This report covers our Ministry activities in Guinea for the conference year of 2013/2014 and will highlight: greeting, Ministries/programs (evangelism, education, health, economic and age group ministries), Membership, challenges, commendation and conclusion.
Ministries & Programs:
Evangelism: Since the primary purpose for the church’s existence is to make Disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the whole world, evangelism is a top priority on the list of our United Methodist mission work in Guinea. Our evangelism activities include: a church to church revival services and disciples making to strengthen existing local congregations, planting new congregation through what we call “Christ Life Festival”, visitation and church edifice construction.
- Revival services and Disciple Making: For this period under review we had revival services at the Diecke and the Bignamou UMCs. The results of these revivals are seen in the increment of worship attendance. For instance the Diecke UMC average Sunday worship attendance has increase from 75 to 160 and above and Bignamou UMC from 65 to 130. The 12th session of our Mission Conference was a special one with the Spirit of God in charge. The conference evening activity was a prayer revival. At this session confessions were made and souls delivered and committed onto Jesus Christ. There were 17 persons baptized at the conference. Also, at this gone Christmas service with the Bignamou zone, the Holy Spirit was also in charge where people lives committed to Jesus Christ and 12 persons were baptized. On first Sunday of January, 2014, 13 persons were baptized at the First UMC, Diecke. At the seat of the Gompa District conference, 11 persons were also baptized thus making the total persons baptized for the period under review to be 53.
- Church Construction: For this period we were able to roof Baala UMC edifice and purchased two lots of land for the N’zerekore UMC construction through gift from First UMC, Geneseo, Illinois, USA. We anticipate breaking ground to commence the construction of the Bignamou UMC by this year. The Daninea UMC is also undertaking an edifice construction project. This work is 100% the local church self initiative. The building has been roof, doors and windows put in and floor cast. The plastering of the walls and pews are still needs.
- Visitation: Our visitation for the period led us to Laine and Lola to strengthen the churches there. The United Methodist Church in Laine is predominantly Liberians Refugees. In Lola the Church activity is completely dormant but we were able to confirm that some members are still around.
Education: For now our church ministry provides secondary education to Guineans kids through our High school, the Diecke UMS and Pastoral education for some of our pastors at the GST through scholarship assistance from the First UMC Geneseo.
- Secondary Education: The Diecke UMS provides sound and quality education for over 700 Guinean children every academic year. For the period under review, we were able to complete an annex of the Diecke UMS to provide space for more kids who want to attend the United Methodist School. The new annex including the old ones was painted, thereby giving the campus a sharp and bright looks. This effort supported by the Austin District, Southwest TX Annual Conference, USA. Bishop and members of this conference we are pleased to announce to you that the Diecke UMS is now a legitimate private school operating in the Republic of Guinea. The school received it permit this year. Students from our school who were sent for the national exam last academy performance well. Our school had the highest percentage of students who passed. A financial assistance was offer to some of our most needy students by some friends from the First UMC, Geneseo through the effort of their Pastor, Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Ritter, to help them go to and stay in school. The total students’ enrollment for the academic 2013/2014 is 764 (Boys 442 and Girls 322).
- Pastoral/leadership education: For this period we had a three day training workshop for pastors and church leaders. This workshop brought together 36 of church leaders including pastors. Good number of pastors and laity were also encouraged to attend the Gompa District school of Congregation Development session. Our pastoral education received a boost this conference year. We bless to receive scholarship assistance for one of our pastors (Pst. Bismarck Johnson Maomy) to attend the GST. We thanks to Rev. Dr. Christopher Ritter and the First UMC, Geneseo family.
Health: The health service of our mission in Guinea is provided through the church run clinic. We are glad to inform this conference that our New Health Center Building has been completed and dedicated. This dedicatory ceremony was graced by our Bishop, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, our DS, Rev. Labala, our Connectional Ministries Director, Rev. George D. Wilson, Jr. Mr. Dolopei, conference Treasurer, Development Superintendent of Nimba County, staffs of the Department of health/LAC/UMC, the Administrator of the Ganta Hospital and scores of United Methodists and Guineans officials.
