For the past seven years, World Renew and our local partner, Christian Extension Services, have been working with this community in northeastern Sierra Leone to improve their situation, first by responding to local interest, and then by helping them build a local leadership team.
This team of men and women, the Village Development Committee (VDC), prioritizes local goals that can be accomplished using resources from CES and community labor and materials.
Our relationship with Heremakono has borne extraordinary fruit!
The Heremakono VDC wanted greater sustainability in their community and, over the past seven years, has established a savings and loan group of 60 families, improved rice planting, and greatly improved harvesting of their growing yields with the building of a drying floor, storage building, and processing mill.
Future plans include the construction of a community meeting house.
In March of this year, a powerful rain storm with strong winds blew the roof off two community school buildings as well as a number of private homes. School was canceled and hundreds of students were unable to finish the school year.
The Heremakono community reached out to CES for assistance in rebuilding the roofs. Thanks to World Renew disaster fund donations, the roofs were replaced and students were able to return to school.
In partnership with World Renew, Heremakono meets physical needs with growing success. The greatest flowering is occurring there, with seeds planted from the beginning of our relationship.
Mamusu Marah, her sister, and a few of their friends were curious why CES should spend so much time and effort assisting a very poor Muslim community.
As our relationship with the village has flourished, the people of Heremakono have gotten to know the staff of CES and so Mamusu felt she could approach CES field staff member Andrew Menseh Kerah with an extraordinary request.
“The only people helping those in need are the Christians,” she said. “We are interested in Christianity and we would like you to start a church here.”
Mamusu and other community leaders have since visited the Christian Reformed Church office in Kabala to formally make the request and to offer some land.
This unsolicited approach by a person in a Muslim community is not a usual occurrence, but just last year, in the nearby village of Medina, community members also started a church!
Pastor David Koroma of the Sierra Leone Christian Reformed Church is now meeting with Andrew, Mamusu, and other Heremakono community members as yet another church is born here. Christian Extension Services’ investment in developing the whole person has born economic and social and now spiritual fruit.
Praise God with us for the abundant life the people of Heremakono are enjoying!
Daniel Lepp Friesen
World Renew Sierra Leone