Mark Sesay is the missions director for the Assemblies of God in Sierra Leone. Today he talks about the unique challenges and opportunities for reaching people for Jesus in this nation in West Africa. On the Evangelism Podcast today you will learn about how to plant churches in Africa, how to work in a Muslim majority nation, and how to deal with unorthodox tribal practices.
Questions for Mark Sesay
What strategies are you using to reach people in the rural areas of Sierra Leone?
How are you planting Assembly of God churches?
What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and why is it a problem in Sierra Leone?
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Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Mark Sesay is the missions director for the assemblies of God. In Sierra Leone today, he talks about the unique challenges and opportunities for reaching people for Jesus in this nation, in West Africa,
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:11):
On the evangelism podcast today, you’ll learn about how to plant churches in Africa, how to work in a Muslim majority nation, and how to deal with on Orthodox tribal practices. Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King. Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:08):
With me. Reverend Mark Sesay is the mission’s director for the assemblies of God in Sierra Leone, brother, Mark. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you.
Reverend Mark Sesay (01:20):
You so much. It’s a blessing to have you here.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:25):
We have had a wonderful time here in Sierra Leone. This is my first time here, and I’ve been so impressed with the people and the wonderful ministry that you have helped to organize. Tell me a little bit about what God is doing in this nation.
Reverend Mark Sesay (01:42):
Yeah, the Lord is doing so much in this nation and we stand very grateful to the Lord. Thank you for coming. This nation is predominantly a Muslim dominated nation. Although the difference is between the, the, the urban areas and the rural areas. Averagedly it’s about 70% Muslims and then 20%, 20% twenty-five percent Christians. So that, that is the situation here. And so the believers minister, mostly to Muslims and the challenge in the rural is higher than the urban. There are more, the percentage of Christians in the urban is a little higher than that in the, in the rural. So we do have a challenge in the rural. So we are happy to have you come far East hundreds of miles away from the capita. We, we are very excited. We have your records.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:43):
So as the mission director of the assemblies of God, you are working to reach out into the rural areas. What are some of the strategies that you are using to reach people in the rural areas of Sierra Leone?
Reverend Mark Sesay (03:02):
Yes. As a missions director, what we have done is that we are raising teams in the rural areas. We have done mapping. We have identified stronger towns, churches that we can train believers to reach out to others. So the main strategy that we’ve adopted over the years is one church plant another church. It has been a challenge over the years to have one team in a region going planting one church after the other, we tried, it was a serious challenge. Maybe we can discuss that kind of challenge, but our current strategy, we train churches. We encourage pastors to grow churches and then plant another church. So it is one church planting another church. What we have also done, we encourage urban pastors to adopt younger churches in the rural, and then courage them, support them to plant another church. Yes, like Freetown planting churches within Fulton is, is fruits and it’s becoming congested. And so we’ve encouraged them to move up country rural and support church planting in the rural areas. So our main strategy for now is one church plant another church.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:38):
I think you have a really wonderful strategy. Jesus, of course went to every town and every village. And so the hope is that there would be a church in every town and every village in Sierra Leone. Is that the hope?
Reverend Mark Sesay (04:55):
That is the hope. And we are beginning to realize this hope. We are beginning to realize this hope. Some of the challenges we are facing, we are seeing God opening a door. So amidst does challenging, and we give God a praise. I may have to share some of those blessings. Yes, please.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:15):
Please share with me some of the challenges, the difficulties of planting new churches, and also some of the blessings that you’ve seen God pour out on that process.
Reverend Mark Sesay (05:26):
Exactly. I was written for this. One of the strongest challenge is the mindsets of pastors. They like being in a local church for years and they do not like going out of their comfort zone to plant another church. They think they should all stay. We have three pastors, for example, in some areas for pastors in one small, nobody wants to go out. We are seeing each changing the conferences we have just completed your teachings and the rest of the team you came with. It is beginning to change the minds, the mindset of the pastors that has been my board and for a while now. So for you to come to Syria alone and you are teaching us emphasizing, we must go. We must go. And evangelists should go. We must go out to the other sheep and bring them in. I’m so excited. Yes.
