On September 12, 2006, Bishop Middleton, of the Central Pennsylvania Conference and Bishop Humper of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, West Africa formally signed the dual conference approved contract beginning the work of the Sierra Leone Initiative.
Sierra Leone’s infrastructure was destroyed by a ten-year long civil war which also devastated many of the churches. As a result of this war, congregations find it difficult to support pastors and their families.
As part of the Susquehanna Conference the Sierra Leone Initiative (SLI) provides a unique opportunity for Susquehanna Conference churches to keep pastors in full-time ministry in Sierra Leone. This provides the necessary support for pastors to devote themselves to making disciples for Jesus Christ.
The covenant amount a church agrees to provide annually is $1,200 with a commitment term of 10 years. $1,000 supplies the pastoral support and $200 offsets the disbursement of these funds and helps pay for the delegates to travel once a year to the respective countries. SLI partners with the General Board of Global Ministries to ensure full accountability and quick delivery of all funds.
As a member of the SLI, churches have the opportunity to partner with a UM church in Sierra Leone. As this relationship grows each congregation covenants to pray for and correspond with each other, allowing a personal bond to form between the two churches.
VIM-guided tours from Susquehanna Conference visit Sierra Leone one to two times each year. Join a team and visit accessible churches to see the need in Sierra Leone. Location permitting, visit your partner church. Periodically, two individuals from Sierra Leone visit the Susquehanna Conference and travel within our Conference fulfilling speaking engagements in churches.
Please pray for the initiative’s work with pastors and congregations in Sierra Leone and prayerfully consider joining this project.