Today #TeamGambia had a day of rest. It began by a few team members cooking a yummy pancake breakfast. Then the team divided (with leaders in each group) and learned to take public transportation ( local taxis). Everyone was charged with meeting at the Monkey Park by 11 am.
M.O.Ms & P.O.Ps (small group leaders) did a great job maneuvering their small groups through the hustle and bustle of negotiating a reasonable taxi price and moving their small group to a designated location.
One of the teachings that sets Awe Star apart from other organizations is the way they use discipleship to move young people into a ‘Rite of Passage’ during their mission experience. They learn to take on adult responsibilities throughout their trip that eventually translate into adult behaviosr that continue ‘Great Commission’ living beyond their trip.
Today they had to learn to negotiate for a ride, barter at the market, pick a budgeted place for lunch, and maneuver through an area of Africa that is safe, but allows them to learn decision-making skills.
They all did a great job and rose to the challenge. It’s exciting for them to take 'knowledge' they are learning and translate it into ‘skills’ they can continue to use when they get home.
Continue to pray for us as tomorrow we begin taking the Awe Star drama (an 18 min chronology of the gospel in the local language) to streets, markets, schools, and villages. Pray for divine encounters, and that the Lord would direct our steps to the right sites throughout the day.
Pray also for the Breaking Borders Medical team members that are traveling back to the states today.
Approximately 850 patients later, #TeamGambia saw their last patients for this part of the mission... Well at least in a mobile clinic setting. Dr. Nunley, one of the Awe Star Country Coordinators, is remaining for the entire trip and will continue to see some patients by appointment only. Our Breaking Borders Medical team will depart tomorrow.
Today the students performed the Awe Star drama in church and then again at the start of the medical clinic this evening. Many Muslims heard the gospel multiple times throughout the last couple of days, and today God awakened their hearts for Him. Seeing so many come to know Jesus is what gave our team members the endurance to keep going.
One more triage, one more exam, one more lab, one more injection.... it was all for that one more. Because that one more could be the divine encounter that the whole day was arranged for.
Thank you for praying for us, especially these last few days. Jesus has done so much and has enabled so many to hear the gospel for the first time.
Tomorrow #TeamGambia will take a day of rest. They will sleep in a bit, wash clothes, and rejuvenate, preparing for another 10 days of intense ministry using the Awe Star drama......Oh and I don’t want to forget... visit the local monkey park.
The chairs kept filling and more and more faces kept appearing. The more the Practitioners saw, it was as if the more people came in by the masses. A church member finally came and told us, “A man came to the medical clinic yesterday and was seen by the doctors, he was prayed for and God healed him in the night! Word of his healing spread like wild fire and as many heard, came today, to receive that same healing.”
Today was a good day. A full day. A day we will never forget. It was a day we learned to press past our own comforts and flesh to serve the masses that sat as “sheep without a Shepard.” Today our team had to ask, “How did Jesus do it? How did He continually have masses surround Him, in need and in distress, and still be moved with compassion for the one?” We learned today that He could only do it empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In our weakness, that is when our Father in Heaven shines most bright! Many came to Christ today. Many heard the gospel for the very first time. Many not only heard, but felt the love of Christ as our students served them, washed their feet, bound their wounds, touched their hurts, and loved them in their distress.
Today was supposed to be our last ‘official’ Clinic day. But being ‘moved with compassion’ we felt led to extend medical for one more day. Tomorrow after church we will have one more medical clinic. We handed out about 75 numbers to be seen tomorrow. Please pray for our team as we do our final clinic tomorrow evening. Everyone is tired, but our hearts have been so gripped by seeing so many in need that we can’t turn them away. I imagine that Jesus felt the same way.
“And seeing the masses He had compassion on them...” Matthew 14:14
Shaking hands; Calloused hands, Dirty hands, Sweaty hands, Holding hands, Loving hands, Serving hands... His healing hands.
It is HIS hands that have held and healed as students served in clinic today. Each taking hold of dirty, sweaty, hurting hands and allowing His Spirit to bring healing to their hurts. Today, many Muslims gave their life to Christ as students re-presented the gospel in triage, in injections, in pharmacy, and in exams. It was amazing. His presence came as students boldly asked patients if they wanted prayer but ALSO, if they wanted to know Jesus personally. Despite the intimidation of the lostness in their patients' eyes, students persisted in prayer and searching for ways to build a bridge to the gospel.
