Sierra Leone

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March 2011, Update by Rev. Paul Martin

                    Ministries Coordinator SL


First Ordinations


     March 18 marked a historic occasion for the Sierra Leone Church of the Nazarene as the first two candidates were ordained. As General Superintendent in jurisdiction of the Africa Region, Dr. David Graves presided as the officiating leader. Rev. Mark Louw, Africa West Field Strategy Coordinator, was also present for the celebrative ceremony. Rev. Paul Martin, district superintendent, led the preliminaries of the service as master of ceremonies.

      Following the district superintendent’s presentation of the candidates and their wives to the general superintendent, Dr. Graves led the candidates in liturgical queries of their vows to become guardians of the doctrine, the polity, the philosophy of ministry, and the practices of the Church of the Nazarene. After the general superintendent’s engaging sermon on “Apollos,” the candidates knelt at the altar where Dr. Graves laid his hands on their heads and prayed the ordination prayer. He also prayed for each of their wives who knelt beside them.


Church in Eastern Sierra Leone Sets Sights “Forward”


     Following the funeral of Pastor Ngobeh, Rev. Vidal Cole, serving as designated representative of the district superintendent, met with the pastors in the Segbwema area. Rev. Cole challenged and inspired them to continue the great work Pastor Ngobeh had begun. The pastors, though greatly saddened by their loss, responded positively.

     Pastor Ngobeh had just started a church fellowship in Batubu            village. The designated leader for this fellowship approached Rev. Cole at the funeral stating, Though we have lost our leader, we are moving forward!

     Prayers are rising for the churches in the Sebwema area.


Churches Catching the Vision


     Thirteen churches submitted finance reports along with their World Evangelism Fund, District Fund, and TE Fund for the months of January and February 2011. This is the highest number yet on this developing district! The zone coordinators are leading forward with this vision and it is beginning to “catch”. To these leaders and the pastors catching the vision we say, “Lead on!”


Rev. Vidal Cole’s Report This Month



Victories the past month: Finally the special awaited event took place (Ordination). Wow it was a high moment and point in our lives. It gave all of us a new perspective of the church and we were very inspired. This great event left an indelible mark in the hearts of everyone including our guests. For those of us in the church we were inspired to move to new depths with God and the work of the ministry. Even more than ever before every one is determined to move on with the work, the challenges notwithstanding. Morale is very high. We give God all the glory.


Churches started this month: A new church plant up on the hillsides. Holiness is gradually been spread up the mountains of the east end part of the city. 


Challenges encountered this past month: Our major challenge is to come up with a strategy by which we can offer the T.E. classes to our new upcoming leaders in the district. Even though they are young people, they love God very much and they are involved in the work of the ministry. They long for training that will make them more effective in ministry.


Personal Comments: Ministry is becoming more exciting even as responsibilities continue to increase. We look to the Lord for his continued grace and support so that we will be the kind of leaders that he wants us to be. Our lives are in his hands and we are ready to his will.


In addition, Rev. Joseph Jalloh wrote:


Help us with prayers especially to this new church plant [Ogoo Farm] for God’s presence to the lives of this new believers. Also help us with prayers as we go out to plant new churches that God will help us raise strong committed leaders who can help facilitate the church planting movement within this zone and beyond.

















Update:  July 2010

Rev. Paul Martin



Pastor Encouraged by Greater Participation


     Pastor Vidal Cole of Overcomers Assembly Church of the Nazarene reports, “The young people and the women are becoming more and more active in the church. They are taking responsibility and participating at a greater level.”



New Couple Won to Christ


     At the Banga Farm church Pastor Paul Kallon was asked to dedicate a young infant. The next Sunday both parents said they were ready to give their lives to Christ! This pastor was rejoicing in this victory and indicates he is moving this couple on in to discipleship studies.


Another – from Another World Religion


     Pastor Joseph Jalloh wrote, “A strong Muslim brother was touched by the Spirit of God and he is willing to give his life to Jesus. Pray for this brother.” Pastor Jalloh continues to seek to reach those in the Muslim community.


Developing Teachers Engaging Studies


     Pastors Vidal Cole and Joseph Jalloh just completed their third course in the Nazarene Theological College B.Th. program. They are finding this new level of studies challenging and rewarding.


District Center


     The first phase of the district center construction is making good progress. The cottage (for housing instructors, missionaries, Work & Witness teams, etc.) is under roof (just ahead of the big rains!). Inside work—plumbing, electrical, and other finish work—is in progress.