Reverend Mark Sesay (06:38):
I’m very, very excited because it is one of the biggest problem. We know how our resources are very little, but if the mindset is wrong, even if we have resources, we cannot do the work. But if the mindset is correct, we are open to go out. If we have the resources we can go. So that is the challenge. And you have helped us. The teachings are wonderful that people are now excited. They are willing to go. And now the blessings, for example, you came it’s evangelists. You guys helped us trained have now received a PA system. This is a rechargeable PA system that can stay 10 hours before people go out. Those few willing ones, go out. Speaking with our voices. It was strenuous. Now we have a PA system that can last 10 hours after church to preach the gospel. And so it is a very, very huge motivation to go out to those communities. It can be schools, it can be a marketplace. It can be the general public, the Squire where somewhere, and we are bored enough to actually teach the people and push the people, especially with the encouragement of the sound system. We are very grateful for the sound system.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:58):
Well, you are welcome. I’m here under the invitation of evangelist will Jones from awakening ministries, international and evangelist will in conjunction with the assemblies of God, put together this plan to identify eight people who have the gift of evangelism and then to give each of the eight a sound system that they will use to go out into preach the gospel. And these people are already doing evangelism so that the sound system will just help them to be more effective at it and to be able to, to reach people. And then the idea is that after they do outreaches, they report back and tell us what they have been doing. How many people have been getting saved? How many people got healed, who was baptized and hopefully in these communities where they go, then a church can be planted. So tell me, how did you identify these eight? And what’s the plan to identify more people who have the gift of an evangelist in the future.
Reverend Mark Sesay (09:13):
That is wonderful. Before the equipments were available. Before you brought the equipments, this people, we are already willing. We knew them. We saw the excitement of preaching the gospel, but we also saw the need for a PA system. We could improvise PA systems for them, but they are doing the work without a PA system. We were able to provide megaphones. Do you use the word megaphones loud, speaker loud healers. Yes, it can go, but not too much. Whatever. You’re happy using a megaphone putting on the mouth. Hello, Jesus loves you early in the morning. And so they were doing it without a system. So we identified the need to their passion to do the work before does gift skin, since they were already doing the walk and they were happy doing it. And so it was very easy for us to know that those people are real evangelists there.
Reverend Mark Sesay (10:15):
They have the passion for souls. They have the zeal, they were never ashamed to hold a megaphone in the streets, in the schools, in the market Squire. And so we, we are, it was easy to identify them now. I am planning a major tour in the country for 20 days with my team. We are going to three, three, three, nine communities in 20 days, we are doing training. Sorry to tell you not sorry. We’ll be using some of the materials and your information. Yeah. So it will be stepping down the straining to this communities. We want to invite them because my target is how to change their minds, to let them know that they should move out of the church, to the communities. So within those 20 days of a toy in my country training, we will be looking for, or we’ll be identifying possible evangelists maybe for the next coming together and for the next training, you know, so we’ll be doing training since it is communities. And our eyes will be very open to, to identify evangelist. We may do surveys. We may ask questions about people who are already doing it. Maybe they need the support to do that. Also during the training, we’ll be listening to the kind of questions, their responses. I think the Lord will help us to, to, to know yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:46):
To find those who have the gift of an evangelist who have the calling of event and evangelists and are willing to pay the, to go and to tell people about Jesus. Let’s talk a little bit about this region of Sierra Leone that we’re in. We’re on the East side, very close to Liberia. What is some of the need in this area and what are some of the people groups that are here and, and what is the hope over the next couple of years to accomplish for Christ in this region of Sierra Leone,
Reverend Mark Sesay (12:25):
There is a need on the side of the country. Areas not too different from other far rural areas, but maybe here is the strongest. There is the issue of what we call secret society. It’s like a secret call, the initiate chilled again into the FGM, the female genital mutilation. It is not just the cut-in, but the ceremonies involving the cut-in can be very demonic and is witchcraft. That is for female children and youths. It’s sad. It is very strong. They put their whole life into it. Yeah. For males, you have the, the Poro it’s, it’s a male secret society. The initiates with, with also a cotton, they shed blood. It’s all blood covenant. They put their whole life into it. Yes. It’s it’s witchcraft. It’s demonic ERISA challenge. So what do we do? We, we do a lot of prayer breaking the strong hall over this demonic witchcraft practices.
