(Above) In August 2022, the work of The Salvation Army in Guinea was officially recognized, making it the 133rd country in which the Army is present. The Coya Corps members are excited about this pioneer ministry and give all the glory to God.

Journey with me through this captivating photo essay, which offers a glimpse into the transformative work of The Salvation Army across the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Through a series of compelling images, we will explore the local Salvation Army’s unwavering commitment to alleviating hardship and inspiring hope in the lives of countless individuals.

From bustling urban centres to remote rural communities, the mission is an expression of “heart to God, hand to man,” with 114 officers, 19 cadets and 365 employees, overseeing 45 corps and 31 outposts, along with significant social ministry through schools, health clinics and community development projects.

The images you see here capture the resilient spirits of both the devoted volunteers and the beneficiaries whose lives have been touched by this Christ-focused humanitarian ministry. They also tell a story of a growing movement led by the Holy Spirit and bathed in prayer.

On March 1, 2023, the Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Command was granted full territorial status by International Headquarters, bringing a real spirit of celebration across all three nations. This elevated status speaks to the growth of The Salvation Army in this region, evidenced in, and focused on, the spiritual and physical transformation of lives. With such growth, it’s not surprising that the territory’s theme for 2022-2023 was “A Year of Transformation,” based on the text: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

As The Salvation Army marches into communities, meeting human needs and being a transforming influence, it quickly becomes apparent that the Salvation Army shield is a beacon of hope representing people with hands outstretched in love. And this is why the Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Territory is growing.

Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray is the director of international development in Canada and Bermuda.

Lt-Colonels Luka and Rasoa Khayumbi greet a young girl outside a school in Guinea

↑ Lt-Colonels Luka and Rasoa Khayumbi, territorial commander and territorial president of women’s ministries of the Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Territory, are originally from Kenya. Both believe strongly that the future of The Salvation Army is in our young people, and they do everything they can to promote and provide opportunities for youth within the territory. Here, Lt-Colonel Khayumbi interacts with one of the young girls outside a school in Guinea. Who knows the impact this small gesture will have in the days to come?

Rebecca, a Grade 12 student at The Salvation Army’s John Gowans Junior and Senior High School, hopes to become an accountant one day

↑ Rebecca, a Grade 12 student at The Salvation Army’s John Gowans Junior and Senior High School, hopes to become an accountant one day. As a recipient of a scholarship through our Brighter Futures Children’s Sponsorship Program, Rebecca is grateful for the opportunity to have a high-quality education and she enjoys learning. In addition, Rebecca is developing great leadership skills as the songster leader at her corps. 

 Jean Paul Kolie, an influential figure in the Coya community in Guinea, speaks with Lieutenant Martin Abdul Kamara, the corps officer.

↑ Jean Paul Kolie, an influential figure in the Coya community in Guinea, speaks with Lieutenant Martin Abdul Kamara, the corps officer. Kolie has generously provided the Army with one of his properties so that the congregation has a place to gather for worship. While travelling across the country, we observed that The Salvation Army’s presence here is welcomed. Near the Sierra Leone border, we stopped at a roadside stall to buy gas, and the shop owner expressed the community’s desire to have a corps established. Following a brief conversation, contact details were shared so a follow-up call could be arranged—the Army marches on.

A farmer displays vegetables

↑ The chant “No farmer, no food. No food, no farmer” rang through the air as we gathered with people involved in a conservation agriculture program at the Mount Barclay Corps in Liberia. Upon entering the church, we were inspired by the bounty of baskets covering the platform filled with fresh produce grown by the farmers.

The Salvation Army’s Sustainable Agriculture in Liberia (SAIL) project, funded by the generous donations of Canadians (see page 14), engages target communities in agriculture and business. By cultivating short-season crops, such as swamp rice, Chinese cucumbers and local vegetables, this integrated project addresses food insecurity. The Salvation Army in Liberia provides training, seeds and tools for conservation agriculture, transforming lives.

A bounty of ghost peppers

↑ A bounty of ghost peppers.  

Vibrant music at the Conakry Corps in Guinea

↑ In The Salvation Army, music is an integral part of worship, evangelism and community building, playing a significant role in expressing and strengthening our mission and values. It provides a space for prayer and meditation and often evokes deep spiritual experiences. At the Conakry Corps in Guinea, the vibrant music exudes passion, life and energy, while at the same time communicating a message of hope, salvation and transformation.

Women leaders gather in Sierra Leone for food and fellowship ↑ A powerhouse of women, rooted in Scripture and radiating confidence and wisdom, gather in Sierra Leone for food and fellowship. Under the direction of Lt-Colonel Rasoa Khayumbi, territorial president of women’s ministries (bottom right corner), these leaders value the importance of empowering women in their communities, knowing that this promotes gender equality and enhances social stability. Empowered women drive progress, advocate for human rights and inspire future generations, creating a more equitable and prosperous world for all. And, as you can see, these women are on a mission. 

A nurse gives a baby a vaccination at the William Booth Health Centre in Monrovia, Liberia

↑ Located in the red-light district on the outskirts of Monrovia, capital of Liberia, the William Booth Health Centre offers essential medical treatment including family planning, vaccinations, lab testing and maternity services. Here, Major Lydia McKay, territorial home league secretary, looks on as an infant receives a vaccination, ensuring a healthy start in life. As with children around the world, he was not impressed with the needle, but quickly recovered as the nurse provided professional care. 

A lab tech at the William Booth Health Centre

↑ Matthew Karnga, a registered nurse and laboratory technician who has served at the William Booth Health Centre since March 2019, is busy working at the clinic. “The clinic makes a big difference in my community by helping sick people to get well through the quality of treatment we provide,” he says. He loves his job, but it isn’t without its challenges. “The challenge of the job comes with a shortage of lab reagents, medical supplies and equipment,” he says. But Karnga finds encouragement and blessing when territorial leadership and visitors come as it makes him feel help is on its way. 

Students at John Gowans Junior and Senior High School

↑ There’s nothing more special than the first day of school, when you wear your new clothes and have your backpack full and ready to go. The students here are from John Gowans Junior and Senior High School and they are living examples of the school’s mission to “prepare the next generation of morally upright leaders for the progressive development of Liberia and our one world, through first-class formal education and vocational training.” Currently, the school has 74 students, but it has the capacity to accommodate 270 students. The gap in enrolment is because many in the community are unable to afford the minimum cost of tuition. This school has qualified teaching staff and a successful curriculum and could provide an education to others in this community if there was increased support. If you want to sponsor children’s education, please visit salvationist.ca/brighterfutures and make a lifelong difference for a child’s future.

A view of the ocean in Liberia

↑ “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3). The ministry in this territory is one of praise and thanksgiving. As the ocean’s tides ebb and flow, gently moving in and out, and as the sand shifts and takes new shape, just metres from territorial headquarters, it is our prayer that God’s light continues to shine in and through the people of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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