Carol’s Story: ‘Their smiles and generosity melted my heart’

I have recently revisited the Gambia with the New Life Gambia Charity.

I first visited in March 2016 and was excited to be able to return again. This trip we spent time visiting two schools one at Kanifing and the other at Half Dye. These schools provide nursery, primary , junior and secondary education for 1600 students. There are 64 full time staff – teachers, admin, nurses, outreach workers, maintenance and domestic staff. Just 64 for all those children!

My visits have been incredible eye openers for me. Everyone welcomed us with so much love and friendliness.  Despite the poverty and poor living conditions, their smiles and generosity melted my heart.

During my time there, with some other volunteers, I spent time playing and fellowshiping with the children. We did singing, crafts, colouring, games and sports (skipping, egg and spoon races, balloons and bubbles were their favourites! … no electronic games, phones or ipods here!)

A couple of evenings a week and on a Sunday morning, they hold a Christian programme and service at the Kanifing School. These meetings were a blessing in every way. It was amazing to hear such testimonies and words of encouragement, the worship was wonderful. To see such young Gambian children singing, dancing and praising the Lord was a special experience.

I spent a lot of time last year with a lovely girl, Marianna who was then 12 years old. I was able again this year to meet up with her. After a meeting she came to me and said she had been attending the Christian programme for a while but she wasn’t a Christian. I asked if she would like to become one and she replied enthusiastically that she “really would like to become one!” We found a quiet spot and we prayed and she asked Jesus to come into her life, and to remain with her always. What a wonderful moment to be able to share in her new birth in Christ. We went and told the Minister and several of her friends what she had done and it was lovely to see such celebrations.

I pray that Marianna will grow in God’s love with the support and encouragement of the New Life Team. I hope I will have the privilege of meeting up with her on my next visit. It was a special ending to an amazing week.

Carol x

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28 v 19

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