Background & Formation Of SAVE
During the height of the Sierra Leone’s rebel war of the 1990s, a group of concerned Christians at Zionsville (Indiana) Fellowship, started to pray as to how best help alleviate the suffering in Sierra Leone. Those early meetings in 2001, organized and inspired by Sierra-Leone-born Dr. David Musa marked the beginning of Sierra Leone Agape Voluntary Effort (SAVE). Dr. Musa continues to lead the efforts of SAVE as its Executive Director.
SAVE now includes twelve volunteer Board Members who span the Unites States and in fact the globe, residing from Seattle to the Midwest to Maryland, and Chester, UK. The Board includes two Phd’s, two medical doctors, two pastors, two nurses, a pharmacist, two accountants, and an engineer. Seven Board Members were either born in Sierra Leone or have lived there for significant periods. All other members have visited Sierra Leone in recent years.
The mission of SAVE is to voluntarily make ourselves available, with the help of God, as instruments of agape love to the people of Sierra Leone, maintaining a healthy balance between social action and evangelism: a combination of relief and relationships.
The specific purposes of SAVE are understood within the context of the Christian faith and community:
- To minister to the spiritual, educational and physical needs of the people of Sierra Leone
- To provide support to existing Christian ministries in Sierra Leone
- To heighten public awareness of the great needs in Sierra Leone
- To encourage and facilitate personal and practical involvement in meeting these needs
- To commit time to pray for the church and the nation of Sierra Leone
SIERRA LEONE BACKGROUND
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea & Liberia. Capital and largest city is Freetown.
Coordinates: 8 30 N, 11 30 W Total area: 71,740 sq km Just smaller than South Carolina
Land: 71,620 sq km Water: 120 sq km Slightly
Two-thirds of Sierra Leone’s 6 Million population was traditionally engaged in subsistence agriculture. The percentage of the population that are Christian is about 10% while 60% are Muslim and 30% hold to indigenous beliefs. Mineral exports remain Sierra Leone’s principal foreign exchange earner. The country is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds and has one of the world’s largest deposits of rutile, a titanium ore. Negotiations for reactivation of rutile and bauxite mining are in progress.
Since 1991, civil war between the government & the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people, many of whom became refugees in neighboring countries.