The founder of Joshua International Ministries, Inc. is Rev. Joan Williams. Joan is a native Sierra Leonean currently residing in the United States. She is also a school teacher in the Georgia Public School System. Joan is a graduate of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Howard University in Washington D.C. and Victory World Ministry Training Center in Norcross, Georgia. Joan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Masters in Teaching Degree and a Diploma in Ministerial Training. Joan received a burden from the Lord in 1998 for the children of Africa as she prayed for Sierra Leone, which was embroiled in a brutal civil war. She sensed the heavy burden on God’s heart for the plight of the children in Africa and embraced this burden as her own. The Lord emphasized to her the importance of taking the gospel to the “forgotten people group” – the orphans, the unaccompanied children, the displaced children, the street children, the ex-child combatants and the poorest of the poor. She began to get a growing awareness that God has a plan and purpose for these children. She saw the tremendous harvest of young souls that she never saw before. Reaching the children of Africa with the love of Jesus Christ is now Joan’s passion. “Let every child experience and enjoy the unconditional love and provision of Christ” -Joan Williams, Joshua International Ministries Founder
Joshua International Ministries was incorporated as a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization in 1998. We hosted our first conference in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1999. Sierra Leone was still embroiled in war and our purpose was to strengthen the Body of Christ through prayer. Over 1,000 Pastors and Leaders attended the conference.
2000 – 2010
Joshua International launched The Hebron House of Refuge Project in Sierra Leone to assist the children as the nation gradually emerged from the bitter civil war. This project consisted of:
1. The Hebron House of Refuge Bible Training Schools.
In August 2000, the first Bible Training/Feeding Center was established in central Freetown. Subsequently, six other Bible Training/Feeding Centers were established throughout Freetown (Grafton Village Campus, East Campus, Kroo Bay Campus, Sumaila Town Campus, Central Campus, Aberdeen Campus and Fonima Campus). The Bible was taught and over 1,500 children were fed hot lunches every Saturday. The children were also provided with clothing, shoes, toys and school supplies. A mixed group of kids ranging from orphans, internally displaced children, ex-child soldiers and children from regular but very impoverished families were served. The centers closed down in July 2009 as our focus changed to providing formal school education to children.
2. Polio House, Grafton Village.
In 2005, we started assisting sixteen Polio orphans in the Polio House at Grafton Village, Sierra Leone. This was made possible by the very generous assistance of one of our partners, New Covenant United Methodist Church in Douglasville, Georgia. The Polio House was provided with basic food supplies monthly.
3. Leadership Training.
From 2004 to 2008, Joshua International provided leadership training for Pastors, children ministry leaders, and school teachers. Over 2,000 leaders attended these conferences.
4. Sandra Hairston Primary School, Kroo Bay.
In November of 2005, Ms. Sandra Hairston of Washington D.C. heard about our vision to provide free education for the children of Kroo Bay. She very generously donated the start-up cost in January 2006. Sandra Hairston Primary School became a reality a month later. The Kroo Bay Community is a shanty town found along the Atlantic Ocean. Majority of the children do not attend school as families could not afford the high cost associated with education. Sandra Hairston Primary School provided free education and hot lunches for 250 children from Pre-K to Grade Five. Sadly, we had to end this program in July 2010, with the hopes of restarting again soon.
5. Agape Center, Grafton Village.
This is a multi-purpose complex that houses our second Elementary School (JOSHUA INTERNATIONAL PRIMARY SCHOOL) and our first Medical and Dental facility (JOSHUA INTERNATIONAL HEALTH CENTER). The complex was opened on July 2010. The Agape Center was made possible by the amazing generosity of another partnering church, Victory World Church in Norcross, Georgia.
6. Daughters of Zelophehad.
This was launched in 2007. The focus is on developing women to walk in their God-given inheritance so that they will actively participate in transforming their communities.
In December 2010, TeachSaLone was launched. The vision of TeachSaLone is to give our staff the foundational knowledge and skills they need to become highly effective educators.
2010 and Beyond
The following will be constructed:
- A secondary school from Grades 7 to Grades 12
- A vocational/technical/job training Center
- Four apartment homes to serve as the Children Home with 24 resident children.
- A Christian University