Children of the Nations Hosts Local Pastor in Sierra Leone

    Silverdale, WA – March 31, 2009 – "I am back to collect what I left behind—my heart," was the opening statement made by Pastor Andy Chinn of Peninsula Bible Fellowship in Bremerton, Washington last month at the welcoming program held in his honor at Senehun village in Sierra Leone in West Africa. It was his second visit to the Banta chiefdom within nine months, serving with the local nonprofit organization Children of the Nations.

    During his first visit in June 2008, in addition to leading children’s and youth camps and VBS activities, Pastor Chinn initiated the first village outreach, a "Goat Soup Fellowship" at Senehun village, a nearby community COTN has just recently begun ministering to. The event attracted over half of the community to a colorful program of soccer, sharing the gospel, and climaxed with a feast of tangayasa, boiled cassava and goat soup. By the end of the day Andy had evangelized and adopted a whole family, including a child named after him. I learned from the testimony of the mother that she gave birth to the child the day Andy arrived at the village. "Having gone through several days of unsuccessful labor pains, I know within my heart that Pastor Andy is a man of God," said the mother. "His presence brought about the safe delivery of my baby, so we named him Andy. Pastor Andy immediately accepted as his brother," she shared.

    Last month, Pastor Chinn was back in Sierra Leone and Senehun village to see his eight-month-old brother—"his heart." This second missionary journey to Senehun, a typical African village setting, presented every imaginable challenge that an American can encounter in a village located in one of the poorest nations on earth. This made Andy one of the most admired Venture team members that has visited COTN ministry center in Banta. Pastor Andy is gradually dismantling the long-perceived concept in the minds of our people that missionaries are to stay in well-furnished houses, away from the community in their mission field, eat imported canned food from china plates, and drink distilled water. Not so with Pastor Andy—his activities in the village ranged from working on the farm, threshing husk rice, helping mama Nyandu (his African mother) cook spicy food which they all ate together, to befriending and hugging the village kids—even a half-tamed wild monkey!
    Andy impacted the village community with his genuine demonstration of God reaching out to all classes of people in such a practical way, without discrimination. His ways were easily understood and appreciated by the local church pastors who also gained a lot from his teachings in the book of James at a pastors’ seminar he co-facilitated. He succeeded in touching every heart with his Gospel of Love.

    About Children of the Nations

    Children of the Nations (COTN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising children who transform nations. Founded in 1995, the organization currently provides holistic care to orphaned and destitute children in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic. By partnering with nationals, they establish full-care residential Children’s Homes (for orphans) and Village Partnership Programs (to benefit children living with destitute families or caregivers who are unable to properly provide for them). The programs and services they provide include education, feeding centers, medical services, and community development initiatives such as agriculture, sanitation projects, micro-enterprise, and much more. Children of the Nations believes that true, lasting, and meaningful change begins with the children, and so they are their mission. Children of the Nations stands apart from other organizations in their goal, not to provide relief, but rather to come alongside nationals, empowering them to a life of self-sustainability. For more information, visit www.cotni.org.

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    Contact:
    Pam Wright, Communications Director
    Children of the Nations – USA
    pamwright@cotni.org
    360-698-7227