Praises and Prayer Requests

Sierra Leone

August 2011

Praise God that our summer camps and clubs are introducing children to Christ. Pray that God will continue to touch hearts through these activities.

We’re thankful that several Venture Teams have traveled safely to Sierra Leone this summer, including a teacher team that trained the staff at our schools in Freetown and Banta Mokelleh. The techniques they taught will be helpful in the next school year.

We thank God that construction of our new school building and guesthouses is progressing nicely. Pray that project continues to go well.

Pray also that the children who took their final exams in school earlier this summer would receive high marks and be able to move on to the next grade level.

July 2011

Praise God that construction of our guest house in Banta is going well. COTN partner Jim Jackson of Silverdale, Washington, led a building team made up of Sierra Leoneans and Americans in May and June. The team built the foundation, floors, and walls of the guest house, and will soon finish the roof.

Praise God that the US Department of Defense has agreed to fund shipment of two 40-foot containers from Washington state to Sierra Leone! This will save us thousands of dollars in shipping fees.

Pray for God’s blessing on our Global Interns. They are busy helping out with summer camps and need endurance.

June 2011

Please pray for our COTN–Sierra Leone Country Director Angie Myles and her family, as they mourn the loss of Angie’s husband, Joe Myles. Joe passed away May 6, from a heart attack. He was a wonderful servant of the Lord, and a great help to us in the development of our Banta Children’s Village. We will miss him greatly.

Praise God that Tejan Margay, one of our children in Banta, is doing well after jaw surgery April 28 in Freetown. Pray that Tejan’s healthy recovery continues.

Pray that this summer we can complete our new guest house currently being built in Banta.

May 2011

Praise God that Susan Ibrahim, one of our children from Banta Mokelleh, and Kadie Kobba, vice-principal of our secondary school in Banta, are safely back at home after their recent visit to the United States. Susan and Kadie had the chance to share their stories with hundreds of people during their time in Washington state. We pray the hearts they touched will continue to be stirred to act on behalf of children in need.

Please pray for continued healing for Tejan Margay, our child in Banta who is recovering from facial surgery.

Pray also for healing for COTN–Sierra Leone Country Director Angie Myles, who is recovering from a back injury.

April 2011

Praise God that a shipping container sent to Sierra Leone from Washington state was released and its contents distributed to our children in Banta.

Thank God for a new partnership with the World Food Program and Plan International. We can now provide breakfast as well as lunch at our schools in Ngolala and Mokpangumba.

Pray for Tejan Margay, one of our children in Banta, as he prepares for jaw surgery April 28th in Freetown.

March 2011

Pray that a shipping container sent to Sierra Leone from Washington will be cleared from customs in Freetown and sent to our ministry center in Banta Mokelleh. The shipment contains packaged meals, school SmilePacks®, and other supplies, including school construction materials.

Praise God that our children at the Ngolala school were able to play and celebrate at our annual sports meet early this month!

February 2011

A Hydraform brick-making machine in Sierra Leone is helping our COTN–Sierra Leone staff expand our ministry center in Banta Mokelleh. In January, COTN–USA construction consultant Jim Jackson trained the staff to use it. The bricks currently being molded will be used in the construction of new guest housing. This exciting expansion will solve space restrictions for Venture programs.

A recent medical Venture Team led by Tanya Spoon of Silverdale, WA had a beneficial time in Banta in January. During medical outreaches to some far-flung villages where we have relationships, they worked with our clinic staff to see between 500 and 550 people, including pregnant women and children of all ages. Please pray that the seeds planted in these communities leads to greater overall health and wellness for the children there.

January 2011

We have abundant praise for COTN–Sierra Leone being named one of their country’s top three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for 2010! We are so proud that the efforts of the staff and transformation of our children in Sierra Leone have not gone unnoticed by the officials in their country.

COTN child Kebbie Kargbo’s ear is healing well following surgery earlier this year. Please continue to pray for Momoh Mansaray who also had ear surgeries which encountered complications. Doctors continue work to solve his problems.

