2000-2002 Gambia Journal

Volume 3:  2000-2002 Gambia & Return


NOTE: My Gambia Newsletters were more consistent and briefer than my journal entries which I kept using “Not Enough Time” as an excuse for not being more consistent after January 2000 (which was the first full month there when I wrote fairly often).   🙂

Though also referenced in my 1999 Journal, these 3 or 4 newsletters quickly fill in up to this January 2 journal entry:

See also my 1990-1999 Journals. for the full story of Gambia which really begins in the Spring of 1999 when my job at LifeWay was eliminated and the fateful phone call from IMB in June.


2 January 2000

Morning worship at Glory Baptist with the Corbitt’s after I went first to find it and then got stuck in the sand. Several guys helped get me unstuck. The service was a praise service much like in Kenya and some churches in the states, lasting two hours when they started the Lord’s Supper. We left then as too much for the children and really all of us. But I plan to go back alone and stay for all of it. It was all African people except us, but not as African in style as in Kenya. They had electronic synthesizer and piano. Also some recorded music, like from the Gaither’s. We went home for lunch before Otis and I left for Lamin.

I went to Camera & George’s offices about 30+ minutes before Otis and the carpenter arrived. I had to listen to ego and Camera putting down Mr. George once and then again when Otis arrived. Neither man is enjoyable to do business with, though smooth talkers. But we did work out everything for the Corbitt’s Lamin house. They actually started redoing the linoleum that afternoon. But we pay for the new linoleum. They provide the labor.

I ate supper at MacFatis (the hamburger & fried chicken restaurant across the street from the U.S. Embassy) and piddled a little with TV and other stuff and washed all the dishes and refilled all my water bottles before going to bed. Power was out some of the day.

Read and to bed!

3 January 2000


I will record here the things that the printed prayer journal I am using asks me to write down. For January 3 through March 3, 2000 I am using the “Discipleship Journal” titled Day by Day in God’s Kingdom by Avery Willis and David Carter. I quit after March 3, not finishing the book.

What my Quiet Time means to me: Staying in touch with Him and growing more like Him and receiving His leadership.

Psalm 5:3 & I Cor. 1:9: Lord help me to speak to you in the morning, to lay my rquests before you and wait in expectation on you. I know that you want fellowship with me and are faithful always to me.

It is God’s will that I spend quality time with Him each morning AND each night.

I will try to spend time in conversation with Jerreh, Moudou and Jallow plus learn from the Hutchison’s and Corbitt’s.

I will try to say something about God or “Essa” to each of the above.

I will try to write down ways I can do ministry like Jesus did.


I just keep putting off starting this journal in Gambia and there is so much to write about – though I am always tired at night! I will start tonight and try to fill in the blanks above.

God is good, the work is challenging and much, and I am definitely into work more than being a tourist! Just a quick summary of today:

Up by 6:30, began the prayer journal at breakfast and in office by 8:00. Checked email and readied the computer to do the month-end financial report after Lynn came in. She came by saying she had errands to run and would be back at 10:00. Soon after she returned, the power went off and stayed off until about 6:00 this evening. We went over the paper reports and I am going to try to do it on the computer on my own tomorrow. I spent some of my time organizing the office library and dealing with the Corbitts some. Jerreh and Jallow cornered me about a New Year’s gift, which seems to be something some of the others provided for all the employees. I’m not used to being asked for a gift! Talked it over with Gerri and Lynn and still undecided about what I will do.

Went out to eat tonight at about 7 at Luigi’s for delicious Lasagna, then sponge cake with hot tea afterwards. It was a slow, leisurely meal while I read the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I wanted to read some more before going to bed, but may not make it.

4 January 2000


Genesis 28:16-19 & Luke 6:12

Help me God to make time with you THE priority of each day in a special place and time. May I thirst for my time with you.

It is God’s will that I spend time with Him daily, especially in the morning.

Father, I need to agree with you in how I see and do my work here. Help me to never be discouraged but always depend on you for strength and direction and balance and purpose.

Progress: I talked more last night to the guards, including the ones across the street and tried talking in Jola. I asked Geri and Lynn for advice.

