The 2023 recipient of the Wilberforce Award at the Colson Center National Conference is Sierra Leone pastor Shodankeh Johnson. He recently described his calling:
In the middle of the Civil War, one of the things [is] I had an opportunity to really leave the country. I mean, we had partners who wanted to take me out of the country, but I had this conviction that I needed to stay and just serve with my people. …
If the rebels attacked a community, when they left, we would look for people who are either amputated or in pain, and we would bring them to a place of safety.
And we also went to those displaced camps and refugee camps to serve the people, providing bed nets for them, providing food, doing trauma healing, peace-building, conflict management. But in the midst of all of that, we also brought the love and message of Jesus to the people.
Sierra Leone’s civil war lasted a decade. Shodankeh Johnson is an example of Christians running into the brokenness with truth and hope, not away from it.
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