My dear family and friends,
We have spent the last few months catching up with the things we were not able to do during the Covid lockdown, The only thing which has disturbed our progress since then was when we were all told to stay at home after there was political unrest following a coup in the country.
Our Hope Academies are now all open again and the children are working hard to catch up on lost lesson time. Our own children have done well and those that sat exams which would allow them to enter high school have all passed well.
(Our youngest child, three year old Eliza, insisted on going to school so we registered her at a preschool and gave her a back pack like the other children wear and she happily went off to school on the first day. She later returned home in tears saying school wasnt for her and that in future she would be staying at home all day. It took several days of talking to convince her to give school another try and now she is happily going off to school each morning and loving it!)
We were blessed to be able to distribute backpacks, stationary and other school necessities to children who attend our feeding schemes, and they were delighted!
Our feeding schemes continue to grow and we are now providing upwards of 10,000 meals a month to children in various communities who always enjoy listening to us tell them a Bible story whilst they eat their lunch.(Prayer is always available to anyone who wants it after lunch.)
With children in 7 Iris Academies to feed and many communities in our area where there are children who need food, we decided that baking our own bread would cost half of what buying it from a baker would cost...so we prayed, God then supplied the money we needed through good friends and we now have a kitchen and a large wood fired oven outside our house in which we bake fresh bread three or four times a week.
In my last journal entry I mentioned we are praying for a 4X4 vehicle which is capable of taking me and some of our pastors to Iris churches in places up to 600 kms away from home, often on roads which are no more than a dirt track. Not only do we need to teach and encourage our pastors in distant churches, we also have to do outreach and research new places to plant churches.
God answered our prayers and we were able to purchase a large 4X4 vehicle. We can now look forward to visiting many of our churches we have not been able to reach for a long time. Until then the vehicle is being used when I do the weekly shopping (for 30+ people!)_ and to deliver fresh bread to the schools.
We have had several groups of missionaries come to visit us, some just for the day and others for a few days, but it is always a blessing for us to share and pray together with them, One group who came to spend time with us recently had a four roomed house built on our property for our boys to move into.This has made room in our big house for more children in need of a home to join us, and we are so delighted and grateful
In the past few weeks we had 60 of our Iris pastors and church leaders gather together for training and we were honored to have Pastor Andrew Sesay, the base leader from Iris Global in Sierra Leone, join us and help with the teaching. Not only did God reveal many new things to us but we were blessed to have time to fellowship, pray and plan for the future together.
As we approach Christmas 2021 we can truly say that all is now well. The country is at peace, the children have returned to school, hungry children are being fed, our Hope Academies are open and growing and the students are studying hard, Our churches are growing. and people are getting saved and baptised We now eagerly await the arrival of new children that we can welcome into our family with open arms and much love,
God has given us new visions for 2022 so if you would like to keep up with what is happening at Iris Guinea, please go to my Facebook page at Sia Tongu, send me a friend request, and we will keep you updated on all that is happening every week.
We trust that all is well with you and despite.the turbulent and testing times we are living in, you have a peaceful Christmas and a healthy, hope filled and prosperous New Year,
With love and thanks to those who have prayed and supported us during the past year
Sia and all the children