Thank you, Lord, for going before us. Joan Schmitz cared for the guesthouse while we have been in the village this past month, and her takeaway is how much our team will need a short-term replacement when we go on furlough in 2025. In April, the ABWE guesthouse had a team of 18 from Norway for a few weeks and other teams from different nations such as Korea, Canada, and Germany, all to share the gospel in The Gambia. Praise God for this supporting ministry.
In our last month in Ndungu Kebbeh, we close doors on things we won’t have in the city. We will miss the hustle and bustle of Luma (weekly farmers market) to get basic supplies. We will miss our clothes being hand-washed, wrung, and dried on the line. But this line is not like the line you think of at your grandmother's house because The Gambia has something your grandma didn’t, the hot African sun. Clothing dries so quickly it becomes stiff and rough like the rag you left in the driveway after washing the car. The clothes are taken off the line later in the day and folded. However, the shirts we brought have been dirt-filled, sweat through, washed, wrung at full strength, and dried in the African sun at least two times a week. Plus, Patrick goes through at least two sets of clothing a day. We were warned that our clothing would not last as they did in America, and they were not joking. The shirts we brought are now tattered, stretched out, faded, torn, thinned, and have holes in the seams in just our first 7 months. We will need a whole new wardrobe before the end of the year. Our laundress will no longer have work as we head to the city but recently requested English bibles for her two older children who read and speak English. Please pray with us that God would use our resources for His glory.
It has not rained since October, yet the trees are bearing fruit. The cashew tree in our front yard is ready for harvest, and the fruit itself is bitter as a lemon, but the flesh is waxy on the outside and stringy in the middle, so we found it best for juicing. Watch out for that cashew nut, it has poison on it like poison ivy so wear gloves when picking it. Nothing like learning the hard way. The mango and orange trees are slowly ripening, and the guava trees are starting to sprout, but they won’t be ready for harvest until late May.
With it being the dry season, the sand and dirt are constantly in the wind and air. During American spring, you open your windows on a beautiful day, and by the end of the day you may notice the layer of pollen in your home or look out at your pollen-covered car. So, imagine particles of dirt and sand instead, with the same intensity for six months straight. A weekly solar panel washing is a necessity. If they don’t keep the solar panels washed, the buildup gets so thick that the panels no longer function the way they should, and we sleep with no fans at night. Even with our windows open only at night, the dust and dirt get in our home, EVERYTHING needs to be wet dusted, and the floors need to be swept and mopped every single day. When they told us that we will need a house worker to come Monday through Friday to keep up with the dust we couldn’t fathom why but in just two days the dust piles up like it’s been a month. Our houseworker doesn’t speak any English but is interested to know more about Jesus. We gave her and her daughter SD cards that have the Jesus film and other ministry films in Wolof. Please pray with us, that God uses this SD ministry to touch her heart with His light.
As we pack up village life we will miss many things here, but we know that God thrusts us into nothing for which He is not prepared. We keep focusing on His will and glory over any direction of our own.
Praise and Prayer Requests
~ Pray for God to send more labors to The Gambia.
~ Pray as we transition to the city from the village
~Pray for our children who are having to move yet again.
~Pray for us to find new language teachers quickly
~Pray for God to be glorified in all we do.
Patrick, Michele, Alyssa,