Reifel, Elmer & Joann
CinA Missionaries since 1998
Location: Sierra Leone, Africa
Ministry: Discipleship and Pastoral training
Email: Contact Elmer & Joann by filling out the form below
Birthday: Elmer - September 20 Anniversary: June 15
Joann - August 2
Bio: For almost 27 years Elmer and Joann have not only been joined in marriage but ministry as well. Eleven of those years have been spent in West Africa- six years in Sierra Leone and five years in Ghana.
Life for each of them started outside North America. Elmer was born and raised in Nigeria by missionary parents and Joann was born in Papua New Guinea, leaving when she was three.
They met at Emmanuel Bible College in Ontario, Canada in 1983. After marrying in 1985 they moved to Michigan to pastor a small rural church for four years. They have two 'natural' children, Kara-lee Hite and Kevan Reifel as well as two 'adopted children' – Alfred and more recently, Teri.
In 1990 their ministry to Sierra Leone began with discipleship training and initiated literacy classes in the local language. In 1994 they were forced to leave the country and were evacuated because of the growing civil war.
From 1999 to 2005 they worked in Ghana, formally establishing Christians In Action (CinA) in the country and arranging seminars for local pastors in the Kumasi and Brong Ahafo regions. They also did small group discipleship and English literacy training.
For the last three years Elmer and Joann have been managing a skills training center near Waterloo, Sierra Leone. Acting as Site Managers meant providing oversight in all areas; block production , construction training, trouble shooting, Biblical counseling, medical assistance, the occasional hearse service as well as book keeping and reports to the Directors.
Sierra Leone is a small, mostly Muslim nation with a wealth of possibilities for success and gorgeous scenery but they struggle with a number of social and spiritual issues. The ministry God placed on Elmer and Joann's hearts is to return to Sierra Leone to focus more time and energy on discipleship and pastoral training, using basic development as as bridge ministry to the rural communities.
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