“We Need to Support Ourselves”


The church at Bo, in Sierra Leone

While attending Sierra Leone Conference, I didn’t sense a strong feeling of expectation in regard to support from North America. In fact, a number of younger pastors–some of the rising young leaders in the conference–came to me and said, “We need to be supporting ourselves. We appreciate everything the US and Canada have done in the past, but it’s time for us to take ownership of the ministry God has given us.”

The church in Bo just completed a new sanctuary that seats 400. It would be an impressive building in the United States. And they never asked the conference or the US for a penny. They built it themselves. They also run a school next door to the church, and it receives no outside funding that I know of.

encountered something similar in Nicaragua. A discussion began about how Central American churches could participate in mission giving. They said, “We’ve been on the receiving end for a long time. We’d like to do something that puts us on the giving side.”

They raised the idea of taking a missions offering and sending it to the United States. I told them about how the Canadians already participate with us in two offerings, Self Denial and Thank Offering.

They jumped all over that, thought it was fantastic. We need to work out the details of how we distribute the funds they send; they wouldn’t want us to send it back to them. But to send money to us, and then it goes somewhere else–that’s something we can do for them, as they seek to reach out to the world.

1 Comment
  • Randy Fennig
    Posted at 06:21h, 08 March

    Jeff thanks for the comment and the pic. I’m sure lots of people in North America would be surprised at a picture like the Bo church. Your comments were certainly on point as well. I have yet to see any sense in the leadership of the SL conference that they think the US should be responsible for them financially. They recognize their needs and how far they have to go but still understand that the solutions will rest with them. It makes it exciting work to partner with the church helping them to realize greater economic opportunity. I look forward to the day when the Sierra Leone church can make the same comment that Nicaragua has.

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