A Call To Action To Aid Sierra Leone Ebola Victims

The distribution of food and supplies by Rev. Kargbo to victims of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

The distribution of food and supplies by Rev. Kargbo to victims of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

The Transformational Education Network (TEN3) is asking for you to partner with us in a call to action to help the people of Sierra Leone who have been devastated by the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

We in TEN3 are supporting Global Partners, the missions arm of The Wesleyan Church, to fund a multi-pronged project to provide aid and assistance to children, parents and families in a Sierra Leone community whose lives have been ravaged by Ebola.

The threat of the Ebola is still haunting Sierra Leone, where transmission remains widespread with 74 new cases in the past week, according to the World Health Organization. The continued Ebola outbreak is most intense in the capital of Freetown, with 45 reported cases in the week ending Feb. 15.

Since the Ebola outbreak last year, the WHO has tracked 23,253 cases in nine countries, with 9,380 confirmed fatalities. The worst-hit have been Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in west Africa. Sierra Leone has had 11,103 cases of Ebola — the most of any country — resulting in 3,408 deaths.

The name of the Global Partners project is the “Waterloo/Banga Farm Area Ebola Epidemic.” This project will improve sanitation and psycho-social services in quarantined homes in the Waterloo/Banga Farm area and its immediate environs.

This will be accomplished in a number of ways. For starters, 20 volunteer counselors will be trained to provide psycho-social counseling care to 2,600 beneficiaries in quarantined homes and holding centers. Another 10 volunteers will be trained as health educators to provide environmental health protection messages to 2,000 Ebola beneficiaries.

A third aspect will be training 20 volunteer pastors to visit, console and offer prayers and messages of hope to victims. The project will also provide supplies of used clothing and shoes, rubber buckets, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, Dettol — a hygiene product — and other disinfectants for homes.

The last piece of the project will be to provide toys for children and radio sets and batteries for the homes. An untold number of children have been orphaned by the plague of Ebola.

We have been monitoring the situation in Sierra Leone closely through the heroic service of Rev. Samuel Kargbo. Last summer, we were working with Rev. Kargbo to launch a Christ-centered Computer Training Outreach school in Freetown, Sierra Leone. But the Ebola virus outbreak derailed those plans amidst a devastating outbreak of the disease that at one point was requiring 15 funerals a day in Rev. Kargbo’s community.

Rev. Kargbo and his wife, Mary, have been faithfully and compassionately tending to the orphans, widows and other victims of their neighborhood. We are thankful to the Lord for keeping them free of the disease as they tend to the myriad needs of the people of their community.

Rev. Kargbo providing food for victims of  Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Rev. Kargbo providing food for victims of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Now is the opportunity for you to come alongside them. The budget for this project is a mere $15,137 in U.S. dollars. Will you help?

Donations to the project can be made in the following manner:

–Checks made out to Global Partners; write WM06-1489 on the memo line and send to: Global Partners, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis IN 46250-0434;

–Online: You can go to http://www.globalpartnersonline.org/partner/give/projects and in the first dropdown menu, select Sierra Leone, then click GO. Scroll down until you see the Waterloo/Banga Farm Area Ebola Epidemic project and click “Give Now.”

We ask that you continue to pray for containment of the virus and to strengthen the people of Sierra Leone, including Rev. Samuel Kargbo and his family. Thank you and God bless you.

Distribution of supplies by Rev. Kargbo to Ebola victims.

Distribution of supplies by Rev. Kargbo to Ebola victims.

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A Spiritual Revolution Through Computers

My visit with students at ECWA International College of Technology in Jos, Nigeria.

My visit with students at ECWA International College of Technology in Jos, Nigeria.

I poked my head into a computer classroom at ECWA International College of Technology (EICT) and started snapping photos. Things got a little crazy from there. Pretty soon everyone wanted to take their picture with me. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’m a celebrity? Or not …

One of the young men I took a photo with is on the left in this image. His name is Simfa Peter and he is one of seven boys from a family who lives in Jos. His father works in Lagos, a distance of about 600 miles. Simfa told me he is undergoing a diploma program in information technology and is in his third module at EICT.

He hopes to attend Bingham University in Jos, but has yet to gain admission and at the moment his family can’t afford the fees. “But I’m hoping God will do something this year,” he said.

When I asked Simfa about his experience at EICT, he had an amazing response. “Sincerely EICT has made me know Christ and made my relationship with Christ so strong through the discipleship class we do have and life principles class,” he said. “And it taught me how to use my computer and gadgets perfectly.”

And there’s more from Simfa on EICT. “And seriously, EICT has really impacted knowledge in me physically and spiritually.”

I got more than I bargained for when I ducked into the classroom for some photos and videos of students in action. I got a testimony of the Lord’s work through a school founded by TEN3 President Anthony Petrillo more than 20 years ago. These young men and women in Nigeria are being equipped spiritually through Christ-centered teaching and practically through computer skills training and we’re seeing the fruits of the labors in transformed lives.

–Matt Sabo, TEN3 Communications Manager

On The Outside Looking In

Boys at an African school.

The two little boys were outside the classroom peering in. Surely intrigued by the white guys in the classroom, the boys were trying to get a look at what was going on. To me, though, the photo is symbolic of the things we’re trying to accomplish in the Transformational Education Network.

The photo is dark, the boys essentially silhouettes. You can’t see their eyes, or even get a glimpse of the expressions on their faces. The details in the classroom are featureless and you can’t see any students.