Witness: A “God bless you” may have been all I said about God yesterday. I must do more.

Jesus healed the sick and I am giving medicine to the guards. Father, help me to know what to do about the requests for Christmas & New Year gifts. May your will be done.

5 January 2000


Explain to a 16 year old why I have a daily Quiet Time:  I’m a follower of Jesus and I must spend time with Him for my strength, purpose, and directions. How can you follow one you are not with?

1 Sam. 1:19-20 & Acts 4:13

My memory verse is Psalm 5:3:   In the morning O Lord you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

I pray that everything will be finished Tuesday for the Hutchison’s and that they will be at peace.

Progress:  I had a good time with Modou last night and  a short time this morning with Jereh. I will have Jerreh help me label items today.. Lot’s of time with the Austin’s yesterday and some with the other missionaries.

Witness:  I told Modou and Colley that I’m a follower of Christ.

Ministry:  Befriending workers while keeping roles clear and helping them set limits.

Exodus 33:9-11 – A place to meet God each day. For Moses it was “the tent of meeting.”

6 January 2000


I’m writing down some of my thoughts and prayers, plus reading the Bible which I can’t do while driving.

Luke 24: 15 & 32

Using the Scripture as I talk to people about spiritual things. It will make my witness more powerful.

I pray for the Hutchison’s and their move and new lives in MS. Also for Jallow and how I handle his position and behavior.

Progress:  Objects were labeled with Jerreh and I worshiped with the Robinson’s.

Witness:  I used the Jola language to say “I am a Christian” and also to say “I am a follower of Essa (Jesus)” with both Jerreh and Mousa the guard across the street.

Ministry:  Listening to Adelia’s problems.

7 January 2000


What I have experienced thus far in my quiet times:  Reminders of the importance of a daily quiet time in the Word and in prayer. Also the examples in the Bible have been good, plus I started some habits of prayer list and planning daily witness and ministry.

1 Sam. 15:11 & Acts 10:2

  1. I’m a big failure Samuel prayed all night.
  2. The faithful centurion prayed to God regularly.

Father, give Pastor Frank a renewed and powerful filling of your spirit today that he might practice incarnational living in ways that change others to be more like Christ.

Progress:  Today will be spent mostly with Lynn – Lord help me to be Christ-like with her.  And help me to be Christ-like as I deal with Jallow today.

Witness:  My behavior I hope is a witness. I did not talk to anyone specifically about Jesus yesterday and so now I know why I was discouraged yesterday evening.

Ministry:  I give good tips in restaurants and other places.

8 January 2000


They want me to set aside a half day after week 13 for an extended time alone with God & I said I will schedule that when the time comes if possible.

Deut. 4:2 & 10;  Psalm 119:103-105;  Matt. 5:118-119

A life verse:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Prov. 3:5-6  —-  That was easy! I’ve had that as my life verse since high school.

Prayer: I prayed for the Hutchison’s and Pastor Frank that God’s power will be in their lives. Help me in handling the Jallow situation.  And to get the office and business in order.


It is 9:45 PM and as usual I am too tired to write, but still trying to make the habit.

This is the first night since the 3rd to not have company in my house. It is Saturday and I had planned to go to Abuko park early this morning, but the Austin’s stayed until noon and Karen insisted on washing some of the linens before they left. Plus I had to do a load of my clothes earlier. Then business with them and the Corbitt’s and then I went to Moukhtara’s with Lynn to make the decision on ordering a larger crate than she was told she could have. It is the same size the US Embassy uses and their total cubic feet is the same. I’m new enough to play dumb on the rules.

At noon I got out of here with my camera bag. Ate my last chwarma at Ali Baba’s with their tough beef! I went to the beach on the Senegambia road and was pestered by beach bums, but did get a photo of a girl with a basket of fruit on her head. Then I went to Bijilo Park to walk about 4.5 kilometers and photographed some scenery and a few birds. Saw one monkey, but he was in the bush before a photo. I will return in early morning or early evening someday when I can see more birds and monkeys. Abuko was not open today as a Ramadan holiday and will not be until Tuesday. So I’ll go there another time.

