World Church News
Having just watched the television programme ‘Four Born Every Second’, which compared giving birth in Britain, Cambodia, the USA and Sierra Leone, I was drawn to think about how difficult it would have been giving birth in Bethlehem 2000 plus years ago. Of course God had a plan for that birth in Bethlehem – as he does with every birth.
The infant mortality in Sierra Leone is among the worst in the world with 83 out of 1,000 babies dying during their first year and 495 out of every 100,000 mothers not surviving child birth. This is where I will be going in January along with nine others from Methodist churches around the Lancashire District. Some of the members of the Mission Team have a medical background and will be working for part of the time at a Methodist Hospital in Segbwema. In 2011 they were able to help teach in the School of Nursing offering courses on caring for expectant mothers and their unborn babies.
Others members of the team will be travelling to Kailahun in the far east of the country to continue the work started in 2006 where we were able to help the local community build and equip a skills training centre. The aim of the centre is to teach practical skills, such as tailoring and carpentry, to the young people, enabling them to earn a living. After three years of operating as a centre, the staff are keen to expand the work. We will be helping to build more accommodation and share in the teaching.
Living, working and worshipping with the people of Sierra Leone is a challenging experience. It is incredible to see the way they live out their faith in such difficult circumstances, totally relying on God’s provision for their daily lives. By the time you read this they will have elected a new President and Members of Parliament and will be anticipating a future that is brighter.
As we enter the season of Advent the challenge is are we relying on God’s provision and prepared to welcome Christ again?