UMW Bake Sale supporting Rev. Katie Meek’s Prison Ministry Team in Sierra Leone
Sunday, November 17
Some months ago, Rev. Katie Meek, our missionary in Sierra Leone, shared her concern about the UMC Prison Ministry Team that works with juveniles in Sierra Leone. Katie goes in once or twice a month and it has become a life-giving part of her ministry. At the time we first heard about it, there were 20+ boys and 3 girls, many of whom are held for years awaiting trial.
They live without basic needs like proper shoes and toiletries. Many are there because of traffic violations and misdemeanors but once they get in the system, it is easy to get lost there. Every month, new boys come in and the numbers have now increased because of new laws around juvenile sexual activity which was meant to prevent rape and sexual assault. However, there are some grey areas which mean some boys have been imprisoned for consensual sex. Otherwise, the crimes are often theft and fighting which she finds understandable amid such poverty.
Their numbers have increased to 40-50 boys and 3 girls. Their bedding is inadequate. They sleep either on a concrete floor or on raised beds made of concrete and a 4-inch foam over top. The foam is deteriorating and sometimes there are no sheets and pillows. Shoes are always breaking. Clothes are second hand. They often tie strips of material around them to keep their pants up. Recently, Katie discovered all their Bibles vanished, and she is attempting to talk with the prison ministry leaders about this.
Thank you for your support!