We praise God for the seven Venture Teams already scheduled to serve our children in Sierra Leone this summer, and for Magnus Beah, COTN–Sierra Leone Venture Coordinator, whose dedication makes every trip such a success.

December 2010

Best wishes to Samuel Ngoneh, our Center Supervisor and Resource Coordinator in Sierra Leone, who married Alice Sandi who served as a national intern in the summer of 2009. We thank God for their union and wish them every blessing for the future.

Chris and Debbie Clark visited Banta Mokelleh this month. While there, the team had a baptismal ceremony with a number of people from Hemabu, where we have opened our newest church. This is an exciting step for the church there, which is in a village notorious for witchcraft. As COTN–Sierra Leone Country Director Mama Angie says, "The Spirit is moving!"

The Basic Education Certificate Exam (BECE) results are out and every child from our school passed! These exams allow children to move up from Junior Secondary School to Senior Secondary School. Thirteen of those children were in our Village Partnership Program. Seven children from our residential care sat the exams this year.

Please pray for Mama Angie and her family during this time of need. Her son Andy Myles passed away and was buried November 7th.

November 2010

We praise God for the opportunities He presents; this month Chris and Debbie Clark will be in Banta Mokelleh for the visit of the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma to COTN’s Banta Children’s Village. President Koroma will observe the ministry site and meet our children. We are confident he will be pleased with the transformation in our children’s lives through COTN.

Students who passed their national examinations have taken their places in Junior Secondary School’s first year. Those who did not are being encouraged to consider beginning courses in the Skills Training Center. One child from our home, Esther Thollie, has already begun a skills training center course. The skills training center’s curriculum includes: English, Math, Home Economics, Tailoring and Construction (masonry and carpentry).

Please pray for COTN–Sierra Leone Country Director Rev. Angie Myles, who recently lost her son, who lived in Freetown. Our prayers and thoughts go out to her in this difficult time.

October 2010

COTN’s Mallory Jansen Memorial School in Banta Mokelleh, Sierra Leone, earned the highest test scores in their district. Each student must take the National Primary School Certificate (NPSC) test after primary school to determine whether they are eligible to move on to secondary classes. Of the fifty-eight COTN children who took the test, forty-eight earned a passing score; a higher percentage than any other school in the area! Hooray for our children and the teachers who make it their goal to give every child an education. Those who did not pass the exams will be given extra classes and another chance to improve their scores. Please pray that each child is given the opportunity to continue their education and grow in the Lord.

September 2010

Former Sierra Leone Venture Team host Sarah Saunier begins her new position as Education Specialist this month, training teachers for the start of the 2011 school year. Sarah joins our permanent staff with COTN–International’s Education department, where she’ll divide her time between Sierra Leone and our head-quarters in Silverdale, Washington.

We praise God for the hard work of COTN–International Sierra Leone Liaison Mark Drennan, who has been serving in Sierra Leone since March. After taking a well-deserved break, he will spend a month in Washington State at the International Office.

Two of our children, Momon Mansaray and Kebbie Karbo, have received inner ear operations as a result of chronic infections. Both are recovering well. Please pray for their swift recovery, as well as funds to cover the $4,000 cost for the operations.

August 2010

July means vacation time anywhere you live, and the same is true for COTN staff members. Our hard-working house mothers and fathers in Sierra Leone were able to take some time off to relax and get away. These house parents live in our Children’s Homes and do more than just care for our children—they form the types of bonds that truly mean family to our children. We are so grateful for the positive impact our house parents have on the lives of each COTN child. They truly make a difference in each and every life they touch. During their brief three-day vacation COTN Global Interns cared for the children.

July 2010

Summer is a busy time in Sierra Leone. On June 16, Dave Spoon, COTN–USA Washington State Feeding Coordinator, and ten interns arrived safely in Sierra Leone and are doing well. The interns will share a personal ministry with COTN children, spend with a village family, work for a COTN department such as sponsorship, and perform a personal ministry.

