Mission Trip to
Presbytery of the Alleghenies
Sierra Leone Mission Trip
April 4th to 13th, 2013
On April 4th a team from the Presbytery of the Alleghenies embarked upon a journey to the country of Sierra Leone, West Africa. The purpose of this trip was to help members of the Presbytery see what God is doing in Sierra Leone and how their churches might partner in His work.
The team consisted of 4 pastors, 2 Missions and Outreach Directors and 2 other mission minded individuals.
It would be an understatement to say that our trip was very full and punctuated along the way with adventure…vehicle problems, rough terrain, heat…Praise God for a hearty team of people who took every challenge in stride and without complaint. As leader of the team, I could not have asked for finer people to travel with!
(Please click here to view a related Photo Gallery.)
So, what did we do? And how did the Lord show Himself to us?
While we were there we:
- Baptized 98 new believers.
- Examined 9 pastors and seminary students and passed 7 of them to lead our existing churches as well as churches beginning in our two E2025 sites.
- Preached at a local church, baptized a baby and officiated at a naming ceremony, passed out baptismal certificates.
- Taught courses on the Essential Tenets of the EPC and Calvin’s TULIP at Faithway church and also at the local Seminary, RTS…Reformed Theological School.
- Broke a curse put on the land at one of our villages. Not your everyday occurrence!
- Travelled to the villages of Fintonia… 10 miles beyond the end of the earth!… and Rokassa. These are our two E2025 sites.
- Spent time getting to know the pastors who have been chosen to work in these two villages.
- Led evangelism activities with the children in each village.
- Partnered in worship.
- Participated in a ceremony in Rokassa that included the unveiling of the new EduNations school sign. Please click here to read an article printed in a Sierra Leone Newspaper.
- Slept very occasionally!
Answering the question how we saw the Lord moving is a book not an article. But this report will try to give you some glimpses into His hand at work.
We began our days with prayer as a team asking the Lord to lead us and show us his hand. He answered that prayer in some of the following ways.
Building of the Kingdom:
We went to Sierra Leone with the intention of teaching about baptism and to baptize 30 people. That turned into 98! The contractor who is building the school in Rokassa is a strong Christian and he has been discipling a group of new believers. When we arrived in Rokassa he asked us if we would be willing to baptize them.
Provision for the work to be done—Two Examples:
The Sierra Leone pastors we examined were exemplary. How dare we in the West think we have a corner on Theology! They were not only sound in their Reformed beliefs but also humble in their attitudes… some of them gifted beyond that call.
- We traveled to Fintonia with the husband and wife team who will be serving that community. Their names are Dominic and Ruth. One of the questions that arose from our team is where do you find teachers this far out and in an all-Muslim village? And how do you find Christian teachers? Well, without our knowing it, Ruth is a credited teacher! She can take the lead and even help evangelize the present teachers.
- Our pastor in Rokassa, Thomas Kargbobai, also turns out to have a teaching degree! We had a need and the Lord answered it before we even asked!
Provision for Team—Two Examples:
- We had significant car trouble…bad tires, bad front end alignment…so we rented a car. That car ended up being worse than the first…alternator tore apart from the engine leaving us in the bush about an hour and a half away from our hotel. And yet, even with these set backs, we did not have to cancel anything we had planned and the Lord got us back to our hotel safely.
- The day before we left we were blessed with a morning off. The timing was perfect for a slower start. We gathered in a common area at the guesthouse and entered into a time of worship. Deb, our worship leader, played the guitar and led us in song. Our voices filled the room and the courtyard beyond. It ministered to each of us, filling our empty cups and I can’t help but wonder what the other folks at the guesthouse experienced. It was a powerful time of worship. His provision for our needs just kept showing up.
To participate in what the Lord is already doing is an honor and a privilege. One I’m sure that changed each of us as we accepted his invitation. The Lord does not leave us unchanged!
The Mission Trip Team:
Betsy Rumer – Team Leader and Pastor at Memorial Park Church (EPC), Allison Park, PA
Don Creasy – Missions and Outreach Director at Memorial Park Church (EPC), Allison Park, PA
Bruce Allison – Director of Outreach and Ministry Development at North Park Church (EPC), Wexford, PA
Jeff Gingrich – Member of North Park Church (EPC), Wexford, PA…best photographer ever!
Bob Stauffer – Pastor at Gateway Community Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Slippery Rock, PA
Deb Stauffer – Worship leader at Gateway Community Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Slippery Rock, PA
Scott Graham – Pastor at CUP Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Beaver Falls, PA
Bill Woodman – Pastor at Center Presbyterian Church (EPC), Grove City, PA
Samuel Sesay – In-Country Director for EduNations and Mission Evangelist EPC