Please continue to pray for Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa -- where the floods are still raging, over 1,000 are confirmed dead, and many more are still missing!!
The floods and mudslides in Sierra Leone have devastated an economy that was already the poorest in the world! They have no evacuation plan, no FEMA, no Red Cross. There is no government aid, no capacity to raise billions of dollars in relief funding like we have here in America. Many of the photos we have seen from our friends in Africa are extremely graphic and disturbing - containing literal piles of and rooms filled with dead naked bodies. We've pixelated the dead bodies, but they are still extremely disturbing and can cause nightmares. The pictures are in the slideshow below, view at your own risk. There has already been one government-sponsored mass burial ceremony for 300 unidentified bodies. It won't be the last. The death toll continues to rise daily.
Will you help us provide emergency relief to a country in crisis? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation and put "flood emergency fund" in the memo. If you have any questions, the best way to get a hold of us is to call: 405.659.6802.
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We are so excited to announce that Pastor Nick Shields has agreed to be our new Programs and Administration Liaison. That might not sound all that exciting, but Pastor Nick (Pastor of Taos Valley Baptist Church in Taos, New Mexico) is a great man with tremendous relationships with not only the orphans, but also Pastor Hassan.
His social intelligence, knowledge of SL customs, and special relationships over there make him the perfect person for the position. Pastor Nick's influence and communication is going to make an enormous difference, helping everything go much more smoothly, and hopefully prevent a whole lot of problems and conflicts that normally would limit our ability to be effective.
So, welcome, Pastor Nick!
On June 1st, we sent out a message telling about a serious issue with the roof of the orphanage. Rainy season had just begun and water was just pouring in through the roof, creating a very dangerous situation - not just because of health concerns, but because of a high electrical fire risk.
To repair the roof would cost a minimum of $3,000. The Komeo family of donors came through and raised over $3,000 in less than two weeks! The boys of the orphanage have been hard at work repairing the roof and the dangers have been mitigated!
We are excited to launch our 20 Kids in 20 Days campaign. Our goal is to get 20 unsponsored kids at least one sponsor by the end of May. For more information check out our campaign page.
We will be returning to Sierra Leone in July to possibly do construction on the orphanage and a medical clinic. Cost of the trip will be $3000. Feel free to donate towards the trip if you feel so led.
International Ministries board members are excited to announce a new mission trip that will take place on March 20. It’s been a year since members of Komeo, komeo.org, embarked on a mission to Sierra Leone, and they feel God is telling them that now is the time to return.
“We haven’t had a trip in a year and a lot of that was due to Ebola. We haven’t been getting letters, which is the heart of what we want to do,” Jerome Crawford, Komeo Founder said. “We want sponsors to be able to communicate and minister to their kids and their kids to minister to them. I want to apologize because in the last year we kind of slowed down a little bit and one of the things that we feel like we’ve really failed at is communications and letting sponsors know what’s going on with their kids.”
Komeo has made it a priority to increase communication with sponsors. Currently, they’re restructuring the database to help unify the system to get sponsors better and quicker information on their children. Board members believe this will help with growth, updates and communication.
Jerome and Shanna Crawford need to raise $6,400 for their upcoming trip. They’d also like to raise another $3,000 to do outreaches in surrounding communities that they’ve built relationships with over the years.
“We want to get back to doing the Lord’s work there and help the children we love there,” Jerome continued. “We need you guys to join with us and to donate and pray.”
Shanna Crawford, Komeo Founder, expressed gratitude, “I just want to thank you guys for all of your prayers and support over these last nine years that God has called us on this journey. We could not do this without you and just like with all of our other trips, we need your prayers, your encouragement, your support. I’m excited to go back and spend time with these older kids - some we’ve discipled since they were little bitty.”
The Crawfords will also be meeting new children in the orphanage. More than 100 children were placed in the orphanage in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis. The orphanage houses 250 children total, and only 40% or 50% of those children have a sponsor.
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Shana Gibelyou, Komeo President, said, “In January, Komeo received $3,700 in sponsorship donations, but we need to send $4,000 every month just for food for the kids. We need more sponsors, we need to send more funding over, we need to be able to meet needs that are beyond just food. We need to pay for education and medical needs and be able to maintain the orphanage. But we want to thank you for the sponsors we have, we need you.”