At school, students have been studying for year-end exams. Reverend Angie Myles, COTN–Sierra Leone Country Director, was proud to report that most of the secondary school students passed their math exams. This summer she hopes to send all the COTN Home Children to visit relatives in their own villages.

Children are looking forward to summer camp too. This year a Venture Team from Summit Church in Orlando, Florida will be helping with activities. “The team is pumped about spending time with the kids and having small group discussions about what they're learning about God through the life of King David,” said Dacia Kanaan, Venture Team co-leader.

Please pray for the malnourished children seen every day at our clinic in the Banta Ministry Center and that COTN reaches these children in time.

June 2010

COTN–Sierra Leone staff and students were pleased to get a visit from our co-founder Chris Clark in May. His journey began with a visit to the Mallory Jansen Memorial School in Marjay Town, where over 500 students are enrolled from preschool to eighth grade. Chris said via the new COTN Twitter account that the children are excelling and “Freetown is finally showing signs of growth, faces show peace.”

A five-hour road trip brought “Daddy Chris” to the Banta Children’s Village, where children sang and danced to celebrate his arrival. Chris shared a meal with our teen boys, visited our farm, and was the guest of honor at a football (soccer) game organized by COTN student Steve Michael.

Please pray for Country Director Rev. Angie Myles’ health, and pray that funds are provided to send children to summer camp.

May 2010

Both staff and children enjoyed a respite from the usual routine over the recent Easter break. They celebrated Easter with special church services, village outreaches, and a COTN family outing. School has started up again, and there is work to be done. Many of our primary school students took exams on May 1st that will determine whether they graduate to junior secondary school. We have yet to hear the results.

Our Senior Secondary School opened at our Banta Ministry Center toward the end of last year, and has been an encouraging development, especially in that it was initiated by our Sierra Leone staff. However, we are currently struggling to offer a quality education in the area of science—neither our staff nor our equipment is sufficient. Among our students, we have boys and girls who have been dreaming of training to be doctors or nurses. Please pray for God to provide us with another science teacher and the funds for a laboratory so that we can offer these students a quality grounding in chemistry, biology, and physics.

Continue to pray for our intern team. They arrived in Banta Mokelleh at the end of March and plan to remain through June. While there, they are involved in projects like village outreach, youth ministry, English tutoring, and updating our sponsorship records. Please pray for their health and safety.

April 2010

Joy and laughter reigned in Banta Mokelleh on Saturday, March 20. The children took a break from their rigorous studies as the school sponsored a sports day. Our children were divided into four Houses, one for each country where COTN serves, and they competed in a variety of games and sports. Though Yellow (Uganda) House eventually won the day, it was a blessing to all of our children.

Another blessing in Banta came in the form of working lights and water. Joyful shouting erupted from each house as, house by house, the lights came on for the first time. Our in-country staff rejoices that the conveniences of running water and electric lights will allow our children to spend more time studying. Our international staff rejoices for that and other reasons. “Come to Banta, we will treat you to a shower!” says Sierra Leone Liaison Mark Drennan.

Mark, who recently spent more than a year in Sierra Leone, returned there at the end of March, leading a team of seven interns from Newlife Church in Silverdale, Washington. The interns will remain in Sierra Leone through the spring, focusing on activities such as tutoring English, providing

health education, performing youth ministry, and working with our Sponsorship Department.

March 2010

Praise God! Rev. Angie Myles, our Sierra Leone Country Director, is fully healed and back in Banta. Mama Angie was very ill, but she is now hard at work again. Join us in prayer for her continued health and that of all of our staff, who unceasingly strive to care for our children.

Since February 17, a Venture team that included many COTN staff members led by Jim Jackson was serving in Sierra Leone. The team had many individual goals, but their primary objective was to complete the installation of electricity and water to our Banta facilities, a process begun last summer. Please join us in praising God for all of the work this team has accomplished.

Pray also that proper care will be taken to maintain these new amenities—that the children will learn to be gentle with the water taps and not to waste water, that a mechanic will be found to regularly service the generator, and that provision would be made for fuel for the generator.

