Monday, September 15, 2008

God Blesses

November 11,
June through November is really rough in The Gambia. The rainy season started back in June. The temperatures are now, hot, the air is humid and the rains are decreasing. One of my missionary friends that live in Banjul commented in the prayer letter, "Praise God for no rain in three days!" It is true, the rains are decreasing. It remains hot and humid though. The crops are in the fields and the time for harvesting is coming. The last several years have not yielded a good crop. The cash crop is peanut; they also grow millet. Prior to harvest the food supply from last year has finished. The price of rice has sky rocketed. We used to pay about 300 Dalasi, it is now over 900 Dalasi for a sack of rice. Rice is usually served for lunch and dinner. Rice may also be used to make a poridge for breakfast. It is not uncommon to have friends coming to the door to ask for help with something for dinner. They have no money for anything and they didn't have lunch, breakfast or dinner yesterday.

In May, we had some guest from the home office of ABWE come for a spiritual retreat. One night, we were sitting under the night skies discussing our neighbors and their hardships: the lack of food, the increase in the cost of rice. Our guest offered to share this concern with his friends in Europe as well as in America. Since then we have been praying for God to provide the monies to purchase rice for the people in The Gambia.

God provided over $21,500 for the Gambia rice project. The village of Ndungu Kebbeh and our employees were teh first to receive the rice, each head of the family was given a full sack (5o kgs). Since we still had rice and money to purchase more, we went to nine (9) neighboring villages and gave each family provider in those villages a half sack of rice. Each bag of rice that was given was accompanied by a booklet in Wolof that shares the gospel story from Creation to Christ. Many reports have come from people who have read the booklet and even read it to others. Thousands of people have heard the gospel in the last few months. PRAISE GOD.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that there was a young man that was sick and would need to go to Dakar, Senegal for cancer treatment. Samba has had several weeks of treatment. He returned to The Gambia a few weeks ago and his father wanted to have him meet with us to express their thanks. Thank you for your prayers, and thank you for the financial gifts that were given to help with his treatments. He will be returning to Dakar in three weeks for evaluations and possibly more treatment. As of now, he is eating, playing with the other boys in the neighborhood and enjoying being home with his family.

Strange Signs......

The other day my friends and I were headed to the pool and we came across this sign. We were a little shocked by who funded the sign.

I know I wasn't too pleased to see the efforts of "Our Tax Dollars at Work."

My FAVORITE African sign says...
AMY's Beauty Boutigue, We Beautify to DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. I haven't wanted to go there for a haircut yet!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Getting Ready for Another Adventure!

Life is a great adventure, isn't it? I love praying for God to give me the strength and wisdom for the adventures I will face in the coming day. They can be something!

I arrived in The Gambia a month ago. What a month!
The plane that I arrived on also carried my coworker in the clinic, Teresa, Dr Joel Lundberg, his wife Wendy, youngest son and oldest daughter and a family friend, and Dan, Bridget and Hannah Byrum, future hospital administrator. We had a fun weekend getting supplies together and heading out to NK. The biggest challenge... low tire pressure due to the weight of our baggage. As I was climbing out of the van to have a looksie, I noticed a small gash in the side wall of the front tire. So, I prayed the van all the way home and God was gracious. No blow outs!

Shortly after I arrived, I heard that the medications I had ordered back in April, were FINALLY paid for. There were lots of problems with the wire transfer. With in a week, I received an email that the medications would be arriving the very next day by air freight. I was a little excited (not in a good way) about that. How was I going to get to the Airport. Praise God for Dan being here. I sent him and our Gambian driver across the river/ferry in our ambulance. They picked up Max and went to the airport. Several hours later... the shipment arrived and they were able to take it home. We didn't have the proper paper work, but the man let Max and Dan take the medications with their promise the paperwork would be there the following week. (This was a Friday.) So, on Monday I went to Banjul and spent the day hanging out with Max waiting for a man from The Gambia's Central Stores to report in at his office. All in all a long day. Again God's protection was around me as I heard about a horrible accident at the ferry that killed several pedestrians (I was a pedestrian passenger that day).

The Gambia is receiving free Malaria medications from Global Funds. Because we work with The Gambia Health System, we are given this medication. (A really good thing as it is VERY expensive.) The World Health Organization wants us to stop using Chloroquine in hopes that the amount of resistance can be lowered. I spent Tuesday in Essau at the referral hospital trying to get our supplies. I took Dan, Bridget and the young gals along to tour the place.

I haven't spent much time in the clinic recently. Dr Joel has been a great blessing and I have been able to step out to get some things done that I have had on the back burner. Last week Joel's family returned to the states and his friend and former Gambian missionary came out to work in the clinic for two weeks. Kurt is a blessing in many ways. He can speak the local language (still! there is hope for me) and he is a handyman who has lived her before. Joel and Kurt will be supervising the clinic this weekend as I head to Banjul for team meetings.

Last week I had the pleasure of driving our ambulance around town delivering rice. Some of you may know that the price of rice has just risen unbelievably. Our neighbors have had poor crops for several years. They are having a very hard time feeding their families. It is very common to have someone show up at my door and say they haven't eaten in a day or two, can I give them something for their dinner. This is a heart breaker as the number of requests for help far out weigh my financial means. The US Dollar has fallen here in The Gambia and a 110 pound bag of rice that use to cost about $20 is now selling for $43. A family unit will go through a sack of rice in 2-4 weeks. You can see the hardship this may bring.
A few months ago we started asking God to provide the money to give each person responsible for providing the rice, a bag of rice. God provided! Last Thursday we delivered over a three hundred bags of rice. We are praying for the opportunity to give to our employees and then to a few of our neighboring villages. Along with the rice, we gave a booklet explaining salvation from creation to Christ. Pray with us that this may be an opening for some to search the scriptures.

Tomorrow's adventure... another trip to Banjul. This time for field meetings. As always I have already started praying for our ferry crossing. Kurt and Joel will be holding down the fort. AND great news... the Lippy family have returned to The Gambia. They will be settling in this weekend. No meetings for them.

I will try to post some adventure pictures in the near future!
Thanks for reading.....