A Tribute to Bishop John Yambasu

A Tribute to Bishop John Yambasu
Bishop John Yambasu

As members of United Methodist Women, our hearts are broken at the tragic death of Bishop John Yambasu, who passed away on August 16, 2020. We honor his great servant spirit with a sacrifice of praise to God for his life, ministry, and for the blessings we gained because he passed our way.

Bishop Yambasu first crossed paths with United Methodist Women in the early 1990s when he was a young minister serving as director of youth ministries in Sierra Leone, where civil war was devastating life. He was engaged in the hard work of trying to shore-up the lives of young people who had lost parents and had dropped out of school in a nation with an economy shattered by war. He needed funding to develop transformative ministries for these young people, so United Methodist Women helped support his important work with scholarships and funding for training programs and leadership development workshops.

A Great Partnership was Born

In 2000, then Rev. Yambasu became part of the first class of United Methodist Women’s Regional Missionaries specially charged to work with women, children, and youth on peace building, education, health care and gender justice. This work required networking with U.S. and international ecumenical and governmental organizations like the All Africa Conference of Churches, the United Nations, UNICEF and more.

Looking back on the experience in 2016, Bishop Yambasu said, “This was a major turning point in my life. The opportunity to be in mission with the poor to bring healing to children whose lives were battered by abuse, conflict and diseases like AIDS opened my eyes. The exposure helped shape my life and lay the foundation for me to become a bishop of the church today.”

Bishop Yambasu’s kindness and compassion made him a fierce fighter for women, children, youth who had the least wherever he served. As a bishop, he championed health initiatives for women, children, and youth in Sierra Leone. He was a peacemaker, dedicated to bringing differing parties together to find common ground.

And he was a strong supporter of United Methodist Women.

We extend our condolences and prayers for the Yambasu family, the UMC in Sierra Leone and our entire United Methodist Church.

We thank God for you, Bishop. We will miss you and your voice for justice and compassion. Now rest in peace from your faithful labor.

Posted or updated: 8/20/2020 12:00:00 AM

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