- For the elections on March 7th. The country will vote for new representatives – MPs, mayors, councillors, district council chairs and of course, a president who will determine their future for the next five years. Please pray for this process to be honest and democratic. Also that Christians will become more prominent in the ruling positions in Sierra Leone;
- that those in leadership positions will be given wisdom and a discerning spirit as they lead the Connexional Churches;
- for Rev. Alex Dixon as he works with Theophilus in promoting the gospel through the Connexional Churches in Sierra Leone.
- that he will have a good partnership with Esther Tommy;
- that he will be given strength to fulfil his church commitments and support his wife Victoria in her illness;
- that the church at Lady Selina will be of one mind concerning the development of the roof space;
- for the Annual Sierra Leone Conference as it takes place this month. Pray for a sense of oneness and a spirit of love and concern.
The main issue in Sierra Leone at the moment involves the contents of the 40 foot container which arrived at Bethesda two weeks ago.
- That God will stir the hearts of folk in the Connexion to help with the massive distribution of goods.
- That Magnus, Daniel and others involved in the organisation will be given wisdom in the distribution of the shoe bags and other items.
- That transport might be available to deliver the goods to outlying villages.
- That those involved in this work will be strengthened and stay healthy throughout. That God will keep them safe on the roads.
- That the children receiving the shoe bags will also receive the love of Jesus.
- That the street children will accept the sleeping bags knowing that God loves them.
- That Christmas will be a blessed time for all our friends in the Connexional Churches.
- That Christmas will be celebrated by the children at Bethesda as a time of happiness.
A study based on the sermon Is There Grass On Your Path?
- In the sermon we looked briefly at the following scriptures: James 4:1-2, Isaiah 59:1-2, 2 Chronicles 16:9a. Which other verses on prayer come to mind, when thinking about our need and reluctance to pray.
- Take the 5 sermon headings and talk through practical applications which we could commit to taking on board (individually and as a church). The headings were:
- We crowd out prayer with other things
- Sin separates
- We don’t see prayer as a relationship thing
- We don’t appreciate the massive importance of the facts that prayer prepares us for spiritual warfare. And prayer is spiritual warfare.
- We think we can handle things ourselves
- Spend some time praying for each other.
Sunday: This prayer letter concentrates on the aftermath of the terrible mudslide. S.L.M. and F.S.L. sent money to Sierra Leone where Magnus and Daniel have distributed the funds. Please pray for discrimination and wisdom for the leaders in S.L. as they carry out this ministry. The prayer points have been copied from emails from S.L.
Monday: Fina Koroma: Fina is around 26 years who survived the mudslide because her 5year old child was admitted to the hospital the day before the slide. Her husband, 3 other children and 3 other relatives all were covered by the landslide. One of the people that died was her younger brother who was due to travel that very afternoon before the disaster after a two weeks holiday from the interior. Fina is currently very depressed and confused. I prayed for her and encouraged her to trust in Jesus. She is a Christian and she is currently living in an unfinished Church building.
Tuesday: Paul S Turay; He is 22 years and lived with his sister. They were 9 in the small Aluminium Sheet built hut. All but Paul were buried under the mud. He is now staying on the veranda of a community member. He says he will continue to attend school in the next week. He looks strong but has a lot of sadness in his eyes and is likely in shock for now.
Wednesday: Mamy Sama Conteh is a mother of 11 children. She had lost 8 in the course of time, and the one who was the breadwinner called Neneh, whom she was staying with, died in the mudslide. They were ‘stone miners’ and the old woman was saved because she left home very early in the morning under heavy rainfall to visit her friend. As soon as she left, the mud buried her entire household. What pain for this 65-70 year old Mamy.
Thursday: Daniel Kamara is the young boy (10yrs) whom the flash flood dashed through stones and trees into a banana tree, which was uprooted by the wild waters, and left him with a broken leg and arm. He was rescued and taken to hospital. His left foot was amputated and his right arm is being treated. His situation is serious. He was crying when I visited – He is suffering pain – This poor little boy. He managed to say thank you for the package of monies. We should continue to pray for him -poor Daniel. Lest I forget his father, who is a taxi driver, survived because he had left for his taxi driving and did not know that Daniel was alive until after 20 days. He was shocked to hear that. This donation will help a lot to pay for the hospital treatment.
