Thursday, 22 January 2015

New Blog

Dear friends, family and followers - just to inform you we have started a new blog detailing our activities in Benin - our new base working with Eglise Protestante Methodist du Benin (EPMB) - the Methodist Church of Benin. Click on link below for new blog site

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Happy New Year to our friends, family, colleagues and prayer warriors. This is the first post for quite a while and we want to take the opportunity to update all our friends and followers. As some of you are aware we spent Christmas and New Year in Ghana. It was a very pleasant and enriching experience for us.

Glad to be home - back in Ghana

We had a family re-union dinner for the 26th December which gave us the opportunity to update and encourage each other. We hope it will become an annual event. 
Family reunion meal
We spent a few days with good friends in Akim Oda - Very Rev. Kwame Barffour-Kyei and his family - and rang the New Year in with them. Akim Oda is in the east of Ghana and boasts a vibrant timber and lumber industry. It is believed the biggest tree in the whole of West Africa can be found there. (See www. gh - Ghana Tourism Official site or ).  Unfortunately we were unable to make the time to visit this interesting site. Maybe next time.

In front of Elmina Castle

After six days and a wonderful New Year’s celebration with our friends in Akim Oda we left to visit another friend in Elmina. We had the opportunity to visit the Elmina Castle (which served as a holding post for slaves shipped to the Americas and Caribbean during the slave trade era). This has an obvious special meaning for us.  We wanted the children to see the castle even though they are too young to understand the full implications of the slave trade.

Spot the Jamaican Flag?

In all the excitement of the travels we also had the blessed opportunity to celebrate Janelle’s 4th birthday.  It was a beautiful celebration for a special child and a simple, relaxing day.
Jan jan & Joelle admiring birthday cake

Work wise we look forward to another productive year in the Development office.  We hope as we say good bye to a few old projects we will successfully start new ones with new partners.
In the Health and Wholeness Department we look forward to the continuing ‘After Sunday service church clinics’ and a ‘Training of Trainers’ Workshop on Breast feeding in February.
This year 2014 will see the end of our 3rd 2 year contract with the Methodist Church Sierra Leone – thus making it 6 years as Mission Partners serving the Methodist Church Sierra Leone.
Prayer warriors – we say Merci Beaucoup for all your prayers, kind thoughts and (for those who do get us on the phones) kind words. We sk you to please continue to pray for us as we give thanks for;
-          Travelling mercies over the holiday season
-          Celebrating another birthday for Janelle (Jan 9th), Joanna (April 3rd), Joelle (Dec 4th), Michael (Dec 7th). We pray for many more abundantly blessed years.
-          Celebrating 10 years of our marriage (Dec 11th). We pray for many more abundantly blessed years.
-          Productive work with the Methodist Church Sierra Leone
-          Continuing good health for the all in the family ( and extended family).

Voodoo shrine in Benin

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Walking for Jesus - MCSL Sponsored Walk

President of Conference (back to Camera) praying before the walk set off
Members about to set off
Methodist Church Sierra Leone (MCSL) undertook a sponsored walk - with the theme 'Let us Walk in the Light' - to raise funds for key projects within the church. The walk coincided with Aldersgate Day (24th May) - a significant day for Methodist Church across the world. This is the second year that the church has embarked on such a walk.

Bro A.G. Carter (r)
Girls from the Methodist Girls' School in Freetown
Tettey Family


Fun on the Bouncy Castle
On the morning of the walk church members congregated at the Conference office of Methodist Church as early as 07.30 am and the walk set off at 08.30 am after a short prayer by the President of Conference Rt. Rev. Arnold C. Temple who led the walk together with the National Honorary Treasurer of MCSL Brother Moshe Roberts - Chairman of the Fund Raising committee and Bro A. G. Carter the Director of Administration of MCSL.
The walk set off from George Street to Lumley beach - for those familiar with Freetown - a distance of over 10 miles and it culminated in a family fun day at the beach.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The work continues.....

It’s been a very long time and as can be imagined, so much has happened.  We will try to fill the gaps as best as possible.