Update May 2010 - Rev. Paul Martin

Ministries Coordinator Sierra Leone


Overcomers Assembly COTN Reaches Out


     The Overcomers Assembly COTN (near Downtown Freetown) has given concerted attention to prayer for a number of months. In addition to this ministry, they recently began reaching out in care and personal evangelism in a community not far from the church. For several Sundays several adults, youth, and children from the area of outreach have been attending the Sunday morning services. Easter Sunday Sunday morning a total of approximately 80 persons were in attendance in the morning service. This is reaching up for this church that draws its core people from several areas of the city and has given thought to where its outreach efforts should be engaged. Pastor Vidal Cole indicates there is a new commitment to outreach through personal evangelism.

     Two men who started attending the church in recent Sundays as a result of the church’s outreach initiative have enrolled in the class in Bible Interpretation currently being offered in Waterloo. This is a church that is putting action to their prayers and are experiencing new people entering their doors.


Thanksgiving Service


     Daniel Sesay, the young man won to Christ through the Bible Storying ministry of Pastor David Mannah (of Kissy Grace Trinity ‘COTN’), continues to move forward with ministry initiatives. For several weeks he planned a special Thanksgiving Service to celebrate one year as a Church of the Nazarene at the Cox Street location in eastern Freetown. Here he has raised up a vibrant children and youth ministry. The Thanksgiving Service was conducted Sunday afternoon, 11 April. The report is that a good number of parents attended the service to hear their children recite Scriptures and sing. Daniel planned and publicized the service, arranged for a keyboard with a player, for speakers and microphone, and for Pastor Mannah to speak. Pastor Vidal Cole as zone coordinator of this Freetown/East Zone, attended the service and commended Daniel for the fine work he is doing. According to Pastor Vidal, there were at least 30 adults present and quite a number of children.


District Center


     Pastor Paul Kallon continues to lead the work on the first phase of the construction of the district center. The walls for the upper one-third of the property are nearly complete and a septic tank is also nearing completion. In coming hours the ground layout will be done for the first cement block building to begin to be built—the cottage to house visiting ministers, missionaries, and teams. Plans are to complete this building in the next few weeks, to have it under roof before rainy season.




Update Februray 2010 - Rev. Paul Martin

Ministries Coordinator Sierra Leone


New Students


The first TE class conducted at the district center site brought several new students! A new sense of excitement is in the air as several new persons are expressing interest in attending these classes. We are eager to watch God at work in using current students/leaders to attract new leaders and work through His people for raising them to lead forward His work in this country.



DAB


The Phase I district of the COTN in Sierra Leone had its first District Advisory Board Meeting Saturday 13 February 2010. I (Paul) led a session of ‘orientation’ to the role and leadership responsibilities of the District Advisory Board. Focus was also given to the philosophy of ministry of the COTN including its emphasis on stewardship of ‘time, talent, treasure’; on giving all to God that He may accomplish His purposes through His people; on raising a strong, self-supporting, missional, holiness church. Because the COTN is missional (takes seriously Christ’s Great Commission), it commits to giving to the district fund (the way the local church offers up to God His tithe), the World Evangelism Fund, and to Theological Education.


Among the items of business cared for was the election of a district secretary in the person of Pastor Paul Kallon (pastor of Banga Farm COTN) and a district treasurer, Hannah Langley (member of the #2 River COTN).


The board also considered ways to inspire and motivate all churches, including cell groups started as ‘church plants’, to give to God and to the funds mentioned above. Belief was put forward that God blesses in His own beautiful way churches that joyfully give to Him.


On another matter, because the COTN has the opportunity to name the new ‘feeder’ road that it had installed to connect the through road (parallel to the main highway) with the district center, the board took moments to offer ideas for this name. It agreed to offer other churches opportunity to give ideas for the next few days, then consider and vote (via phone).


Finance Workshop


John Watton has arrived in Freetown for conducting a Finance Workshop (16-18 Feb) for pastors and treasurers. The workshop is designed to assist each church to set up its financial system in keeping with sound principles of accountability that include transparency via excellent bookkeeping and reporting.


John also plans to encourage local churches to engage in outreach to their communities through a ministry (or ministries) of care and compassion.





Updates November 2009

Rev. Paul Martin


Third Trip into Interior


     Pastors Vidal Cole and Joseph Jalloh made their third ministry trip into the Segbwema area 12 – 23 October. This duo taught the  course “The Holy Life” the first week and “Administering the Church” the second week.

     In the evenings they showed the JESUS Film at Sebwema for four evenings of the first week and at Korma four evenings of the second week. They reported as many as 1020 people assembled to watch the JESUS Film in Segbwema. One evening over 200 people responded to the evangelistic invitation. In the smaller village of Khorma as many as 415 attended one evening and on another evening in that village 192 were reported to have made decisions for Christ.