As of this writing, several team members were still working

in Sierra Leone, wrapping up their projects. Please visit our website (www.cotni.org) to read about the results of their trip.

February 2010

Please keep our Sierra Leone Country Director, Rev. Angie Myles, in your prayers. She has been very ill recently, but we thank God that she was able to get good medical treatment. Pray that she continues to recover well and that her family and our children, who look up to her as a symbol of stability and security, would be comforted and encouraged by her recovery.

Thank God for his hand of healing on several of our children who have also been unwell. A few of the girls recently came down with sicknesses but have now fully recovered. A couple of the boys, however, have ongoing medical issues that have yet to be definitively diagnosed. Join us in prayer that the medical staff would be able to properly diagnose and treat these issues.

Praise God for answered prayers! Mark Drennan, who served with COTN for more than a year in Sierra Leone, has now joined COTN–International as the new Sierra Leone Liaison. Mark currently resides in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

December 2009

Here is an excerpt from the blog of COTN staff member Kristen Bushnell, whose Venture team returned from Sierra Leone earlier this week:

“We had our first (and last) soccer match on Sunday—team USA vs. team Africa. We lost. We had lots of energy and an exciting team cheer before we took the field, but we got ‘flogged,’ as they say here. It was very fun, and the kids from the children’s homes picked sides to cheer for—either USA! or AFRICA! They shouted and danced around as we attempted to play against their boys and staff.

“We continue to press on with our projects. As I type, Kelly and some of the team are teaching fire safety in the school, Clint and the team are [working] on the playset, Nich is taking pictures for COTN [publications], and Chris and I are in the office installing anti-virus software on their computers and trying to connect them to a staff network. I am so amazed at the talents and skills that God pulled together for this team. Everyone has a place and is being used.

“COTN is doing amazing things here. There are 15 churches that have been planted in a predominantly Muslim cheifdom. God is light, and you can definitely see that here—in the eyes of the children and in the progress in the communities. Hearing stories like Kappri—a boy in our home who was orphaned, who now wants to be the President of Sierra Leone—encourages us and reminds us that we are serving a big God, who redeems all situations and works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

November 2009

It is a time of celebration in Sierra Leone. Our children are excited about learning and doing well in school. As COTN Founders Chris and Debbie Clark reported, all twenty-two of our eighth graders passed their exams and are advancing to secondary school.

It is also time to celebrate the restorative ministry of Children of the Nations in this impoverished, war-scarred country. Chris and Debbie are currently visiting Sierra Leone, not only celebrating, but holding conferences, meeting with government officials, and working with in-country staff. Please pray for safe travel for them and successful conclusion of all their activities.

Pray also for staff member Kristen Bushnell’s Venture team from Bellevue, WA, which leaves November 21st. The team plans to construct a playground at the Mallory Jansen Memorial School in Banta Mokelleh and teach fire safety classes to children in the school and adults in the surrounding villages.

October 2009

We thank God for the servant’s heart and the love for our children demonstrated by Arlene Raub. Arlene has served with COTN for thirteen years, most recently as the Sierra Leone Liaison. Please pray for God’s guidance and blessing for Arlene as she transitions into a position with Masterworks, a marketing agency for Christian nonprofits.

Please pray also for God to raise up the right person to fill the role of Liaison—one who will effectively facilitate communications between the Sierra Leone and US staff and ensure that the in-country needs are known and met.

We also praise God that the well at our Banta facility is in the final stage of its construction. The well will be connected to a water tower, producing a gravity-fed system that will provide running water to the entire complex. Please pray with us that the remaining financial needs for this project are met soon.

September 2009

Praise God! All of the children have returned safely from their holiday visiting relatives! The staff are grateful for the success of this venture. They are also happy to report that their red van has been repaired. The van needed repairs because it sees heavy use on an almost daily basis, doing everything from transporting visiting teams to taking children to the hospital to picking up food supplies, all on poor quality roads.

Another great blessing occurred as Steven Michael, a 17-year-old polio victim, received a wheelchair from Global Gospel Mission.