December 2012 was very busy for our family.  Joelle celebrated her 7th birthday, Michael got nearer to being 3 score and 10 years, Janelle was preparing for her 3rd birthday and we celebrated our 9th  year wedding anniversary.  In addition, we decided to spend Christmas and New Year in Ghana.  This would have been Janelle’s first visit, and also her first meeting with her Ghanaian family.  It was a very special time and it was lovely to see her get along with Uncles, Aunties and cousins.  The family has grown since we last saw them more than 3 years ago with now a few cousins about the same age as (and younger than) Joelle and Janelle.  It was a noisy affair on many occasions as they got to know each other – as children do.

Since the beginning of the year we have received a number of visitors to Sierra Leone on various missions.
1)      Lancashire District – Methodist Church of Great Britain
The first to arrive was the team of 12 from Lancashire District of the Methodist Church Great Britain led by Rev. Stephen Poxon.  A team from the district (formerly North Lancashire) has been visiting since 2007 to assist with a number of development projects mainly in the Kailahun District of MCSL. There are two main projects receiving support from the team – The Red Rose Skill Centre in Kailahun and Nixon Memorial Methodist Hospital in Segbwema. The team added a third project – the reconstruction of a hostel/guest house in Kailahun to form part of the skills centre. The guest house would serve as focus for training of the youth in hospitality management. 

 Prayer Points
 – Please pray that the teams who come will be strengthened and not be overwhelmed by the scale of the need in this part of the Lord’s vineyard.
Also thank God for the work of the team who consistently support us here in Sierra Leone.
The first quarter of the year is usually filled with Synods of the three Districts and this year was no different. The first – Western District Synod – was held at John the Maroon Church in Freetown.
This was followed by Synods at Bo/Kenema District and the Kailahun /Kono respectively. The Kailahun Kono Synod was particularly significant because the ground breaking ceremony for a new primary school in memory of Rev. Frank Himsworth took place on the Synod Sunday in Segbwema. The school is to be built with donations


The new Health section of the MCSL had its first Sunday Service Health talk and clinic at Ebenezer Methodist Church in Murray Town, in the Wilberforce Circuit.  It was well received, and the plan is to roll out this programme in most of the societies in Freetown. 

 Prayer Points:
Please pray that the new initiative to bring health services closer to the congregation will be a success and more ‘workers’ will join the team. Also there would be resources – especially financial & drugs to support the programme.

Sunday, 14 October 2012


We left Freetown on 22nd June to start our furlough which we planned to coincide with the beginning of Joelle’s summer holidays. It was a welcome break for us as a family after two years in Freetown.
Our first task was to visit Interhealth for medical checks and a visit to World Church Office for debriefing with the Africa desk Co-ordinator and other members of staff. We are grateful to Jan Deakin for all the hard work she did in organising our visits to Interhealth, the meetings at Church office and most especially for organising the baby sitters for Joelle and Janelle.
After three weeks in the UK we went to Jamaica where we stayed for almost 5 weeks.
Whilst on furlough in the UK we visited a number of churches to talk about our work with the Methodist Church Sierra Leone.
The churches visited were
  1. BGMC – Bethnal Green Mission Church
  2. Chalkwell Park Methodist Church in Westcliff on Sea, in Essex.
  3. Sunfields Methodist Church, Blackheath. London.
We attended BGMC and Chalkwell Park Methodist Church on 8th July and 28th August respectively to talk about our work in Sierra Leone. Both churches have supported us materially, financially and spiritually with prayers so it was a pleasure to update the congregation on our activities over the past four years. Chalkwell Park organises an annual model train exhibition to raise funds for the work at Nixon. We were presented with a cheque for £1180 during the service. We are really grateful to both churches for their support, especially to Dr Gillian Webster and Reverend Mike Houston (BGMC) and John and Linda Wilson (Chalkwell Park)  for spearheading these efforts at their respective churches.
In addition to the above churches we also talked at our home church – Sunfields Methodist Church in Blackheath, London. We have again received tremendous support from the congregation and want to thank especially Rev. Joseph, Andrew and Juliet Gibbs, Paddy and Madge Booth, Jean and the rest of the congregation for their support and encouragement in various ways.
Our work in Sierra Leone has been going very well despite the challenges. Joanna’s work with the Nursing school, has entered another phase. Two Nurses from Nixon Hospital have now completed their midwifery training at the Makeni midwifery school and have now taken over the teaching of the midwifery module at Nixon Memorial Hospital. This is in line with the plans for the hospital when we first went and this was done with the help of a local charity.
We are grateful to God for some of the notable achievements we achieved with the module. This included:
-          The placement of students in surrounding villages as part of their practical training;
-          The development of a teaching plan for the midwifery module – based on the national curriculum.

