There are phone calls that you know are going to change your life.  Sometimes they come unexpectedly and rock the foundations of your world.  Sometimes you dial the phone, knowing that the conversation that is about to take place will re-shape how you see the world.


I had that second kind of phone call in mid-July with a representative for the Baiwalla Ministry in Sierra Leone.  Ann and I finally connected after playing phone tag for a couple of weeks.  She opened the conversation by telling me things I did not know.  Baiwalla is in the eastern part of Sierra Leone (which is on the West Coast of Africa, sharing a border with Liberia – I had to look it up!). The people of this village are among the poorest on the planet, living on about $2 per day.


Rev. Judith Banya, a native of Sierra Leone, was displaced during the civil war and made her home in Minnesota. She always wanted to return and open a school. When the opportunity arose, she realized that food insecurity was the most pressing issue for the people of Baiwalla. It is hard to teach children who come to school hungry. Beginning with a church and feeding ministries, Rev. Banya and her partners have built a school, feed children sometimes the only meal that will eat that day, planted a farm to support the feeding ministries, have a ministry of literacy for adults, and so much more.


I was inspired to learn that recently solar panels have been installed to support the 30-unit computer lab at the school, with the added blessing of supporting the electronic needs of the community.  Rev. Banya’s vision for ministering with and for the people of Baiwalla changed how I see the world.


On Wednesday, Aug. 10, Rev. Banya will be with us to share her story, her vision for ministry expansion, and some ideas of how we might partner with our neighbors in Baiwalla, Sierra Leone.  It is my deep hope that you will take a few moments out of a summer evening to hear the voice of God speak through Rev. Banya’s story.  Perhaps like me, you will have that moment that will re-shape how you see the world. 


Join us for..

Dessert & Conversation with Rev. Banya

Wednesday, August 10th at 6:30 PM

Fellowship Hall of EPUMC


I hope you will come and hear how we might partner with the amazing work that God is doing in Sierra Leone.



Pastor Becky Jo

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