Relay Trust is setting up in Sierra Leone
Written by Alex Bjergbæk Klausen
We all know the importance of a safe environment. It requires more energy if everything is new, and you must figure out how things work every time. Since we began our collaboration with the churches in West Africa in 2016, we have lived in a suitcase. Often, we are saying with a smile that we are always either packing a suitcase or unpacking a suitcase. And it is tough always to live in a suitcase. We all need to feel at home, to be in a place we know, and where we know how things work, and where there is a greater sense of freedom than what can be found in hotels and guesthouses. In other words, a place where we can keep our clothes in the closet, leave our toothbrushes, and where we can cook our own food. In short, – we need to build a home. We know that we are going to spend much more time in Sierra Leone in the coming years. On the one hand, we need to be involved in the construction of Mount Zion, which is a major project, and on the other hand, we are going to develop and test teaching materials for future church leaders.
We found a house in the western part of Freetown. It is the good end of the city where there is less traffic and more space to breathe. The house is situated in Aberdeen, which in many ways is like a small village in the middle of the big and busy city. We have chosen to rent a house from the local Anglican church, so that we can support their work. They use the revenue to build a complex next to the church, with a conference center, office and living space, which in time will provide the church with an income from rent. The project has been underway for a long time, but it is also a three-story building, and it costs a lot of money to build a house in Freetown. The residence we are renting is the church’s vicarage. But it has been unoccupied for a long time. Now we move in and will create a good environment for teaching, library, office and home. The house will be our temporary Mount Zion.
Sillah, our new colleague in Sierra Leone, has offered invaluable help with the many practical things around the house. We need electricity, water and security – and of course we also need internet. And, in addition, the house must be furnished. Even though we have some furniture, we still need beds and a sofa. Fortunately, Sillah can help us buy most of the things, before we are coming next time, so hopefully we can move directly into the house. Right now, our travel activities are on standby. But we hope we can travel again in approximately three months.