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Sierra Leone

How would your life be different if you had spent 10 days in Africa when you were 17 years old? What if you had spent 3 or 4 days farming in rural African villages, learning about poverty & injustice, culture and sustainability? What if you had spent time with orphans of war & AIDs, playing with children who need hope? Christ UMC has a chance to drastically affect the future of our young people, teens who want to make a difference in the world.

This past May, I took a quick trip to Sierra Leone to scout out our 2013 adventure. After landing at Lungi International Airport, we took a water taxi across the bay towards Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. On the boat, I noticed two bumper stickers. The first sticker said, “We will make it, in the name of Jesus.” Instantly I felt more at home. Then, I read the second bumper sticker: “No food for lazy man.” At first, I laughed and thought it was refreshingly blunt. After spending a week in that country, I can honestly say that both statements capture the culture perfectly.

The people of Sierra Leone know how to work. Everywhere you look, folks are busy planting, harvesting, trading and selling in order to sustain life. Of course, the economy is limping along, but their spirits (as well as their faith) are strong! I was truly struck by their hopeful countenance and their determined pace. I cannot wait to return.

A group of about 10 youth will be headed to Sierra Leone May 28th. We’ve been studying, dreaming, and preparing for almost 18 months. Now, it is crunch time. Our students are working hard earning money, but we desperately need your help. Would you consider investing in this experience?

We need to sell 200 shares at $50 each. That comes to $10,000 to assist with flight costs and in-country travel. Through dinner theatre, car washes, youth work, and your generous help, we have already raised close to $14,000. Furthermore we would love to purchase some basic agricultural technology when we arrive in Sierra Leone; even a small mill can potentially transform a community.

Another 20 shares could help us impact two rural villages for generations.

All Shareholders will be invited to our follow up dinner next summer. Our students and adults will share stories, pictures and video about what impacted the group most. This will be a great opportunity to see your return on investment.

Finally, Ashley Bonn, a recent graduate and long-time member of Christ UMC, is spending next semester as a missionary to an orphanage in Freetown. She will specifically work with special needs children at The Raining Season (www.TheRainingSeason.org). Ashley has already spent 10 days at the orphanage and has fallen completely in love with the children there. Ashley will be speaking this Saturday night at our Shareholder’s dinner, where you can also hear much more about the vision and details of our youth immersion trip. Please call and reserve your spot today. And if you cannot make it to the dinner, please prayerfully consider purchasing 1, 2 or 10 shares. Anything will help us make a lasting impact on our youth and around the world.