Home is Our Field

COVID-19 is a game-changer—changing lives, plans, social habits and how we dress, adding face masks to our dress code. It has even brought social distancing among workmates, family and friends. This pestilence is purely the devil’s work, trying to prevent Christ’s church from reaching the unreached with the message of hope. We, the Cokers, have also had our share of changes brought about by COVID-19.

Assigned to take the three angels’ messages to the Wolof and Mandingo Muslims of the Gambia, we were detained by travel restrictions and numerous lockdowns and border closures. We had to stay longer in Freetown, Sierra Leone, our home country, after arriving for a two-week break before our move in January 2020. Because of the pandemic, our calling was then changed to the animists and Muslims of the Kono people in Sierra Leone, and our work among the Kono started in July 2021. We praise God that we have settled down and things are in much better order.

Working as career missionaries in your own country has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include language and culture. Even though my wife and I are not Kono by tribe, we grew up understanding a few essential words in the Kono language from neighbors and school friends. We also grew up speaking Creole, the trade language used across the country. The other advantage is culture. And although each tribe has its particular cultural cues and norms, many are common among tribes.

Our greatest disadvantage will be the expectations of families and friends. They might want to interfere with what we are doing or expect us to help them beyond our means. Some of them, who know our past, laugh when we say we are missionaries. But, “Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own country” (John 4:44). With these words in the back of our minds, we must live by what we preach and draw a line as we work here in our country.

Though we face these challenges, along with thieves breaking into our house, we are determined to lift Christ in our daily interactions with Kono people, including families and friends. Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” We are optimistic that Jesus will draw many to Him as we faithfully toil and labor with Him in this part of His vineyard.

Be the first to leave a comment!

Please sign in to comment…