“For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:12
Songs and prayers of thanksgiving rang out at the headquarters of Gambian-based Indigenous Mission of West Africa (IMWA) this past Saturday. Christian ministers gathered there for the handing over of evangelistic outreach materials to seven individuals who have been extraordinarily active in ministry in various parts of the country and to representatives of three local ministries that IMWA partners with.
IMWA director, Fadil Ceesay, reiterated the mission’s goal of training and equipping indigenous missionaries, so they can effectively carry out the Great Commission tasks of preaching and teaching in Gambia and neighboring countries. And Pastor Steven Musa-Kormayea emphasized, from Romans 10, that partnership is the key to success in mission because “the Lord’s blessing is transmitted through partnerships.”
Partnership was clearly on display that warm, sunny day as ten ministers of the Gospel rode away on motorcycles, each carrying a Jesus Film backpack and supplies of Bibles and audio Bibles. These materials were donated by ministries in the United States and Germany.
A mission grant from North American Lutheran Church was used to purchase ten new motorcycles at the cost of about $800.00 each. These Chinese-made motorcycles are becoming more common in Gambia. They are extremely useful on dirt roads in rural areas, especially in the rainy season.
JESUS Film Project supplies backpacks, each of which contains all the equipment necessary for showing The JESUS Film to a group of people. And ten backpacks, with the film (plus two versions of it) dubbed into a number of languages spoken in Gambia, were donated and brought over.
The JESUS Film, which closely follows the Gospel of Luke, has proven to be a very effective evangelistic tool and has been dubbed into 1,500+ languages since it was released in 1979. Click to read about it:
Faith Comes By Hearing donated 150 audio Bible players loaded with the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament in Mandinka, a language widely spoken in the country. In addition, Gideons International donated 100 New Testaments, and hundreds of Bibles were purchased in-country with funds donated from churches in the United States and Germany.
IMWA will follow up on how all these materials are being used. It was a positive sign when, as soon as Saturday night, one of the recipients sent pictures of a group of people watching The JESUS Film. Having made the trip back to the North Bank on his motorcycle, he apparently couldn’t wait till the next day to start using the equipment for evangelism! Motivation and zeal are certainly not lacking with these faithful servants.
That’s what partnering with indigenous workers looks like:
- The people of Gambia have caught the vision for home mission, and more and more of them are getting involved in Great Commission activities. And in doing so, they encounter shortages of much-needed materials.
- Meanwhile, funds and resources are available for the asking outside the country, as we found out when we applied (through our mission, Bethany Gateways) for the grant and the backpacks and when we requested Bibles. It’s a matter of supply and demand and making the necessary connections!
To the donors mentioned above, and to the churches and individuals who donated to those ministries – and, as always, to our own supporters – we are saying THANK YOU for “your partnership in the gospel” (Phil 1). We pray that God will keep supplying and multiplying, so your generosity can continue (2 Cor 9).
Jon Gowin is an NALC Global Worker, serving with Bethany Gateways in Gambia. To learn more about the Gowin family or to partner with them in ministry, please visit: https://thenalc.org/partners/jonathan-gowin/