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Sierra Leone Update

I-pods, computers, video games, and cell phones; many children in the U.S. are continually looking for the next great gadget to bring them happiness. How about the children in the Karen Baird’s Children Home in Sierra Leone? What brings them overwhelming joy? Bibles. That’s right, God’s Word. The children have been longing for their very own Bibles since I first met them four years ago. These children have seen their world and lives transformed because of the love of God. They have seen and interacted with multiple missionary groups that have come in the name of Christ to help them develop both physically and spiritually. As my pastor says, “The Bible is not for information only, but for transformation through application.” The children have had their lives transformed, but I pray that with their own Bibles they will learn more, apply it to their lives, and grow spiritually. Pastor Rogers and his staff are determined to see these children become the Christian leaders that their country needs in order to spread the Gospel. They know that God can accomplish all things and He has a plan for them. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). I would like to thank Grace Community Church in Texas for raising the funding required to provide the children with Bibles.

The rainy season has descended upon Sierra Leone. With an average of 19 feet of rain a year; the rains are both a blessing and a hindrance. The rains are welcomed for the farming projects Pastor Rogers has implemented. With four more acres cleared and planted, the rains will ensure that the crops take root. We’ve planted a second crop of cassava and potatoes, as well as ground nuts (similar to peanuts) and leaf vegetables. The first harvest of cassava has begun and the processing of the root. All the children assist with clearing, planting, and weeding.

The rains have halted the progress of the Pig Project. We began production of mud blocks for the structure, but the rains prevented the blocks from drying properly, and in some cases washed them away completely. While initially disappointing, the delay will allow an architect in Massachusetts to finish researching, designing, and shipping the plans of a proper structure to Pastor Rogers. He and his staff are also able to learn more about raising pigs from other local farmers and from books that were sent over in March. Despite unexpected challenges, God continues to keep His hand on all the projects at the Home.

The rains also increase the mosquito population. We can expect many of the children to contract malaria. The only protection they have is from bed nets that stifle any breeze that may give them relief from the heat. God willing, the clinic will have the proper medication and an adequate supply.

Please continue to pray for the following: the children and staff of the orphanage, an increase in the monthly support raised for the Home (a minimum of an additional $500 a month is needed to cover the costs of schooling), completion of Pastor Rogers’ house, and success of all the farming projects. Thank you to all who participate in the project and support it financially. God is blessing this project! Hope is realized by the hopeless and the Gospel of Christ is being spread. Check out New Hope Initiative on YouTube to see the work being accomplished.

By Phil d’Entremont - Project Director: Sierra Leone