Hero Spotlight: Saffie Koroma, Dedicated Leader, Wife and Mother
October 6, 2016
Saffie Koroma and her husband Foday have been invaluable partners to Just Hope in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, graciously inviting us into their community and facilitating our work there to train and equip pastors and their families. We’ve told you quite a bit about Foday since we began supporting his efforts, and now we want to tell you about Saffie.
Saffie was a child when the Sierra Leone Civil War erupted, and a young mother before it was over 10 years later. Among many incredible stories Saffie tells, one of her most vivid memories is dropping her then eight-month-old daughter on the ground in shock when rebels suddenly ambushed her village. She witnessed a man, with both his arms cut off by rebels, fall and die in front of her, and saw a young boy kidnapped right before her eyes.
As a result of the war, countless Sierra Leoneans lost their lives, their innocence and their childhoods, some as victims, some as perpetrators. The trauma of this brutal war has lingered with all those who remember it. Two of those include Aminata, who was abandoned during the war, and Joseph, who was orphaned by it. While the war was still raging, Saffie and Foday adopted Aminata and Joseph and provided a safe home for them amidst chaos and terror.
Devoted to her own immediate family as well as her village family, Saffie has been a tireless servant to her community and the many orphans created by Ebola, including seven children that she and Foday currently care for, in addition to their four biological daughters. (Aminata and Joseph are now grown.) She has suffered hunger, malaria and deep personal losses, but through it all, has preserved her faith, her determination to thrive, and her ability to encourage all those around her. All people, women especially, flock to Saffie due to her energy, confidence and unwavering faith in God.
“When I am around Saffie, it is her strength, joy and optimism, despite the tragedy she’s faced, that stand out to me. She’s a natural leader, as people are drawn to her grace, wisdom and courage,” Ben Turner, president of Just Hope, said.
To look at Saffie now, you might never know what an uncertain and frightening time she grew up in. She is a pharmacist at the Baptist Eye Hospital, and is half-way through her four-year degree from Makeni University. Just in her early 30s, Saffie is a highly respected leader in Lunsar. She also completed a seminary course offered in Lunsar, and preaches at local churches. She has planted several children’s churches in the area, one of which is a fully constructed building under the leadership of the young adults who were once children Saffie gathered together under a pole and mud shelter.
We are proud to know Saffie, and are grateful for her support of our efforts in Sierra Leone. We are reassured of Lunsar’s future with determined and selfless people like Saffie who lead, inspire and exemplify God’s love.