Jonathan’s Trip Report – 2013February 3, 2014
Gambia Partnership Trip Report 2013
The Partnership took a group of 7 to Gambia at the end of November for a one week trip. The primary aim for the week was to move forward plans for a school build in 2014.
The group was a mix of Christians and non-Christians, a feature of all the trips, it is important we use every opportunity to witness and reach the lost at home and in the Gambia. Each day we had a morning thought and we tried to meet each night on the beach for a reflection on the day, what was experienced and the impact it had.
The trips are a great way for people to see faith in action, in the Gambia each day there is such a need to rely on God due to the need and the urgency to find an answer in prayer to the situations faced.
One element of the trip was that the High church had given some money to be spent on the neediest children. We prayerfully considered this opportunity with our committee in the Gambia and saw those prayers answered in Kotu Quarry village. The village is a very poor place, occupied by people who can’t afford land elsewhere; when the rainy season comes (April to September) the mud huts and tin shacks are washed away.
The village leader, who allocated individuals to direct us to the neediest families,. We then discussed needs for the families and spent the money on tin for housing compound roofing, rice and oil for immediate needs, medical treatment, clothing, the payment of school fees and a fish grinder so a family could start earning money. In all, around 20 families were supported in what is a devastatingly poor area.
We were able to ensure every single penny of the donated money was spent on this worthwhile project and were thankful to all those who contributed and to God who very clearly directed us. This practical provision allowed our committee to develop relationships with the village and they now have an open door to go in and share the gospel in the future. They have resolved to return every month to ensure that physical and spiritual needs are met. Please pray for the people in this village that they would accept the gospel.
We also visited the 35 young people that are sponsored though school by the Partnership and the local supporters. We were heartened to meet them and see the impact that the support is having in facilitating their future.
The main focus was however on investigating the most suitable opportunity for a school build. Please pray for guidance as we progress our discussion on this matter. We now feel led to invest resources in a village called Kabakel which has a population of around 700. We were warmly welcomed and became aware of the village after our committee had completed some evangelism there months before. The village made our team very welcome and explained they have no support at all from any other groups. There is a strong Catholic presence but there is an openness to the gospel which was greatly encouraging.
We spent the best part of two days with the village and shared a gospel message which was interpreted into the local dialect by the village chief. The village has no school at present and has around 70 children of nursery age; the proposal is that we build a nursery and school building catering up to the age of 10 initially. This is an exciting opportunity but we must continue in prayer to ensure we are in God’s will.
We are also facilitating some bible teaching for our committee and brought over a load of bible teaching and outreach materials for sharing the message. The interest and openness of every day people in the gospel is incredible. One example is that on the final day of our trip I left a book detailing the differences between Christianity and Islam outside the shack we ate in. When I ordered and came out, a local guy was reading it out loud, absolutely engrossed. He was delighted when I told him to keep it and pointed out that the contact of a local pastor was on the inside. It is so evident that the harvest is indeed plentiful – Matthew 9:37.
We managed a lot in a week and the young guys with us had a very eye opening experience which they enjoyed once the culture shock passed. We want to say a huge thank you to all those who kept us in prayer and those who supplied us with resources. We strive to use everything we have to God’s glory and to be good stewards of all we have.
Please continue in prayer for the following:
– The country to be won for Christ
– Those reached with the gospel would be strengthened and encouraged
– For guidance as we move forward in our charitable works
The Gambia Partnership