At the same time, we ask that you pray for healing for Kebbie, a young boy who is being treated for typhoid. Scans show that he has an abnormality on his liver, but we are still unsure of the cause. Kebbie has been keeping food down, but he is still very ill.

Please also pray for financial stability as the economic recession affects the entire world. The value of Sierra Leone’s currency has dropped significantly, which increases the cost of funding programs and buying food.

We ask you to lift up Aminata, a child in our program, who has suffered much abuse in her past. Pray for healing in her life and freedom from the continuing struggles she faces. Also, please ask for wisdom for Rev. Angie Myles, Country Director, and our Sierra Leone board as they seek the best way to handle Aminata’s situation.

August 2009

On June 16th our children in Sierra Leone celebrated African Child Day in a unique way. N’gardy Bangalee and several other children produced a play called Why Are We Yet Backwards? challenging the audience to consider Sierra Leone’s global status and pray for continued changes which are needed in Sierra Leone’s society.

Dave Spoon (COTN’s Washington Feeding Coordinator serving in-country in Sierra Leone this summer) and our summer interns led by Mark Drennan (COTN intern from Ireland who has served this past year with us in Sierra Leone) have been busy as they continue to bless the children and staff in Sierra Leone. Dave's wife, Tanya Spoon, a nurse practitioner, and her team offered medical tests to all the children and staff and visited neighboring villages for medical outreaches. Please pray for Jim and Elaine Jackson, Venture Team members from Bremerton, Washington, as they complete several projects in Sierra Leone. Jim is pursuing the installation of electricity and running water for the children’s homes, schools, feeding center, office and medical clinic, while Elaine educates the staff about organization and computer skills. Praise God for all the work that is being done in this country!

Praise the Lord that the computer class which was recently integrated in the Mallory Jansen Memorial School in Banta is said to be second to none in quality to any other secondary school in the district. It offers the best standards of education in the southern region and has been recommended as a regional examination center. Continue to pray for the school’s success in Sierra Leone and the minds that learn there.

June 2009

Global interns heading to Sierra Leone this month come from Hawaii, Texas, Washington, Arizona and New Mexico! Please pray they will be united as they work at the COTN children’s homes in Banta Mokelleh. They will befriend families in surrounding villages, mentor children and teens, help teach summer school and lead two weeks of summer camp. “Camp was incredible last year—to see the kids engaging in camp in such a remote place,” says Dave Spoon, COTN–USA staff member who served as team host last summer and will again this summer. “It was the first camp held in Banta and the kids had an incredible time. It’s going to be great this year.” Join us in praying that camp will have a huge effect on those who attend—some will hear about God’s love for the first time.

A Venture team of Colorado educators will lead teachers’ seminars at COTN’s schools in Freetown and Banta Mokelleh. Joining this team, and then continuing similar training, is Tim Cruger who is serving as an education consultant for two months. Please pray that God would use these servants to encourage our teachers in Sierra Leone. In July, Tanya Spoon, a nurse practitioner from Bremerton, Washington will lead a medical team to give physicals to all the COTN home children—praise God for these servants! Join us in praying for their work to be successful!

May 2009

Our teachers in Sierra Leone have been quite busy! Right now several of our students are struggling with math and reading, and so the instructors are implementing new teaching methods and more individual tutoring sessions. Also, our teaching staff is working to sensitize the community about the importance of education, as many community members don’t see school as a primary need for their children. Pray for our wonderful educational staff as they work hard on improving the learning experience and support for our children.

Precious Ibrahim, now eighteen years old, has been in the care of COTN for six years. At age eleven, Precious came to us from Freetown when her father abandoned her family. As a result, her mother became unstable and was no longer able to care for the children, at which point we took her in. Now, years later, Precious has grown quite a bit, and her life has been completely changed. Now she is doing her exams to graduate from high school, and if she passes with good scores she will be given entrance to Sierra Leone’s top university to become a lawyer! Join us in praising God for His hand in her life, and pray with us for success on these exams so that Precious can be a shining example to her community of what God can do in their lives!

