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  • Writer's pictureDr. David Jordan

January 6, 2024, Bo, Sierra Leone

Updated: Jan 7

BO, Sierra Leone

If you’re reading this, I want to thank you for following our team from Seven Hills Global Outreach on our 10-day humanitarian experience to Sierra Leone, followed by a visit to Kibera/ Nairobi, Kenya. Our team this year comprises Tracy Graham (an alumna of Clark University’s  School of Management) her father Andy Graham, Nancy & Grover Sherlin , Patrick O’Connor, Brian Boyle and Sunday Oluokun; all quite remarkable people in their own right and I’m privileged to have each of them join me on this trip.  I’ve been traveling to 8 developing countries since 2009 with Clark University students, Seven Hills staff colleagues, donors , and others  interested in uplifting women and children in the poorest areas of the globe. 

Our purpose is not to tell any of our international partners what to do or how to do it, but rather, our role has always been to “listen” to the needs and life stories of others and then, with them, seek to find ways where we can help.  Here in Sierra Leone, we have built 3 schools, a full medical campus to deliver babies and care for the ill, we’ve built wells in 26 villages and an equal number of village toilets resulting in the reduction of child mortality under age 5 by 85%.  Our schools have provided an education and given hope to thousands of children and young people here. Last year I helped in the dedication of a new community library with over 20,000 books.   In all we do with our local partners our purpose is to serve others with humility and compassion.   I’m so pleased that Nancy & Grover Sherlin are with us on this trip.  They represent a significant donor toward our work here through their annual Running 4 Clean Water 5K event held in Garland, Texas.  Their financial support in building wells and village toilets has been remarkable and saved the lives of hundreds of children.  So, thank you to the churches in Garland, Texas, for all the good you have done for us and the children of Sierra Leone. 

We arrived late evening on January 5 and were up early this morning as we traveled through the Capital City of Freetown on our way to the city of BO.   We all need a good night’s rest and we’re up early tomorrow to trek through the bush to several of the 26 villages we serve.  A significant purpose of this year’s trip to Sierra Leone is to dedicate a brand-new school SHGO has just completed–in the village of Kaongibo–for a group of 6 very remote villages deep in the jungle/ bush area where we work. These 6 villages are approximately 7 miles from our Bandawa campus school–a very difficult distance for the young children who attend.  In rainy season, the streams flood and it’s impossible for the small children to migrate the “stick bridges” over the streams. This new school will serve children in grades 1-6 and will be the first—and only- school ever to be in the area. Prior to our constructing this newest school, children, or adults, never had the benefit of an education. 

So much needs to be done for so many of the world’s poorest and we do what little we can to uplift the lives of those suffering. In Sierra Leone alone we are impacting 15,000 lives in the medical services, schools, and public health initiatives underway.   Our work at SHGO has always been meant to serve those in need, but in many respects our acts benefit us even more in our awareness that we are all part of one world.

I’ll write again tomorrow, Sunday, January 7, with photos from the bush and highlights of our efforts.  Tonight- as I do whenever I travel with my Clark University students or Seven Hills staff - we ended our evening by each sharing one special “pearl” or insight each of us identified.  Tomorrow I’ll share with you some of the remarkable thoughts expressed by Andy, Tracy, Brian, Patrick, Sunday, Nancy and Grover. What an amazing group of fellow travelers. Their hearts are wide open : “if not us, then who; and if not know, then when ?”    Blessings to you all.  

—Dr. David Jordan

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