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September Travel Team Recap

On September 14th, a team of twelve, including six first-time travelers led by Matt Pearson, traveled to Sierra Leone to serve The Raining Season. It was extra special because it was our first full team since before the pandemic. Our Sponsorship Coordinator, Karen Pyle, was also part of the team and was able to quickly get child updates out to sponsors upon her return. Our kids and staff were so excited to welcome this team. The team spent the week loving and serving our kids and staff. This included playtime, devotions, visiting the Roots homes, a pizza party, serving the community, and a trip to the beach for EVERYONE!

The team spent the first days connecting with the kids and staff, building a new “soccer protection hut,” and unpacking supplies. Our outdoor play area needed a new hut to protect the aunties and smaller children from stray soccer balls, so the team tore down the old hut that was in poor shape and purchased new wood and supplies to build a new hut with Pastor Daniel’s help. They also sorted the supplies they brought, including various medical supplies, school supplies, books, and underwear. These items can be difficult to purchase in Sierra Leone or very expensive in Freetown, so having teams bring these items is very valuable. With fewer teams traveling over the past several years, along with inflation in Sierra Leone, these much-needed supplies are appreciated.

The Raining Season

Throughout the week, the team also had a chance to spend time in the community. Community outreach has always been an important part of our trips, and our team had several opportunities to serve and spend time in the surrounding community. On their second day in-country, they visited a local school in a fishing community that is a predominantly Muslim neighborhood. At the school, they served more than two hundred thirty children and school staff members a meal that a local church prepared. Not only did the team serve the meal, but they also covered the cost of the meal. The community welcomed the team, and the children enjoyed both the meal and spending time with the team.

One project the team helped complete at the center was installing TVs in the apartments. Some of the girls even enjoyed learning how to use a drill! While the team spent a lot of time at the center playing games, handball, soccer, walking, and coloring with the kids, they also had the opportunity to take the older kids on a special outing. They visited a basketball court on the beach to play soccer and basketball. The team also had a chance to travel to Waterloo to visit Issa, who recently graduated from our Roots program. Team leader Matt Pearson was a long-time sponsor of Issa’s, so it was a neat experience getting to see him again, see where he is living, and be able to see him working his tailoring trade.

On Saturday, our team had the opportunity to take all our kids and staff on a much-anticipated trip to the beach. This is always a special time for our kids that they look forward to. They get to swim, run, have lunch, and play soccer on the beach. Matt described beach day as a little chaotic but a lot of fun. “They hadn’t had a beach day for a long time, and getting all the kids out and on the beach to enjoy the sand, an Icee, and the water was great. The staff has a blast running around with the kids and each other in the water as well. River #2 Beach is an incredibly beautiful space. It is so great to be able to spend time with our sponsor kids at the beach.”

Thank you to our September team for your hearts for our children, staff, and Sierra Leone. We are grateful for the time you took away from your own families and jobs to love and serve at The Raining Season. We are grateful that on this trip, we had both returning travelers and first-time team members. Our kids and staff look forward to those who return year after year, but they also love meeting new travelers and building new relationships with them. Finally, a special thank you to the September team for sharing so many of their photos, not only for this update but to be used on social media!

Three 2024 travel dates have been set, and we would love for you to join us next February, March, or May. The TRAVEL APPLICATION is available now.

Many blessings,

The Raining Season


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