Reifel, Elmer & Joann

Elmer & Joann Reifel

After graduating from Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, ON, Elmer & Joann were married in 1985. They have been joined in marriage and ministry for thirty-four years. After their first four years of church ministry in rural Michigan, they moved to Sierra Leone. Then during the rebel war they spent six years serving CinA in Ghana, returning to Sierra Leone in 2009.
Living overseas is not foreign to Elmer & Joann. Elmer was born and raised in Nigeria of missionary parents and Joann was born in Papua New Guinea, leaving when she was three.
They have four children (two biological, two ‘adopted’) who, with their spouses,are spread far and wide, living in the United States and in Ghana. They have three grandchildren living in the US and two are with Jesus.
Sierra Leone is a small , mostly Muslim nation with a wealth of possibilities for success and gorgeous scenery, but the nation struggles with a number of social and spiritual issues. Elmer and Joann’s heart is to help the followers of Jesus be shining lights for Christ in communities that have been in spiritual darkness for decades, and to do so in ways that minister to whole communities whenever possible.
Since beginning with pastoral training and discipleship in 1990 their ministry has branced our as needed, including at various times, adult literacy, seminar arganization, small scale agricultural support, managing a hydra form block factory, building construction and, since 2013, water well installations.
They have been living in Bo City, since October, 2013, developing a co-operateive work under Christians in Action Sierra Leone (CinA SL), offering their services in discipleship and leadership training as well as a water well ministry called “Deep Well Ministries SL” which employs six men to dig wells, as funds permit, in mainly rural villages for the sake of the Gospel. These wells are made available to everyone in the community. So far they have placed wells in sixteen communities that meet the needs of over 2500 people. They also have an interest in encouraging agricultural development using the Farming God’s Way practices, based on biblical principles.

Go to to see a video created by Christians in Action based on their water ministry in Sierra Leone.

In 2017 Elmer was appointed to be the CinA Area Director of Africa, which means that in addition to his normal ministry in Sierra Leone, he is interacting with missionaries and local church pastors working in Liberia, Ghana, and hopefully soon in Guinea Bissau. Elmer’s dream for these nations is that someday they will be as united in ministry as their counterparts in Christians in Action Central/South America.

Ministry: Deep Well Ministries