Grace at Raining Season Orphanage

Last night (Feb 15), I had the opportunity to teach a class of about 25 students on the subject of Worship in the Church. I continue to be impressed by the eager participation of the church leaders and members who come out each evening after a long day of work, many without air conditioning in heat index temperatures of well over 100° (F). Some of the students travel over two hours by public transportation each way, while living with very little income and very little food. In the midst of the challenges of daily living, they are excited to gather and hear God’s Word taught, that they may understand and more faithfully lead their congregations and respective ministries. I have been humbled by the hunger of people both inside and outside of the church to devour the food that leads to eternal life. Please pray the Lord will continue to build His church through His Word and that he would provide for their daily needs.

As I mentioned yesterday, Tom Cox and I had the privilege of accompanying our friend, Elder Osse Kamara, to Raining Season Orphanage in Freetown. Heeding the Lord’s call to “look after orphans…in their distress” (James 1:27,) Osse partnered with a woman from Nashville, TN, in the early 2000s to open this home as a refuge for some of the many orphaned children in the capital city of Sierra Leone. Though the orphanage is not a direct ministry of the churches here, some of the members of First Presbyterian, where Osse is an elder, have joined him in serving the more than 80 children in their care, including one of our students, Sorie Kamara (no relation), who is the executive director.

We learned that the children who live there have come from a variety of circumstances, including losing parents to illness, tragedy, and many to neglect as many are left at the entrance of local hospitals and other public places. Many of the children, however, came to Rainy Season, following a disastrous landslide in 2017 that wiped out the entire village of Mortemeh at the base of a mountain just outside the city. Over 1,100 people lost their lives, and many of their bodies remain buried under ground and vegetation that has since grown over the years. We visited the site of this disaster, a sobering reminder that the tragedies of which we read and hear in the news touch real lives of real people made in the image of God.

At Raining Season, we toured the grounds meeting many of the children and staff, from nurses providing daily medical care from a small clinic, to the cooks preparing large portions of rice from an outdoor kitchen. In addition, we met many of the teachers who provide education, not only for the children who call the orphanage home, but also for the 45-or-so children from the community who have the opportunity, not only to learn traditional school subjects, but to be discipled in the good news of a God who “defends the cause of the fatherless and widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deut. 10:18.)

One experience that left an indelible mark in my heart was visiting the home of the children with special needs. As we walked in the door, we were greeted by sweet children who could not speak, but whose smile spoke of a place where they were safe and from which they were provided. Two of women serving there were taking great care to feed and clothe children who cannot exercise these basic functions of life that we so often take for granted. Again, this to me was a window into the heart of God, who takes pity on us in our helpless condition and calls upon His church to be His hands and feet in showing mercy wherever He has placed us.

Here are a few ways you can be praying for us, as we enter a weekend of ministry and service:

  • Pray for the children and staff at Raining Season Orphanage to experience the love and mercy of the God who adopts us as His own and calls us His children.
  • Pray for our students who are attempting to complete their outstanding assignments from our previous course, that they would be able to submit those to us before we leave, so they can receive credit, as they seek a path toward ordination.
  • Pray for the upcoming meeting of the PCSL Presbytery to be used by the Lord to provide a path forward for the churches to be revitalized in the gospel and its implications on the community.

Here is a video of Sorie Kamara receiving gifts from Calvary of school supplies and a soccer ball for the children of Raining Season Orphanage.

I have also attached the following photos: (1) Elder Osse and Tom looking at the bare hill, where the landslide of 2017 took place; (2) monument at the site of the landslide; (3) cook in the outdoor kitchen at Raining Season; (4) children receiving compassionate care in the home for those with special needs; (5) looking down toward an outdoor corridor near the wall at Raining Season; (6) Tom shares the gospel with children of Raining Season, using a flower as an illustration.

Thank you again, for your partnership in this ministry. The Lord is at work building His church in His Word and transforming the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society.

In Christ,
Pastor Nate