‘Name above every other name, what can’t you do? What can’t you do Jesus?’
We’ve passed the one year mark in The Gambia and this song we sing at church seems like an apt anthem. We look back on God’s faithfulness and think over all that he’s done that seemed difficult, unlikely or even impossible to us: from providing for our practical needs, to all that he’s been doing at the college, to the huge privilege of seeing those from the majority faith come to Christ. In times when we’ve felt anxious about what lies ahead, it’s been wonderful to remember how he has provided thus far and that we can have confidence he will continue to do so. Thank you so much for your prayers, we see them being answered in more ways than it is possible to put in one prayer letter but here’s a taster!
We had the most wonderful Easter - a fun and encouraging time at Kampant with our church, a refreshing holiday, happy times with the Crosslinks team and a special trip to a church in Guinea Bissau for Nick, developing a partnership that God-willing is now going to continue with further trips for more training.
We have been blown away by God’s provision and the outpouring of support in recent months and can’t quite believe that the target of £84,000 has now been reached! Thank you for all your generosity and prayers. It’s been a huge encouragement to us that God can amply provide for all our needs and that our brothers and sisters around the world want to partner with us in this work. We are so thankful!
Big prayers are needed now for speedy work on the huts… the work dramatically slowed down over Ramadan, and there is lots to be done before the rains arrive. It looks unlikely that we will be able to move before the summer so we need to figure out a place to store our things safely until we return from the UK.
We praise God for a number of people showing interest in coming as students in September and for our first application form! Please pray on for more. For many the issue that would prevent them is finance. We would love to be able to offer partial scholarships to lift some of this burden - if you would be interested in sponsoring a student through the college then please get in touch… and if you’re at one of the churches we’re visiting this summer, keep an eye out for some Gambian goods we’ll be bringing with us that you can purchase to help raise money towards this end!
Nick has been working hard developing a syllabus for next year and is excited about getting started. Pray that what is planned would serve the students well and that staff prepare well for the start of term. Please also pray for more local staff who understand and can teach expository preaching.
We’d love prayer as we advertise for someone to come out and help with the care and education of the children for all or part of next year. It would give them a good taste of cross-cultural ministry and they could get involved in other aspects of life here e.g. English teaching, kids’ clubs, being part of SOW or local outreach (if you or anyone you know would be interested see www.crosslinks.org/short-term-opportunities/. It’s late notice but we’re trusting that if it’s the right thing for the children and ministry, God will provide!
Harriet has now finished Mark’s Gospel and moved on to Two Ways to Live. It has been wonderful to see how much the latter has suited their learning style! They are doing brilliantly at learning the memory verses - one of the non-Christian mums even proudly sent Harriet a voicemail of her daughter reciting them! Pray that God would use 2WTL to grow their understanding of the gospel and enable them to share it with others. Harriet is training one of the girls who has become a Christian to lead bible studies so that the group can continue once we’ve moved. Because she isn’t used to analysing or questioning this is quite a challenge. Pray that God’s spirit would give her understanding of God’s word and the ability to teach it. And ask that the girls continue to open God’s word together when there’s not the novelty of being in a toubab’s (white person) house!
The school year has nearly finished and it has been a fantastic year of meeting keen West African Christians who want to serve the church through sharing Christ. This term’s highlights have been looking at the different covenants in the Bible and also hearing the students give preaching a go as we look at John 14-16 together. As already mentioned above, learning habits here are so different from the UK which is a real challenge. But Nick feels he’s definitely made progress here and is looking forward to hitting the ground running next year.
We’re looking forward to coming back over the summer to see family, friends and some of our supporting churches. If you’d like to hear more about what we’ve been doing we’ll be at Christ Church Leyton on 28 July and we’ll be able to give more of an update after the morning service (10.30am). We’ve also booked a room at our old local, The Heathcote and Star pub in Leytonstone, from 7pm on 16 August. Come and join us for a drink and a catch up!
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