One moment today that showed God’s amazing timing was in injections. A student that was struggling with feeling useful today was moved to injections for part of the clinic. No one knew she was struggling, but later she shared with everyone how much a certain encounter had encouraged her, and showed her how Jesus arranges even our clinic assignments.
As a widowed refugee came through the clinic, she instantly began to share how she was struggling with telling her son that her husband had died. He had died several years before, but her son was very young at the time and she did not tell him; she had come to realize she must now tell now that his father had died. Fearful he would reject her for lying and would not understand why she did not tell him before, she asked us to pray for her. The student who volunteered to be in injections had also asked to be the next to share the gospel with whoever came through the line. Little did she know, she was about to experience a divine encounter, as God had arranged a situation that hit very close to home for her, one that she would be able to easily pray for and later share. This student had lost her own father a few years ago, so when the patient began to share her heart, the student instantly felt the pain she knew the patient's son would feel.
It reminded us of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “The God of ALL comforts, Who comforts us in our affliction, so we can comfort those that are being afflicted with the same comfort we have received from God....”
Please continue to pray as we engage in our last clinic day tomorrow that hearts are transformed by the Gospel.
Pray that His hands will heal through our serving hands.
Pray also that the walls of Islam will fall, darkness will be pushed back, and souls will be saved.
What an amazing day! Over 200 patients later, Awe Star and Breaking Borders team members left Bullock Village, tired from serving, but filled with joy from seeing God move.
During triage, patient after patient was being led to Christ. Awe Star always starts every clinic with a presentation of the Gospel through the drama. Testimonies are given throughout the day, but it’s at triage that the Gospel is first personalized. For some, they hear in triage and by the time they get to the doctor, God has taken that small seed and fertilized it, making it ready for salvation. For others, their Eternity is changed at triage. So all day throughout the clinic we pray, we serve, we speak the gospel, and then we wait.
We wait for God to give us that ‘moment.’ That ‘moment’ when the hustle and bustle of the clinic seems to stop, and God shows up in conversation that leads to salvation. It is always a beautiful ‘moment’ that everyone rejoices in. Today, we had a lot of those ‘moments.’
One conversation was with a girl around 15 years of age who had just left school. She was asked if she understood the second story of the drama (this is the story of Jesus and His coming to die for our sins); she said no. As we began to share with her about Jesus, she said that she had an uncle that had a book that told all kinds of stories about Jesus.
Her uncle had a library for the village and in it was this ‘special book’ that told the same things we were telling her. This book was a Bible, but she did not know to call it that. She had been raised Muslim her whole life, but today a seed was watered that had been planted through her hearing the stories from an Uncle who read, ‘the special book!’ This was one of those moments we wait and pray for, where all God has been doing collides with the present moment of His calling forth souls.
Please pray for God to move on hearts and tear down walls of Islam.
Pray for the students and practitioners to be given strength and endurance.
Pray for the new believers that have come to Christ in Yuna and Bullock Village.
Pray that the Muslim people would be given dreams and visions before we arrive, and that as we preach the Gospel, their dreams and visions will confirm the Gospel.
Today our team traveled to a more remote village and set up for two days of medical ministry. We arrived to patients waiting and a local Midwife who could not believe that Practitioners from the States would come to her village. Partnered together, we began seeing patients.
Little did we know, today, the rainy season would hit. The sky suddenly turned dark and rain began to flood the village. People rushed into the small building where we were doing clinic. One by one students began sharing, then worshiping with all the patients.
God showed up. The rain brought His Reign into the village.
Right before the rain came, children began to form lines as several of our students began washing their feet. Our team can not get over how much of an impact washing the feet of the women and children has made. It is like when we begin washing, Jesus comes more powerfully in our midst. Several Muslims prayed to receive Christ today! One was a tribal Muslim man who was 85 years old and in poor health. Imagine, in his final days God was arranging for a team thousands of miles away to come to this particular village just to encounter Him so his eternity could be changed forever. God is so Good! Students were able to perform the Awe Star drama and many divine encounters were taking place.
Please continue to pray and ask the Lord of the Harvest for more and more to come to know Him!
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Dusty roads, barefoot feet, and desperation-filled eyes patiently waited as our sardine packed African bus drove up to the big tree where our mobile medical clinic would set up for the second day in a row. #TeamGambia filled their day with medical jargon, outstretched hands, and a village of lost souls as they saw approximately 250 patients at Yuna village.
Several Muslim patients prayed to receive Christ today as Medical Practitioners not only examined their physical needs, but assessed their spiritual needs as well. Students prayed, played, and provided everything from giving medications from our in-house mobile pharmacy to sitting in dirt sand mounds playing with toddlers to teens. It was just an incredible day. The team is tired but as one student said, “It’s a kind of tired that feels good!”
