Each year we try and send some money to Pastor Yatta for him to provide an XMAS meal for children. Here is his response (sent via WhatsApp)
We express our sincere thanks and appreciation to God for your goodness to us. When we are hungry you feed us and when we are naked you clothe us. This is something we look forward to every year. We are really grateful to God for the provision you are making.
This Time I divided the money into 4 parts…. Other Churches have not been benefiting.
1st. Part went to Kono Church.. I was waiting for their Report and pictures. They did a big cook brought the children to church and feed them. Many Children from the neighborhood came around but they have to restrict to the children in the church. They feed 63 children.
Part 2 went to the Central Church in free town. This is something they have not done for many years. They did a whole day treat for the children at the beach. They had good entertainment for their Sunday school Children.
Part 3 Went to Sports Life Ministry. We did a big cook for them after their usual Training. They ate so much that they don’t want to go home. We had 68. I also gave them small money each to take to their parent to help with the next day’s feeding which will be Christmas day.
Part 4.. Goes to Grace Community Church Mambo. The newest church in the Mission. They bought Toys and used clothing to share with the Children and members. The church lives in a very poor community 58 people benefited.
This year we are happy we were able to divide it like we did.
Greetings once more to everyone. Wish to share the latest Ahkom updates with you. On the whole it’s been positive with only two snags.
1. THE BRIGHT SIDE
a. WE LOVE OUR SUPPORTERS
Continued love and kisses to our few but committed supporters who, by now, any time they hear of David’s Ahkom updates probably sigh “Oh here he goes again. He needs more money!”
A big hand to Nick and Vicky for the determined assistance they’ve given Ami and Esther. Ami’s been bullying, academically, all her elders in the engineering department at Milton Margai University. To the point they made her their year rep. Esther’s Public Health results just came out – straight A’s and although she’s currently on the Higher National Diploma programme, she also topped all those on the degree programme doing the same modules. She’s now been invited to transfer, asap, to complete her course on the degree programme.
b. NO FRENCH, MONSIEUR, BUT ENGLISH
We’ve reviewed our RTR training brochure, to good effect, to reflect our wider community remit. Mr Sessie, our technical man, was in Freetown training the new English language teachers at El-Bethal. A new crop of schools in Freetown is anticipated. Jaiama, CKC, SLMB, Iamtech will be retrained before the close of school for Christmas on 17th December. Ahkom, as is to be expected, is up to date.
c. EDUCATION IS THE KEY
In the national exams Ahkom achieved 100% passes in the primary NPSE examinations; 100% passes in the Junior secondary school BECE examinations and 99% in the senior secondary WASSCE examinations. The five who failed the wassce did so because they failed to turn
up to sit.
d. THE STOMACH NEVER LIES
We took a Government surveyor from the Ministry of lands to survey the extension of the school farm at Lei chiefdom. It came to 76 acres. Around 30 hectares. We were charged a discounted amount of £2,000 for the exercise which includes charting on the national GPS data base, drawing up of the plan, signatory by the relevant chiefs and director of lands. We’re still on our knees begging for more discount.
Of the 1,000 cashew trees planted around 800 are doing well. We’d already factored in potential losses. An additional 1000 will be planted next year. Doing well too are the initial crop of Avocado, Coconut, mango, guava, orange, yams, cassava and sweet potato. The bole land (semi swamp) is about 15 acres. We’ve commissioned it to be brushed to meet up the rice planting season.
We’ve also nursed pepper. The English beans started with a flourish, as did the cabbage, carrot and lettuce. But the climate has changed and the unseasonably relentless rainfall caused them to rot. But all was not lost: my seasoned agriculturist in Nimikoro chiefdom, David had, from the word go, been sceptical of the climate and decided to hang on to his seeds. Now with the overly wet weather behind us, his nursed seeds are showing a great potential for growth and survival.
We’ve demarcated the areas for the farmstead, animal husbandry and wildlife.
e. NEW CONNECTIONS
It was a real pleasure to establish contact with a fairly new orphanage in Koidu – CARE for Children. I was bowled over by the commitment of the proprietress.
f. ON A GAME FRONT
We’ve started our giant killing again in the schools football league. Ahkom trounced SDA 3 – 0 in the opening game that took place two days ago. You may recall that not long ago we won the teachers football league.
2. THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
a. Once again the primary, Junior and senior secondary were all overlooked for teacher recruitment onto the government voucher. All my school heads and most of the senior staff are either pastors or lay preachers. The chap heading the teachers service Commission in Kono (who is known for selling of the employment forms and bears an uncanny resemblance to offsprings of belzebub) has been quoted as saying the Ahkom proprietor and his heads are refusing to play ball. Namely, refusing to pay a bribe for what is rightfully theirs. But if bribery is the only way we’re going to get teachers on voucher, then they’ll stay as volunteers. Anyway, I’ve made up my mind its in our best interest to revert back to private school status. At least then we can charge fees and pay our teachers.
b. Despite the hard work by Richard to secure us funding from Frempoma’s organisation, our fingers remain crossed that something will come out of all that admirable effort.
Orphans at CARE for Children orphanage in Koidu
Me reviewing RTR booklet. El-Bethal, Freetown – RTR Jss1
Making heaps to plant cassava and sweet potatoes in Lei chiefdom
Ami. Unfortunately Esther lost her phone and her pictures.
I am grateful to God for my life and the ministry that the good Lord has made me an overseer here in Sierra Leone. My wife Victoria came two times this year to visit we had a wonderful time together.
The children God put under our care are doing well in their Education. At the moment we have. Saidu – finish university got married and now doing his masters degree. Fudia – She is finishing University next year. Kadie – She has just enter College of medicine . Looking for opportunity to get scholarship to pursue oversea. Brian- Finish University 3 years ago got married now looking for a job. At the moment we have. The most important thing is that they are following Jesus.
Thank you very much for the sponsorship to attend the leadership training in Nairobi Kenya. It was a time well spent. I learnt a lot on leadership which I am now passing on to my teammates in Sierra Leone.
SPORTS SEMINAR AWARENESS…….. We brought several people together to give the awearness of what SPORTS Life is doing and how they can get involve. We are now praying and waiting to see how they can come to us.
SPORTS LIFE SENIORS….. We have a very senior players that meet once a week at the St. Edwards for playing football as way of keeping fit. They ‘re coming from all works of life, Banks, insurance and other Agencies they meet every Saturday. We pray and they play. But now we have introduced Bible Studies as a way of follow up.
SCHOOLS… The coaching program in the SCHOOLS are ongoing. The coaches are working very hard but our challenge is transportation and more equipment
JOG 4 JESUS …. IT is one of our biggest yearly program. For the past 2 years we have not be ble to do it because covid but this year it has been plan for the 10th. Dec. We just received police clearance. Grateful to God. We are trying to raise resources. We need T – Shirt, drinks water and bread. We are trying to6. cater for One Thousand people
Youth Retreat…. A three days retreat was organised for grace community Youth fellowship. We he good turnout of bout 25. It was for the purpose of discipleship. If produce it desire result. They were encouraged, they now have confidence and above all it brought them closer to each other. It is been evidence in the church.
Grace Community Church Youth celebrated their first thanks giving services. Which was well attended.
Combine Service…. Freetown has their first Combine Service. It brought together Central and Grace. The tournament out was fantastic
I am traveling to Kono on the 0th. Dec. to meet with the pastors, their families and the church membership. Next year we will 25 years so we are going to start planning. We pray and hope any of you will be able to come to be part of the celebration.
Pastors Kids……… We are planning to do a feeding program for children in Kono this year including the pastors Kids.
World Cup…. I look forward to England winning the World Cup as my first choice, Spain, France and Brazil. But I hope England wins. They have the players
Pray for the awearness we have created… for them to come back to support the ministry.
The Discipleship bible study for the SENIORS for growth and stbility in their faith.
Please pray for scholarship for my daughter Kadie to study medicine oversea. No much equipment here.
