FAITH ALIVE: Lamine Sall, Member, Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Phenix City

Where is your home?

Guinea, West Africa. I was born and raised there. I came to the U.S. in ’89, to go to school in New York City. But I ended up using drugs and was homeless. In the shelter, I met someone who introduced me to Christ.

How did you meet your wife, Doran? I met my wife in New Jersey. We married 11 years ago, in ’97. We moved to Phenix City in 2000, after our first child was born. My mother-in-law lives in Phenix City. She had moved here in ’95. The cost of living is lower here than in New Jersey.

Who are your children?

Jonathan Sall, who’s 8, and Adama Sall. She’s 6. They go to Mother Mary Mission School.

How are you involved at Greater Mt. Zion? My wife is a minister there and I am the founder of ZAMM, the Zion Africa Missions Ministry. We sponsor the mission in Africa, and a lot of churches also sponsor. We started in 2006. We first took 150 pair of shoes and 46 crutches to Guinea.

You still have family there? My mom is there. And my brother. I come from a Muslim family. My tribe is Muslim.

How are you received now in your family? I am persecuted but they see the goods I bring, too. Last year, we went with 1,000 pairs of sneakers. We shipped it by boat. I was there three months. I was also establishing paperwork as a non-profit. We will have our own place there, to run a safe house.

Where is this? In a city called Labe. It will cost $2,000 a year to operate. In addition to a safe house, it will be a central distribution place for clothes and a library. It will be the first English-speaking library in my region. We will have books for first-eighth grade. Thank God for Sister Cecelia at Mother Mary Mission. She got us 2,000-3,000 books.

You’re going back to Guinea? Yes, and I will run the safe house. My wife and children will be based there with me, and we will be missionaries. We plan to go in December. We’re trying to raise $10,000 to ship a container of medicine; and we need to buy a car for the mission. We have five tons of clothes on our church property — mostly women’s and children’s clothes. The House of Mercy gave us clothes, and we have 1,000 stuffed animals. . . . My wife is a special-education teacher at Muscogee County Elementary. She went to Spelman and has her master’s from Rutgers.

How did you learn English? When I was in New York. I also speak French and Hindi. In Guinea, we’ll teach people English. It’s the international language. We’ll also be looking for teachers. We’ll leave by Dec. 6.

If you would like to aid ZAMM, call 334-448-3335.