Will ABWE still be ministering in The Gambia? Yes! God has a team working to share the gospel in The Gambia and he is growing His team here. We are moving in a new direction that will open more doors for people to come and serve as well as more doors for the gospel. Let me know if you feel he may be calling you to join us short term or career.
Will you (Alison) still be in The Gambia? Yes! God called me to serve in The Gambia and share the gospel to the people of The Gambia in whatever way he desired. So, I will be here and I will have even more opportunities to share the gospel with The Gambian people.
Will you still be a PA and/or provide medical care? I love being a Physician Associate (our new title) / Physician Assistant and God has given me a lot of knowledge and experience in healthcare. I will maintain my license, but the way I provide care will look different with more of an emphasis on health education. Honestly, health education and really getting to spend good time one on one with my patients has always been my favorite part of what I do.
Why was this decision made? There has been discussion about the direction of the health ministry for many years. When we opened the doors of our one room dispensary over 40 years ago there was no healthcare in this area. Over the last 40 years there have been many community health posts, small clinics and hospitals built who are providing health care to our village and the surrounding villages. Currently, we only have one medical missionary on our team (me) and the work of the clinic as well as the financial burden cannot be sustained by only one missionary. We have discussed with our organization, our teammates, our Gambian employees and many more as well as spent a lot of time in prayer and we feel this is clearly the direction the Lord is leading.
What about all of the patients? We are working closely with the village leaders and with the Ministry of Health in The Gambia to try and minimize the impact as best we can on our patients. We don’t know what this will look like yet, but we have several options to help.
When will things change? We expect to continue operations as normal throughout 2022.
What is CHE (Community Health Evangelism)? “Community Health Evangelism (CHE) is a proven ministry strategy that seamlessly integrates evangelism, discipleship, and church planting with community health and development. Through CHE ministries, people become followers of Jesus, and whole communities are lifted out of cycles of poverty and disease” (global che network). Check out this website for lots of information and/or email me and I will send you a flyer.
When will you be in the US? I will come to the US for a brief furlough time in January 2023. I will be undergoing training in the new community health evangelism ministry as well as resting some and reporting to all of you about the new direction. I expect to be in the US about 6 months.
How can we help? We need your prayers, this next year of solo work in the clinic as well as all of the upcoming logistics and transitions will be hard and this is a big decision that carries with it many emotions. Also, we need your help here in The Gambia. There is over 40 years worth of equipment, supplies and who knows what else stored and it all has to be organized and cleaned out before December. We need individuals who can come for 4+ weeks or teams for 2+ weeks in 2022 and in 2023 and serve alongside of us as an encouragement and help during these hard days.
How can we pray? Pray for wisdom as we navigate all of these decisions, our desire is to glorify God and follow His will in all of this. Pray for my strength emotionally, physically and spiritually as this will be a hard year. Pray for our Gambian workers and neighbors that they would continue to understand why we made this decision and how our hearts are still here
What about our financial support? I am still serving with ABWE in The Gambia, this is just a new direction where there will be even more impact for community change and the gospel. Your financial partnership is needed now more than ever to keep the Lord’s work moving forward in this place. I would ask that you pray about continuing your current support and please email me if you have any questions or concerns.
How are people taking this news? There has been a lot of prayer for the announcements to our workers, the government and our community and God has truly gone before us. Most people are sad and a little scared about their healthcare future, but everyone has said that they completely understand the decision and they know that I cannot continue the work by myself. We are listening to those around us and doing our very best to transition this ministry well and minimize the impact on our community.
How are you (Alison) doing? My heart is sad for this decision and the impact it will make, but I am really excited about the new ministry opportunities. Honestly, the work right now being by myself is just too much to continue and is really limiting the time and energy I have to spend one on one with those I am ministering to. The new ministry will allow me a lot more time for relationships with nationals and more openings to pray and share the gospel. This year with the transitions will be a lot of work and will be hard physically and emotionally, so please keep me in your prayers.
I have more questions? This is a public website so there are some things I cannot answer here and each of you may have your own specific questions. Please email me your questions, comments or concerns. I wish I could sit down with each of you and share in person. However, I have done my best to share my heart with you and I have a video prepared that I can email you if you wish. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for the video or with questions.