Richard Britton will always remember the prayers he heard during church services and before training events in Sierra Leone. Prayers in which, simultaneously, everyone standing in the room would shout enthusiastically, each person praying their own praises and prayers, directed by a church leader or member.
“I loved the passion that I saw people show while praying like this, and I admired the love for Christ I saw in the leader and people praying,” said Britton. “It was exciting to be a part of, partly because I knew nobody was listening to each other to see how elegant the prayers of others were.”
Britton was in Sierra Leone this past summer for five weeks for his cross-cultural internship with Calvin Theological Seminary. He soon realized that the passion displayed in these prayers also translates into other areas of the church.
He saw that passion in the action plans people made after taking part in the Timothy Leadership Training—plans that would help the pastors reach their goals of doubling their church size or organizing a talent show for young people.
“When I heard those plans I had no doubt in my mind that they were going to go through with them,” added Britton.
Britton spent almost all of his time in Sierra Leone and the neighboring country of Liberia with Rev. Istifanus Bahago, a missionary from the CRC of Nigeria supported by Resonate Global Mission. Again, he was impressed by the passion.
“It encouraged me that someone is that passionate about serving the Lord,” said Britton. “He was just so invested in everyone, taking time to talk and giving advice.”
Although Britton went to West Africa with a mix of anxiety and excitement, he was able to draw on some of his experiences serving right in his own community to prepare him for the trip.
Britton volunteers at Strong Tower Ministries, a church plant primarily serving African refugees from a Muslim background only a 10-minute drive from Calvin Theological Seminary. (You can read more about Strong Tower in October’s issue of The Banner.)
Serving at Strong Tower, I learned to go with the flow and be adaptable in new situations,” reflected Britton. “I learned that I often won’t know what to say so I have to listen more than I speak.”
As Britton continues his studies, he still serves regularly as an English tutor at Strong Tower and has been strengthened by his experiences in Sierra Leone. He looks forward to seeing how God will use both of these experiences. That's one of the reasons Resonate was formed—to allow for more opportunities to serve in God's mission around the world and at home. Thank you for making that possible.
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