Story number 1 for 3 Feb 1999

By February 3, 1999

We begin today in Sierra Leone where evangelistic ministry to children is being hampered by continued fighting. Christian Reformed Church World Mission’s Paul Kortenhoven says thousands of children have been kidnapped, indoctrinated and pressed into fighting. That puts them on the path to murder. (KORTENHOVEN: 11) The worst of the killers and butchers are always the younger. And so you literally have 12, 13 year-old mass murderers running around. Our staff member was killed by a teen age soldier last week. (BROOKS: 04) CRWM has also had workers attacked. Kortenhoven says efforts to turn those teens around have been hindered. (KORTENHOVEN:21) A group called Children Affected by War, our group and a group called The Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone, the Mennonites, all of us are involved in trauma counseling and reconciliation, but because of security right now we’re unable to be on the ground and our staff can’t either. There are mechanisms to help, but the fighting has got to stop before we can really do something.

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