Economic Empowerment: We seek to provide self-sustainability for the mission, primarily, through agricultural activities. For this period, an acre of palm farm was returned to the church, after it has been managed by the family who donated the land for some year before we took over. The family decided to manage the farm when the church presence and activities began dormant in Gonon Town, where the farm is located. But since the church’s activities is now active in the town, the family decided to give the farm back to the church. One of our church members, Bro. Nyan Nester Dolo, has volunteered to pay people to underbrush the palm farm and the work is complete. We pray God’s blessing upon him for his sacrificial offer.
Age Group Ministry: We still have lot to do in this area due to the lack of trained individuals to lead the ministry activities, especially for the youth/young adults, children and old folks. Notwithstanding, we are intentional about the various groups ministry in the church.
- Children Ministry: By this, we were able to sponsored one of the church’s sisters who has interest in working with children to attend a week long seminar on ministry to children. She will in turn train other children ministry coordinators of the other churches. Again for the first Sunday of January, 2014, in many years, the children of the First UMC/Diecke/Guinea were organized along with other kids in the community by Sis. Yah Gorgboryee and friends to celebrate the New Year. We say thanks to her, her friends and our children ministry coordinator and all other person who help along.
- Youth/Young Adult Ministry: We were successful in gathering the young people of the Guinea Ministry for first fellowship and acquaintance meeting after many years of dormancy. The meeting brought together young people from across the Ministry and an interim leadership was set up. Those making up leadership are: Sis. Alice Mahomy (president), Sis. Angeline Mamie Paye (Vice president), Bro. Joseph Delamou (General Secretary), Sis. Marie Kpomy (Financial Secretary), Sis. Kou Dolo (Treasurer) and Bro. Santos Monemou (Chaplain).
- Women Ministry: The women of Guinea, for the period under review, were successful in implementing the following: they celebrated their mother day with the First UMC Diecke and Mth. Musu Blasco was honored as the outing mother of the year 2013/2014, they also had their work day and their annual gathering with the First UMC Diecke and Soopa UMC respectfully. The women are also anticipating establishing training/feeding center for less fortunate young women and children. It our prayer that their dream be realized.
- Men’s Ministry: One of our challenges in doing ministry in Guinea is organizing the men for effective ministry. This year in particular, has been a great challenge in making our men to act as a unit, even though individual man would do other things to promote the ministry of their individual local churches. Notwithstanding, it is our prayers that God will help us overcome the obstacles in organizing the men into a functional body for the church.
Membership of the Guinea Ministry: The Guinea Ministry consists of 15 local congregations, 18 pastors and 897 members. The breakdown is seen below. Men: 147, Women: 292, Youth/Young Adults: 174, and Children: 284
Financial Update: This financial report covers the period from December 2, 2012 to December 8, 2013. The total fiscal year approved budget for this period under review is 220,005,000GF (US$31,429.00). The total income realized for this fiscal year was 94,239,500(US$13,462.8). The total expended was 100,829,500FG (US$14,404). This figure shows that we greatly fall short of budget for this fiscal year. Over 80% percent of the funds realized come from donations and gifts from our partners/friends
Challenges: Our major challenges to successfully executing our ministry plan include: lack of mobile (because we don’t have our own vehicle, we find it difficult to move deeper into Guinea to do ministry), limited funds to fully implement our ministry programs and to sustain us and our families and the lack of trained people (especially pastors) for the work of the church’s mission in Guinea.
Commendation: We say thanks to God Almighty for being faithful to us as he had promised to those who commit themselves faithfully to his service. Thanks also go to these persons: my co-pastors, deaconesses and all our members for their hard work. To our Gompa District Superintendent, Connectional Ministry Director and our Bishop, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, we say many thanks for your support, advice, encouragement and assistance which have afforded us some level of success in our ministry in Guinea and to my wife for her patience and kind words of encouragement.
Conclusion: My fellow ministers in the vineyard of Christ, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be grateful to God Almighty for the many good things he is doing and continues to do for us through his loving servants. Let us put all the past things in the past and seek for the collective development of our dear Church. Let us work together as TEAM, because Together Everyone Achieve More.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the sweet Fellowship of the Holy Spirit abide with us and keep us together until Christ come in final victory. Amen.
In Christ’s service, Rev. Aaron O. Yankee, Supervising Pastor, Guinea Ministry/Mission/LAC/UMC