A decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone ravaged the country and left former child-soldiers and other young people to face a bleak future. In hopes of reaching these youth, SLIMS began a partnership with Young Life in 2008.
Young Life is a Christian ministry with a mission to introduce adolescents around the world to Jesus Christ and to help them grow in their faith.
In Sierra Leone, Young Life faces a variety of challenges. Not only is Sierra Leone one of the world’s poorest countries, but Christianity is actually the minority religion at 13% of the population, with the remaining 65% Muslim and 22% practice indigenous beliefs.
By God’s grace, Young Life has reached over 171,000 kids in Sierra Leone to date. On average, over 22,000 kids attend clubs in their communities each week, and over 3,000 of those kids are involved in Bible studies to continue growing their faith.
One of those clubs takes place at the SLIMS school in Bo, where Keifala Koroma is a leader. Keifala has been a well-respected school teacher in the community for more than 20 years.
In order to survive the civil war, Keifala and his family went into hiding. One night, when Keifala went out to buy emergency supplies near Kissytown Road, a group of child-soldiers suddenly rounded him up and put him into a firing squad line. Moments before the soldiers were going to kill Keifala, a young soldier began arguing with his commander, saying of Keifala, “He was my teacher, and he really loved us students.” The commander paused and then told Keifala he was free to go.
Flash forward to a present-day afternoon when Keifala has just finished leading Young Life club. A student named Matthew pulled Keifala aside and quietly asked, “Do you remember that night on Kissytown Road?”. Keifala looked at him and nodded his head.
“The soldier who saved you…” Matthew said. “…was me.”
Keifala could hardly take it in. With tears streaming down both their faces, Matthew and Keifala embraced.
Believe it or not, SLIMS and Young Life see these kinds of stories all the time in Sierra Leone – hopelessness and horror transformed to redemption.
You and I can help these young people rewrite their stories. I am rounding up my change to help SLIMS’ Young Life ministries today! Let me show you how easy it is.
Even PENNIES make an impact! You can either text “SLIMS to 26989” or click the DONATE button to change a life in Sierra Leone.