Sierra Leone: delighting in God’s word
‘As we listened to the 40-minutes’ exposition, and the question-and-answer session that followed, our hearts were filled with joy. God has been extremely faithful. In spite of the prosperity/social gospel it is obvious that people are hungry for God’s word. Caller after caller expressed delight at the way she [Agnes] brought out the details of the text and preached Christ!’
This report came from Christo Jonah, of Langham Preaching in Sierra Leone (SL). He had just listened to a radio broadcast by Agnes B.
Agnes studied at a travelling Bible school that runs day courses for Christian workers and a three-year diploma course for trainee pastors. In addition, she completed all three levels of Langham Preaching training, as well as all three levels of Langham Preaching Facilitator training.
When the pastor of Agnes’s home church became ill and died very suddenly, she was asked to join the leadership team.
Supported by her mother and brother, she also continues teaching Old Testament Narrative for students of the Bible school.
The school facilitates a weekly one-hour Bible exposition radio broadcast. It reaches listeners in the western, southern and eastern provinces of SL and in the border towns of Liberia. Through that initiative Agnes discovered she has another very particular ministry gift: radio broadcasting!
About a third of the population of SL live in Freetown. The prosperity gospel is rampant there, but in the rural towns and villages people are so desperately poor that that ‘gospel’ has little impact (SL is 177th out of the 187 countries listed in the United Nations Human Development Index). Few Christian parents in remote areas can afford to send their children to school – school fees are about 10 (UK)£ per term.
Learning from radio broadcasts is a lifeline.
The majority-Muslim country SL is known for religious tolerance. Muslims (60%) and Christians (20-30%) largely coexist peacefully, though the mainly nominally-Muslim families renounce converts to Christianity.
Christo Jonah thankfully delights in God’s blessing, particularly in Agnes’s ministry. But he is sober about the challenges faced by the church in SL too. Does his words not arrest you like the closing paragraphs of the Apostle Paul’s NT letters?
‘I particularly want to thank God for Agnes … She was on the radio the last two Sundays and spoke from Rev 1 on the resurrected Christ, and on God’s sovereign control over the nations from Dan 2 … As a result of the radio broadcast in Bo some of the Christians there are asking for a regular training programme … The work is expanding and we need more resources … We also want to thank our partners that give to make some of this possible … A lot of the fruit we are seeing today is a testament to these two courses (Cornhill Training Course and Langham Preaching).’
Source: Christo Jonah, Langham Preaching country coordinator for Sierra Leone