The Lord has granted us [William and Foday together] the chance to see the people of Rogbere, Rotaprr and PortLoko [the area where the Phillips’ formerly lived]. In Gbere Junction we met with N and K [a Christian married couple] and no doubt the information that we have received about him was confirmed; indeed, he has a girl friend and has even impregnated her. That undoubtedly brought turmoil between them. But as the Lord would have it, we spoke to him in hard language and encouraged him from the pure milk of the Word of God. In his response, K wept in repentance over his sin and asked the Lord for mercy. N was too encouraged and charged to forgive K as the Lord has commanded.
We will not give up K for this, but would rather keep in close touch with him and N to see what the Lord will do. Remember, we all stumble in many ways and those who think they are strong should be careful lest they fall. Truly K is a baby Christian.
In Rotaprr we started off by checking on A and encouraged him to live the life the Lord wants him to live, not what men would dictate to him. We actually prayed for his and Kono Boy’s households. From the look of things he seems to be devoted to the “work of God,” but I’m not sure of his relationship with the Father through the Son. The reason being, Christianity is a way of life, not activities of men. We are still interested in him, pray for him, and trust the Lord to help him out.
We met Marie, Ibrahim and Momoh, Aunty Sama [these are children and a woman that Patti had great influence on, both spiritually and practically, all of whom professed to receive Christ], and the village leadership. We had a fruitful encouragement with the children; in fact, in response they wrote letters to Channa and Stephan [two of the Phillips’ children] which I’ll find time to send to them soon.
Honestly, their lives need help; they look very malnourished. Marie has taken her NPSE exams to move on to a secondary school, Ibrahim is walking daily to and fro to Gbere Junction [about 9km] to attend a Muslim secondary school [the only high school in the area], and Momoh has dropped out of school because there is no money to pay his fees. Aunty Sama is too in a very bad condition and I’m not sure of how she is doing spiritually. We have agreed to be meeting them as often as the Lord will have us do.
In Portloko, we met Isatu and Alimamy with a lot of spiritual challenges [this couple was led to the Lord and baptized by Steve and Patti]. Foremost among them is the fact that one so-called “Pastor” who claimed to represent the LORD, has just abandoned his wife and impregnated a girlfriend in the town. This was not actually helpful to these new converts feeding from milk (Alimamy and Isatu). In response to that, we actually encouraged them that man should not be our example in the faith, especially those who live in sharp contrast to the Words they proclaim.
Added to that, Isatu’s stomach problem [female trouble] still continues and the need for an operation has been diagnosed which, when done, except for God’s intervention, she will not bear children any more [the typical African perspective is that barrenness is due to a spiritual curse and often the wife is divorced because of it in order to obtain another who will bear children; the bearing of children generally being the most important reason to marry in West Africa]. They were requested to pay the sum of Le 800,000 for the surgery [about $275 or equivalent to 5 months’ salary in Sierra Leone].
On the issue of the operation and the fears of the wife, we exhorted them that they should continue to seek the Lord to tell them what to do and that they should cast their burden to the Lord, for He will care for them. Child bearing is not man’s work but the Lord’s; that if God pleases, He will remember them with or without the operation as He did for Hannah, Isaac’s wife, and Elizabeth in Luke 1. We shared the little that we could from the Word of God, prayed with them, and returned.
The trip on the whole was, by the grace of God, successful.