For the growth of our new church membership. Mambo
As I go to Kono this festive season, for God to use me to encouraged them . More to provid financially and as we plan for our Silver Jubelee . 25 years celebration next NOVEMBER
For the Kids feeding program this year both in Freetown and Kono
JOG 4 JESUS… As we do it again this year. For it to create impact. For God to provide the necessary things we need. We have tax our self to make donation.
The school coaching program is ongoing. For us to reach more school, for God to provide mor shipments transportation. Sometimes they don’t go because no money for transport. That is what we are trying to raise here
As a ministry we are working in Schools Community and with sporting Disciplines. We decided to do a Level – One training for the Teachers Coaches and codinators to Enquip them for service. We had a wonderful and successful 2 days 📈 training. We had 45 participants and all received certificate after the training. This training took place on the far East of Freetown where the population is huge and deprived. We really see this as an Open doors opportunity. We are also able to identify interested people to be added to our sports Life Ministry team. We have had trainings before but this one really keep me excited. It was really not easy we had to run around to find funds to do the training. We provided food teaching material certificate and transportation for our team and facilitators. As a whole it is a Big success we are excited and grateful to God.
Greetings from your brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone of another mother. From the first day we meet you guys have never cease to show us love and for that we are grateful. “Jesus said to his disciples by this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another” John. 13:35. Thank you for showing and teaching us love.
GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH – Mambo. This is the CHURCH we started last year in Freetown. We celebrate One year last Sunday. 12 July 2022. The average attendee of the CHURCH now is 72. 174 attended the celebration. It was wonderful we had fun and food.
The Vehicle is now on the Road from the garage in good condition. Thank you for helping to get it fix. Very useful.
School Coaching and Clinics. God is opening more doors for more school. It is going slow now because this will be the last month before school closes for this year. Please pray for their exam.
Football National Team… We still have open door to our national team in an unofficial capacity as chaplain. We pray with them and settle dispute among them. The Muslims are pushing their way. We had gain respect with the federation, coaches and players. It is a difficult job but graceful.
Beach Exercises… On Saturday morning the Lumley beach is always full. We work with a team of middle age man that goes Saturday for exercises. We provide Coach for them and pray with them even though many are Muslims.
We do COMMUNITY training and Clinics with kids in five communities. The number of the children growing. Our challenge is with equipment, bibs and footwear.
KONO CHURCH … It have been a while I have not be able to go as I was busy very much with training and GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH celebration. The leadership in kono are doing very well. I am getting feedback from them.. Sarah – Late pastor marcarthy wife is getting health challenge. I will give you more information when I get there next month.
CHURCH Feeding…… Hunger is a pandemic in this country. We were able to raise funds to do some feeding in the CHURCH. It went well. We plan for 80 people and have 96 inside. We have to go close the gate people standing outside begging to come in. Looking at the seen where children are begging to come in makes me wept.
Our vision for this year for GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH Mambo.
Train and raise local leadership
Raise the congregation to 200
Try to secure a land for the CHURCH building. 2.That we continues to have favour with the football federation in Sierra leone plus the coaches and players.
For God to provide us with sports equipment and used foot wear for children 4.To get more open doors to Muslims school
For God to keep the vehicle on the Road in good condition
We are doing a training in July for coaches and volunteers.. I am not sure of the number yet but shall be big. We want to provide breakfast and launch Plus materials. Pray for God to provide. … We need them of the school and COMMUNITY projects
SIERRA LEONE.. We are setting on a time boom. The prizes of good and commodities are going up rapidly. The petrol has gone up three times in the last three months. People are disgruntled. Election is next year. Pray for stability and peace.
Next month is exam month for schools. Teachers are on strikes it will affect the children greatly. Please pray for the negotiation to go well.
* 1st load has been transported to the Lei chiefdom farm site. Kudos to the manufacturers of land rover. The rover in the picture dates back to the 70s yet still manages to negotiate some of the worst dirt track roads imaginable, filled to the brim with loads and passengers.
The load included 1,000 cashew seedlings and bundles of casava stems for the proposed 5 acre casava site.
* Many thanks to Hillary for donating the seedlings pictured. They’ll be nursed in four different sites to see where they do best. The four sites are ahkom school farm site, ahkom school, nimikor chiefdom site and Lei site.