April 2009

A pair of nine-year-old twins, Hassan and Hassantu, have joined our Banta Children’s Homes. Their father died shortly after their birth, and their mother left them at a young age after becoming unstable. They lived with an aunt who was unable to take proper care of them before they came into our care. Please pray for them, that they grow stronger and learn daily of Christ’s love for them.

Last month, construction began on a senior secondary school building in Banta to accommodate students graduating from primary education at Mallory Jansen Memorial School (Banta). This school, built and run by COTN, has been declared to be of the highest education standards in the Banta Chiefdom according to Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Education. The walls are almost up! Praise God for the success our students have achieved in their academics and for community motivation to see the school finished!

Quami Agbermodji, our COTN–SL In-Country Venture Coordinator, is preparing to receive summer interns and a teacher team in June. Pray planning goes smoothly and the trips are effective.

March 2009

Last April we submitted a proposal for the revitalization of agricultural projects in rural areas through the African Development Bank (ADB). Praise God, as COTN has been selected for assistance! We now have a new farm manager who is being paid through the ADB/Sierra Leone government, and have received advice on moving forward. Join us in prayer for the coming year, that this endeavor be fruitful and that our staff will be encouraged by this victory!

This month, please keep our Sierra Leone Country Director, Reverend Angie Myles, in your prayers. Rev. Angie has been with COTN since 2002 and is married with four children and four grandchildren. Pray for wisdom, physical strength, and encouragement as she oversees the ministry in Sierra Leone. Also, pray specifically for Rev. Angie as she guides our staff regarding raising the teenagers in the children's home— that she would have the wisdom to help grow these young adults into strong believers in Christ.

Salleiu Alpha, eleven years old, has been with our Village Partnership program in Ngolala for two years and still does not have a sponsor. He lives with his parents, one brother and two sisters in a mud-walled house with a thatched roof. Sallieu is described as a happy, active and friendly boy, and his favorite book in the Bible is John. Please join us in praying for continued spiritual growth and blessings in Sallieu’s life.

February 2009

Pray for Samuel Ngoneh, our Resource Coordinator in Sierra Leone, as he facilitates upcoming supply needs for our children’s homes, schools, and ministry. Samuel has been a Christian for twelve years and has a heart for ministering through evangelism and Bible studies in the villages where we are planting churches.

Please pray for a pastor training conference taking place later this month. Pastors from the church plants in villages surrounding our Banta Mokelleh site will be attending. Many of these young men are eager to expand their biblical knowledge! The training will be led by pastors Jack Drennan from Ireland and Andy Chinn from the US. Andy said, “Pray that we can help train and equip these men to do what God has called them to do.”

Seventeen-year-old Precious Ibrahim is the oldest girl in our Banta Mokelleh Children’s Home. Precious is currently preparing for her final high school exam this June. She hopes to attend college to become a lawyer, and her test scores will determine her eligibility for entering college. Please pray for her as she prepares for her exam and that the Lord will provide her with an opportunity to continue her education.

Christmas was a joyful time for our children in Sierra Leone! Each child in our village partnership programs received a bright red COTN T-shirt. The boys and girls in our Banta Mokelleh homes enjoyed a meal of rice, chicken, and more. They also had a chance to jump around and play games together in a “bounce house” that was donated and arrived just in time for the Christmas celebration. Each child’s initial curiosity gave way to newfound joy after taking a turn in the bounce house—something they had never seen or experienced before!

January 2009

Lawrence Konteh is our new Sponsorship Coordinator in Sierra Leone! Please pray for Lawrence as he oversees enrollment, photos, and correspondence for our growing sponsorship program—over 900 children! Lawrence enjoys making a difference in the lives of children, and he previously served as a primary school teacher at the COTN school in Ngolala.

Please pray for our newest child in our Banta Children’s Village—Julius, who has received the nickname “Pastor.” When Pastor came into the care of COTN, he was extremely malnourished and appeared to be only two or three years old based on his size. After a few months in our children’s home, Pastor (who is now estimated to be about five years old) is much healthier and full of life and enthusiasm. He is often seen waving his arms around as though he were preaching a sermon! Please pray that Pastor would know Jesus Christ as Savior and live a life bearing fruit for His kingdom!

