, writing kits, etc., furniture, as desks and chairs are broken after years of much use. Since the post Ebola period, things have changed considerably for the worse, and the government subsidy on fees will end soon.

kids-in-class

The story is not all a bleak one, as the majority of these kids are eager to learn and are appreciative of any knowledge that is imparted to them, even though their environment is not conducive to learning.  In the last year exam to enter middle school, the top student in the whole country was one of ours.

One or two schools are in need of an administrator to set things in order.  We also need professionals to help do refresher courses for our teachers.

 Please pray for: 

  • the momentum for evangelism that it will continue
  • the Christmas camp for kids & the organizers
  • our schools – more students to enroll, supplies needed
  • the cost of living in Sierra Leone; the government will soon be introducing austerity measures that will be harder on the average person, which will result in greater suffering

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Together with Him,
Issa & Daphne Kargbo

Click here to support the Kargo’s ministry – www.cinami.org/kargbo

 

Establishing A Transformed Generation

Greetings from rainy Freetown Freetown-Sierra Leone.

All the churches of Christians in Action Sierra Leone are operating under the theme of Establishing a Transformed Generation for Such a Time as This, as we go through a period of makeover for the entire ministry. It is our prayer that the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit will do something new in us, as we move forward.

The first Thursday of May has been instituted as a National Day of Prayer and fasting for the ministry of CinASL, it was a day of reflections, supplication and thanksgiving, and this will be observed on a yearly basis. On May 25th-29th, we held our Annual Conference meeting in Bo, the second largest city in Sierra Leone, which is about 150 miles from Freetown. Since the inception of our National Conference 31 years ago, this is the first time we have had it outside the capital, Freetown. We are so thankful to God for meeting our financial needs to make this meeting possible. It is so amazing what God can do when you completely put your trust in Him. The conference was well attended, as every church was fully represented. One of the highlights of the event was the witnessing outreach held in the community, with 60 people making a decision for Christ, and 10 of them joining us in the Thanksgiving Service on Sunday.

Let me take this opportunity to give thanks to the Lord for our students. Eleven of them graduated from our National Training School. It was a day of celebration as they shared how they benefited from the course. A new batch of 11 students have entered the training School, after the last graduation. This is how we build leaders through training, and we are so excited about what God is doing, as we prepare our future leaders.

July 1

The Lord will never cease to do amazing things – one of our church members from the Central Church bought 4 motor cycles for our pastors. God moved him to meet this urgent need, and he responded. What a surprise!  But that’s how God works, where you least expect is where the miracle will come from.  We have 6 bikes, 3 more to go!

Please pray for:

  • A speedy trial of our land case in the high court. As of now, the defense team is creating delaying tactics and no-show to bug down the process.
  • All students to complete the CPC course
  • Good health, favor, wisdom for me as I am faced with resistance and challenges from both within and without.

Thank you for partnering with us in the Lord’s work.

Together With Him,

Issa & Daphne Kargbo

Click here to support the Kargo’s ministry – www.cinami.org/kargbo

the Car, the Hospitality, the Community

We received funding for a Motor bike for our village outreaches. Since Fallie is in our focus for now, we are working with our evangelism team, training and preparing them for the task ahead. We want to thank some of our special friends in Fresno for their financial support in meeting this need.

july 2016 bike

Fallie Village is a town that is about 20 Km always from Robertsport. Besides being a Muslim community, the people depend largely on agriculture for business and their livelihood. From the Cassava Farming, they get Gari and Foofoo which form part of the Liberian staple food.  We got connected to this town when our car power suddenly went off while we were on our way back to Robertsport from Monrovia.  We spent the night i on the request of the young men in that community who gave us one of their huts to stay in for the night.  With that gesture of hospitality from the young men, we quickly became friends.

On the following morning our vehicle was fixed and got on our way for Robertsport. On our arrival, Augusta and I took some time to ponder through the drama – the breakdown of our car, hospitality of the community and the hut we slept in; in it all, we could sense the Lord speaking to us about an outreach in that village. Visiting with the elders and leaders sometime later, it was confirmed to us that God was in it.  In that meeting, the community leaders expressed their openness to any religion that may wish to settle among them. They further promise to give us a place/land in their town for our ministry.

To reciprocate for their hospitality, we decided to celebrate the Christmas with them during which time we fed their children.  All the children gathered in the school building. Christian songs were raised and sung followed by prayer and sharing of the Gospel message by one of our elders who spoke their dialect. The entire program was a joyous moment where we had good fellowship and new friendships were established.

july 2016 2

We want to thank the Lord for the opportunity to reach out to the Fallie community. We plan to put the women into groups, provide at least one Gari-processing machine for their gari and foo-foo industry and request for farmland to grow cassava and other vegetables for demonstration farming.

May the Lord bless you.

Christian and Augusta Kallon, Missionaries in West Africa

Click here to support the Kallon’s ministries –www.cinami.org/kallon

 

THESE PEOPLE DO NOT JUST NEED THE WATER, THEY NEED THE WORD.

depp wellYou know how it is after a big project is done.. time to tackle all the other stuff that waited for the  Big One to finish and seek an opportunity to rest shortly after that.  We took about a week at home to deal with urgent things in Bo before driving to Freetown.  We are still sorting through the details of having a well ministry here so we spent some time with Rev. Issa, the CinA National Superintendent, discussing that and other CinA issues. The truck underwent another mechanical ‘update’; we bought more equipment for our next well project (sponsored by a local missionary who lives in Baomahun, about two hours away); and we enjoyed resting and spending time with a missionary family of seven in Freetown.  We even made it to the beach for the first time in ‘forever’…well sort of. We sat close to it and relaxed but an incoming rainstorm cooled things off too much to go swimming…  North Americans might have enjoyed it but we Africans found it a wee bit chilly!

