Peter Larison and I traveled to Sierra Leone for two great weeks in January, 2018, where we conducted three well-received conferences in Makeni, Kabala, and Daru. We worked with former missionary to Sierra Leone, Phil Schlener, as well as local pastors and leaders, Samuel Sesay, Hassan Koroma, and Musa Kapaka.
Three hundred seventy church leaders, laymen, and men from the communities attended. Several men were saved, and the others were deeply affected, asking serious, concerned questions—some of the kind we would never hear in the States, like, “You said I am to listen to my wife’s counsel, but which wife?” These were culturally Muslim areas – we heard estimates of between 70-85% Muslim – and many (even saved) men still have multiple wives.
In each conference the men seemed astonished by the teachings – they had not heard teaching on biblical manhood before. Given the Muslim context, teachings about caring for, respecting, and honoring their wives were especially impactful. They actively participated in the breakout groups, clamoring to share what they had discussed. In Daru, we learned that the men, who stayed overnight on mattresses in the church, stayed up for hours talking about the teachings, sharing observations and revelations of the day, and debating points of application.
Over 60 men came forward to launch men’s discipleship groups. They were very attentive as I met with them to give instructions and encouragement. In all the conferences, most of the men pledged to join a new men’s group.
Pastor David Sankoh from Makeni sent this follow-up:
“Please permit me to share with you one stunning impact the conference has made in the life of one of my men I deliberately took to attend. I had had several meetings with him so that he and his wife would not put their marriage in jeopardy. But after the conference, this man was reconciled to his wife…There is great joy in the home now, as even their children testify about that…”