Joanna will still have the responsibility to oversee (if necessary) the teaching of the midwifery module in addition to assuming responsibilities for Women and children’s health in the Health and Wholeness department. This will include MCSL’s work with some NGOs to develop a project for Mothers and Children suffering from HIV/AIDs enhancing MCSL’s work in the health and wholeness sector.
Michael still has responsibility for the Health and Wholeness desk and in addition he would be taking on the health sector component of the work currently done by the Development Desk.  This would include a Mother and Child project sponsored by World Vision. He will still have oversight responsibility for Nixon Memorial Hospital, among other things.
During the last two years there was work done with the Methodist Church Ghana (MCG) with a view to setting up co-operative work between Nixon Hospital and MCG’s hospital in Wenchi. The plan was for some medical staff from Nixon Hospital to visit Ghana to undergo on the job training at the hospital. Due to administrative and financial issues, MCSL is yet to take advantage of this opportunity but we hope that this opportunity would used in the coming months.
The Health & Wholeness desk has also established collaborative links with Tearfund, (a Christian charity based in the UK but with extensive presence across most the developing world). MCSL would like to work with Tearfund to train church workers in the principles of Church Community Mobilisation (CCM) 

The Health and Wholeness desk worked with friends in the US to secure a container load of medical consumables, together with some basic medical equipment, from a charity Medical Bridges  for use at Nixon Memorial Hospital. Work is already underway for another container to be donated to Nixon Hospital. The charity supplies medical equipments and consumables to hospitals in mostly Latin America and Asia and a few hospitals in Africa.
We are especially grateful to the Methodist Church of Ireland for a substantial donation towards the work of the Methodist Church clinic in Kenema.

The furlough also gave us the opportunity to visit various places of interest in both UK and abroad, and to visit our friends and family. We travelled to Jamaica to spend time with family. Whilst in Jamaica we had the opportunity to various places of interest on the island and one such place was the Dolphin Cove where the children had the occasion to ‘swim’ with the dolphins, go kayaking etc. 

      Amidst it all we underwent a number of medical checks and assessments to ensure that we were in good health. Janelle completed her immunisation regime to stand her on good footing for school. This meant a number of trips to the Nurse at Interhealth and the GP for injections – not a pleasant experience for her. She was a brave little girl through it all.
      We are grateful to God for the opportunity to take time to see friends and colleagues. We are also thankful for travelling mercies, good health and the opportunity given us to talk about our work and pray that the name of the Lord will be lifted up and glorified as a result of his work here in Sierra Leone.
      Prayer Points:

Please Pray
v  To give thanks to God for travelling mercies and good health during our furlough;
v  That the work here in Sierra Leone will continue to bear fruits and for the name of the Lord to glorified.
v  That the next two years will be fruitful and our work with Methodist Church Sierra Leone for those disadvantaged and marginalised by society would be successful. 

Friday, 3 February 2012

A Good start

We start another year with the resolutions to be better in
what we do; stop bad habits; take on new challenges etc. etc. Usually these resolutions are coupled with high expectations but sadly like most people we
have already broken some of them. We can however, as a family say the Lord has been good to us as we continue to experience God's favour with regards to our health, supportive and caring friends and the happiness of the children.

Little Janelle celebrated her birthday at the beginning of
the year and we thank God for her life and the joy she brings us as a family - she is such a blessing. Her birthday celebration was a low key affair but still great - we 'rounded' up the children in the block and presto! we enjoyed a fantastic celebration.
Janelle's Birthday Cake

On the work front we received a very large donation of medical equipments and consumables from a supporting partner in the United States. We are grateful to Medical Bridges in Texas for their continuous support to our medical work here in Sierra
Leone. The donation from Medical Bridges was made possible as they worked with us at all the stages of the process and did an even tremendous job finding sponsors in the US for Nixon Hospital. Words cannot express our thanks to the team and all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes (the unsung heroes) to make it happen.

Loading of the items received from Medical Bridges

Yet more items from Medical Bridges

Workers from Methodist Church stores loading yet more items on the truck heading for Nixon Memorial Hospital.

