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Pastor James MacCarthy (23rd Sept 1957 – 11th June 2020)

We were saddened to hear of the death of Pastor MacCarthy on 11th June. Richard wrote these words which were read at his funeral. Pastor MacCarthy leaves behind Sarah his wife and his children Emmanuel James 32, Gabriel Tamba 27, Nicanor 26 and Diana Kumba 11.

2010 in Kono

Those of us who met Pastor James Maccarthy have fond memories. He was a “gentle and outstanding Christian”. He was a humble man who exerted wide influence through his servant leadership. His faith was there for all to see. He helped pioneer the construction of the “St Andrews” junior school at Maima village in the aftermath of the brutal Civil war that took place 20 years ago.

I remember meeting James in November 2004 at the opening of the St Andrews school in Maima, Kono district. He told me that he was delighted to be back in Kono having been forced out of his home during the Civil War. Kono was the setting of the film “Blood Diamond”, which highlighted the war over conflict diamonds and the army of “drugged child soldiers”. The film accurately depicted the brutality and horror of the war.

James led a group of evacuees as they walked through jungle paths between Kono and Freetown. When he recalled the story, he was almost diffident about the risks of ambush by the rebel army as well as the natural hazards of the jungle. The zig-zag nature of the retreat meant they probably walked 2 or 3 times the straight-line distance of 200km between Kono and Freetown. In truth the family bore the scars of their 40 days in the wilderness as they lost one child along the way and they were not the only family to lose loved ones.

Despite the family loss Pastor James recalled how he thanked God for guiding them through the dangers. James’ faith gave hope to all on that eventful journey.  When food ran out and illness began to hit many in their party, it was James who encouraged everyone to keep going. It was an epic escape story of biblical proportions yet recounted with the modesty and understatement that was the essence of the man. 

He will be sorely missed by many in the UK and in Sierra Leone alike.

2004 outside Maima School as building work draws to a close

Nunc Dimittis

1    Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace:

according to thy word;

2    For mine eyes have seen:

thy salvation;

3    Which thou hast prepared:

before the face of all people;

4    To be a light to lighten the Gentiles:

and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Luke 2: 29-32

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen

Richard Bayfield 15th June 2020

UPDATE FROM SIERRA LEONE AND COVID 19

[From Pastor Yatta via WhatsApp]

Greetings from SIERRA LEONE……

We cannot thank you enough for the great assistance you gave to help fight the Coronavirus COVID 19 . Since we recorded the first case a month ago the number of confirmed cases keep going higher and higher. Up to date we have recorded about 400 confirmed cases, 18 death and the contact tracing is growing rapidly. Government can’t do this alone so our contribution as civil society are really appreciated. There was no washing hand bucket in our community I have put around 20. Put people to monitor them.

You really gave us an opportunity to serve our people by making the necessary provision for them. With coronavirus protective kits and food stuff.

The Country is locked down………
1. There is State of Emergency for one year that mix with politics
2.There is also Curfew Order 9 p m – 6 a m. Everyday.
3. We are also on a district lockdown. Restricted movement
4. We are Also observing Social Distance

So what we did for the distribution……..
We gave money to our Pastors and Team Mate to buy the necessary Equipment and food stuff to serve their community. They bought Bucket, soap , Towels, Masks and food stuff to distribute in their community. We have shared over 1000 mask in our community and force them to put it on…. to avoid being effected.

In this distribution I realized that the people are hungry… Government don’t have money to pay salaries so people are lockdown without food. I am in trouble now when we gave food to the people they still keep coming to me to ask for more.

We gave a Family of 5 a bag of rice and some money when I heard of their situation, for a whole week they went without food they have to go to neighbour to beg the man was ashamed and start crying. They bless us, I have sent the blessing to you the provider.

Pastor Marcarthy is grateful, he decided to go to a village in kono where the message of COVID 19 has not reach yet. He gave the message on how to keep safe. He provided the Equipment and food stuff for them…. Some of our Pastors and Team Mate don’t have good phones to take good pictures.

Sierra Leone is not safe too many trouble going on at the moment. Political tension is rising. Too many political prisoners in custody. There was riot in Lunser and Tombo. Two weeks ago there was prison break. People are dissatisfied with the government. We are praying against Rebellion because it will be bloody. We are sitting on a time bomb. We value your prayers.

Let me again thank you for the money you sent . It has really been a blessing to the people of Sierra Leone by helping the to keep safe from COVID 19 and by putting food on the table of the lest privilege. May the good Lord bless you all.

Prayers…..
1. We are not going to church now please pray for our members.
2.pray for SIERRA LEONE. The tension is too much. Let the the government and the opposition see eye to eye.
3. For our Pastors for provision for their families
4.We have the civil societies trying to mediate for wisdom
5. Children are out of school wisdom how to work with them. Parent keep calling us.
6. Pray for good health. Everyday is afraid to get sick because they will mix it up coronavirus.
7. Pray for my friend herbert he is help as a political prisoner .. We live together in the same house. For God’s grace and favour.