This evening I had dinner at Barney and Adelia’s with the Hutchison’s. This was to get acquainted with Barney, the business manager at ABWE, Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. It was also for them to say goodbye to the Hutchison’s. It was a great meal, great fellowship, and I even got to hear Adelia’s missionary horror stories. They invited me to their house worship/Bible study in the morning. I am planning to go.

It is nice to have a quiet house tonight! It is after 10 and I am tired enough to even sleep through the Ramadan feast parties that have already started around me! Goodnight!

9 January 2000
Sunday. Worship and Bible study at the Barney Robison house this morning with Barney, Adelia, their daughter (Shawna?), and a new 2-month ABWE medical missionary Amy from Indiana who is doing her residency in a village hospital on the north side of the river. We sang Wolof choruses and English hymns and Barney did a study out of I Timothy. Good discussion and time together.

My morning quiet time was from I Samuel and tonight’s “Utmost” devotional included Psalm 139, 1 John 1:7, and 1 Thessalonians 5:23. God knows my innermost being and thoughts and purposes and everything! As I do prayerful inner searching, I want to give my self as a living sacrifice to God. A lot of selfish desires and ego get in the way. Help me dear God!

Great Chicken Yassa at Ali Babba’s and my faith restored in this highly rated restaurant! I asked for additional Yassa sauce and that made it even better! I will just avoid their beef and their chwarmas.

Then I went to the nearby beach, changed into swim suit and sun-bathed for 2 hours and not sunburned! Next time 2 ½ hours and then on to three maybe. Read from the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Got home and had Jerreh help me label objects in my house with Jola words on 3X5 cards. Read more of the book tonight after a leftover pizza supper and jam cake from Adelia with fruit cocktail.

It is after nine, but I may read one more chapter. It is getting exciting! It is the magical adventures of an 11-year-old boy. Hope to get up earlier tomorrow. Another big day with much to do! Goodnight.

10 January 2000


First the book wanted me to rank the value of my quiet times from 1 to 10. This book is a little childish in some ways.

Then explain why you ranked it where you did. It has always been of the highest value or importance to me. My problem has been the discipline to spend more quality time in my quiet times. (And, well, maybe that does reflect on its importance to me.) And being busy all the time is another issue!

Prayer:  Father, I’ve been too busy! Help me to slow down, relax, trust you and depend on you; spending more time with you.

Progress:  Becoming closer to the Corbitt’s and the Robinson’s.

Witness:  I’m talking to the guards more.

Ministry:  I helped the Robinson’s a lot with the food.


13 January 2000
Another busy day! I went to Banjul again and helped the Hutchison’s with some last minute details on their departure for the states. Got my alien card and signed up for a phone for the Corbitt’s. At 6:00 PM I picked up the Hutchison’s and their 11 bags and we drove to the airport on the new highway, which is not fully completed, but usable and so much better than the potholed Banjul highway! Got them all checked in and on their way. The kids wanted to eat at Luigi’s there which is on the departure side of the gate. That means I couldn’t join them for dinner. But I did get to meet “Sam the YWAM man,” his wife and daughter! They are really nice East Indians.

Ate at Ala Min Lebanese Restaurant on the way back. It was good!

14 January 2000
I contacted the Robison’s about getting some of the food left at the Hutch’s. They were thrilled!

15 January 2000


Write one thing you need to say to God:   Help me get my priorities right. Help me spend more time with you. Help me to know how to witness. Get me out of this discouragement or mode of being overwhelmed.

Job 23:12; Jer. 15:16;  Rom 7:12 & 22;  I Thess. 2:13

God’s word is holy, powerful, and will work in me to do His work. Help me to know it, memorize it and live it daily.

Prayer: Help me to focus on Jesus in all that I do and to spend more time with you. Help me to make wise decisions in worship, in work, in relationships. Help me to be led by you in everything!


Slept late, did email and shopping and finished the book Harry Potter and the Soccer’s Stone. Even watched the 10 AM CNN World News with a European slant.

