Date Entered: 1978
Major Ministries: Medical Ministries, Education Ministries (Adult Literacy, Literature Production, ESL, Nursery School, Library, Tutoring, MK Teacher), International Church Planting, Community Development
Economy: Sixty-three percent of The Gambia's population lives in rural areas, of which 80% make their living by farming peanuts, rice, millet, and sorghum. In addition to agriculture and fishing, nearly 19% of the people are employed in industry, commerce, and services. Tourism is a large market in The Gambia. Life expectancy stands at just over 59 years, while the nation's infant mortality rate is 8.4%.
Religion: Muslim 90%; Christian 8%; Indigenous Beliefs 2%
Completely surrounded by Senegal, except for its western seacoast, The Gambia is a tiny West African nation only four-fifths the size of Connecticut. It measures just 300 miles long and, on average, 18 miles wide. The maximum altitude is 239 feet above sea level, and the climate is subtropical.
Historically, this area became Britain’s first colony in 1599. Independence came in 1965, and republic status within the Commonwealth was achieved in 1970.
Following a survey by ABWE, one couple was assigned to The Gambia in 1978. They initially resided in the capital city of Banjul, but moved to the interior town of Ndungu Kebbeh after a short time to open a nursing station and begin medical evangelism.
Although the official language of The Gambia is English, in the interior local languages predominate. To be effective, evangelism must be done in the local language. At Ndungu Kebbeh, this is the Wolof language.
There are two distinct ministry venues available with ministries going on in both rural and urban settings. The rural ministry is done in the Wolof language and is ministry to Muslims. The urban ministry is conducted primarily in English and includes ministry to nationals and internationals from many countries.
Missionaries on the North Bank of the Gambia River (Ndungu Kebbeh) are working in evangelism and church planting among the rural population which is almost 100% Muslim. They are using many avenues to open doors and give them contacts for the gospel. These include medical ministry (Ndungu Kebbeh Health Centre), educational ministry ( Ndungu Kebbeh Literacy Centre, Nursery School and Library) and community development. A few Muslims have come to faith in Jesus Christ and many others are hearing God’s Word on a regular basis.
Missionaries on the South Bank of the Gambia River (Greater Banjul Area) are involved in evangelism and church planting among the diverse population around the capital city. Many internationals reside in that area so there are opportunities to minister to people from many countries, religions and walks of life. Missionaries have opportunities to teach religious education in schools, tutor and conduct English literacy classes. Many other opportunities are available as well! An English-speaking international church-in-formation is meeting regularly in a storefront with around 50 nationals and internationals. There are also guesthouse and government/business liaison ministries which provide support for the Ndungu Kebbeh station.
A great deal of Biblical evangelism and church planting must be done. The Lord of the harvest has raised up a strong team of dedicated laborers who are committed to reaching metropolitan Banjul and the tribal villages along the western north bank of the Gambia River. The missionary team is reaching out to areas surrounding each of the ministry bases, but in order to have repeated contact with many people, they need more missionaries to come join them in the huge task of reaching The Gambia for Christ.