Laurie-Ann Copple May 11 at 3:13pm Reply

Hello everyone

Thank you so much again for praying for our team before, and all through our mission in Sierra Leone. We arrived home Thursday night, although at the time I was pretty sick (again? Yes, again). Otherwise we were bathed in prayer so much at times that this is what kept us going - in extreme heat, when we were tired, couldn't eat spicy food, or where working through cultural differences and microphone problems. God moved mightily despite all of this, and we could see His work at every turn. Without you, this mission would not have happened.

We wrapped up our mission on a highpoint last Monday night, when they had a special banquet for us in Joseph and Fatu's home near the busy Congo Cross neighbourhood (not far from where we were staying for the second half of our time in Freetown). The house was in a part of Freetown that you literally needed a 4x4 to get to, in a deep valley, and even then it was pretty scary for one not used to driving terrain like that! In Freetown it is so crowded that they live in the lowest floodplains (Kroo Bay) to the highest peaks (Leicester Peak, where we stayed the first five nights).

We were given some lovely Sierra Leone souveniers, including local Christian music and some attractive African shirts for Tony, Richard and Dwight, and an African dress for me. Fatu was crying as we were about to leave on the water taxi, and there were hugs all around.

Tony and I would be willing to go back sometime in the future (although that wouldn't be for a while, since I go to full-time radio school for two years starting September). Our radio visits with Joseph on "What the Bible is Saying" were also excellent, and we were able to share scripture and our local experience in Sierra Leone.

We had no major delays on the way home, no night stopovers in Accra, but we were pretty tired. Richard was evangelizing all the vendors in the Nairobi airport (well the Kenyans are easy to talk to).

I began to get sick on the Emirates flight to New York, since we had been served mango juice (with hidden melted ice) at our gate in the Nairobi airport by Kenya Airways. It was supposed to be the first flight to Muscat (Oman), which was our first stop on this flight, and they were giving us freebies, including the juice, some nuts and some umbrellas when it began to rain. Since we had a longer stop in Muscat, they gave us an additional meal of a beef sandwich, which was loaded with raw veggies (washed in local water I am sure). I am sure that sandwich was contaminated as well, although Tony, Dwight and Richard were completely fine both with the juice and the sandwich. I was sick for five days, from basically Dubai until yesterday, and I am thankful that I remembered the container of Cipro the travel doctor gave me just in case I caught a tropical bug due to water issues. It has mostly cleared it up, THANK GOD. Now I'm just tired but that's to be expected.

Here are some last prayer requests as we close up details of the trip:

1. Please pray that all four of us get our refunds from Swiss Air/Royal Air Maroc (Tony and L-A), Air Canada/Royal Air Maroc (Richard), Air France/Royal Air Maroc (Dwight). I have one hotel refunded, but haven't seen anything yet from Expedia for Tony and I. It MAY show up on next month's Visa bill.

2. Please pray a blessing on the local Alpha Sierra Leone team - they worked hard not only to make us comfortable but also to keep costs down. They originally were to hire a driver but cancelled this to save us money. They knew how expensive these new air tickets were and actually told everyone we were ministering to that we came at great sacrifice through trials (the Iceland volcano).

3. Please pray that the work we've done in Freetown area and Makeni prison will bear fruit, like the seed on good soil! Both old and young were impacted at the Alpha events, church services, prison visit, radio visits etc.

4. Please pray for any additional fund-raising to help with the last bit of our mission. This is the type of fund raising where God speaks to specific people by the Holy Spirit without us saying too much. (I call that the 'Hudson Taylor' method since he never asked people to give funds but trusted the Lord). Its also the method where He stretches the resources we have.

5. Please pray for safety for Richard and Karen Gilman, who now would be in Italy. I'm sure Richard was thinking (oh my goodness, another airport!)

6. Please pray that the Lord would show us what comes next - that our experiences in Sierra Leone may be used as preparation for other ministry, and that the stories may be told whenever welcome and appropriate.

Thank you again, and I pray a blessing upon all of you - may our Lord Jesus Christ fill you with His grace and the knowledge of how much you are loved (Eph 3:17)

Love from Laurie-Ann Copple
Sierra Leone GAT Mission (now home again in Ottawa)
Here is a link to our journal (only some of the photos are up)