Friday: Fina Koroma is a trader who had a little shop. The mudslide covered her shop and three other people. She thinks all is lost. She burst into tears when I considered her situation and decided to extend this blessing to her. Le 500,000 is very crucial for her to continue her business.
Saturday: I am sending a testimony of a pregnant woman a survivor, whose husband died in the morning of the landslide. As they were escaping from the disaster the woman and the child were in the front followed by the father. As they ran a huge stone knocked the man from the back. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died. Only the two of them survived plus the baby to be born without a father.
Sunday: Pray for the leadership and pastors of the Countess Churches in Sierra Leone. Pray for wisdom and guidance as they carry out their responsibilities. Pray for the pastors to have a caring, servant heart for their congregations and that their ministry might produce fruit for the Kingdom. Pray for Kelvin and Ransford- pastors on sick leave.
Monday: Pray for the many teachers in our Connexional schools. Pray that during the summer break they will feel refreshed and invigorated for the new term in September. Pray that they will value each child in their care and realise their potential.
Tuesday: Pray for the children who attend our schools and churches. Pray that they might know the love of Jesus in their young lives and grow up to be mighty witnesses to the gospel.
Wednesday: Pray for the children and adults living at Bethesda. Two new children will soon join them from the streets; pray that they will settle quickly and experience the unique blessing of living in Bethesda.
Thursday: Pray for the work with the street children. Pray that they might see the love of Jesus in Magnus and Albert as they seek to help these vulnerable children.
Friday: Pray that many people will be moved in the U.K. to make up shoe bags for the children in Sierra Leone. Pray that the salvage from Glastonbury and Reading will reach the neediest of people. Pray for the safe and complete shipping of supplies from the U.K.
Saturday: Pray for the S.L.M. committee; after several changes pray that they might be of one mind. Pray that monies entrusted to S.L.M. might be wisely distributed. Pray that the love of our brothers and sisters in S.L. might increase and be infectious to everyone in the U.K. Connexional churches.
Pray for the fellowship of Ebenezer Lumley and the family of Rev.Angel Ama-Lamin who died recently. Peter had the privilege to pray for him whilst in Sierra Leone.
Pray for the new clinic which has been established at The Theological College at Jui. This clinic will serve the local community. Pray especially for the little girl with third degree burns to her leg.
Pray for the patients and staff at the hospital at Koidu. Peter and Janet were given the opportunity to visit and pray for individuals, including Muslims. They also met Victoria a three year old who had accidentally been pushed backwards into boiling water. Her chance of survival is minimal but with prayer and God’s intervention a miracle is possible.
Sierra Leone is heading for elections early next year and the process has started with voter registration. Pray against any form of violence approach that electoral process and for God to lead the people of this country to vote for the right person.
Pray for wisdom for Bishop Theophilus as he makes important decisions. Pray also for Magnus, Daniel and Alex as they advise and support the Bishop.
Thank God for the wonderful work that is happening at Bethesda. Pray for Allusine, Musa and Issa as they have been reunited to their family but desire to be back at Bethesda. Thank God for Aminata and Sallie and pray that He will heal Sallie from her discomfort.
Thank God for the stoic teachers in our schools; against all odds they continue to give their best. Also pray for our pastors; for safety in travel, protection against illness and a fresh vitality in their ministry.
Reading: Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name.
This psalm is a great favorite for a lot of people and it sounds amazing doesn’t it? It’s such a beautiful picture of us as sheep being led by our Shepherd.
But God comparing us to sheep is hardly a compliment. Sorry to offend you if you’ve a high view of sheep, but sheep are generally very stupid. There are other animals that we might have preferred to be compared to, maybe a dolphin, a chimp or a dog? But the fact is God compared us to sheep.
Sheep are thick, they play a perpetual follow the leader and if one runs they all tend to follow, they can’t defend themselves, or even escape from any threat. Sheep are pretty much woolly jumpers and lamb chops waiting to happen, all that’s needed is a spinning wheel and some mint sauce. So then sheep need their shepherd. If the shepherd do his job properly… well then they are dead. God knows that we are like that too, and it would be good for us is we acknowledged it.
Those opening lines are good aren’t they, comforting and true, but equally true are the words that follow in verse 4: Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
We love the green pastures and the still waters, but we don’t like dark and difficult valleys. Though as is clear here, it’s not if the valleys come, but when. So let’s Thank God that the Shepherd who was with David is with us too.
