by Pastor Daryl Largis
It is hard to believe that one year ago the country of Sierra Leone was in a terrible struggle with Ebola. Hundreds perished as a result of this latest outreach with many more lives impacted. Fortunately, we along with many others stepped in to help. As part of the Western New York Sierra Leone Alliance, we could and did do much. One of the biggest needs during this crisis was food, in that, the families and individuals quarantined had limited access to food and in some cases had no means to feed themselves. The Alliance by God’s grace was able to able to minister to nearly 1200 households compromising nearly 6,000 people. As a result, entire communities were touched as the gospel was experienced and proclaimed. Thankfully the Ebola crisis is over and we praise God!
I am reminded of what the Psalmist wrote: “For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.” Psalm 52:9 [NIV]. Indeed, we are to remember, to praise and to hope! It is this hope that I want to talk about in terms of how the Alliance is now positioned to be used by God to do exactly that – provide hope. For you see, one of the effects of this horrible crisis is that it produced hundreds of orphans. These children in many cases have no extended family and certainly no means to care for themselves. So, the Alliance has determined to do something about this situation. While we cannot solve or meet every need, we can do something to make a difference. As a result, we are engaging to care for orphans in the communities where we have presence. The Alliance has determined that it can and will help 500 orphans on a handful of fronts. Through the Alliance’s on the ground leaders and resources, these children will receive food, clothing, and psychological/social care to ensure the long term well-being of the child. This support is funded for the next 12 months, which is great, but it also means there is an on-going need beyond that point in time.
So, I ask you to pray for these children, the Alliance workers, and the country of Sierra Leone. The Psalmist proclaimed that the incredible deeds of God be remembered, that God would be praised, and that hope would be a reality for those there. The Alliance remains committed to the mission to ensure every man, woman, and child has repeated opportunities to see, to experience, and to hear the incredible message of hope found only in Jesus. As a result and as the Lord provides, the Alliance will continue to do all it can to see this mission fulfilled in Sierra Leone.