Tonight they are getting to bed early to prepare for another full day of clinic in another village a couple hours from where we have been the last two days. Please pray for us as we enter this new village.
-Boldness to share the gospel
-Clear communication through translators
-Renewed energy and strength
- Eyes to be open to the Truth of the Gospel
- Strongholds of Islam to crumble
Today #TeamGambia had the privilege of modeling the gospel through washing the feet of women and children waiting at our village medical clinic! It was incredible.
Students embraced Jesus' Ministry with bent knees, humbling themselves to a village of the most disadvantaged and neglected. Bystanders stared in amazement that ‘Americans’ would wash the feet of their ‘African’ brothers & sisters. What they didn’t know was that our team members felt incredible privilege and honor to be able to identify with Jesus in serving them in this way. When the students finished, the African children asked if they could use the tubs and water and wash each other’s feet, like they saw our team do for them.
What a picture of Jesus!
What a model of humility!
What a witness to the incredible gospel we are sharing with our words, as we serve them with our hands.
#TeamGambia served non-stop, family after family, throughout the clinic. From foot washing, to medical exams, triage, injections, labs, eye glasses, and pharmacy....Each Awe Star student and Breaking Borders Medical Professional served with their whole heart today.
Dr. Nunley and one of the Awe Star students were able to engage in conversation with one of the village elders during his exam and had the privilege of leading him to Christ! All were prayed for, many were encouraged, and seeds were planted. Now we pray ‘ Lord draw them to Yourself!’
Please join us in praying for tomorrow as we return to this village and continue ministering to them in words and deed through the Awe Star drama and medicine.
" Be Still and Know the I am God, and I'll be exalted among the nations, I will be known throughout the earth.'
Today was an incredible day. It began with dancing, preaching, singing, and testimonies with our African brothers and sisters. We joined New Life Fellowship International for Sunday service and got to experience a little taste of what Worship among all nations, tribes, and peoples will be like in Heaven.
After Service we came back to a quick lunch and then regrouped with team worship and prayer. The team took about 30 minutes to mediate on Psalms 46:10 and learn to 'be still and know.' before we hit the beach for our first ministry site.
Prayer walking all the way down the beach the team quickly noticed crowds of local Gambians gathering. Trying to capture the moment the team set up quickly and began engaging in the crowd. Literally hundreds of Gambians were being drawn in as students shared their testimonies and began the Awe Star Drama. Once the drama was finished, students rushed out to the people God had laid on their heart and before we knew it Muslims were giving their lives over to Jesus.
One man in particular was named Gabriel. When the team was getting ready to leave the ministry site we decided to get a group picture by a Gambian boat. I did not know that students had talked with this man. I noticed him reading one of the scripture booklets we had handed out, so I asked him his name. I noticed immediately that his countenance was different than those around him. He had a soft look in his eyes. He offered to take our team picture and when he finished, I asked him, " Are you a 'Believer?' " He hesitated in answering so, I thought maybe he didn't understand the question. So I asked, " Are you a Muslim or Christian Believer?" He then shocked me with his words.
He said, " I am a Christian Believer. I use to be Muslim, but now I follow Jesus." I said, " That is great! When did you become a Christian?'" He then smiled really big and said, " About 45 minutes ago! One of your guys prayed with me and led me to know Jesus ! "
We had just taught our students to "Be still and know...' To know God owns the people of The Gambia. To know that God is well able to move and save Muslims. To know that language isn't a barrier to a God of all languages. To know that if we will give Him control over the ministry, He will make Himself known to the people.
In our stillness, He exalted Himself and made Himself known to Gabriel and many more who prayed to receive Jesus tonight!
Thank you to everyone that has been praying. #TeamGambia is walking in power, not by their strength or might, but because so many are praying and calling forth His kingdom to earth!
Today the team woke to a different scene. From Airplanes and terminals to dirt roads and livestock... #TeamGambia is now breathing in African air and their eyes are wide open to lostness all around.
The day began in worship. Restoring Fame to the One as Psalms 24 declares, “ The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the people and those who dwell in it...” The one who Owns it all.
After worship they gathered and practiced the drama one last time, they then learned basic medical skills to utilize in the clinic and then repackaged medicines to ensure our mobile medical clinic runs smoothly. The next 7 days will be intense as ministry begins. Pray for stamina, endurance, grace, and most importantly- Boldness to declare the Good News in a land robbed of Truth.