Janet of Sierra Leone

Emmanuel Oladipo tells the story of Janet Koroma:

“Janet has something in common with Jeremiah: she entered the ministry against her will. But rather than protesting that she was only a youth, she protested that she was only a woman – and a poorly trained one at that.

“Janet did not complete high school. Her boyfriend fled to the USA and was going to obtain a visa for her to join him. It did not happen. The bright-eyed young lady was left in a lurch. A friend enrolled her in a Management course — but a male teacher, with whom she refused to ‘cooperate’ by being tutored in his home at night, ensured that she did not graduate.

“Life took an upward turn when Janet fell in love and married a man of God. She embraced the demanding role of being a pastor’s wife with enthusiasm. She took an interest in a church-plant 15km from home, often travelling there to encourage the new believers.

“On one visit a distraught 7yr old little girl pleaded with her to come and pray for her dying sister. Janet had never hesitated to proclaim that the miracle-working Jesus was still active today — but this was different! On reaching the house she broke into a cold sweat. The odour coming from this girl, covered with putrefying sores from top to toe, was awful. What else could she do but cry out to the Lord?

“Three days later she visited the girl — only to be mobbed by the entire village because her prayer had broken the curse of the witches and healed the girl. Now the entire village wanted to become Christians. Janet was able to show to them the way of salvation.

“The church continued to grow. They needed a real pastor — and they insisted that it be Janet. She was not given an option. Dropped in at the deep end, she took courses in her church’s Bible school and did the best she could for the people under her charge – and then she had the opportunity to attend a Langham Preaching seminar.”

“I have been preaching many messages – but often out of context and only from the New Testament,” says Janet. “Now I know about taking the text in its context

and preaching from the whole Bible.”