Stay Blessed
Yatta Samura

NEWS FROM PASTOR YATTA APRIL 2020

Greetings from Sierra Leone,

A lot has happened in Sierra Leone and in the World in just 3 months.
In January I said a big thank you, on behalf of the children, for providing Christmas meals and gifts. I wrote that you were putting smiles in the face of the children. Many of them were coming from Muslim homes and are struggling to survive. This Christmas feeding program is a big blessing to them. They look forward to it every year.
In March I wrote that our world is going through challenging times right now. Challenges makes life interesting but overcoming them is what makes lives more meaningful. We in Sierra Leone are grateful at the moment with no Coronavirus cases yet. We are praying Psalm 91 for you all, our friends, brothers, and partners. We met yesterday to pray for the outbreak in the World especially, Oxford. May the good Lord continue to protect you guys and the Oxford church family.

Now in April Pastor Yatta writes that everybody is in fear because the Ebola crises is still first in our minds. We have had our first cases of Coronavirus and so we are now in a lockdown. However, more people will die of hunger than the virus. I value and thank you very much for prayers and concern. This small virus has brought everybody to their knees strong or weak nations alike. we are in a state of emergency and under a curfew order. Every day we are reading and having a quiet time to think and pray.

In Freetown we live closely together which makes it difficult to stop the virus spreading. We are working now to buy buckets to encourage hand washing and some sanitiser to help stop the spread of the virus, so we can come out of it quickly. Please help us to buy these items. Thank you very much.
Stay bless and please read Psalm 91. Let it be your prayer.

Pastor Yatta Samura

XMAS meal for children

We sent some money to Pastor Yatta to provide an XMAS meal for the children he works with in Freetown.

[From Yatta via WhatsApp]

FEEDING THE CHILDREN: I say on behalf of the children I say a big thank you for providing the resources for the feeding . I want you to know that you are putting smiles in the face of the children. We change the method this year we took them to the beach which they like and enjoyed so much. They had the opportunity to play, swim and eat….
Many of them are coming from a Muslim home and a struggling home to survive. This feeding program is a big blessing to them. Which they look forward to every year. See photos… We went to the beach at 9am and return at 6pm, they ate three [meals] that day. They really enjoyed it . Thank you Thank you Thank you….

Ministry Update 2019

[From Pastor Yatta Samura via WhatsApp]

With a grateful heart I am sending you this update…

“What would I do without you in my Life”
“For all you do, for who you are, I will be forever grateful you are in our Life and ministry.

“Just saying thank you as I will never repay your kindness, you are indeed a blessing at the right time”

What we are doing here in Sierra Leone Reaching and Touching lives we would never have been able to do it without your partnership . You have been our partners from the first day I meet you until now..
In 2019 by the grace of God we have been able to accomplish a lot both in the Church and the Sports Ministry.
• We break new grounds
• We open new doors and create new opportunities
• We do Trainings
• We work in schools and communities
• We help children go to school
• We did feeding programs both in church and COMMUNITY
• We attended international Conferences. I went to the State, Baio and Emmanuel to Indonesia and Agnes to Ghana. Ther are a learning and refreshing times for us.
• We celebrated our 21st. Church anniversary nd was well attended. We listen and were blessed with the update report of every church. We ha had a good fellowship. We were also able to buy a moto bike for our Evangelist. We were all happy.

We just finish this year 2019 Inter Churches Football Tournament. 15 Churches Participated. The Final was played between National Pentecostal and St. Edwards Parish. 2 – 1 National Pentecostal. The purpose of the tournament is
1. Evangelism
2.Fellowship and
3. Partnership

Prayer………
1. We want to do this year Feeding program for the kids to back it up with an Outing. Which they are looking forward to. Date January 1
2. We have started 2 New churches both in Kono and Freetown Jui. For growth and grace.
3. One of our pastor has gone to bible college for provision
4. For God to enlarge our Vision
5. More schools to open to our programs

Stay Blessed
Yatta Samura

Jog4Jesus

I am very happy to inform you that the JOG 4 JESUS is a success and a blessing to Sierra Leone.This is a program that the churches, sports clubs and organizations are looking forward to. We got far more attendance than was expected. So the Sierra Leone commercial Bank divided to join the Jogging . We approached them to help us with more T Shirt. First time to get an institution to help. We see jog 4 Jesus as a way of celebrating the death burial and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We Jog singing and praising God. At the closing ceremony we prayed for Sierra Leone and the various Sporting Disciplines. I am still in pain. [From Yatta via WhatsApp]

Children’s XMAS meal in Freetown

Pastor Yatta and his team organised a meal in Freetown and one in Kono. He wrote:

I am sending you this Report to say thank you, thank you and thank you again for putting SMILES in the faces of the children. This is the 2nd. Year we have under take this wonderful project of Feeding the Children within this Christmas holiday in our community. We ask them to come at 2 pm they started coming at 9 am. You can see the excitement on their faces. We planned for 100 kids we had 123. Many more where standing at the gate wanting to come. We have to close the gate, they stood outside crying and begging.

Too much hunger in this country – parent cannot afford to feed their children. We also bought some training equipment and gave them gifts. Watch the photos..