As the youth coordinator for more than 60 churches in the Christian Reformed Church of Sierra Leone, Rev. Alpha Kargbo faces the familiar challenge of engaging young people in the church.
Kargbo has responded to this challenge by organizing movie-making events in several communities in Sierra Leone.
“Many young people come and give their time because they want their friends to see them in movies,” said Kargbo. “But during their time acting, they decide to be a part of our church. Some of them were even Muslims who gave their life to Jesus.”
The idea for making films began in the midst of the Ebola crisis in 2014. Kargbo gathered youth to help create a video that educated people on Ebola prevention. Although several Ebola educational resources were already available in English, few movies had been produced in native tongues.
“Many people here don’t speak English or don’t speak it well,” said Kargbo. “They so much appreciated these videos because it was done in our own dialect.”
With help from Christian Reformed World Missions and World Renew, thousands of copies of the video were distributed to villages in Sierra Leone. Interest in making other movies grew.
“I want to thank God because he has made it possible for me to learn more skills,” said Erwah, a young woman who took part in the films. “My life has changed, and I’ve become a better person in my life.”
Kargbo is now working on his fourth film with youth, which deals with some of the challenges that young people face in a school setting.
“These movies catch the attention of many people in the villages,” said Rev. Istifanus Bahago, a Nigerian missionary who serves in partnership with CRWM. “They have enhanced the growth of the church, and I see them as a good tool to reach people with the gospel message.”