Update from Sierra Leone

As you have likely heard, Tom Cox and I arrived in Sierra Leone around 7pm local time (2pm EST) on Wednesday evening, after a largely uneventful journey that began at RDU airport 25 hours prior. We enjoyed the new modernized airport in Freetown, before taking the bus to the ferry.

While we waited an hour at the ferry terminal, we met a young woman from Greece named Iro, who was traveling by herself on business, seeking to increase energy access for Sierra Leone, which, we learned, has one of the lowest rates of energy access in the world. It was a reminder to us of the many gifts we take for granted, and the ways the Lord is working through means of His common grace to care for His world.

Once we exited the ferry, we reunited with our friends, Elder Osse and Elder Lati, for who we prayed when he had a motorcycle accident sometime in 2023. They kindly provided a ride for Iro to her hotel, so she would not have to travel alone in the city.

Thursday was a day of recovery from our travel. We spent most of the day at the hotel, getting reacquainted with hotel staff that we had the privilege of getting to know a year ago. I shared with Tom, how encouraging it is to me to be able to be in a familiar place with people with whom we had previously begun building relationships, not only in the church but in the community. In many ways we have been able to pick up where we left off, particularly with a young Christian man named Ephraim, whose love for Jesus is evident, as he serves hotel guests.

Our evening was spent with 24 men and women from multiple churches of the Presbyterian Convention of Sierra Leone, as we began the first of eight teaching sessions on the doctrine of the church (at left). Many of the students who were with us over Zoom in the fall participated, and are are seeking credit as part of training to be pastors and ministry leaders in the church. Lati preached a short sermon on Matthew 16:13-20, as part of our preaching labs designed to help train men to handle rightly the Word of truth (below.)

Last night at dinner, we met a guest named Peter, who is from the provinces of Sierra Leone. He overheard our conversation and asked if he could ask us questions about the Bible. He was deeply troubled that his wife had been chided by the pastor in her home church for wearing pants to a worship service. He asked us to help explain, Biblically, how to understand this. In much of West Africa, pastors are revered as having high authority, and this often leads to misuse of that position and confusion among the people. We explained to him the freedom we have in Christ, sharing several verses, including Galatians 5:1. When we saw him again this morning, he expressed appreciation and shared that his wife was encouraged by the Scriptures we shared. This was a reminder to us of the necessity of sound doctrine and the contrast of the gospel’s beauty with the ugliness of the shackles of legalism.

We covet your prayers during our time here, and I look forward to sharing the many gifts and notes you sent with me, as you partner with us this work. Visit calvarypca.org/partner for more information.

In Christ,
Pastor Nate