Mark and Mands Vernon are serving at Servants of the Word school of ministry in The Gambia.
90% of people in The Gambia are Muslim and nearly half of the people groups are classified as unreached with the gospel. The need for Christian witness is great.
The evangelical church comprises 0.8% of the population and is growing. Bible teaching, training and evangelism are a priority but resources to equip this young church are scarce.
Mark and Mands first visited The Gambia in 2004 and have been praying for it ever since. Mark returned for a week in 2016 with a Cornhill team and they visited together in January 2018. On this visit, Mark and Mands saw first-hand the small, faithful and fruitful gospel work taking place amongst students, local churches and church leaders. They witnessed the huge opportunities and a real sense of openness to the gospel. Mark and Mands came home from The Gambia with a settled conviction and a heart to serve there.
Mark and Mands are currently focussing their time on learning the most common local language, Mandinka. They will then be involved in discipleship, evangelism and training with Servants of the Word school of ministry, as well as student ministry and a local church.
‘Praise the LORD, O my soul, all my inmost being, praise his holy name… For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.’ Psalm 103: 1, 11
Many of you have asked how COVID-19 has affected life in The Gambia... We are thanking God that so far the number of recorded cases has remained very low (17, with seven active as of 3 May). The government declared a state of emergency on 15 March – all schools and colleges were closed and all gatherings limited to a maximum of ten people. There’s not a full lockdown because people here go to work and go to the market so that they can eat each day, but the maximum occupancy of taxis and minibuses has been reduced to encourage social distancing. Mark was pulled over by the police last week when he’d allowed four passengers to travel with him to town from our village (an elderly lady had been determined to climb in behind two other ladies… and fortunately he was let off with a warning).
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