Reflect: Am I staying close to my Shepherd, listening to His voice, accepting His guidance, and enjoying His protection?
Act: over the next week, use this Psalm as a lead into your prayer time, allowing The Lord space to speak and taking time to listen to His comfort, His words of correction and His perfect guidance.
Children’s Prayer Activity
Look in the mirror today and thank God for all the things He helps you with and give Him a smile 🙂 in the mirror as you thank Him for making you such a special person.
What next? Remember to talk and listen to God every day, as He loves to get to know you better. You could learn this short bible verse about prayer
Never stop praying.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT
Reading: Mark 6: 6-12
Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. 7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. 8 He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. 9 He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes.
10 “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. 11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. 13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.
Christians aren’t supposed to be ‘Lone Rangers’, we’re called to be joined together in a church family, witnessing together, living our lives, not independently but interdependently, sharing genuine love and care; in short we are called to disciple one another.
In our text today, Jesus sends His first ‘church group’ out and whilst there is material enough here for many sermons, let’s just consider the basic facts, that the disciples were:
- sent in pairs;
- sent by Jesus, and so they went in His authority;
- to take nothing;
- to walk away if the Gospel wasn’t welcomed;
- obedient – they preached the gospel, prayed and God healed and delivered people through them.
But how does this relate to you and me today? Again, in so many ways that we won’t have space to explore in depth here, but in essence I believe that this text is a incredible reminder that our tendency to live our lives in ‘little boxes’ is wrong. Christians are not called to specialise, yes some will be gifted in certain areas and we should use our gifts for the benefit of the whole church, for God’s glory, but…we are all called to be disciples, we are all called to disciple one another, we are all called to evangelise, we are all called to share what we have, we are all called to be praying people, we are all called to follow our Lord only, and to trust in Him only for our needs.
These disciples were called to live and love and serve together, in the big group of the church, in the smaller numbers as we read in the gospels at times, there a threes and fours, and here in pairs.
We need each other, I need you and you need me, and that can be uncomfortable at times, but the way of Christ is discipleship, not to lives life of lone rangers.
Reflect: Am I obediently following Jesus’ model for my life as an interdependent part of His church, am I letting others disciple me, and am I willing to give of myself to disciple others? Might I be too much of a lone ranger?
Act: take time today and over the coming weeks to take a stock take of things with God. Ensure that you are regularly praying with others within our church, meeting to study the Bible and share real fellowship with others within our church, and encourage and be encouraged, as you pray and work with others within our church to tell others that amazing Good News of Salvation.
Children’s Prayer Activity
Reading – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Those who know me will know that I have an eclectic taste in music from classical to punk, rock to soul, jazz to folk. And as I was thinking and praying through what to post this morning, I found myself thinking of the lyrics to a classic punk song (oh dear I can almost hear you groan…) they go like this:
“my daddy was a bankrobber
but he never hurt nobody
he just loved to live that way
and he loved to steal your money”
Now I’m not going to suggest that within this lyric there is some deep theological point, I don’t think Joe Strummer went in for much theology, but I do see parallels with the way some of us might think at stages in our Christian journey. You see there is such a danger of us living a life that is unchanged from the life we had before we were set free by Christ. Our text reminds us that a Christian is a new creation in Christ, and if we are new creations, we ought not to be using excuses from our old lives to stay in that rut that we were in before Christ redeemed us. Do you ever hear yourself saying, when you’ve acted in a less than Christian way, “well I can’t help it, that’s just the way I am”. The point is, for Christians that’s not true, we can’t say that, because our bad attitude is part of the way we were, not the way we are… we are new creations! Will we mess up, yes, but when we confess our sins Christ forgives us, restores us, and keeps on that miraculous work of recreating us in His image.
Reflect: today and everyday consider how profound a truth it is that: if you have accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, you are being recreated in His image.
Act: in your prayer time today: give thanks to Christ for that freedom won for us at immense cost to Him, and take time to consider with Him which part of that old person you’ll take apart together, so that He can further that great exciting, fulfilling work of recreation in you.
Children’s Prayer Activity
Praying for others and ourselves is an important part of our everyday prayers. It is great to talk to and listen to God.