November 2013 Mission Trip
On Nov. 16th, a team of 8 people from Atlanta, including one 13 year old girl, headed to SLIMS. After a flight change in Accra, a landing in Lungi airport, a ferry to Freetown, and a taxi ride, our group arrived at the Hotel 510 outside of Wellington.
Some of the highlights of the next week were: visiting classrooms and meeting teachers and children, interviewing the top graduating seniors, attending a Young Life Sierra Leone meeting, delivering medicine (donated by U.S. doctors) to the clinic, and setting up laptops (donated by local businesses) for a future computer lab. The students were introduced to volleyball, UNO, and Go Fish. We had fun singing the Big Daddy Weave song, “The Only Name”, with the students. We enjoyed watching the school soccer team scrimmage the teachers wearing their donated Georgia Soccer uniforms.
Thomas Hammond, Lead Pastor and Dave Gunter, Executive Pastor, from First Baptist Church Alpharetta taught leadership training to over 40 local pastors as part of First Baptist’s continuing support of pastors in Sierra Leone. They also preached at a two-night Crusade at the school where many people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, including several Muslims who live near the school.
We are in awe of how God is working at SLIMS!
Kathryn & Becky
April 2010 Mission Trip
In April 2010 a team from Atlanta, Georgia spent 10 days in Sierra Leone at SLIMS in Wellington and Grafton. Though we went to SLIMS with the intent of serving the children there, as usual by the end of the trip we were the ones served and truly blessed. To have a small part in God’s plan for Sierra Leone is a humbling thought. The love shown to us was astounding and as one Pastor said “we are praying for you in America, and are sending missionaries to you”. Yes, we need it here.
After several different airports and planes the real trip begins at the arrival in the Lungi airport in Sierra Leone. It is there that we wait for hours for our luggage in this 2 gate airport. We can look outside on the runway and see our luggage, but we must wait. Slowing down is necessary in Africa. After all our bags are counted for except one, we leave with our drivers and head to the famous “ferry”. This 40 minute ride, after another hour wait, is more than words can describe. Our first view of the main land is the beautiful mountains of Sierra Leone. The second view, as we approach the port in Freetown, are two ships burned in the war with the rebels 11 years ago. The wreckage remains as a reminder of the war. The natural beauty of the country and the contrast of the images of the war with the rebels will soon become noticed daily as we begin to meet the people of Sierra Leone.
While at SLIMS a team of American coaches and local SLIMS coaches ran a basketball clinic for three days for students and local children. Upward Basketball donated 3,000 basketball uniforms (shorts and jersey’s), and all were given out before the end of the clinic. There were approximately 1,100-1,300 kids per day that attended the clinic and heard the gospel. Hundreds of kids were hanging around the basketball courts all day long. This was Upward’s third basketball clinic at SLIMS (2007, 2008, 2010).
Solar Light for Africa donated solar panels, and a team led by Alden Hathaway and local mechanical engineering students installed the solar panels on the roof of the administration building. Alden taught the students about solar power. All the students are so eager to learn. It is the first time at the school that a portion has permanent power. No more noisy generator’s for the administration and library building.
We were able to coordinate the trip during Easter time and attended a Sunday service at Sierra Leone International Mission (SLIM). SLIM is a church that operates on the school campus, and has people attending from nearby communities. Pastor Sulaiman and Pastor Lebi (Who help operate the school) gave great messages, and we were thankful their language is English. We were humbled by their generosity as they gave to the kingdom. The offering was truly a symbol of giving all that one has. I heard many times- “we do not have much, but we give it all to God”.
On Monday (an Easter Holiday) we went to a small village called Jui. We stayed most of the day there to worship and watch about 20 people get baptized in a beautiful river. After each person was baptized, a song was sung as the were coming out of the water. It was a great picture of “rebirth”. Each person baptized wore white clothes to symbolize a new purity in life, and each worshiped for one another.
We spent the late afternoon in Grafton visiting the SLIMS school there that began in 2008. It has grown to 108 students and plans are underway to expand the campus. Grafton is a beautiful town blessed with rich resources from natural rivers and streams. Grafton Springs is located there which is a water bottling company, and one of the largest in Sierra Leone.
Leaving Sierra Leone is always difficult as we all were reminded of how blessed we are to live in America, and how many people are in true daily needs. The Christians in Sierra Leone find their strength and hope in their faith in God. They recognize probably more than us how God provides for them daily, and they have nothing else to trust in. What a great spot to be in- The Father’s Love.