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|2009 Boffa Trip Report|
In January of 2009 MOVE took a crew of 29 men to Guinea West Africa to build a church in the small town of Boffa. This would be the first protestant church built in this Muslim town!After more than twenty four hours of travel a tired crew landed in Conakry and was greeted by Tom Moore. After gathering luggage and loading it into a truck we were transported to the Moore’s compound where Sherry waited for us to arrive. After a short meeting and snacks we all retired for some much needed sleep. The next morning the truck was reloaded with luggage, supplies and mattresses and we boarded a bus and were off to Boffa, a 2-1/2 hour drive north of Conakry.
We arrived in Boffa early in the afternoon and began setting up the sleeping quarters in the classrooms that were built ahead of time by the funds of the men on the trip (what a blessing to know children would be going to school in a building constructed mostly by funds from the men!). By the end of the afternoon blocks had begun to be laid on the new church and the rebar guys were hard at work building cages. Latrines and shower stalls were completed with a privacy screen around them and a tired bunch of guys had dinner by the light of kerosene lanterns. Yes we were camping! There was no power as of yet as there had been some generator problems (which would continue throughout much of the trip!).
Tom and Sherry Moore had worked hard preparing for us to arrive and that didn’t stop after our arrival. Sherry had acquired 29 new “kids” and had to feed and do laundry for all of them. Paul, who helps at their compound in Conakry, helped with the cooking, and two young women they brought with them washed all the team's clothes. One of the young women was Had (the one they have written so much about) and the other was Catherine (a young Sierra Leonean woman who heads up the choir in the Koloma Church in Conakry.) All clothes had to be hand washed. Sherry started preparing meals for the men at 5 AM and worked non-stop until late in the evening. Tom was traveling every day getting needed materials and tools along with food from both Kamsar and Conakry, leaving in the early morning and not getting back until after dark most days. Without their preparation and hard work this trip could not have happened.
Within a week the block was laid and the trusses were going up on this new place of worship. The men hand mixed all of the concrete and mortar including the floor and platform, no cement mixers here! Dave Bethany, Project Director for MOVE did an exceptional job keeping the men busy and happy. The church was completed on time with pews and a pulpit constructed by the men and sidewalks around the building. Though Satan had tried to block this project from the very beginning God prevailed and paved the way for this important church to be completed.
The first Sunday the MOVE team was in Guinea, we attended the church service in Boffa. The choir from the Koloma Church in Conakry and some members of the Good Samaritan Club had come to Boffa to help celebrate the building of the church. They evangelized in Boffa on Saturday afternoon inviting people to come to the service the next day. Many people were attracted to the service by the lively singing! As a result of the evangelistic outreach, nine people came forward to give their lives to Christ on Sunday morning! It was a wonderful beginning of the harvest in Boffa!
The second Sunday, we went to the village of Mare for church. This was a huge thing for the church and for the village! Hundreds of people came to receive the 29 American men into their village! When the choir got up to sing, they invited everyone to join them in singing and dancing before the Lord! Many of the men from the team got involved in this. What a testimony it was to the village people to see the love of God in action. After the message, a call was given for those who were interested in following Christ. What a great feeling to see so many come forward!
The men of this trip were not just laborers and builders, they were witnesses for Christ. As they worked with joy together with the local men they were sending a message of the love of God. As they played, laughed with and gave handmade crosses to the children they showed that same love of God to them. A difference was made in Boffa and Mare by these wonderful men who gave of their time and finances to follow God’s lead and go to Africa. What a joy to be a part of a group such as this!