About 5:10 I entered the gates of Abuko National Park to photograph animals and birds, but they closed at 6 and I had to be out “by half past six.” I went by the Educational Center where I tried to photograph some crocodiles, but they stayed under water mostly. Then I went to the first “photo blind” and had a great time! As my time was running out, I quickly tried the second blind, but it was not as good and the water there was dried up. I was running out at 6:35 and the guys at the gate didn’t seem bothered at all about the time. I will try it later when I can go at 8:00 AM as they open and go all the way through to see their caged large animals, but believe the first blind is going to be my favorite spot for both birds and monkeys. My supper was leftover roast beef from the Hutchison’s and some canned green beans and bread. Pretty good! Watched the video movie Prince of Egypt. Good!

16 January 2000


Recall one occurrence yesterday you could have handled better:   Rushed time at Abuko. God would have given me peace about not being locked in.

Ps. 12:16;  Jer. 23:29;  I Cor. 10:11;  2 Tim. 3:16-17

Psalm – Word is flawless, refined, pure, perfect

Jeremiah – Powerful weapon against evil

I Cor. – Examples and warnings for me

2 Tim – God-breathed, teaching, rebuking, correcting, training so that I may be equipped.

Prayer:  Thank you for bringing me here to The Gambia. Please show me when I stray and take the wrong path.

Fellowship:  I talked with Maaxie, a new Mandinka Christian on beach today and prayed for him. Plus I listened to Otis today.

Witness:  Young man in Roosters Restaurant who knows Chris in Farafenni where he lives. I explained baptism to him.   Plus I tried to talk to young man on beach who showed no interest.

Ministry:  I treated Jerreh’s injured fingers.


Slept a little late again, like 7:15, got ready for church thinking “now it’s an hour earlier here, so it starts at 9:00.” Wrong! Glory Baptist has a children’s Sunday school at 9, but worship is 10:00 to 12:30. I didn’t want to go back home again and then return later, so Plan 2 kicked into effect: Many missionaries do a family worship at home and have thought about my single family worship being at the beach. Sooo, all dressed up I drive to the beach, learn quickly how to engage 4-wheel drive and take off beyond Bijilo on the mostly deserted beach.

I took off my shoes and socks, rolled up my black dress pants and sat on the mat with the pounding surf and gorgeous sky and beach. I read from 1 Timothy, then the long Psalm 119 plus 120 and back to Timothy through 2 Timothy. God spoke to me in many ways in this most beautiful of all sanctuaries! First in 1 Timothy I was reminded of my role here in The Gambia. I talked with God about it and felt good, but reminded that I must stay focused on the Main Thing and not get off track on details or Satan’s temptations to feel sorry for myself for working so hard. I brought that on myself!

In the Psalms I worshiped and praised God and was reminded again of the importance of His word in my life AND His commandments. I decided to write Paul Ellis and let him know that I may include a little of the Ten Commandments in my witness now, or at least the importance of the law. But throughout 119 I was reminded of the importance of reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on God’s Word.

I had two interruptions by Gambian passers by. The first was probably a “beach bumster” wanting to help tourists for tips. I told him about my worship time and began telling him about Jesus or Esa. He scurried on. Then after some more reading and prayer, another guy stopped. I started doing the same thing and he told me he was a Christian and read his Bible too. He was kicked out of his family compound when he became a follower of Esa and has been living on the beach in a little shack where he sells drinks to tourists. He did go to a church in Serekunda, Boundoun ECG, but now walks down the beach to Ghana Town to attend the Grace Baptist church there. He said his name was Mamadou until he became a follower then he changed it to Maaxie. I prayed for him aloud and he thanked me. Then he went on his way. I told Otis about him and will try to get his last name and more on him next time. He is Mandinka and Otis can work with him.

Sunbathed a little, but still too much as I am red now! Had lunch at Churchill’s for their “Sunday Roast” special for D50 which is less than US$5. Pretty good! The beef wasn’t as tough as some, though had some gristle. No Gambian beef is real tender! It had potatoes, carrots, boiled cabbage, and mashed potatoes with a gravy boat of gravy on the side. Yum! Then banana fritters with vanilla ice cream! I had a great lunch in a British atmosphere. Playing pool were an older Englishmen and a twenty-something from “the south of England in Devon.” They were quite interesting to watch, as was the play of two little girls running around the English tavern. The young man looked American in his dress and dreadlocks, but the accent gave him away. I chatted with him a moment. A pleasant chap!