Here’s another photo of that classroom.

Kubacha classroom

What a difference some illumination makes, eh? Our work in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa and the Caribbean brings the light of the gospel to dark places. In Nigeria, in particular, where we are working the darkness of Islam pervades the country. I met many dedicated, faithful Christians intent on sharing the love and hope of Jesus and we pray for these people fervently.

In addition to teaching a world view centered on Jesus Christ, we are equipping students with computer knowledge. This knowledge is a means to not only obtain employment skills for jobs, but also to use that technological ability to further the gospel message. These young students pictured here in the Nigerian city of Kubacha, we pray, as they advance in school will someday become the students in post-secondary classrooms receiving the Christ-centered knowledge from our Transformational Education Network curriculum.

I was blown away when I visited this class of 44 young students at Christian school operated by the Evangelical Church Winning All denomination. The kids were unfailingly polite, knowledgeable, inquisitive and eager. There’s a tremendous amount of potential for the kingdom among these students and our prayer in TEN3 is that we will be able to be a part of equipping them for further Kingdom work personally and corporately.

If you’d like to see some videos of the work we are doing around the world, go here: https://vimeo.com/home/myvideos

For more on TEN3, visit our website at http://www.ten3.org.

God bless you.

–Matt Sabo, TEN3 Communications Manager

The Cost Of A Former Muslim’s Faith

Abubakar Yusuf (right) at Intensive Christian Training School in Nigeria

I met Abubakar Yusuf after a long journey by car across hot, dusty central Nigeria. Along with American missionary Eric Black, the two of us had traveled from Jos to Biliri — a journey of about 5 hours over rutted, narrow highways — with a pause for a brief lunch at an open-air “eatery” at a highway crossroads, where hungry little boys pounced on our leftovers of fish and rice we left at our tables. Our destination was a school started by Eric in Biliri called Intensive Christian Training School.

Eric is using Christ-centered Transformational Education Network (TEN3) curriculum as part of his school’s teaching regimen. Eric has done an amazing job with little resources in training up young men and women, giving them an in-depth, Christ-centered education as they learn practical computer skills.

Abubakar is a young man who had come from a Muslim family. He has essentially left everything behind to follow Jesus. The vast majority of good government jobs in the area are controlled by Muslims. Abubakar’s family had offered him one of those good jobs if he left the school and his Christian faith, but he refused.

Abubakar is a soft-spoken young man of 20 years with a quick, broad smile and an easy demeanor. Yet behind that smile and the quick laugh and beaming face is a young man who understands that faith, at least in his case, doesn’t come cheaply. There’s a cost to Abubakar’s faith — a good job, his family, basically everything he’s known. But the reward of eternity with Jesus is well worth it.

I am humbled by Abubakar’s faith. I’m honored to have met him. I’m thrilled for the young men and women like him at Eric’s school and other schools in Africa that use TEN3 curriculum and have seen young Muslim men and women come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Consider partnering with us financially. Our schools are open to anyone. In Nigeria, where the population in the northern states where we primarily are operating is a Muslim majority, that means students receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the schools we are working with the students are taught the Bible in addition to computer skills that help them get jobs, enter the workforce, start businesses and help their families financially. We’re seeing lives changed and a fruitful harvest.

Pray for us. Consider supporting us.

To see more of Abubakar’s story, go here: https://vimeo.com/116589234

To donate to the Transformational Education Network, go here: http://ten3.org/#donate

–Matt Sabo, TEN3 communications manager

Turning The Tide In Africa

Boys at an African school.

The world sees Africa as a hopeless place. Rarely do the world’s perspective and God’s perspective agree. Throughout the Scripture we read of hopeless situations that God turned into hope for people of faith. The ultimate example is the cross, where God turned death into life for all that believe. Always God is calling us to a faith that changes hopelessness to everlasting hope.

Europe faced a situation similar to Africa’s in the middle of the last millennium. The Bubonic plague passed through and killed up to 80 percent of some villages. The world looked on in hopelessness, but God turned Europe totally around with the Renaissance and the Reformation. Both had roots stemming from the effects of the Bubonic plague, including the founding of all the universities of northwest Europe. God turned the lack of hope to blessing for the entire world.

The world once again declares the situation hopeless. The governments in Africa are turning to the churches for help, as half the adults will die in many locations. But the Body of Christ is never hopeless because Christ holds out eternal life to all. And, God has given us the ability to serve the Church to develop an educational system that will train the thousands of future leaders needed. These people of God will fill the holes being made in society by AIDS, and they will lead the African renaissance and reformation and be a blessing to the entire world. There are reports that where the Church is taking a stand and people are living morally, the statistics on AIDS are being turned back.

The Transformational Education Network is the result of African church leaders pursuing a better education for their people. We believe that God is calling African and international scholars to work with the Church in the next phase of educational development, one that can very rapidly be made available throughout Africa.

We have confidence as we move forward. But our confidence is not in technology, nor is it in our abilities. Rather, our confidence is in God’s characteristics. God does not change. He has always called for faithfulness from His people, and when they have been faithful God has worked through them to bless many. May we be found faithful.

The book of Esther is an exciting story of God making a young lady, who was a very unlikely candidate, into the queen in time to save His people. When she questioned whether she should step in for God’s people or not, her uncle stated, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

These words echo down through the ages to us, for we too can step in for God’s people. The question is, “Are you willing to use your talent and time to turn the tide in Africa, to bring the Good News to millions?”