James Koroma, Academy 2013-14 graduate, grew up in Sierra Leone, a country still reeling from civil war and where 80% of the population live in extreme poverty. The Message is now supporting him as he returns to share the gospel.
‘Six months into my Academy year we went on a mission trip to South Africa. Seeing the impact of the work out there, especially in prisons among young men in gangs sparked something in me. It made me believe I can see something like this working among the gang culture in Sierra Leone,’ says James.
‘Since I completed the course I’ve been doing everything I can provide an alternative to street kids in my home country, particularly those caught up in gangs.’
On a recent trip, James worked with a former child soldier who had lived on the streets for over 12 years. ‘It was very challenging hearing his story and I just had this love toward him as a brother.
‘We’ve been able to seed-fund a hairdressing shop for him. The vision is for it to run itself after the first year. Seeing his journey toward a relationship with Jesus is amazing, and I believe if we keep praying we can see lives like his turned around.
‘It’s all about reaching the unreachable, going and seeking the lost and seeing their lives transformed.’
To find out more about Message Academy and to apply for 2018 head to academy.message.org.uk