Tuesday, 30 March 2010

SARAH's news.... Feb / March 2010

Greetings from sunny Sierra Leone...
I hope the above photos, taken by my sister on her visit here in February, will convey to you some of the colour and beauty of this lively city I now call my home.

Time is flying by here, so here is just a quick overview of the last couple of months:

· Amara, the boy who was paralysed from the waist down after contracting TB spine, continues to do well. He is now walking without his crutches, able to kick a football, and, as the photo, shows he is riding a bike!

· One of our 24 new community assessments since January was Emmanuella (photographed left), a 7 year old girl, had no therapy prior to our visit. We set up a home exercise program so family can continue therapy in between our visits, working on developing her muscle strength and balance, tongue control (for slurred speech)
& pre-writing skills. We hope she will be accepted to SOS school for the physically disabled, as she has never been to school.

· As a Team we found a practical way to help Ramatu's mum, Fatmata, who was struggling financially we have given her a small loan to enable – her to start a portable business (selling cosmetics from a basket on top of her head).
Another family we are hoping to help in a similar way is that of Daniel, age 9, who was unable to get medical attention for his meningitis in time and as a result has severe learning difficulties and epilepsy. His mum has been unable to continue working and is now his full-time carer. We are sending him to the epilepsy centre for an assessment and medication and talking with the mum about any business opportunities we may be able to support her with setting up.

· We ventured up-line (out of Freetown) to do a one off assessment with Kadija, pictured left, who was abducted and used in a traditional medicine rite. It's unclear exactly what happened but as a result she has a significant neurological impairment. We are assisting the charity working with her by arranging to have gaiters and a standing frame made, and training their staff on how to best to work with her.

The Team:
Unfortunately Josephine has left the team in order to have more time to develop her
own business. This has made the work load a bit more demanding and we will need to think about looking for another Sierra Leonian to join the team and train as a rehabilitation assistant.

February has been my most challenging month here yet. In all of it God has given me the necessary strength to walk an often uncertain path, growing my trust in Him and teaching me the importance of listening to his heart for this place, the team, the children and their families that we see. He has also provided me with many supportive, lovely people here, which has been an amazing help!

I can't say enough how much I value your prayers they are – much like the roots of a tree giving us a stable foundation from which to reach out to the children and families of Sierra Leone.

Please pray for:
· Our Team: for God's perfect timing re increasing the team again and the right person for the job. Please pray for Abu and myself as we continue the work and try to juggle the demands of our heavy workload.

· Fatmata as she starts her new business and also Daniels family as we explore how best to help them

· Those of you who know Becky Harris (Mercy Vineyard) will know she is coming to visit me for a month to work with our team & another organisation called Word made Flesh. Please pray for her to have a safe journey, good health and an amazing time while she is here!