Reverend Mark Sesay (13:40):
Yes. So even some who accept Christ and come to the church, we struggle with them. They struggle coming out of it. Completely. Some come to church, badass allegiance, they are still committed to the FGM. We call it here, Bondo B O N D O. They are still committed to reach. So Def fitfulness to Christ into the church seems waving. It is a challenge. And so what we do, we, we encouraged them. We teach them, we teach them, you cannot be loyal to, to Christ. And at the same time, you are loyal to demonic worship. In witchcraft. You, you have to take a decision to be loyal to Christ alone and, and forego whatsoever. It was, that was a pleasure to you. And also what we have done. We have also, we also have the, the, the baldness to point out the dangers of the secret calls and does bundle the, the repercussion medically spiritually in the lives of the young girls. You know, some do listen. Some, it will take some time. Yeah. It will take some time. It is a challenge, you know?
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:04):
And what do you hope to accomplish here is the plan to plant churches in this region.
Reverend Mark Sesay (15:11):
Yes. We hope to accomplish greatly. Yes. On this side of the country, the East, they are more open to the gospel than for example, the North, the North Islam is stronger in the North and the East. Yes. So for this East, it is, we are hoping to plant churches. We are hoping to see every town with a local church, at least one local church. Every time I think we can accomplish this, we can accomplish this.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:46):
Amen. We have many people who are excited about missions and who pray for missionaries. Pray for evangelists who listened to this podcast. If someone wants to begin to pray for the church in Sierra Leone, what are a few things that they should be praying for in order to strengthen the church here in Sierra Leone
Reverend Mark Sesay (16:11):
For Sierra Leone and the church first help us pray against the strong holes. One is Islam. Second is the secret societies, the FGM, the witchcraft. It can be strong. So pray that those strong whores, they can be some serious hindrance to the gospel. Help us pray, please, that under strong horse will be broken strong goal of religious strong goal, and this demonic. And we have strong horde for the church, pray that the Lord will help us teach and let the spirit of God bring transformation on the minds of pastors and church members and leaders to know the most go out the most, send missionaries out rather than being comfortable in the local church. And number three, help us pray that God will raise willing workers. I’ve had the benefits and the blessings of having willing workers around me. They are willing to go with me anywhere in this country.
Reverend Mark Sesay (17:23):
And anytime I have the joy of seeing them around doing one thing or the other, some people may have a hat like me to go, but may not have walkers to be with him on the field. So please, please pray with us that God will raise labor as will in ones like those around me. They come not for money. They are just willing for work. So there are not many, they are few in this country, pray that God will raise fateful, liberos harvesters for the field, and also pray for gospel vision. For us. It’s a very poor country. Somewhat needs. Sometimes we go to a place. This, we see the poverty and the needs are so real in the lives of the people we wish the Lord has blessed us to bless them. It makes it easier for them to receive us and receive the word. So pray, pray number four, for, for his provision. Some need rice, some need clothes does some basic needs. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:29):
Amen. Well, I will be praying for Sierra Leone and I know that many others will also make a commitment to pray for Sierra Leone. Reverend Mark. Thank you so much for joining me today on the evangelism podcast. It’s wonderful to get to know you. You are a great man of God. You are so smart and so brilliant at how you’re putting together these strategies for Sierra Leone. And I pray that God would put many resources into your hands to be able to reach this entire nation for Jesus. So brother Mark, thank you for being with me today. Thank you.
Reverend Mark Sesay (19:05):
Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure. The pleasure is mine. Thank you for coming to my country.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:10):
Thanks so much for listening to the evangelism podcast today. I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. And what we found is that as we go to different nations of the world, it takes us an average of about $1 for every person we’re able to reach with the gospel. And so some countries are more expensive. Some countries are a little bit less expensive, but on average, we’ve invested about $1 for every person we’re able to lead to Jesus. So today I’m asking you to go to my website, King ministries.com and give $1, $2, $5, become a monthly partner, help us to lead people to Jesus. Imagine you can start a party in heaven with just $1. Also go to Apple iTunes, leave us a review for the evangelism podcast with Daniel King. So lots of people can find this evangelism podcast. God bless
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:04):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit King ministries.com. Again, that’s King ministries.com.