We are also grateful to Ryan Kelly who sponsored the freight cost for a shipment of essential drugs bought in the UK for Nixon Hospital. This we hope, will go a long way to alleviate our drugs supply problem at the hospital.

As Joanna looks forward to handing over her post fully to the newly trained midwives she prays for guidance as to the next 'project' best suited to her skills. We are now in the process of discussing with the head of the church the best way forward. In the meantime Joanna is preparing to co- teach the next batch of nursing students in March - this time over 120 students!

Prayer Points:
Help us to praise God for ;
- our relatively good health; relative happiness of the children; our extended family's and friends' well being
- successful project outcomes

Help us to pray for:
- our health to not falter; our children to remain relatively happy; our extended family and friends to remain well
- a smooth handing over of the obstetrics module to the staff of the school
- God's direction for Joanna's career path within the Methodist Church of Sierra Leone
- more successful project outcomes as they improve the life and health of the people of Sierra Leone

Tuesday, 27 December 2011


As the year draws to an end, like most of us, it is time for us to take stock of 2011 and of our work here in Sierra Leone. 2011 has been a great year for us despite the challenges we've faced both at work and in our personal lives.

The year started with Michael starting his new role as the Co-ordinator of Health and Wholeness (H&W) desk with Methodist Church Sierra Leone - a new role with lots of opportunities and challenges.
The unit has scored some notable successes;
- with a little help from our friends we have received a donation of 40 ft container of medical equipment from Medical Bridges in USA
- secured the purchase of drugs from UK for Nixon Hospital
- organised scholarships for over 20 nursing students and 2 senior nurses to undertake a post graduate course in midwifery;
- with help of friends secured the placement of VSO volunteers to work at Nixon Hospital
-Started collaborative work with Methodist Church Ghana's Mission Hospital to help develop the capacity of the staff at Nixon hospital.

These are just a few projects that the H & W has achieved over the past year but the year has not been without the major challenge of lack of funds to run the desk. We hope this will be solved very early in the new year.

The church received a number of visitors during the year and amongst them was Rev. Stephen Poxon, who launched in February the celebrations of the Bi-centenary of the arrival of the first Methodist Missionary from the UK to Sierra Leone. The celebration climaxed in November with a church service and fund raising dinner. We were privileged to have in attendance the President designate of Methodist Church UK Dr Mark Wakelin and Dr Bunmi Olayisade Partnership Co-ordinator of the Africa Desk at World Church Office in UK, Rev. Christine Gillespie (from Leeds district) and Rev. Dr Wendy Kilworth-Mason.

Prof Goodall with Rt. Rev. Temple

From Joanna's desk she has seen the end of one module of teaching 104 students and now is preparing to teach the next module in March. This group has over 120 students but this time there will be help in the form of two newly qualified post graduate midwives who received a scholarship from the H and W department of the Methodist Church. In addition, we have started a partnership of upgrading our post graduate midwives at a well known and reputable obstetric institution in Freetown. This we hope will be the start of something great. Prof. Goodall taught 'Life Saving skills - and essential Obstetrics' at Nixon Hospital Nursing school during early December

The Elles ( Jo and Jan) have been very happy and healthy. Now 6 and nearly 2 years old they have been having a ball in the sun. Joelle is learning fast, now reading, writing and starting arithmetic. Play dates are numerous and can get a little overwhelming but it means the girl is popular ( as popular as a 6 year old can be). Janelle is yet to make her own friends but she is also yet to start school and so the real party girl is yet to blossom.

President of Conference (Rt. Rev. A. Temple (l) with Dr Bunmi and Paramount Chief of Segbwema - Chief Jajua VI

Ms Honney Panes -the VSO Nurse (2nd l) with President of Conference & Dr Bunmi

Rev. Peter and Janice Clarke left Sierra Leone for the UK via Spain after two years at the Theological Hall (College). We pray Peter and Janice would have a good break before returning to the UK.

Prayer Points
Please pray For:
  • God's wisdom as we contemplate renewing our contract for another two years - We are scheduled to finish our tour of duty in June 2012;
  • Our work in Sierra Leone to make a difference in the lives of those we are privileged to touch
  • Good health for us and the children
  • Our partners who support us and make it possible for us to make a difference
  • Us to exercise patience, wisdom and discernment with all the projects (personal and professional) we are to be involved with for the rest of this tour, so the glory will go only to God