Above left: view from Prayer Tabernacle compound. Below left: Jon with new friends. Middle: David Njoroge with Moses leading worship. Right: Pastor Pitts Evans administers vision test while distributing eyeglasses. Note: more photos of Sierra Leone on Jon’s Facebook page
Thanks to all who joined last night’s call. Before praying over current events, we shared a few insights about God’s amazing work in Sierra Leone, Africa. Your prayers paved a way for the word of the Lord to “run swiftly and be glorified” (II Thessalonians 3). So grateful for your intercession, and your enthusiasm to hear about God’s incredible work.
Snapshot of Sierra Leone
Words cannot describe the physical beauty of Sierra Leone, with mountains cascading into the Atlantic, white sand beaches shaded by palms, and rivers converging to form one of the world’s largest natural harbors. The beauty of the land is only bested by the grace of the people. Many have lived through unspeakable challenges brought on by war. Poverty is everywhere. The specter of disease is an unspoken constant. But absent from the lips and hearts of my new friends is the plague that paralyzes so many in our own nation. Self-pity was simply nowhere to be found! And I sure did not want them to catch this disease from me.
Our host and friend Sidikie Kamara has started 37 churches in addition to Prayer Tabernacle, home base for our stay in Freetown. With his legacy of planting churches and schools throughout Sierra Leone and neighboring Liberia, he certainly qualifies as a genuine apostle. But he refuses any such title. And whoever comments about his being an apostle is likely to get a fierce crosswise glance. But the man is a genuine apostle, and I was truly mentored by his humility, his wisdom as a father, and his understated hilarity.
There’s hot… and then there’s Africa hot. Which made the cold showers by flashlight a quest to look forward to. National electricity was sparse, so generators provided enough juice for nightly boosts of lights and air conditioning. Internet service was even more sparse. Which was God’s plan all along, knowing I truly needed deliverance from Google News, Drudge, and my hourly updates on the Ebola outbreak.
Our team ate really well, thanks to the generous cooking of Pastor Christiana, who served up the best barbecue chicken I’ve ever tasted—and the only barracuda I’ve ever tasted! That to say, my West Africa weight loss program pretty much failed. Back to the elliptical today in fact…
The multifaceted capacities of our team—Pastor Pitts Evans, Chaplain Bob Milne, young worship leader David Njoroge, and myself— multiplied our effectiveness far beyond anything we could have achieved by ourselves. Kinda like what I’ve read of Special Ops teams. And because of this, we were able to maximize the ministry work precisely in God’s timing. For this reason, I honestly don’t believe Sierra Leone will ever be the same.
Here’s an example. Rev. Patrick George, Apostle Sidikie’s right hand man, put together a national convocation of chaplains—from the military, police, prisons, etc. Bob Milne, a chaplain with the Fairfax Va Correctional Facilities, provided an in-depth mentoring class, in which I shared for two sessions. Liberty U student and worship leader David Njoroge taught the chaplains a new praise song. And all the while, Pitts Evans and Sidikie Kamara distributed hundreds of eyeglasses donated from America. Love it when a plan comes together!
Passover 2014: Will You Take My Hand?
My entire focus was on a special word the Lord gave for Passover 2014. On the long flight over, Holy Spirit began to show me radical similarities between Sierra Leone and Israel.
Passover recounts how the Lord confronted Pharaoh and delivered the Jews from slavery. He then released them into their own “freedom land.” In a similar way, the founders of Sierra Leone had been released from slavery as the cry of William Wilberforce, England’s Moses, finally prevailed. I believe Sierra Leone was conceived in God’s heart as a “new Israel,” a freedom land in Africa wholly in covenant with Him. And as of Passover 2014, I felt the Lord was arising to recover and establish this covenant again—married to Him, apart from all idolatry.
The first day after we arrived, the Lord gave me a vision of this. I saw the Lord remove a piece of coal from a man’s heart. The hand turned the coal, and I saw a diamond embedded in it. The Lord extracted the diamond from the coal and placed the diamond back in the man’s heart. He then poured in liquid gold, and a wedding ring formed. I knew the very hand of the Lord was being extended to Sierra Leone this Passover, with an engagement ring being offered. The Lord was literally offering His hand in marriage.
The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory…
For you will no longer be termed forsaken,
nor shall your land any more be termed desolate;
but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah.
For the Lord delights in you,
and to Him your land shall be married (Isaiah 62:2-4).
Fast forward to Passover 2014. Our team was honored to meet and share with His Excellency the President, sharing what we perceived to be God’s great invitation for the land. A DAY LATER, news broke that President Koroma had been awarded the “African President of the Year Award” by African Leadership Magazine.
The nations will see your righteousness… Can’t make that up!
Crown & Throne Sierra Leone
Previous to this, I had the honor of sharing four sessions at a special convocation of Pentecostal ministers and believers; ministering three evenings on national Christian radio; and sharing at Sunday morning services in two different churches. A week’s worth of ministry culminated with a special three night conference beginning on Passover, focused on themes from our book “Crown and Throne.” We worked with area leaders to see God’s covenant restored, apart from all idolatry. During the evening conference, we prayed through the Divorce Decree from Baal and a special Declaration of Covenant written specifically for Sierra Leone.
Our three night gathering culminated with a very tender time of ministry and impartation which included commissioning the new HAPN leader for Sierra Leone. I shared stories about how God moved in response to covenant restoration in our land. As in the days of Elijah, upon divorcing Baal we have seen droughts breaking, economic restoration, etc. And I felt this was what God had in store for Sierra Leone.
But never did I imagine that an initial sign would come so quickly. Maybe ten minutes after the crowd dispersed, we were visiting with leaders when a literal roar crescendoed across the tin roofs of the neighborhood. When I looked outside, an outpouring of rain had overtaken Freetown!
I soon discovered the rain was not only unexpected, but literally out of season. The rainy season was still a month away, and water supplies had been down for quite some time.
BUT GOD! How amazing that our time culminated with the Lord sending showers of rain, an unmistakeable sign of His restoration and blessing. On the third day of Passover. Again, you just can’t make this up.
Time of Restoration
Once again, thank you so much for your prayers. As of Passover 2014, I believe God has granted Sierra Leone a “new birth of freedom,” and is moving now to establish the land as a beacon of freedom to all Africa, and to the nations of the earth. Part of the realization of this vision must be a revitalized economy—where the stewardship of the land and its resources is restored to the people of the land. That’s what God originally intended, and I encourage you to join me in continued prayer for Sierra Leone until this becomes a reality. AMEN!