May 2022

Dear friends,

As I write, we have about seven weeks left in The Gambia. As you can imagine, we’ve been feeling all sorts of emotions about it! We’re very grateful to God for some encouragements these last few months, most notably…

SOW Day Preaching Conference

Nick organised the first ECG (Evangelical Church of The Gambia) SOW Day Preaching Conference at the end of April. We felt it would be worth it if five people came so we were blown away when over 60 people turned up! It encouraged us on a number of fronts: 
•    the way the contacts Nick has developed over our time here backed and advertised the conference;
•    the hunger demonstrated for teaching on preaching (one participant noted that, although there are endless conferences constantly being advertised here, none are on preaching);
•    the number of pastors that attended and the diversity of churches represented (not just ECG);
•    the SOW course material that Nick taught from on the day was well received;
•    the enthusiasm expressed for this to become a yearly conference.
Join us in praising God for these encouragements and pray that what the participants learned would be used by the Spirit to grow them in faithfully ‘preaching Christ…so that lives are changed…to the glory of God’. Pray for SOW to be able to continue to work out how to serve the church here in training preachers – whether that be at the Tubakuta campus with full-time students or delivering the material in more flexible formats (such as a day conference). We have been encouraged by some early interest from pastors who are considering enrolling people at SOW for the coming academic year. 

Handover

Between final speaking engagements, continued teaching of SOW students, finishing setting up the SOW library and completing the teaching materials we’ve been working on, handover is feeling in full flow! 

We’re grateful to be leaving the school in the hands of some able teachers who are godly believers as well as both effective classroom teachers and good preachers who understand the scriptures well. Thank God for them and please join us in praying for them as they take on increased responsibilities. There is still a need for someone to take over the general oversight of the day-to-day running of the course. Please pray for God to provide a suitable Gambian for this role. It is our feeling that going forward, outside help would be better in the form of support rather than leadership. Along those lines, praise God for Sophie, a WEC missionary, who plans to move to the village in September. Pray that it would become clear how she can best support the work of SOW.  

Transition

We would love your prayers for our upcoming adjustment to life back in the UK. We thank God for providing a job to return to (for those who missed it in our last letter, Nick will be a minister at Christ Church Central, Leeds). We’re really excited to get to know the church and the city and be part of the ministry there. We’re also conscious that it will be a pretty big change for us all! Our time in The Gambia has taught us so much about God’s faithfulness and his provision. Please pray that we wouldn’t forget these things. Pray that we would have great confidence and joy in knowing and experiencing once more that this is what our God is like! Practically speaking, we are grateful that it seems he has already provided a school that both Phoebe and Arthur can attend. Please pray for the provision of a house nearby. 

Over the summer, we will be visiting the wonderful churches who have supported us throughout our time in The Gambia. We would love to see you one Sunday so we’ve included the list of dates below. We will send a final update (including more of a summary as we look back over our four years in The Gambia) once we are back in the UK. Until then, thanks for praying!

With love,

Harriet, Nick, Phoebe, Arthur and Olive 


Summer 2022
26.06     9.30am St Bartholomew’s, Arborfield
    4.30pm Church at the Green, Arborfield
10.07    9.45am St Ebbe’s, Oxford
17.07    10.30am St Paul’s, Beckenham
31.07    10.30am Christ Church, Leyton
07.08    10.30am Dagenham Parish Church
14.08    10.30am St James, Audley
 

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