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ETI in Sierra Leone

June 2009 | by Alan Levy

ETI in Sierra Leone

 

On my most recent visit to Sierra Leone, taking Pastors’ Conferences for PTI (Pastor Training International) I met Samuel Suluku. He is a young man that my home church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Swansea, are privileged to support by paying for copies of Evangelical Times International (ETI) to be sent to him every quarter.

 

I took the opportunity of spending some time with him, trying to discover something of his past and of his hopes for the future, both for himself and for his country.

     Samuel is from the Kono tribe of Sierra Leone and was brought up in a Christian home. But like so many others in that sad country, he had to flee from his home in his early teenage years because of the dreadful civil war and his fear of losing his life.

     He left his four brothers and three sisters at home while he escaped along with thousands of others to the capital, Freetown. It was during this time that he came to know and follow the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour.

 

Prosperity teaching

 

Sadly, his experience of church attendance and teaching was not helpful. He was exposed to ‘prosperity teaching’ — a false gospel, widespread in Africa, that maintains that your relationship to God depends on how much money you give, and deepens in proportion to your generosity.

     It teaches that God is a kind of magician who provides for you, and if you don’t receive what you want it is because you lack faith. Their motto is ‘Your own blessing you get today’. Samuel pointed out that this is exactly the same kind of teaching that the witch-doctors give to their followers also.

     After some time he came into contact with UFM missionaries Mike & Vi Webb. They were leading Bible studies for a number of young men, and Samuel and his friend began to attend. They quickly learned that the ‘prosperity teaching’ they had heard was not to be found in the Scriptures — it is simply not in the Word of God.

 

Eyes opened to the truth

 

After just a short while the Holy Spirit opened his eyes to the truth of the Word and now he wants to learn as much as he possibly can from it. He now attends the new Grace Community Church in Freetown, and in the Bible class he was just full of questions.

     Samuel is 29 years of age and at present is gaining work-experience at the Law Courts.

     He will soon be continuing his studies in International Relations and wants to gain a degree to enable him to be of use to his country. Like many others, his prayer is that their nation might be spared further troubles and conflicts in the future.

     After reading every word of them himself, he distributes the copies of Evangelical Times International that he receives to pastors up-country to encourage them to read the Scriptures and embrace the truth. Sadly, these men have so little that will really help them.

     I just thought that sharing Samuel’s experience with Evangelical Times readers might encourage other churches to sponsor more men like Samuel to distribute ETIs in needy lands.

Alan Levy

Editors Note: Any reader interested in supporting ETI’s worldwide ministry is invited to contact the editor

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Sierra Leone