It was an eventful end to 2019 in Sierra Leone. After an incredible year, there was much to celebrate and give thanks for. A Thanksgiving service and a Christmas celebration capped off the year. In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to sharing more about each celebration with you. This week we are excited to share the details of our Thanksgiving service.
On December 15, our kids and staff took part in a special Thanksgiving celebration thanking the Lord for ten years of The Raining Season. The Thanksgiving service was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Freetown. Many of our leadership staff attend this church regularly, so it seemed fitting to include the community that supports our staff in our Thanksgiving service. It was extra special as some of our children even participated in the service.
The children participated in many ways, including leading praise and worship, melodrama performances, song contributions, dance performances, scripture readings, and a vote of thanks. Auntie Henrieta Gbondo and Auntie Christiana Kebbie helped prepare and coordinate the singing, while Auntie Benardette Scott Davies coordinated the dance and drama team. In the weeks leading up to the service, the kids spent time rehearsing and practicing for their special roles. The service concluded with food and refreshments (donated by Medix) for everyone that attended the Thanksgiving service.
The following weekend the celebration continued with a health march for all of the kids and staff. Together, they walked from the Center to Lumley Beach. Along the way, they displayed a 10th-anniversary banner, and everyone wore 10th-anniversary t-shirts. Like the food and refreshments, the 10th-anniversary t-shirts were also donated by Medix. This two-part celebration was a special way to commemorate this extraordinary milestone.
As we reflect on the past ten years and our 10-year celebration, Sorie Kamara, Director of the Covering, took the time to share a few words reflecting on the past ten years and a glimpse at the vision for the next ten years.
“I first want to thank God for His unwavering love and support for all these years. He has been our anchor and ever-present help when in need. Words fall short when I try to express my sincere gratitude for our sponsors. On behalf of my staff, kids, and all connected with TRS, I want to thank all our supporters and sponsors of TRS for everything you have done for us in the past, everything you still do and will continue to do. We at TRS just want you to know how thankful we are, and we look forward to a prosperous future together. We are here to celebrate this milestone because you answered the call to support this wonderful organization. There have been many ups and downs during these past ten years, but through it all, we are here strongly enhancing the dream of the founding members. We cannot quantify the number of lives TRS has blessed, but evidence can be seen in the way their lives have changed. Rescuing these kids from trauma and challenges faced, changing their perspective of what it means to be loved and cared for, empowering them through education and discipleship, and giving them the opportunity to live again as kids under care, love, and protection. I'm proud as the Director of TRS to say your money, your prayers, support, and sacrifices are worth the course.
We are looking forward with hope and great aspiration for the next ten years. As an organization, we are defining what our future will look like in the next ten years. We want to be the proud owner of a property that includes shelter to house up to 200 kids + staff, a school for our kids from primary to secondary (high) with the option to open to the community where we will find ourselves. We want to engage in agriculture to feed ourselves and further sell to the market in order to bring in revenue to augment the operational cost of the center. We want to build a multi-purpose sports complex to give opportunities to our kids to learn skills in various sports that will provide them career options. These and many other things we are thinking of for the next ten years with God being our help.”
Praise God for TEN years of TRS and an incredible staff that has loved and cared for the kids beyond imaginable belief! Our work in Sierra Leone is far from done. We are looking forward to new beginnings, new adventures, and new milestones during the next ten years.
A special thank you to Medix for donating t-shirts and food for our festivities! Medix has become a wonderful partner to The Raining Season. In 2019 alone, they donated to our Thanksgiving celebration, spent time Skyping with our older children, and served at our 10-year celebration in Tennessee. They are significantly impacting the future of our children.
In 2019, we had the opportunity to celebrate ten years of The Raining Season both in Tennessee as well as in Sierra Leone. Whether you have supported us from the very beginning, or for only a week, from the very bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! We could not possibly do what we do without an incredible staff, volunteers, and YOU.
The Raining Season