Population: 1.88 million (2013)
Official language: English
Major religion: Islam
IFES movement: Fellowship of Evangelical Students (FES)
The Gambia, whose economy is highly dependent on tourism, peanut exports and foreign aid, is the smallest country on mainland Africa. About 95% of the population are Muslim. There is religious tolerance and freedom of religion is legally guaranteed. However, Muslims in The Gambia are beginning to work more closely with other Islamic nations and the younger generation is becoming increasingly extreme.
- about 300 students in 10 institutions
- 5 full-time and 1 volunteer
- graduate ministry - about 110 members
- grass roots work in some high schools
- largest group at the Gambia College Brikama campus (125 students)
- smallest group at the GTTI annex (20 students)
FES’ greatest strength is that most of their students leave with a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and a strong commitment to missions. The movement has been delighted to see some students becoming more involved during their undergraduate years and taking ownership of the movement. Most students are standing out as good examples in their local context.
FES is working more and more in partnership with local churches and other Christian groups. God has used it as a platform to bring together all the youth-based Christian groups to think about the future of the church in The Gambia. The movement has been organising trainings for local churches on inductive Bible study and how to reach out to Muslims.
View from the inside
Noble Roberts is the General Secretary of FES. He says, ‘I firmly believe the only way we can guide our nation and the church to keep the way of the Lord is by raising a generation of people in the way of the Lord. I believe IFES is a major instrument in this direction.’
Noble is inspired by God’s promises to Abraham in Genesis 18:18-19: ‘Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’
Please pray for:
- students to have more boldness and be more deliberate in reaching out to Muslims;
- the strengthening of the small groups on campus;
- more local funding to ensure long-term sustainability.