Background & Formation Of SAVE
During the height of the Sierra Leone’s rebel war of the 1990s, a group of concerned Christians at Zionsville (Indiana) Fellowship, started to pray as to how best help alleviate the suffering in Sierra Leone (now the 7th poorest country in the world). Those early meetings in 1997, organized and inspired by Sierra-Leone-born Dr. David Musa marked the beginning of Sierra Leone Agape Voluntary Effort (SAVE). Dr. Musa continues to lead the efforts of SAVE as its Executive Director. David and his wife, Ndidi, now reside in Seattle.
The Board is comprised of 10 current members from around the US and UK, which meets three times a year to strategize and review our performance, with the Executive Committee generally meeting monthly.
The mission of SAVE is to raise up a people for Christ in Sierra Leone, maintaining a healthy balance between evangelism and social action, embracing Gospel-centered relationships with relief. Our vehicle is to invest in indigenous, well-known Bible-based ministries to (1) Proclaim the Gospel, (2) Plant Churches, and (3) Disciple young Christians.”
Our Partner relationships are rooted in Funding, Going, and Connecting to advance the Gospel. Funding is clear. We have invested over $280,000 over the previous 5 years in our partners in initiatives ranging from feeding Ebola-affected families, to ministering to victims of a devastating mudslide, to the annual and special support of our partners for their general ministries. Even this past year, we more than doubled our regular support of our partners to help them rise above the challenges of Covid-19 despite lower revenues. While thankfully less than 100 have died of Covid there, the impact of shutdowns has been very significant, as their economy was already quite fragile.
From a “Going” aspect, we believe in traveling to Sierra Leone as regularly as possible to meet with our partners, carry out medical missions, or invest in the training of pastors or medical professionals. This past year six Board members traveled to Sierra Leone in late February, returning just before borders began shutting down around the world. But our presence there truly encouraged our partners and helped us assess situations on the ground in person.
The “Connecting” aspect of our ministry introduces our brothers and sisters in Western Africa to organizations here in the states interested in and capable of adding significant value to their efforts. Examples include connecting Farming God’s Way in central Indiana to our Bible College Partner in The Gambia (a 95+% Muslim-controlled country). And we have connected Shepherd’s Cross Ministries in Oklahoma to the primary agricultural university of Sierra Leone (Njala University) working with our village sustainability programs. And we’ve been blessed to connect the Christian Motorcycle Association here in the states to our partners, providing 17 motorbikes to our traveling Gospel ministers in just the last two years at no cost to them or to SAVE. So connecting is a significant and growing way to leverage the resources here to address needs in West Africa.
Our current projects include funding the construction of the library at the new rural campus of the Bible School in The Gambia through a grant from Zionsville Fellowship in central Indiana. We hoped to incorporate “going” by sending a construction team to support that work, but travel restrictions would not allow it.
Our other current project is ongoing church-planting with our partners at Bethel World Outreach. They have a proven track record of evangelizing and planting churches, including 15 in the past two years, despite Covid. They now have over 100 locations throughout Sierra Leone, mostly in previously unreached rural villages. Our trip in 2020 included a week-long mission to help develop Bethel’s first medical outreach to one of their rural church plants, something they can now replicate elsewhere in the country.
So if you want to get involved with our efforts, you can think in broad terms of funding, going, or connecting with folks you may know who have a heart for the least of these around the world. There are so many unreached, and we desire with all our hearts to support nationals to reach their own country for Christ for His glory. Thanks so much for your support and especially your prayers over the years! We could not possibly be boasting of 25 years in ministry without that. So we say, Thank you!
SIERRA LEONE BACKGROUND
Located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea & Liberia. Capital and largest city is Freetown.
Coordinates: 8 30 N, 11 30 W Total area: 71,740 sq km Just smaller than South Carolina
Land: 71,620 sq km Water: 120 sq km Slightly
Two-thirds of Sierra Leone’s 6 Million population was traditionally engaged in subsistence agriculture. The percentage of the population that are Christian is about 10% while 60% are Muslim and 30% hold to indigenous beliefs. Mineral exports remain Sierra Leone’s principal foreign exchange earner. The country is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds and has one of the world’s largest deposits of rutile, a titanium ore.
From 1999 until 2002, civil war between the government & the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people, many of whom became refugees in neighboring countries.
For more information on Sierra Leone, you can view the following resources: