Sierra Leone makes 119
Salvation Army opens work in 119th country.
General Shaw Clifton is pleased to announce that the work of The Salvation Army has been officially established in the country of Sierra Leone, bringing the total number of countries in which the Army operates to 119.
Located in Western Africa between Guinea and Liberia, Sierra Leone borders the North Atlantic Ocean. The country is reestablishing democracy, following a civil war from 1991-2002 that left tens of thousands dead and displaced more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population). The military has developed as a guarantor of the country’s stability, and looks to the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone—a civilian UN mission—to support peace efforts. The new government’s priorities include furthering development, creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption.
The initial inquiry into the possibility of The Salvation Army establishing a presence in Sierra Leone occurred in 2003. Following this was a long period of discussion, prayerful consideration, careful research and waiting upon the Lord to reveal his will. Further inquiries came in 2005 and then, in 2006, the Auburn Corps in the Australia Eastern Territory expressed a keen desire to support any project the Army might consider running in Sierra Leone.
Later in 2006, Major Robert Dixon—then serving as officer commanding of the Liberia Command—undertook a feasibility study in Sierra Leone; the government responded positively. When serving at International Headquarters as the General’s representative for world evangelization, Colonel (now Commissioner) Dick Krommenhoek visited Sierra Leone, met with government officials and other authorities, and submitted a positive report to the General.
At a meeting of the International Management Council in December 2009, Commissioner Amos Makina (International Secretary for Africa, IHQ) reported that The Salvation Army had been legally registered to operate in Sierra Leone and officers from Liberia (Captains John and Roseline Bundu) had arrived in the country, ready to start work with the group of local people who had already expressed interest. Captain John Bundu originates from Sierra Leone.
The General has thus approved the official opening of The Salvation Army’s work in Sierra Leone, under the supervision of the Liberia Command, commencing January 1, 2010.
Source: Salvation Army International News; information on Sierra Leone from the World Factbook at www.cia.gov