Next week we are hosting guests from Freetown- missionary friends the first half of the week, then Issa and Daphne Kargbo and one of the members of the Christians in Action SL Board who will be here for five days for the Annual General Meeting.  Please pray for delicate situations to be handled well and resolved and a spirit of unity and fellowship under the authority of Jesus Christ.  In preparation for these guests, God provided a bed for our office/guestroom.  It isn’t ‘compact’ but we quite like it’s unique style and feel much better about having people staying—especially as the rains sometimes are not stopped by our aluminum windows, creating large puddles INSIDE the rooms along the back of our house!

At the end of this month we plan to travel to Baomahun for the next well installation for a local school property.  We will be spending time with the missionaries there as well ~ Stephen and Laura Holt.  They have been working there for over four years.  Wells for schools have presented us with a problem in terms of volunteers to help with clarifying the well.  When that day comes we ideally need twenty men to form two teams, one to rest while the other is running.  Head count right now is five volunteers.  Being a mining community many want to be paid for missing a day at work.  That day might be the day they ‘hit it big’.  So pray that we get enough ‘hands’ to get the job done right.

Within a week of learning that we put a well in Wonah, FIVE more villages refiel maycontacted our Koidu pastor and begged for help with wells for their own villages….THESE PEOPLE DO NOT JUST NEED THE WATER, THEY NEED THE WORD.

We PRAISE THE LORD for:

  • Supporters who sent funds to help us do some major repairs on the truck in March.  May the LORD make His face to shine upon you and bless you.
  • For friends in Freetown who open their homes to us when we need to spend time in the capitol (hotels are expensive)
  • For mechanics in Bo and Freetown who get ‘er done so we can get on the road
  • For light again after two weeks without (a jeep hit the pole just before our house, snapping it in two. Pole won, jeep lost, two men in hospital)
  • For more missionary friends to fellowship with
  • For pastors’ interests in some of the ideas we have to help with agriculture and ministry in rural areas
  • For being able to help a former, trustworthy employee find employment
  • For an overnight visit from Steve and Sheila & Aaron and Min who made us a stopping place on their prayer journey in Sierra Leone a week ago.  Their love, encouragement, goodies and kimchi, as well as healing prayers really lifted our spirits

reifels It is getting to the time of year that we need to plan for our annual mission house
rental payment. This isn’t just our home, it is our office, storage for well drilling equipment, and a place to start our agricultural projects…in other words, ideally situated for the work that we are doing.   Please prayerfully consider if God would like you to help support our work in this way.

To support the Reifel’s  ministry click here – cinami.org/reifel.html

Salone Connection

“We’re getting your room ready for you,” Eleanor texted us a few days ago.  We are so blessed to have wonderful Sierra Leonean friends that count us as family… and are always ready to host us!  We fly from

London tomorrow evening, and are delighted we can both go to Sierra Leone this time!

MISSION TO SIERRA LEONE – 28 Nov to 17 Dec

Our mission will include guest teaching at two weekend seminars for pastors, coordinating plans for a 2016 SOMA conference in Freetown, visiting Christians in Action schools (in Freetown, Bo  & Kenema),  and just being there to listen and encourage. November has been a momentous month for Sierra Leone!  On the 7th, the World Health Organization officially announced the end of the Ebola epidemic in the country.  Our friend, Donald, a key member of the UK Sierra Leone Prayer Network, has been there for several weeks and wrote from Freetown…

“I’ve been thrilled to be back home in Freetown… for the past 4 weeks. Praise the Lord, I was privileged to be there with friends and family to witness the formal declaration by the WHO.… There was much anxiety counting down to D-Day, nationwide prayer vigils, and fasting right through for all to go well without a hitch.  There was a tangible sense of relief when the end was announced following 18 months of the Ebola plague, [over 14,000] recorded infections… and after the tragic loss of [3,955 lives], of which 221 were health workers – many whom we knew personally as friends.  There were spontaneous celebrations with churches packed full, street parties, football matches, political rallies, markets overflowing…. Today (Nov 21) there was a National Gathering of Churches… at the National Stadium to thank God for the end of the Ebola crisis.”Untitled

Remember the many families that have been affected by Ebola, doctors and health workers, support teams and orphans who lost loved ones, and pray for rebuilding of broken communities. Pray for psychological healing.  Ebola brought fear, uncertainty and destruction that has affected every aspect of life, society, and the economy.  Pray for God’s wisdom for church leaders to be of one heart – exalting Jesus above the nation.

So as we go to Sierra Leone at this time…We give praise for God’s amazing and timely provision, our visas and tickets (the flight we were booked on was cancelled 4 days ago; direct flights, post-Ebola, have not yet been approved by the UK authorities, and we will now be flying via Casablanca).  We’re also delighted to be staying with friends! Their home is the perfect base for us.

Please pray for:

  • safe travel, good health, and physical endurance
  • the pastors’ seminars (4-5 Dec and 10-13 Dec) and other times of ministry
  • the Holy Spirit’s leading and inspiration, and for sensitivity to ‘God’s appointments’
  • protection from spiritual attack throughout the mission

 

And the Lord also be with you,

Ken & Yvonne Wiebe

Click here to support the Wiebe’s ministry – www.cinami.org/wiebe.html

26 Days and counting….

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.

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The BEAST

Jiya, Joseph, Idrissa. KH site3Our 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