Ahkom commerce and agric teacher Mr Turay – pictured on the left, will take care of the school and school farm nurseries. Mr Samura and his assistant Emmanuel, middle and right of the picture – private vegetable farmers, are responsible for the Nimikor trials. Mr Tommy, whose picture I sent in a previous post, a trainee of WFF and Sierra Leone mins of agric, will lead on the Lei trials where he’s an indigene.
The ministry has its own inimitable style. It is based upon love being a verb and upon sport. An example is the weekly “beach exercise and prayer” which Pastor Yatta describes in more detail:
Beach Exercise… Every Saturday and Sunday the beaches are full with every kind of people going to exercise. So, we have been moved to start a ministry on the beaches of Freetown. Exercise and prayer ministry at the beach. It is very exciting. We meet 7 – 9. We started it for Christians, but Muslims are coming in now, so we have opened it to everyone!
The Ministry of Education has asked us (sports Life) to organise the inter primary school football tournament at the East end of Freetown. 28 schools have been put under our care. It is a big opportunity for the ministry. We pray for co-operation from the schools.
Let me thank you our Partners in Oxford. We are so much grateful for your prayers and financial support.
For the schools ministry, the community training, the beach ministry and the coaching programs.
For the inter primary school competition going on now, for it to finish well and our partnership with the ministry of Education continue.
For our relationship and partnership with the Sierra Leone Football Association.
For funding to support the ministry, in particular for Pastors’ salaries and vehicle maintenance.
Facing the continued rise in the costs of staple foodstuff, we decided there was a need to expand our farming activities. Hence the recent acquisition in Wanjama, Lei chiefdom – about 19 miles from Koidu, of over 150 acres of prime forest and bole land. This land was gifted to us in large part from my late mother’s side. Tankoro chiefdom, where my late dad hailed from, hosts a lot of mining activities, stiff competition for land and encroachment from large urban settlements for effective large scale farming.
Food prices in Sierra Leone will continue to rise exponentially. Its vital that those of us who have the will engage in such activity inorder to help ease price increments within our vicinity. It’s also important we try to secure our heritage land as big business from abroad has commenced the purchase of thousands of hectares for largely cash crop as opposed to Food crop production.
On the 14th we commenced clearing of the 40 acre bole land section of the farm land. To achieve this we’re using a chemical spray that will kill off the electric and elephant grass. Clearing is necessary to enable the ministry of agriculture field workers to peg out the 20 acre site we have reserved for the transfer and replanting of an initial number of 1,000 cashew seedlings (see below picture of seedlings at min of agric nursery site, Koidu awaiting transport to Wanjama). It will also enable our workers to prepare the land for planting of food crop – yam, plantain, sweet potato, lettuce, cabbage, carrot, aubergine, pepper, onions etc. In addition to serving our dependents food requirements, most of the harvest will be trucked down to the market towns or sold off in bulk within the year to earn quick income for Ahkom activities. Seeds from Hillary will be planted here and at the school farm site near Koidu to determine where they do best. The school farm near koidu remains our proposed experimental site. Going forward, it will provide invaluable practical experience not only for our pupils, but pupils from other schools.
Tied to the back of the motorbike in the picture is a carton of with 12 containers of chemical. Mixed with water each container can spray just over 1 acre. We’ll be needing around 4 more cartons each costing £100.
The 90+ acres of forest is home to monkeys and deer. Our plan is to gradually encircle that locality using traditional methods of planting thorn bush in thick formation augmenting with barbed wire subject to finances. Because goat and sheep can subsist alongside deer and monkeys, we’ll introduce the former within the proposed enclosure where they can roam free and thrive.
Among the pictures you’ll see a newly constructed board bridge. It leads to the site and has provided an immediate benefit for local school children, men and women going to their farm. Before they had to wade through the water, a dangerous exercise for little kids when the river rises and flows fast during the rains.
I close by happily modifying the well known ditty “Oh I do love to be beside the seaside” with my very own “Oh I do love to be beside the bush!”