Saturday, 26 July 2014

Reflecting on The Gambia - 10 years on.

This week marked 10 years since I returned home from my mission trip to The Gambia, West Africa.  I have spent a fair bit of time this week reflecting, remembering, and processing thoughts about my life and missions and ministry.

I initially went to The Gambia on a WEC Trek - a group of 6 of us (in the photo above with one New Zealander ring in) - on a three week trek, just a missions exposure trip in a sense.  But as we were planning the trip and I was talking with Debbie Bazzo (a missionary midwife in Jarrol village) I felt God calling me to a bigger commitment.  So once the team went home I moved in with a Sierra Leonian family and for the next 3 months I worked with Steven (photo right) running the Gambian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (GAMFES)

I then got to trek back up to Jarrol village and finish my time there, preaching (poorly) in church and running around playing lots of soccer with kids and helping my mate Sainey plow his uncle's fields - tough work.

 I love The Gambia.  Even 10 years on, and I know lots has changed, but I still love The Gambia. The people, the land, the children, the lost and poor.  My heart and prayers still settle on that place more than most.  I follow news from the country, feel the people's pain with some of the suffering they endure.  I still hear from a few of the missionaries from time to time.  Steven even sent me some Gambian music when I moved to dBay a few years back.

I came close to holidaying there last year, just to visit - because I do have a real desire to go back. I hope God leads me there in the future, I know His work is on going through WEC and other missions organisations.   I didn't think it would take 10 years before I went back, but I know I am still following God's will with where I am today.  I guess as the anniversary of my return home came up though it's just caused me to dwell on it all once again.

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