By BosNewsLife Africa Service
FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE (BosNewsLife)-- Churches are growing in flood-stricken areas of Sierra Leone where Christian missionaries provide aid to destitute survivors of mudslides and flooding that to hit Sierra Leone's capital last month, killing more than 1,000 people, aid workers told BosNewsLife.
The August 14 tragedy in Freetown, caused by torrential rains and followed by a massive fire, prompted African missionaries to rush to the region, said Christian Aid Mission (CAM), which claims it assists more than "500 ministries" with tens of thousands of indigenous or native missionaries.
Among them are Christian aid workers of Mission Bethel Ministries International, based in Monrovia, Liberia. "After the landslide, we went in to console relatives left behind," said Reverend P Claudius Deah, who heads the group, in published remarks.
"We started feeding people and conducting trauma counseling, and our members in West Africa collected clothing for distribution," CAM quoted him as saying.
Pastor Deah said he saw "a huge opportunity" to talk about Jesus Christ in the coming months as people face shelter, hunger and trauma crises. "Some were grateful that at least someone cares to share for the sake of Christ. Some are now worshipping with the churches."
New churches are also planted in the West African country, he said. "Some [victims] called back to express gratitude, asking for our church to start branches in their towns."
He added that survivors were also "grateful to regain strength as they went to find relatives."
CAM told BosNewsLife that "while Americans are rightly concerned about flooding in and around Houston," they should not forget that "more than 1,000 people have died in the West African country of Sierra Leone."
The group has launched a donation campaign urging supporters to "prayerfully consider a gift to help Christian workers offer aid and salvation" to the people of Sierra Leone.
(With reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos. BosNewsLife's MISSION WATCH is a regular look at Christian missionaries working in the Two-Thirds World and other difficult areas as well as related developments).