Bo, Sierra Leone. January 10
Today is our last day in Sierra Leone and we all leave with a sense of melancholy given the warmth of hospitality and genuine affection shown to us by everyone at our partner organization, Zion Ministries. Though this is one of the poorest countries on earth, the people of Sierra Leone are rich in their demonstrating friendship to those with open hearts. As has always been the case, on the last day in any country I try to use it as a day of reflection and a little enjoyment. Today we traveled three hours north to the city of Makeny to see the different terrain and walk through the markets. We did some sightseeing and shopping but somewhere along the way we also had an unfortunate experience - however, one that ended well. While in Makeny, one of our SHGO staff, Kelly, had a young man run up to her and steal her cell phone. Truly, a frightening experience for anyone. As the thief ran away, four other young men gave chase, captured him, and escorted the thief to the police office. Her phone, though damaged, was returned to her. I cannot imagine many places in the US where the local citizens would go out of their way on behalf of a foreigner. Regardless of their motivation, the phone was returned and the criminal brought to justice. The rest of our day was spent recalling our week together in this amazing country. Over dinner this evening, Pastor Kanu and his wife Cynthia presented our SHGO team with beautiful traditional African shirts, but more importantly, shared with us how incredibly moved they were by our becoming part of this African family. I too, am so moved by those on our team. For me, Sierra Leone has been a part of my life for over seven years and my work here is heartfelt. I did not expect that visitors for the first time would embrace the country and its people as quickly as they did. For that, I am incredibly grateful to Siwen, Qixian, Michael, Noel, Kelly and Spencer. Tomorrow morning we leave our partners in Sierra Leone and fly south along the western coast of Africa to Ghana, where we meet with our Ghanaian partner Barbara Asempa from HOCAP in Accra. It’s in partnership with HOCAP that Seven Hills Global Outreach supports nearly 4,000 people through our micro-lending program to over 400 farming families. We leave Sierra Leone in the morning with some sadness, yet gleefully anticipate meeting our Ghanaian friends later tomorrow evening. And so our work at SHGO continues, supporting very poor children and adults in eight countries around the globe; many of whom represent my staff colleagues who work at Seven Hills Foundation. Everyone is well and anticipating our adventure in Ghana. More tomorrow evening from Accra.
Dr. D. Jordan - (“Dr. J”)