I got home and talked briefly with Otis, who came by for his mail and some videos. Then hung a cloth banner of Bible stories used in Nigeria and the batik of African people I bought in Kenya. Also trying to hang a calendar! My plans are to go back to the beach for the sunset to photograph, but may decide to stay in. Yesterday and today were pleasant and relaxing days.

It is 6:30, so if I’m going to do the sunset, I need to go. Think it is now around 7.

17 January 2000


Write the amount of time you plan to spend in your next quiet time: 30 min

What does that answer say about your commitment to spend time with your master?   It is slowly increasing but I must fight for the time the devil tries to take.

Ps. 19:7-11;  Matt. 22:29;  2 Peter 1:19-21

Name someone with whom you can share the Biblical thoughts today:  The Newsletter and Gus.   Hoping others will depend on and read the Bible more too.

Prayer:  Help me to memorize Scriptures again. Thank you for your word. Direct me today to do your will. Thank you for putting me here.

Fellowship Progress:  Briefly with Otis and Adelia. I met Ret Taylor on the phone.

Ministry:  Jerreh’s fingers again.


The sunset was nice but not best for a photo because of the clouds. I will try again on a clearer day. I drove out on the beach and turned around and came back because it was high tide and not much beach left. I’m afraid to drive in the water, even with 4-wheel drive. Then I went the high road above the beach and through a mob of teens and barely enough room to turn around. Another adventure. Think I ate at home for dinner.

Today was busy in office and running around, plus bank trip. Took my alien card back to the Alkalo so he could record the number. I took him a package of kola nuts and he said, “Ahh, the Gambian way to greet someone! Thank you.” Lunch & dinner at home today.

There was a rush of people out the highways and roads running from Banjul and saying there was a coup de tat. Well, an effort was being planned but was crushed this weekend. Here is my report to the email lists:

Dear Friends,

During this weekend a group of President Jammeh’s own personal guards were arrested or shot as they planned to overthrow The Gambian government.

Panic erupted today when a Lt. of the guard was being arrested in Banjul. He resisted arrest and ran into the famous Albert Market (packed with shoppers) followed by many soldiers. Rumors that this was “the coup de tat” underway, caused the one highway and bridge from Banjul Island to be packed by walkers and vehicles rushing away. (I almost went into Banjul today, but sent a work instead. I missed all the action!) The Lt. was killed as he fired on the soldiers. On Saturday the Major of the guard who masterminded the whole conspiracy was killed in like manner at his home. Others have been wounded in the round-up of conspirators. The Secretary of State assures us, and the fleeing tourists, that there is no reason for alarm.

All of the Baptist missionaries are safe and as The Gambian tourism slogans says, “Gambia — No problem!”

As a “Warden” of the U.S. Embassy, I have called my list of eleven other U.S. citizens, comforting some, and giving the message that “there was indeed a coup attempt, but it failed. The ruckus downtown today was not a coup, but just an arrest. Please take normal precautions, review your security plan, and avoid large crowds.” This was my third time to make such a call. The other two were for New Years threats and an attempted takeover of the Central Bank.

Our neighbor, Guinea Bissau, is about to have elections after their latest coup and we pray that our missionaries can return there soon. We lost houses, vehicles and other property in that takeover. All missionaries had to evacuate quickly, leaving everything behind.

All is quiet in Ivory Coast and our missionaries never had to leave after that coup. Hey! Coups are the African way! You just live with it!

But do pray for all of West Africa; that things will settle down and we all can get to the “Main Thing” of representing Jesus. And a real newsletter will come soon! Don’t worry about us, God’s still in charge!

Psalm 34:7

18 January 2000


Identify a lust or desire over which you need God to help you win victory:  Sexual desires in general

Ps. 5:2-3;  Matt. 6:5-8;  1 Thess. 5:17-18

From these scriptures: I must pray in FAITH and in SECRET and not necessarily for a long time.

