Friday, July 28, 2006

From The Gambia

hey gang!

I made it to Africa! Believe it or not, it was harder than it sounds. My initial flight was very interesting. In short, I missed my flight from JFK to Senegal and subsequently from Senegal to Gambia. This happened because of bad thunderstorms that delayed my Philly flight for 5 hours. So I slept in the JFK airport – homeless style, except with a nice tempurpedic travel pillow that my dad gave to me years back. The airline I was flying with only sends one plane a day and it leaves at 6 pm. So, by God’s grace and mercy, I made that flight the following day even though I was flying standby and not guaranteed a seat. When I got to Senegal, they told me that the one flight to the Gambia that day was “full.” But thanks to this guy Mata that I met at the airport I was able to work out a deal with the Airline and suddenly they had a seat for me. I arrived in Gambia a couple hours after that, just in time for Sunday worship. Total travel time: 41 hours. For those of you who are into detail, I put the full version of the story below in a previous post so you can read if you’d like.

Things are going super here. God is great and I praise his mighty name. I’m in the capital city of Gambia, Banjul, with 15 other brothers and sisters from around the country. We jumped right into the primer construction project on Monday morning. We are making a Bible-content literacy primer in Mandinka to teach people how to read and write in their own language. Today we finished up to lesson 32 and tomorrow we start on the health and agriculture lessons. The team is incredible – devoted, focused, and excited about the work.

Tuesday was a really rough day for me, I was really sick with a 102 fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. I spent almost the whole day in bed, checking on the team from time to time as they worked on the primer…I was so weak though and could barely stand up. I told them that I felt like the sickness was an attack from the enemy in an attempt to hinder the Lord’s work….I normally don’t make such claims but I really felt like my health was being attacked. Every time I’ve made a primer (whether in Mongolia, India, Peru, or Bolivia), I’ve always gotten sick in a similar fashion. Apart from that, my third world travels are rife with good health. So I felt like Satan, knowing that we are making a book that will enlighten peoples mind and introduce them to the Living Word, was trying to again attack me as the leader of the primer team. So at the end of the day, I asked everybody to lay hands on me and pray for healing. As they prayed, I just believed that God was going to heal. They finished praying and then everyone said in their beautiful african accents, “ok, brother, you are healed now.” Sure enough, as the night went on, I started feeling better. I went to sleep and woke up like a new man – no fever, no vomiting, no more diarrhea. God did heal me. His power is above anything in this world. As I asked God for healing I also asked him that it would be a testimony to others….to show that God moves in real and practical ways and still does miracles.

Well, that’s all I’ll write for now. Thank you all for your prayers. Much love,


Here are some pics from the little I’ve seen so far:

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