Guinea-Bissau an area of land of less than 14,000 square miles on the extreme west coast of Africa, it is one of the poorest countries on the planet! With a population of 2,074,861 (October 2022), the country has suffered in recent times from a military coup and draughts.
The country was eventually granted independence in 1974 at a time when many Portuguese former colonies were gaining independence from their European masters.
The Christian witness in Guinea-Bissau is extremely weak being just 5% of the population with 65% of the people clinging to tribal religions although 30% adhere to the Muslim faith.
This is a brief background about a country you would probably know nothing about and certainly having no historical connection with Britain. Situated just south of Senegal in the north and Guinea to the south, the people suffered over a hundred years of Portuguese colonial rule and in more recent times 11 years of war to gain their independence.
As Pastor Oscar was unable to travel to encourage the missionaries, he helped establish a ministry there so many years ago, last Christmas Siloam sent a gift of €1,000 to bless 50 families living in 8 remote villages not far from the capital Bissau.
The funds were entrusted to Pastor Paulo Durao and his wife Jessica, Portuguese missionaries to Guinea-Bissau. They oversee a small church to minister the gospel and have settled there with their two young sons Isaac and Tiago.
The €1,000 which we sent from our reserve funds brought tremendous happiness and encouragement to the 50 families who received their first ever Christmas food parcels containing rice, cooking oil, onions, garlic, potatoes, flour, sugar, milk powder and soap.
This year we are hoping to double our efforts and empower the Durao family with a gift of €2,000 so that our Christian love can be spread far and wide to bring even more encouragement in these desperate times.