By Dr. Conrad Van Dijk, HFSL Director
The people of Sierra Leone are voting for a new president this year, and with their vote there is a great desire for hope. During my visits to the country I am often speaking on the importance and power of hope. In a nation that has long suffered from hopelessness, the message has had a strong impact. But while I was there in February I not only heard about a desire for hope, I saw Christian pastors and leaders taking action to promote hope through organized prayer gatherings.
I was in Sierra Leone for their last election in 2012. Back then I didn’t see any election-related prayer gatherings. But this year, I saw at least a half dozen of these meetings take place. I was so pleased to see Christian leaders recognizing the importance of prayer for the election and their government.
I even heard calls for hope and transformation from the podium of presidential candidates.
One of the election gatherings took place in a football stadium. Some of the candidates were talking about how the country needs to have hope for the future. The president even said, “Sierra Leone needs to be transformed.” It was amazing to hear the highest leader in the country calling for transformation.
This is a very important vote. The outgoing president has been in power for the past 10 years, which is the maximum that a person can hold office in their electoral system. So this vote can mean a significant change to the direction of the country.
The first vote was held on March 7, but a leader wasn’t chosen, so they will have a second vote on March 27. I encourage you to pray for the government and that God will use their leaders to stir up hope and embrace national transformation.
Here in Canada, over the next year and a half we have our own elections taking place. They, too, represent opportunities for positive change in our cities and across the country. I hope we can all be inspired by what’s happening in Sierra Leone to have a Godly hope for our own government, nation, and vote.