The Harmattan was more evident today. This time of year in Sierra Leone the winds turn southerly and bring sand and dust from the Sahara and deserts of North Africa. It has the effect of making it look and feel like the sky is foggy, and there is the smell of dirt in the air. The dirt smell mixed with the ever present smokiness of burning trash and cooking fires is the ode de Salone. Here’s our Krio lesson of the day… Salone = Sierra Leone; ow de bodi = how are you; kushe = hello; a de go = goodbye.
This morning we spend several hours with Emmanuel who is the book keeper for the ministry. He is responsible for all the finances including payroll, scholarships, and purchasing. We were pleased to find all the records in good order and that he is reporting each month as he is supposed to do. This is the third week of classes for the new school year and student movement between schools and classes is mostly settled out; now is the time when uniforms and supplies are distributed and school fees are paid.
We did a surprise check on the primary school teachers as class ended for the day by asking to see their lesson plans and class rolls. They happily produced what they were working from and explained a little about the day’s lessons to us. The rolls were all filled in with marks from when the students arrived and then again before they end each day to make sure they completed the day. As the primary students left the junior secondary students arrived; they compare to our middle school students. It was encouraging to see them all lined up singing songs and preparing for the devotional before classes began. Later we stopped back to see each of the 3 classes concentrating on the lessons. They were quiet and focused.
This afternoon we covered several important topics with Henry. We worked through issues related to the land development and building process. We also talked about pastor training and processes for starting new churches. Henry is doing an excellent job and has brought real organization to the ministry overall. He says he is on year three and is ready to push ahead. He feels confident that things are moving in the right direction.
Dinner this evening was with all the teachers. We were able to bless them with a good meal and thank them for working so diligently. When all the schools were closed due to Ebola, our teachers were visiting homes and giving our children things to work on to keep their minds going. As soon as schools reopened our teachers have been making up for the lost year by doing Saturday classes and extra work each day. We were able to appreciate them and encourage them to keep up the good work.
Tomorrow we get to visit the new church locations and then head into Freetown for our board meeting. Please keep praying for us here in Salone… Pray for no malaria from the mosquitos and that Ebola stays away. Pray also for us to be a blessing to our friends here and that our board training will go well evening.
Jeff Bice, Missions Pastor