In Sierra Leone, a country where 60% of the population is Muslim, children in our ministry are now hearing the good news of Jesus, and many are stepping out to follow Christ. With a new ministry center currently under construction, we are excited to see all God will continue to do to raise up leaders for His kingdom in Sierra Leone. Our Ministry Director in Sierra Leone, Shara Johnson, shares her hopes for the children we serve as they enter adulthood.
“Walking up the steps to our current center in Waterloo, I expected to hear the same familiar sounds I hear most days: our leaders and interns discussing new ideas, boys playing loudly, neighbors popping in to say “hello”. But this time, when I turned the corner to start up the steps, I heard an unusual noise. I realized it was the sound of a sewing machine. A smile spread over my face. I turned the corner to see a young man intensely focused on running the cloth under the needle…looking so grown up. Last year, four young men completed their trade skills programs: Two graduated in mechanical engineering, one in computer programming, and one in tailoring, Joseph Komba is the recent tailoring graduate and the same young man I encountered working so diligently that day at the ministry center. Joseph’s sponsor in the US had bought him a sewing machine of his own that Joseph could practice and begin working once he finished his apprenticeship at the tailor’s shop. After 2 years of working under a local tailor, Joseph has now completed all the training he needs to begin working independently.
Then a thought came to mind. “Jospeh is equipped to sew school uniforms for our 21 boys who are still in school in Waterloo. If we pay a tailor to sew the uniforms, why not pay Joseph?” God started working in my mind, and I remembered that the building we currently rent in Waterloo for ministry had a room up front that could be used as a shop or office. Would Joseph want to turn that shop into his tailoring headquarters?
I threw out my idea to Daniel, our Operations Coordinator, to which he replied, “Shara, I had the same idea!”. This is how God always works with our team here in Sierra Leone. It’s a rare day that one of us has an idea regarding the ministry that God has not also already put in the hearts of the others.
Once we were in agreement, the ideas came pouring out:
“Joseph could teach our younger children how to sew in our new ministry center!”
“Abu could teach our kids computer skills!”
“I always wanted Isatu to be our nurse-on-call when she completes her LVN program!”
It was so exciting to think about how God could raise up these children to help lead this ministry in the future! We could employ them to use their skills to serve God and their community. It has always been our hope at the 25 Project that the children in our ministry would become leaders in their communities and gain opportunities to be employed and break the cycle of poverty in their families. How much better to be able to provide some with those opportunities right within our own walls?”
This article was written by Shara Johnson, our Director of Sierra Leone Ministry. It was first featured in our 2020 Annual Report.