By Sanpha Sesay
The Texas Chief
As the Sierra Leonean community in Texas consciously comes into their realization that God Almighty has done so much for them, including healthcare improvement, strength, mercies, sustaining peace in their country, living together in harmony in the United States, they conducted an interfaith prayer and thanksgiving service on February 10 to celebrate and thank God Almighty. This year theme was “Gratitude and celebration”.
It was a prayer of Adoration and Reverence to God. Sierra Leoneans from all walks of lives were called upon by the Association of Sierra Leonean Organizations in Texas (ASLOT) to take a step back and pray for everything that they possess including wealth, health, status, intellectual abilities and lives of the people of Sierra Leone.
The community pray for God’s goodness and mercy even in the midst of trials. We ask that your infinite love which resides in the hearts of all Sierra Leoneans awaken to the truth that we are one family, both Christian and Muslim preachers prayed fervently.
The interfaith/thanksgiving service program features, Pastors in the community, Muslim Imams, Sheiks. The leading Pastor and the Chief Imam step on to the elevated platform at Nirvana event center in Dallas admonishing Sierra Leoneans in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and Muslims spiritual songs, with thankfulness to God
Pastor Agnes During, the officiating pastor for the program conveyed the importance of thanking and praising God at all time saying that, It keeps us from bitterness in our lives, keeps us to be humble, and remind us of our need for God. Looking at yourself and think about people in sick-bed, people in prison and many on the streets begging for survival then think about your redeemer and say thanks to God, the pastor delivered her sermon.
We also come together today to reclaim that state of grace, to reaffirm that the spirit of our community is undaunted, and the spirit of our country shall remain undimmed through our excessive prayers and gratitude to God, Alhaji Salieu Bah said. On this same gathering few years ago, we have prayed to avert the worst tragic epidemic, the Ebola, and also prayed for the victims of the mudslide.
Dr. Alie P. Koroma
Let us move beyond fear of our differences into acceptance and appreciation of our diversity and in so doing, create a nation that is expanding and evolving, Reuben Ndomahina, ASLOT president admonished the community. Mr. Ndomahina is a bridge builder in the community, strongly feels that only together can we make a positive difference for our community and our country back home.
The interfaith prayers/Thanksgiving service is a shared voice on calling the almighty God for forgiveness that the Association of Sierra Leone Organizations in Texas (ASLOT) has adapted to be an annual event for the entire community. It is widely supported by the community in the metropolitan area of Dallas Fort Worth Texas. As part of its objectives, ASLOT believes that it is one way in which members of different religions, ethnic groups, organizations, and clubs can easily come together to enhance mutual understanding and promote oneness for the common good.
The program continued with an award ceremony to recognize organizations for excellent community service. The community awards initiative is an effort by ASLOT to acknowledge and thank individuals as well as organizations for their contributions to the community and for their humanitarian assistance back home.
Congregation with Professor Dr. Alusine Jalloh
ASLOT recognizes five social and cultural organizations for their continuing service and their humanitarians’ assistance. The Krio Descendant Union (KDU), the Mandingo Descendant Union (Sabunyuma), and the other Mandingo Association of DFW (Kankalay) were awarded the social/cultural category humanitarian awards
In another category, the Center for Promotion of Inclusive Education (CPIE) won the non-profit organization award. CPIE has a record of significant and sustained services rendered to the disabilities and girls’ education in Sierra Leone.
The Methodist Boys High school alumni Association was awarded the Alma Mata award for making meaningful connections to its school and has played significant role in supporting students at home.
ASLOT will continue to work with the community to foster unity, and continued interaction to promote peace, and for us to work together to benefit not only the Sierra Leonean community in Texas but also to find ways to assist our fellow Sierra Leoneans in the fatherland.