Prayer:  Help my relationship with you to be personal, secret, and of course in FAITH! Help me to walk with you and talk with you and depend on you. Thank you for this privilege!  AMEN

Fellowship: I talked with a Wolof Christian from Senegal and with Adelia.


Another whirlwind day! I’m not sure what all I got accomplished except Jallow’s job deleted in conference with him, guest apartment cleaned by Ida, plumber to the Corbitt’s, haircut, new mops, airline ticket purchased and did paperwork and mail and got another assignment from Otis – the insurance on his truck is expired and he has to drive to Dakar this week! I will try to get it renewed tomorrow and visit with the plumber on prices for the work. Otis is coming by at 3:30 and I must leave for airport at 4:00, so a busy day!

I ate at Malawi’s tonight with good chicken and apple pie a la mode! Been answering emails for 1.5 hours +. Tired!

19 January 2000


Write a Quiet Time Goal you are trying to reach:  More time!

Psalm 8:1;  Mark 11:24;  1 Timothy 2:8

Praise God continually and pray believing and it shall be done.

Prayer:  Release me God from the thorn in my flesh.

Fellowship:  I had time yesterday with Otis, Barney, Adelia, Gary and Al.

Ministry:  Got insurance for Otis which he was quite concerned about.


20 January 2000


Set a new goal for quiet time:   Focus on Jesus and His incarnation work through me.

2 Chron. 7:14;  Psalm 13;  Romans 12:12

Patience and waiting on the Lord

Faithfulness in prayer

Hope in Him

Prayer:   Help me to know how to pray God, but also to not be a Pharisee about the time or keeping records.

Fellowship:   Hodge’s & Corbitt’s tonight.

Ministry:  I agreed to do all the multiple platform stuff today.


Wow! Another day! And I just learned that “wow” means “yes” in Wolof.

Yesterday I was “running in circles” trying to get insurance for Otis’ car and got it but he had to wait until this morning to pick up the certificate at the Banjul office. I paid at the Kairaba office. Guesthouses ready, keys to Adelia, and kept trying to get into email but “all circuits are busy.” Met with plumber, then with Otis and finished the laundry Ida left on the line, then threw some stuff in a bag and off to the airport by cab for D85.

Gary met me in Dakar and off to studio apartment and to bed. Another tired Day.

This morning I walked to Le Regal for breakfast, then spent morning in covenant planning and general discussion with Al. Walked back to the Regal for lunch and the Chawarma was not as good this time, with tough meat. Think I will give up on the Chawarma!

Afternoon was mainly on the dual platforms of Baptist Mission and Righteous Way. My first impression is that it means more work for me. But it will work out. I will not be discouraged nor let stuff like this kill my spirit! Satan’s looks for such opportunities. I will witness and reach out to the Jola people and increase the work among the Jola in the greater Banjul area and Kombo district, one way or another.

I had a delightful dinner with the Hodges, including the Corbitt’s and a Seer missionary whose husband is returning tonight from the states. The Brown’s I think.

Tried again to get onto the Internet to check email and still no lines available for the second day in a row! Frustrating, but again a good tool for the evil one. Tired again and ready for bed. Wow! It is already 9:30! Goodnight!

19-23 January 2000
Dakar – Meetings



Identify a family need:   relationship with Jason

Psalm 55:16-17;  Matt. 6:9-15;  Mat 8:8, 10, 13

Spend time with God to become like Him.

Prayer:  Help me to not try to control others or make them happy or please them or criticize them; but to relate as Jesus would in love.

Fellowship: Modou & Kelly’s

Witness:  Modou in faith, prayer & example.

Ministry:  Modou, Kelly’s and the guards in Farafenni


Complete these sentences:

I will no longer fret over how much I have to do or over other people’s problems, relationships.

I need to be better at staying focused on Jesus, following Him in every action, every thought.

I have come a long way in quiet time, depending on you and letting you remove the thorn in my flesh.

I now have victory in peace over the time and workload issue.

Psalm 141:1-2;  Matt. 17:20;  John 14:13-14

The word must direct and control my every thought and action all day every day and not just in quiet time.

Prayer:  I still talk more than listen. God help me to listen, to be quiet, still and silent. Help me to know how to listen and to hear.

