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Letter of condolence to people of Siera Leone from the general secretary of WCC

Letter of condolence to the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone from Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches.

18 August 2017


To: Mrs Ebun Abeni James-Dekam
General Secretary
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Geneva, August 18, 2017


Dear Mrs James-Dekam,
Dear sisters and brothers in Sierra Leone,

"A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." (Jeremiah 31:15)


It is with sadness that I write this letter of condolence. As agents of faith, we are not called to be the envoys of apocalyptic scenarios, to nurture fear, or to promote fatalism, yet the perishing of so many lives can shake our hope. As you bear this massive pain, I have no wisdom to offer except the hope in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who walks with us on such difficult roads.

We note that this comes at a time when the people of Sierra Leone are still recovering from the devastation of the Ebola outbreak. Yet amidst all this, we will hold on to God’s promises that give us hope!

For indeed Jesus’s words stand: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9a).

We pray together:

We come to you, the healer of the brokenhearted
and the one who binds up our wounds.
You are the Lord who is close to the brokenhearted
and you save those who are crushed in spirit.
You give us more grace so that even in the face of our brothers, sisters and children being tragically cut from this life, we can wait for your touch of comfort and healing.

We pray for strength so that we can take heart amidst so much pain, so many questions, and tears streaming within and without; May your children mourning together today, and burying those bodies that have been found, know your presence!

Heal their pain, help them not to fear, because you are with them;
let them not be dismayed, for you are  God amidst them.
You are their strength and help;
Uphold them with your righteous hand;
We cast their cares on to you;
We trust that you will sustain them and you will never let your children be shaken;
Give your rest to your weary ones, Lord.
We pray this in the precious name of Jesus, our Christ. Amen.


I remain in mourning and in hope with you, dear sisters and brothers.


In Christ’s name,


Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

General Secretary

World Council of Churches

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