Sierra Leone Experiencing 'Vast Spiritual Harvest' Thanks to Ebola, 11-Year-War

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The Ebola crisis and 11 years of rebel war in Sierra Leone have left many people hungry for the hope of the Gospel and compelled hundreds to reject Islam and embrace Christianity, according to a new report.
A generation of children will grow up without their parents because of Ebola, Unicef have warned. Photo: Reuters/Luc Gnago

The Ebola crisis and 11 years of rebel war in Sierra Leone have left many people hungry for the hope of the Gospel and compelled hundreds to reject Islam and embrace Christianity, according to a new report.

The director of an indigenous ministry in the country told Christian Aid Mission that while just 13 percent of the population now identifies as Christian - 63 percent identify as Muslim and 23 percent tribal animist - the number of believers is rising.

"All that happened to us as a nation these past years, the 11 years of rebel war and the past Ebola saga, have been as a divine messenger to bring our people to the place of repenting from their evil ways, receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ and appropriating the mercy of God in Christ Jesus," said Mitford Macauley, director of Trinity Gospel Ministries (TGM). "Therefore we are wasting no time to go out radically with the gospel of Christ into the unreached regions, in the rural districts of our nation, in order to liberate our people in obedience to the divine mandate."

He added, "This is a special time for the advancement of the gospel in our nation through this vibrant missionary vision. What we need at this time is more support so that we can run with it, as we cannot do it all alone."

Between 2014-2015, Ebola infected more than 28,000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and claimed over 11,000 in just a few months, according to WHO. Macauley said his organization is working tirelessly to care for the estimated 12,000 children orphaned by the deadly virus. To help meet the need, TGM is constructing an orphanage that requires $50,000 for completion.

"We believe God to provide the needed funds for the completion of this great Calvary Orphanage project, which is intended to become the home for about 60 Ebola orphans," Macauley said.

His organization also recently completed a six-week outreach to 22 villages, where hundreds of people, many of them suffering from some measure of emotional/psychological trauma, came to Christ.

"All of these 22 villages had no church presence previously, and all of them have never heard the gospel preached until now," Macauley said. "During our film shows and campaigns, we saw hundreds of people encountering the power of God in deliverance from sickness and diseases, and also from demon possessions and oppression. Thousands of people turned from their sins of immorality, idolatry and occultism to the Lord Jesus."

Currently, the organization is asking for hundreds of Bibles to meet the spiritual hunger of the new Christians, two motorbikes for the church-planting efforts and assistance for the costs of monthly outreaches, including transportation and food. The ministry also needs assistance for construction of church buildings in villages were congregations are forming.

He said: "What we need at this time is more support so that we can run with it, as we cannot do it all alone. We are praying for all of our friends and donors of Christian Aid and believe that God will provide much more for them to support us more. Their support has largely encouraged us in our most challenging times, and we believe they can do it again at this time."

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Tags : Christian Aid Mission, Ebola, Sierra Leone, Africa, Muslim, Islam, Christianity, faith, baptism