Fellowship:  The Kelly’s

Witness:  The Farafenni guards

Ministry:  The Farafenni guards


24 January 2000


Name someone you can communicate the value of your daily quiet time to:  Reagan

John 11:5, 35-36;   1 Thess. 5:12-15

People are what it is all about! Help me to love everyone God!

Prayer:  God help me to share in a meaningful way to Reagan and others the value of my quiet time.


Monday, Banjul
One day without travel! I got back from Dakar last night. Today: Bank, Post Office, emails, and much more that I’ve had no time for! Will I have time today?

I’ve had a visitor waiting on me for four days while I was gone. He was the guard at Mike Hutchinson’s house in Guinea Bissau. He came to see about the money owed him and tell us about the property and truck. BUT – a slight problem – he spoke only Fula Pulaar and Portuguese! When Jallow finally came in, he was able to interpret some. Then I put them both on the phone with Tim Mahoney in Dakar. Tim arranged to meet him at the house in Guinea Bissau the following Monday.

Modou Ceesay arrived early afternoon from Farafenni and we worked until evening on the salary increases for the Farafenni employees. I had to go all the way to Atson’s Grocery to get enough change to finish out all the pay envelopes.

Modou and I had dinner at Roosters and I suggested the “Afra” which he ate all of , but I did not like because of the way they chopped up the chicken, bones and all!

At night I handled a few emails and started my January newsletter which may not get out until February. Then started packing for tomorrow’s trip.

25 January 2000


Discuss the time you spend on Quiet Time:  Maybe a little longer some days. More time in The Word and in prayer will help.

Psalm 84:4;  John 15:12-17;  1 Tim. 5:12

Love is God. God is love. To reflect Him I must love everyone.

Prayer:  Father, help me to keep my focus on people. Help me to calm down and not fret over things.

Tuesday, Banjul to Farafenni
Modou and I left the house at 8:10 for the Banjul Ferry. There was a lot of traffic that direction, but we got there by 8:35 and on the ferry pretty quickly. It was the old ferry and took about an hour before we disembarked in Barra.

It is a great new, smooth, black-topped road as far as Kerewan. Then we crossed a tributary on another ferry, smaller and quicker. From there on was the most horrible dirt road I have every seen, all the way to Farafenni! When we could, we drove off-road in fields and on tracks made by Bush Taxis. All better than the road! It was a real African experience and oh so tiring! We got to the Kelly’s at about 1:30 which everyone said was excellent time at about 5 ½ hours.

I met with the employees, mostly guards, and toured the large compound of about 6 acres. I now see Chris’ problem of being identified with the big Baptist Mission with this big setup. But why does he still live there then? He is starting a new platform called “Righteous Way Association” and wants to totally disassociate with Baptist Mission. But as long as he stays here, he cannot separate from Baptist Mission; plus he has 15+ years of being known as a Baptist Mission representative.

We also saw the two rent houses in town. One is where the Corbitt’s stay and the other a teacher’s apartment we have a young man coming for this spring. It needs some work!

I also met both landlords and renewed the contract on the teacher’s apartment. Tomorrow we will do it on paper with an official contract. I took the landlords each some kola nuts, which is traditional gift here for men.

I learned more about the little Fula church in Yalla Bah. We went out and met some people there. Richard and Modou both said there are some serious relationship problems in the church, keeping it from being an effective body of Christ.

Spent the night with the Kelly’s and no electricity Pastor Donkor called from Banjul to schedule the little volunteers’ house for the coming weekend as he plans to come and preach at Yalla Bah. He is trying to help them solve their problems.

26 January 2000
Wednesday, Farafenni to Banjul

Fran started us off with an eggs and grits breakfast! Then Richard, Modou and I were off to get the teacher’s apartment contract signed. I had typed it up last night on Richard’s computer. That was settled and the landlord got cash money—all anyone uses out here!

Richard and I had a long talk about many things. Then we went to my scheduled meeting of all employees with their new boss.

First I greeted each individual, asking about family, health, etc. Greetings are very important in The Gambia. Then I told them about their new raise in pay and gave all their January pay in cash. I answered several questions and discussed things like holiday pay, social security, etc. It was a very good meeting which they had never had. It took about an hour and was worth every minute of it. It was another new relationship beginning!

