About Us

June 28, 2009

Sierra Leone, a Country Profile & Prayer Guide

sierra-leone

With a civil war that ended in 2002, Sierra Leone is rebuilding its infrastructure to attract the former tourists that came here from Europe to enjoy the unspoiled rainforests, refreshing waterfalls, and secluded white sand beaches. Currently, visitors pretty much have the sand and surf outside the capital pretty much to themselves. After a day in the sun, Freetown, the capital city, offers everything you need for an enjoyable evening out. While the visual reminders of the civil war are fading, the lingering effects are still evident. Many parts of the city have no rubbish collection and power still remains unreliable. While the surroundings of the city compensate for some of the chaos, you will soon realize that the effects of the tragic civil war are deep. Even though Freetown is filthy in places, you will find yourself loving the city.

Travel into the interior provinces remains adventurous at best. Roads are often in appalling shape and facilities are usually very basic. However, with the vibrant culture and welcoming people, the rewards are well worth the uncomfortable traveling conditions. Life is starting to return to normal and Sierra Leone is becoming one of West Africa’s safest destinations.

A few interesting facts about Sierra Leone:

  • The current population is estimated to be 6 million.
  • Freetown has a population of 1.175 million
  • 70% of the population is Muslim and 12% claim to be Christian
  • The country is rich in natural resources – diamonds, gold, titanium, iron ore, etc. In the late 80’s and early 1990’s, the country fell into a state of anarchy because of corruption and the gross mismanagement of these resources, causing the economy to collapse.
  • There are two distinct seasons in Sierra Leone. November to April is the dry season and the best holiday weather. May to October is the wet (rainy) season. There is also the “harmattan period” of during the months of December to February when very dry winds arrive from the Sahara.

Specific ways to pray for the country of Sierra Leone:

  • Sierra Leone is infamous for the barbaric maiming of innocent victims as an instrument for terror and control during the civil war. Thousands of men, women, and children had limbs cruelly amputated. Over 100,000 were slain. Countless numbers of girls and women were raped. Thousands of children were kidnapped, drugged, and forced to kill their own relatives. Nearly the entire population has had the experience of being a refugee. Pray that all the instigators who, for greed, unleashed such terror would be brought to justice and even to repentance and faith in Christ.
  • A battle rages between democracy and dementia. Pray for the continued restoration of government and that this government might be honest, accountable to the people, and establish a lasting peace. Pray that committed Christians will be a vital part of the new leadership.
  • Sierra Leone was the first West African country to be evangelized. The first Protestant Church was started among freed slaves in Freetown in 1785. Yet after over 200 years of effort, only 12% of the country claims to be Christian. Very few denominations have grown significantly in the past 40 years. Pray for revival, a spirit of prayer and unity, a strong desire to live for Jesus alone and commitment to holistic outreach to their traumatized fellow-countrymen.
  • The unchallenged power of the occult lies behind all the greed and cruelty, and also the powerlessness of the Church. Many Christians have compromised in this area. Pray that these powers may be bound, the influence of secret societies broken, and that covenants made with demonic powers will be renounced.
  • Restoration ministries are the greatest needs as the nation and Church struggle to rebuild. Nearly every Christian ministry suffered loss of property and personnel, and many institutions had to shut down.
  • The Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone (EFSL) is a focal point for cooperation, vision, and ministry for many agencies and denominations. It spearheaded vital research on the unreached in the 1990s and is now heavily committed to coordinating various restoration ministries.
  • Pray for new vision for compassionate outreach. Freetown is overflowing refugees from all over the country who are living in squalor.
  • Few churches are equipped to cope with the millions of traumatized and impoverished people. Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower many to minister in this area and enable victims to become effective disciples. Pray also for humanitarian aid agencies who seek to alleviate the suffering (WVI, TEAR Fund, and others).
  • Pray for the child victims of war. Over 6,000 children were forced to become soldier killers. All are deeply affected psychologically. Many thousands of children lost limbs, homes, and families. Pray for all seeking to rehabilitate them. A number of international agencies are seeking to work with Sierra Leoneans in this exacting ministry.
  • AIDS has become a rapidly growing threat. In 2000 over 70,000 were known to be infected and a further 56,000 children orphaned.
  • Young peoples’ ministry has never been more crucial and needs to be expanded. SU and YFC have had an impact on the more educated. Pray that Christian graduates may decisively impact the nation.
  • Pray for the lack of spiritual and biblically trained leadership. The ministries of the Anglican and Methodist Seminaries and the evangelical AoG and Sierra Leone Bible Colleges have all been hampered. Pray for the full resumption of training and the calling of workers for the harvest. The AoG run the ICI-TEE system but this too has been affected.
  • Pray for the partially evangelized Temne, Mende, Yalunka, Kuranko and Loko people groups. Only the Kono of all the tribal peoples are over 10% Christian.
  • Pray for the Muslim Fulbe, Susu, Malinke and Vai and the more traditional North Kissi, Klao and Bom people groups who remain without significant outreach or response.
  • Pray also that the research work of YWAM and the EFSL begun in the 1990s might be resumed, completed and used to mobilize prayer and strategic outreach.
  • Expatriate missions have ministered for two centuries, but Sierra Leone remains a pioneer field. Pray for the right strategies for resumption of ministries and for excellent partnering relationships with local Christians and churches. Many workers are needed for rehabilitation ministries, leadership training, and Bible translation. Major agencies involved in ministry: The Missionary Church, Lutheran Bible Translators, Wesleyan Church, United Brethren, United Methodist, AoG, YWAM.
  • Bible translation is a continuing need and work is in hand in 7 languages, mainly through the ministry of Lutheran Bible Translators. The Kono NT and other projects were delayed due to the civil war. Pray for resumption and completion of this task.
  • Christian radio. Pray that regular radio ministry may be increased. TWR broadcasts in English 5.5 hours daily from South Africa.
  • Christian literature. CLC has a strategic and well-used bookstore in Freetown. Pray for the ministry of the written page. Pray also for the granting of permits to import literature. These are often hard to obtain. The EMA-CLC Book Aid project importing second-hand Christian books is a spiritual lifeline.
  • The JESUS film is in use in 9 languages with a further 5 in preparation. It has been seen by almost the entire population. Pray that those who watch it will desire to accept Christ as their savior.

Leave a Reply