Praise God for a container of supplies en route to Sierra Leone! The supplies, donated by Containers of Hope, include backpacks, school supplies, hygiene items, English Bibles, bottled water, and toys.

December 2008

Appi Krismes (“Merry Christmas” in Krio)

“Arise and Shine For the Light Has Come”

Indeed the light has come to the village of Ngolala. Children in Ngolala and the surrounding communities have seen the light and have learned the meaning of Christmas. God sent Jesus Christ to the world to deliver us from the darkness. The children have experienced the presence of the light by the improvement in their lifestyle. The children can now enjoy school with school supplies, school dinners, guidance and spiritual food. This is all made possible because the love of God has been shed abroad in the hearts of sponsors, well-wishers and friends of COTN.

By your supporting and giving, the children can truly testify that the Light has come. The angels herald His coming. The star led the wise men to His side to present gifts. He was a gift from God to us and you have made it possible for us to share Him and His gospel with children in Ngolala. Praise be to God! We thank God for your lives. May you be richly blessed this Christmas and may we work together to make Him known in Ngolala, Banta Mokelleh.

Rev. Angie Myles
COTN–Sierra Leone Country Director

Excerpts from Christmas letters from our children in Sierra Leone to their sponsors…

Hawa Kenneh, 12-year-old girl

“Let me tell you about how I spend my Christmas holiday. I will wear my new dress and go to church and thank God for what he is doing for me. After church I come home and have my dinner which is rice, chicken, spaghetti, couscous, and drink soft drink. After that I watch a video which is about the birth of Jesus. Thank you. Jesus loves you and I love you too.”

Alex Sawo Amara, 16-year-old boy

“We are now in the rainy season and we have a lot of rain. I wish you a merry Christmas on Christmas day I will be celebrating the birth of our Savior and play some games with my friends and watch movies. Thank you for sponsoring me.”

Jeneba Michelle Romain, 14-year-old girl

“I thank you for all what you have been doing for me, it has made an impact on me. Presently we are experiencing rains and now we are busy planting flowers in our school compound to beautify it. We have completed our promotional examination and I am promoted to grade six with the position of second and my brother took the first position in the exams. Your prayer for me did not go in vain it goes successfully. Thank you for your prayers for me and I hope you will continue to pray for me. I am praying for you every single day in my life. May God bless you for your wonderful deeds.”

Hawa Piawa, 12-year-old girl

“We are in our new home in Banta, the houses are very nice. All the houses have names. I am in house three and the name of my house is House of Integrity. We have good aunties and they treat us well. We enjoy the things they do for us. We have a good school and the teachers are teaching us well. I want you to send me more pictures of your and your family. May God bless you and your family.”

November 2008

Please join us in prayer for Janet Maiah, one of our teachers in Sierra Leone. Janet has over twenty years of experience teaching a variety of subjects— language arts, math, social studies, and music. Please pray for Janet as she encourages our Prep 1 (elementary) students in Sierra Leone to excel in their studies.

We are thankful that our medical clinic in Banta Mokelleh has been upgraded to a Community Health Center by the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone. This is a great testimony to the quality of care our nurses are providing! In addition, this change in official status may mean that the government will provide medications and even pay the salaries of three of our staff positions!

Praise God that Aminata, one of our children in Banta Mokelleh, was successfully treated for appendicitis at a nearby hospital. God faithfully provided a vehicle to transport her to the hospital before her condition became too serious. Aminata has now recovered and is back in school!

September 2008

We are thankful to report that the three shipping containers sent to Sierra Leone in May have successfully arrived! These shipments contain mattresses and bed frames for our orphans, medical supplies for our clinics, SmilePacks, and more.

