Last month, Bibles were given to 1,000 Sierra Leonean soldiers awaiting deployment as African Union peacekeepers in Somalia. The men danced to show their thanks to the Bible Society for what one lieutenant described as ‘the right gift at the right time’.
“Many of the men have been longing for a Bible,” said army chaplain Lieutenant Conteh Padre, “so this really is the right gift at the right time. When they are in Somalia they will read these Bibles in their quiet times. Even some of the soldiers who are Muslims are saying that they want to read it.”
“These Bibles will be like a second weapon,” Major Kargbo, Chief Chaplain of Sierra Leone’s Armed Forces, told the men. “You will go to Somalia armed with these Bibles, which will help you in your mission to bring peace. Meditate on the Word of God each day and let it be your shield and guide in the difficult times ahead.”
Make the Bible their best friend
Bible Society General Secretary Ruby Pearce encouraged the soldiers to make the Bible their best friend. She also prayed for them, asking God to protect and guide them in the important task they were entrusted with.
One of the soldiers, Osman Bangura, spoke to Bible Society staff after getting his Bible, thanking them for the gift and for their prayers.
“I am so happy to have this Bible,” he said. “I will read it and use it as I call on God for guidance and protection.”
More than my rifle
“I value this Bible more than my rifle,” noted another soldier, Corporal McCarthy. “I know I will be using it to comfort me throughout the mission.”
Sergeant Alpheus Monya said that the Bible would be his ‘spiritual map’ as he plays his role in bringing peace to Somalia.
“I will be praying and reading God’s Word ever day,” he smiled.
Please pray for God’s protection and blessing on these and other peacekeepers currently serving in Somalia.