Sierra Leone (MNN) — Sierra Leone is already not the most stable block in the Jenga pile. Its recent history has been marred by some shocking tragedies, and one more might just topple it.
First, the world’s worst Ebola outbreak struck the coastal West African nation in 2014 and killed over 11,000 people. Then, last year, Sierra Leone suffered catastrophic floods and landslides that left 3,000 homeless and killed another 1,141 people.
These devastations have compounded instability in the already struggling nation. According to the CIA World Factbook, high unemployment and low pay mean Sierra Leone’s mostly young population is restless. And now, people are on edge once again as a new Ebola strain was recently identified in the country.
Jason Woolford with Mission Cry says they are confident that God’s Word will not return void. “When we’re sending the Word of God and Christian books, we’re changing cultures. We’re changing the way that people look at money, we’re changing the way that a father treats a son, a mother treats a daughter, [and] how a husband and wife change. I mean, you talk about culture change; there is nothing that does it better than the Word of God.”
Sierra Leone is overwhelmingly Muslim — 78.6 percent. Christians in the country only account for 20.8 percent of the population.
Although Sierra Leonean believers are vastly outnumbered, Mission Cry aims to equip local Christians with free biblical literature. These used Christian books and Bibles serve to encourage the Church and enable outreach efforts.
“We’re doing that in these areas where there [are] Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists and we’re giving…the people that are trying to minister to them the opportunity to understand who God is in and through His Word.”
Mission Cry has been in ministry for more than 60 years. During that time, they have sent at least $330 million-worth of Christian books and Bibles to over 171 countries. Each shipment is carefully organized from generous donations and prayed over before being sent out.
Woolford urges, “I want those that are listening to understand that our time is short here on this earth. Whether Jesus is coming tomorrow or should He tarry, He has given us a charge to be missions-minded…. You and I have the opportunity to send the Word — Jesus — in the form of the Bible, the Living Word of God, to people.”
If you have any used Bibles or Christian books to donate to Mission Cry, click here to find out next steps!
Meanwhile, please lift up Sierra Leone in prayer — both for this latest Ebola strain to be quelled and for the shipment of biblical literature to change the lives of those it reaches.
“Whenever you look at any sort of outbreak or anything, I understand that we live in a fallen world…but I also understand that there is a very real Devil who really hates God and hates God’s people. So we definitely need to lift them up in prayer.”
Woolford also asks, “Pray for our ministry. The Devil hates what we’re doing. We’re giving the Word that doesn’t return void.”
Learn more about Mission Cry and ways you can get involved!
(Header photo courtesy of Annie Spratt via Unsplash)