Sierra Leone: Ebola still affecting Langham Preaching

BY vmarsay | 20 January 2017 |

The issue of Ebola may be out of the news, and it may have been declared no longer an emergency in March last year – but the devastating effects of the disease are still being felt, particularly in the country of Sierra Leone.

Several preaching clubs, started by Langham Preaching, had been running across the country before the epidemic in 2014-2015. Most of the clubs had to come to a standstill during the crisis. Last year, there was a concerted effort to revive these groups and restart the Langham Preaching work in Sierra Leonne.

Joy to reconnect

Chris Jonah directs a ministry there called ‘Truth Mission’, and is also the country-coordinator for Langham Preaching. In his end of year report, Chris wrote about the challenge of Ebola; the struggles faced by ordinary Sierra Leones; but also, the joy as he has reconnected with pastors.

“We have had a number of refresher courses and hope to do so in every major town that participants have come from. A few of the dormant ones are planning to start meeting in 2017.

“It has been a joy going around the country and encouraging others to continue in the skills they had learnt. We’re happy to report that most of those we met still think the training was very good and say it is useful for their roles”.

The Africa Bible Commentary has specifically benefitted preachers in Sierra Leone.

Africa Bible Commentary

He added that some specifically mentioned the benefit of the Africa Bible Commentary, a Langham Literature publication. Chris has also been asked to start another Level 1 programme.

Chris shared one story that particularly encouraged him: “A brother we had not seen for a while came to the ‘last’ Preachers Club meeting in Freetown.

“He mentioned that he always received reminders to attend, but got occupied with other things and was unable to come.

“He went on to lament about the wave of new teachings (e.g. those who wear perfume or have a hair cut will go to hell by the new ‘Holiness Movement’) that are around and how Langham Preaching has helped him a lot to pay attention to the text.”

Chris explained that hearing from this preacher was hugely uplifting, because he is “very unassuming” and

There are thousands of Ebola orphans and survivors who have been left to fend for themselves.

would “hardly say anything” in previous meetings. “God is, and was, at work!”

National crisis

Chris said that for eighteen months, life came to a standstill in Sierra Leone because of Ebola, but their response helped them to further develop relationship with Christians in towns and villages.

“We could not sit down and fail to act in times of national crisis.”

And the problems continue across the country: “There are still serious challenges here as the economy continue to suffer as a result of the epidemic and global economic trends.

“Life for the average Sierra Leonean has become very difficult… The Leones continue to slide against major currencies. Food is expensive, transport prices have almost doubled and this is also affecting the church and our ability to witness and care for others.”

Challenges

Christmas was a time of great activity, “but the challenges are written all over the faces of people”, Chris said.

However, he is thankful to God for many improvements in Sierra Leone, such as work on some of the major roads, clean drinking water in some towns, and freedom to preach the Gospel even in predominantly Muslim areas.

Please pray for Chris as he seeks to ensure the revival of preaching clubs across the country, and push back against false teaching that is so prevalent.

You can also support Langham Preaching through giving financially, and signing up to receive regular prayer updates about the work.

Written by Chris Jonah, Langham Preaching country coordinator for Sierra Leone, adapted by Vic Marsay, Digital Content Producer for Langham Partnership UK and Ireland.

Despite the disruption of Ebola, these students completed their Bible training courses successfully!

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