Please join us in praying for Emmanuel Alpha—a young boy who lives in one of our Banta Mokelleh children’s homes. After being orphaned at a young age, he dreamed about going to school but never thought he would have the opportunity. Since coming to COTN, Emmanuel has not only attended school, he has excelled in his studies! On his recent junior high entrance exam he achieved the highest score of all his COTN brothers and sisters. Please pray that God would continue to guide and bless young Emmanuel.

Our staff and interns in Sierra Leone have been joyfully testifying about the ways God is at work in Banta Mokelleh! Many are coming to Christ, and new churches are being planted and growing through Church of the Nations (COTN’s church ministry). One of the pastors is Joseph Musa, who serves in the village of Mogborie. Joseph eagerly participated in COTN pastoral training this summer. Please pray for Pastor Joseph’s continued growth in biblical knowledge and teaching ability so he can instruct the new believers.

August 2008

Fifteen-year-old N’Gardi Bangalee lives in one of our children’s homes in Sierra Leone. N’Gardi is known by many as “the evangelist” because of her heart for sharing the gospel. N’Gardi says, “I cannot keep the Word of the Lord to myself. I have to share with others.” Please pray for N’Gardi as God uses her to build His kingdom in Sierra Leone!

We are thankful for hundreds of children from the villages in Banta Mokelleh who recently attended our evangelistic camps—many of them from Muslim families. Sierra Leone Summer Country Coordinator Dave Spoon witnessed many of these excited little ones walking over five miles to camp while carrying their belongings on their heads! “Please pray that many of these children will be saved. We are so thankful that God has provided for many to hear the good news of the gospel at camp through generous donations by the COTN family!” says Dave.

Patricia Koroma serves as our guidance counselor in Sierra Leone. In addition to working with the children in our homes, she also helps to train the house parents about discipline, behavioral issues, and parenting. We are thankful that Patricia is part of our COTN staff! Please pray that the Lord will continue to use her gifts and expertise to help our children have healthy childhoods.

July 2008

Praise for many children in Sierra Leone who are becoming part of our new Village Partnership Programs in Banta Mokelleh. One of these children is a four-yearold girl named Agness, who lives in Ngolala village. Agness attends nursery school, where she enjoys learning about the Bible. Please pray for Agness’ physical and spiritual growth, and that she will experience the love of Christ through the ministry of COTN.

Two of our Liberian interns, Elijah and Gee, have recently graduated with degrees in pastoral studies and will be ministering in Banta for future placement in Liberia. Founders Chris and Debbie Clark met these young men during their initial trip to Sierra Leone in 1995 and provided financial assistance so they could further their education. Praise God that thirteen years later, Elijah and Gee are serving the Lord through COTN! Please pray that their ministry would bear much fruit.

We are thankful for the safe arrival of our six interns serving in Sierra Leone this summer. They will be spending a lot of time in the villages around Banta Mokelleh—attending new start-up services, doing evangelistic outreach and learning African culture through host family relationships.

The teacher team’s visit during the month of June was a great success—they had the opportunity to work alongside 47 national teachers! Please continue to pray for Sarah Saunier, a US teacher from Denver, as she leads summer school in July.

June 2008

Our eldest young man in Banta, Steven Michael, writes “I can’t believe that God is using me to be a pastor in one of the neighboring villages.” Steven, who is crippled by polio, travels with others weekly to share the love of Christ to neighboring villages.

Please continue to pray for Tejan Margay. Tejan spent eight months in the United States for medical treatment and is still adjusting to life in Sierra Leone after being immersed in American culture.

Three 40-foot shipping containers were successfully loaded and are on their way to Sierra Leone! Please pray for the safe arrival of each container. Praise God for the student desks, toys, SmilePacks, food and medical supplies that were donated!

Please pray for the Venture Team from Colorado in Sierra Leone this month. This team, led by past associate teacher Sarah Saunier, will focus primarily on conducting in-service training seminars. Pray that these visitors will be changed forever by what they experience.

Praise the Lord that the Internet and e-mail communication are now available in Banta Mokelleh! This is an answer to prayer— it has been an ongoing challenge to communicate with staff members in Sierra Leone due to the remote location of the Banta village.