From Raising Healthy Chickens to Fuelling Hope for a Nation
By: Bruce Mann, Hope for Sierra Leone Director
Can a society really be transformed? Can we really disciple nations? Jesus seems to think we can.
In fact, when Jesus taught us to pray he specifically told us to pray that his kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In the great commission, Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all nations. It seems that Jesus had more in mind for us than to get people to heaven; he seems to want to get some of heaven into this world. That is the heart of transformation: that we would pursue God’s kingdom being established in God’s way.
This kind of kingdom transformation on earth is exactly what is happening in Sierra Leone.
It started with Conrad and Anna Van Dijk spending many years building a strong foundation of relationship and trust with the people of Sierra Leone. You may have been following and supporting them since they began their ministry years ago. If so, you know that what started as addressing an immediate need – teaching their farmers to raise chickens effectively – developed to addressing the root cause of a lack in hope, which was feeding into a culture futility that often digressed into corruption.
In the past three years, this work has expanded to cover not only the agricultural needs of Sierra Leone but other important spheres of influence such as the police, academic community, traffic authority, fire department and the organized church to mention a few.
The work of Hope for Sierra Leone has accelerated in the past few years by combining these two foundational truths in a synergistic way.
We are seeing many people embrace the message of transformation and integrity, because it is offering them hope that things can change.
Most people don’t want to function in corrupt ways, but they feel like it’s the only way they can get by. The entrenched cultural norms they face have a powerful influence. However, when they are offered a compelling reason to change, have the necessary training, and the support of a growing community committed to function with integrity, they are quick to embrace the change.
Our next major effort is coming up at the end of October. I will be returning to Sierra Leone with Bill Pipki from Commissioning a Lifestyle of Integrity to meet with current cohort leaders and those interested in coming on board, to encourage and provide training needed to grow the movement of integrity and transformation. We are also planning to expand the network into several villages outside Freetown, and into two inland new cities, Bo and Kenema.
Your faithful support of Conrad, Anna and TSL Director Desmond Johnson has been vital to the effort to see Sierra Leone transformed by the whole Gospel. I feel privileged to carry on the work and am so grateful for your ongoing support.
Our budget for this fall’s work, and the continued support of Desmond this year, is approximately $10,000. Please accept in advance my thanks for considering how you can help us continue to see the nation of Sierra Leone transformed and people come into committed relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thanks so much,