Walk to Salvation

Mahmadu Koroma is a quiet, determined eleventh grader who walks 4 hours round trip every day between the Mokpangumba Riverbank and Ngolala Junction to attend Mallory Jansen Memorial Senior Secondary School. Mahmadu is from a Muslim background, but no longer a Muslim because of the good works of Children of the Nations (COTN) in this primarily Muslim area. Today, he thanks God for COTN and staff, like Mr. Ngoneh, who helped his parents to allow him to attend church. When asked about his present life, this is what he had to say:

“I, Mahmadu Koroma, will always be thankful to God for using COTN to help me when I fell in a hole a few years back while walking home in the dark after working on a farm.

Because we are poor, I didn’t tell my parents for three days for fear of what they might say or do. Then I got to a point that I could no longer hide the pain and suffering anymore. COTN heard about it and had me treated at the Italian Emergency Hospital where they deal with bone accidents. COTN provided accommodations and meals for me for 3 months while I recuperated at COTN housing in Marjay Town. Sadly, it made me see and feel the big difference between Christians and Muslims in need.  Neither of my parents came to give the support I needed – just my brother sometimes, and my COTN brothers and sisters came by while I was there.

As a Muslim, I was taught to look to Allah for everything – I never saw any help and I was disappointed. Had it not been for COTN, I would have lost one leg. I am very thankful to God that I have both legs, although one seems longer than the other when I walk.

Today, I am thankful that I have come to know God through the Christian fellowship conducted in school and church services.  The daily meals at COTN’s feeding program and the shoe distribution have been a blessing to us who cannot afford good, solid shoes.  Those, who are from a Muslim background, wonder why our parents don’t talk much about Jesus.

My prayer for everyone, including children, is that God keeps you and bless you because of your faith.  Thank you for giving us hope for a better tomorrow. Thank you.”

 

BelPres Meal Packing Marathon helps support the COTN feeding program in Mokpangumba, where Mahmadu and many other children like him get their daily nourishment. Your participation and your prayers are the most important ways you support this event.

This year, our goal is to pack 150,000 meals for our brothers and sisters in Mokpangumba.  BelPres Mission+Serve will cover the first $20,000. We still need to raise additional funds since the registration fee does not cover the cost of food, material, and shipping.    If you would like to make a donation, you may give by credit card at Belpres.org – specify “other gift” as Meal Packing. 

Meal Packing

What does this mean for our family? It used to mean working hard with other BelPres families on Saturday morning packing bulk foods. We enjoyed the energy, the fellowship, the constant smiles among co-workers and the sense of accomplishment when we bagged the raw materials.

This year, it is infinitely more meaningful because we’ve learned where the food goes. We knew the meals were going to people who really needed them. We tried to find the tiny village online. It took three of us confirming the spelling and checking each other’s data to locate Mokpangumba. We learned many villages are similarly named and that there are many waterways on the western side of Sierra Leone. We have pictures of the children in the village and wondered why some wear school uniforms and others don’t. We’ve mispronounced and repronounced and laughed over our English tongues not able to stand up to the Mokpangumba syllables. All of this makes us feel closer to the village we help.

Can you believe the food our gloved hands process makes its way around the world?  Yes, around-the-world to a village of 300 families in Sierra Leone. The journey will not be easy. It will take plenty of logistics with planes, trucks, boats and more human hands distributing it in Mokpangumba.

What the families harvest from the fields and rivers nearby is not enough, so the food we packed will provide additional nutrition. This food means survival for the children. It may mean they can concentrate better at school and learn what will help them change the way their food is grown or how their village works.

We’ve had conversations around this very fact: It is a long way from how we live. As we prepare for this year’s meal packing, we are curious about what the children will think of the food, what they do in school and what they do for fun. It has become personal and so much more important to pack this food for them.

Please come and join our dedicated community of meal-packing marathoners on Saturday, January 27!  To find out more or sign up, click here: belpres.org/events/meal-packing-2018

 

Learn more about Children of the Nation’s work in Mokpangumba or watch this video from COTN.