Friday, August 01, 2008

Reality Check

Some alarming news came to me recently from Kathy, a missionary friend in Sierra Leone, about a plane which had landed at Sierra Leone's Lunghi Airport a little over a week ago without permission. The plane was carrying over 1,500 pounds (700 kilos) of cocaine. CNN picked up the story, explaining that the illegal trafficking of drugs from South America through West Africa is booming, with most of the drugs ending up in Europe. This has officials at the U.N. worried that such illegal smuggling (not only of drugs, but also of guns and people) could spark off violence in the region, undoing the stability created in West Africa after years of conflict. You can read the article here: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/07/31/africa.drugs.trade.ap/index.html. Sadly, Kathy pointed out, there are local Sierra Leonean government officials in partnership with the drug traffickers. Please pray that the region remains peaceful. While in Sierra Leone back in January, we visited a Christian children's school near the Airport where this plane full of cocaine recently landed. Here are some pictures from that school.






On a more positive note, Kathy also reported that the litter on the streets of Freetown is being cleaned up, improving both the health and beauty of the capital city. She is also involved in a Bible study prayer group held at the home of the President, as the First Lady is a Christian. Below is a picture of Kathy at the home of Dr. Modupe Taylor-Pearce (he's on the left). Also in the picure is our team: David Musa of S.A.V.E. in the middle, Danny Golich, and myself. You can learn more about Kathy's ministry in Sierra Leone here: http://missions.beavertonfoursquare.org/

Kathy also speaks of the fervency with which those in her Bible study engage in prayer. While in Sierra Leone, Danny and I were struck by the importance placed upon prayer by the Christian leaders in Sierra Leone--Dr. Taylor-Pearce and David being two of them. When I think about this, James 2:5 always comes to my mind: "Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and to be inheritors of the kingdom which he promised to those who love him?"

So, as alarming as the contrast of a large shipment of cocaine landing near a children's school may seem, the believers in Sierra Leone have something even more powerful than drug trafficking on their side. They have the ear of the Creator of the universe!