Workshops in the Gambia. 08/06
Report by John Jatta in August 2006.
News from John Jatta – Churches, Channels of Hope facilitator in The Gambia. (The Gambia is in Western Africa, and is the smallest country on the African continental mainland.) As I am seated on the computer now, I am just from a facilitation from a place called CAMPANT, a town about 115Km away from where I live.
A camp was organised by ‘Youth For Christ’ and the camp was married with lots of empowering programs on evangelism, Christian response to HIV and AIDS, culture and gospel in sports. Youth leaders and youth pastors attended the camp from 33 different churches around the country. 78 people attended the camp from different churches. The program was hectic but very educative. From my part two of us where invited to facilitate HIV and AIDS. My partner is a staff of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) who was also trained in Nigeria. We where given two days to facilitate, so we divided the participants into two groups. I handled 39 participants of whom 11 of them are youth pastors and the rest are in the youth leadership of their various churches.
For the first time I applied the highly confidential questions. I also used the ‘hypothetical scenario’ and also the ‘agree or disagree’ questions which were very interactive and exciting. With the highly confidential questions, I felt it was really difficult for participants to be sincere with themselves despite the high security surrounding the exercise. But I thank God that the exercise achieved something. It made us dwell on ourselves rather than talking about others. With the exercise everybody felt that we are all part of the problem so the church must take her position in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Some people really find it difficult to accept that sex must always be talked about on pulpit. But at the end of the facilitation today most of them agreed that we must break the silence in talking about sex on pulpit.
My co-facilitator and I together with some of the youth leaders see it as a strong need to organise a workshop inviting even church pastors to attend. They acknowledged that we have good stuffs for the church of the Gambia so it must be put into good use. Please do pray for us that this will work well. We believe it is possible. I really appreciate God for the privilege to be part of CABSA facilitators. Your facilitation manual is rich in information and exciting in presentation. May God continue to bless you and your team in your endeavour.