Ramadan came upon us during April, giving us opportunities to share why we do not observe the Muslim tradition of month-long fasting. A tradition that also includes bragging about your generosity. We witnessed people anxiously awaiting as a person brought a truckload full of bags of rice to give away to show God and others that they are good people. We even received text messages from our wireless carrier reminding us of prayer and fasting. We took time and joined our new friends in their tradition of breaking the fast a few times over the course of the month.
We also had a few of our own traditions as we celebrated Easter. On Good Friday, Michele had a few girls from Omega Church and the community join her in making cookies. As they baked, she was able to share the gospel as to why we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. On Holy Saturday, we celebrated with those from the Omega congregation and some other churches for 24 baptisms in the Atlantic Ocean. On Easter Sunday, we joined Daniel and Sarah Jenkins at their new church plant, about an hour from the guesthouse. After their service, we joined them for a Gambian meal.
Unfortunately, tensions run high during this time, as you know, even when you skip one meal, let alone do it every day for 40 days straight. With this tension, we must report that some incidents occurred. These include an assault on a priest, a church building, and the burning of Bibles in two separate towns in The Gambia. The ECG (Evangelical Church of The Gambia) knew we as Christians needed to respond and respond we did. We got on our knees and prayed to the King of Kings, then we gathered for a time of more prayer and worship. Over 2,000 Christians came together in worship that Sunday. They prayed for our God's love to be what shines most on those that choose to persecute Christians here and all over the world.
Meanwhile, God continues to send His missionaries through our guesthouse, including our previous teammate. We were thrilled to welcome Teresa Stenoien back to the field, even though it is only for a month. It is wonderful to have her back in the fold, even if only for a little while. Patrick continues to challenge his theology class on Monday nights, and we can officially say we have finished the work on the dry wells. God has more in store for this property, but that will have to wait for next month's newsletter.
Praise and Prayer Requests
~Pray for the continued theological training classes.
~Pray for the increase in the seeds we have planted.
~Pray for God's peace that passes all understanding during religious tensions
~Alison and her new role in The Gambia
~Pray on how we can continue to disciple & encourage.
The Reeds, Patrick, Michele, Alyssa, Danielle, and Luke