     On some of the days Pastor Vidal taught the treasurers at Segbwema and Khorma  the Nazarene financial recording/reporting system. Both Pastors preached in two of the villages on Sunday 18 October.

     Pastor Morrison Ngobeh and the people of the village church plants were most grateful for the ministry of these two pastors again. And Pastors Vidal and Joseph are excited about the possibilities for the COTN in that area!


NTI Graduation


     Sunday 1 November 2009 marked an historic day for the COTN in Sierra Leone. The first four graduates of the NTI ministerial/leadership course of study in the country were conferred the diploma of theology. It was a grand celebration as 168 persons filled the meeting hall for the special occasion. Special speaker Rev. Dr. Modupeh Taylor-Pearce, a senior Anglican minister, challenged the graduates to lead pure and holy lives. Special music was provided by a Sierra Leonean artist, Rev. Sarah Davis. The event was given news coverage by the local TV and a Christian radio station.


District Assembly


     Following NTI Graduation, Sierra Leone’s fourth district assembly was conducted in the same downtown hall with 103 persons in attendance.

     Presiding elder, Rev. Tim Eby, delivered an inspiring message on “The Power of One!” Ministries Coordinator Paul Martin gave his report that showed that the number of church plants had approximately doubled from those reported at the prior year’s assembly. He challenged the young district (newly declared Phase 1) to continue to plant and nurture, plant and nurture. Praise was offered for God’s help to begin to carry the message of holiness and to plant new churches in the interior, the area of Segbwema. Under the leadership of Pastor Morrison Ngobeh, five church plants are now ministering in that area since January 09.

    This district assembly marked the first for elections. A district advisory council (board) of three ministers, three laypersons, and three auxiliary leaders were elected.

   





Updates from Rev. Paul Martin

April 2009


Eastern Zone Evangelism Campaign


     The Eastern Zone combined a three day revival campaign with a Sunday (today-15th) Thanksgiving Service of the Grace Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Kissy (Freetown). Pastor Vidal Cole preached evangelistic sermons the three nights of the campaign. Reports are that the first two nights approximately 50 persons attended each of the services that were conducted in the ARK at a location close to where the “Grace Trinity” congregation meets. The report is that the first night approximately 20 persons responded to the call to confess their sins and invite Christ into their lives. The second night a similar number responded to the call to be saved and on a second invitation almost everyone in attendance responded to the call to surrender themselves to the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit.

     The report today was that again approximately 50 persons attended the Thanksgiving Service and that God’s presence was beautifully experienced. Something close to 20 people responded to the invitation to seek God’s sanctifying grace.

     In this service pledges were taken for a building fund for the Grace Trinity Church. Over 1.5 million leones (approximately $500 USD) were pledged to be given by the end of May. This church is in quite an “economically challenged” area of Freetown.

     We are trusting for some new solid “Christ-followers” from this campaign and for God to continue His work in this area.


New Prayer Cells


     The Eastern Zone also reports the planting of a new home prayer cell (as described in Each One Win One by Louie Bustle and Stan Toler) within the last month. They have plans of starting another one in another home in the very near future.

     The Western Zone is preparing for a church plant in the villages of Forestry Compound, Baw Baw, and Ogoo Farm.  This zone is also preparing for its third TE course of 2009 to be conducted in the recently opened zone training center in Baw Baw Village 23–27 March.

     Pastor Joseph Jalloh shared some of his strategic focus as a zone coordinator:

1.He is emphasizing that those in the churches on this zone should be going after (seeking) lost people, not trying to grow the churches by “winning” persons attending other churches. As God grants them lost people, the church will have opportunity to shape “its own” in sound doctrine.


2.He is desiring to grow the TE program on the zone. As leaders are trained, the church will be in position to disciple the people who are won to Christ and the church through evangelism.






Update by Tim Eby

November 2008


We are just beginning the work in Sierra Leone.  Under the direction of Paul and Sharon Martin we are watching this new work steadily grow. 


New leaders are emerging as classes are being taught systematically to develop new leaders.  Many of these leaders have come to know
Christ and become associated with the Nazarene church through the outreach of the Jesus Film as well as the bible storying that is done every week in different locations of Freetown.


The stories of God are timeless and as people of other faiths hear the accounts of God’s love, power, and grace, they are being transformed.
  Each month the church is being strengthened through the teaching of ITN courses for pastors as well as regular membership classes for the laity.  Several churches have constructed simple buildings for services and continue to preach the Word faithfully.


A recent Jesus Film Partnership group brought the “Ark” to Sierra Leone.
This unique portable building will provide immediate class room space and a location for follow up and discipleship training.


The church is looking for land to begin the district training center and we pray that God will help our church to grow and mature into a strong hold for the truth of Christ message here in Sierra Leone.


 

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