Fran and her maid and other female helpers had prepared a big lunch for all of us. It was my second time to eat out of the common bowl. They had three bowls for this crowd. One bowl for the women who always eat separately, one bowl for us white men-4 Kelly’s and me-and one large bowl for all the men workers. The bowl was filled with rice and had some sauce poured over it with some vegetables and fish. Each person eats out of his or her pie-shaped wedge of the bowl where they are sitting. Everyone ate with their right hand, except the white men & boy’s bowl had spoons.

After lunch I played a game with Daniel and then left for the Farafenni Ferry at 2:15. By crossing the river here, you go back to Banjul on the south bank road. It is paved, but with potholes and more traffic. This was to be my comparison test. They think it is easier. My plan was to miss the ferry worker’s lunch break and make the 3:00 ferry.

When I got there at 2:35, the ferry was leaving and I was in a long line of trucks and cars waiting. I hoped and doubted I would get on the next ferry and sure enough did not. I just barely missed the third ferry, but was first in line for the fourth one, which will probably leave at 5:30. I was not thinking well of this route back! That will put me driving all but about 2 hours after dark, but it was too late to go the other way now. And if I spend the night, I will probably wait this long again in the morning. They say that is when the lines are the longest.

I was really ticked about the last ferry (3rd one) because I would have been on it if three cars hadn’t broken in line and the policeman let them. Friends? Money? Officials? They just do things like that here. And the policeman ignores you if you say anything to him about it. “Don’t worry, you’ll be on the next one.”

It is 5:12 PM and the ferry just left the other side. Unlike Banjul/Barra, you can see the dock and boats on the other side here. Maybe this will go quickly and the rest of the drive easily.

The ferry dock here is very crowded with smelly people, smelly trucks, smelly trash, smelly fish, and men peeing on the ground all around. There are of course all kinds of vendors selling a little bit of everything. I bought a packet of stale cookies I’m eating with my own water I brought. That may be my dinner. It is hot and sultry here and I am already tired. Hope I am not making a mistake continuing on like this.

It is 5:23 and the ferry is just now landing from the other side. Most of the time is spent loading and unloading the ferry here.

It is 5:32 and I just pulled on the ferry as one of the first 4 cars at the front or other end. A big semi truck is pulling up beside me now, just inches away. They pack us in like sardines and then add hundreds of pedestrians. Amazing! You just follow their directions and don’t ever argue with them! And now the predominant smell is exhaust fumes from the trucks which all leave their motors running for some reason. And we wait!

It is 5:39 and we are actually pulling away from the dock! Yay! I just noticed that all the writing on the big truck next to me is in Arabic, but then that is pretty common all over Gambia. There are also some brightly painted canoes going back and forth across with just people. It is the same price for a pedestrian, but quicker.

It is 5:44 and he has turned the ferry around and we are finally headed across, trying to fight the tide which is still pretty strong this far upriver. We are now out of the bay and in the river that is really big like the Mississippi! I see a few fishing canoes and trash floating and that is about all. I just learned that we will turn around again when we get to the other side so we can drive out forward and not have to back out.

Just saw something new or weird for me: A young man is standing there with pants and green t-shirt, but he is wearing a black bra on top of the t-shirt. The whole world is crazy! And the captain is still trying to get us lined up with the landing ramp.

6:00 PM and I just rolled off the ferry with a 3 ½ hour drive ahead of me, mostly in the dark on a really bad road. Fun! Fun!

27 January 2000


Micah 4:2;  Acts 13:14-15;  Hebrews 2:11;   1 Peter 2:9-10

I am a part of a chosen people in the family of Jesus.

Prayer:  Help me to relate to Essa today and Jules and to accomplish our business rapidly and get back by dark.

27 January 2000


Look out the window and describe what you see and the different perspectives, then compare to looking at God in your quiet time:

It took time to look from different perspectives and at details like the shapes of the tree limbs. I need to think of God in different ways or just be still and let Him show himself to me.

Mark 1:21;  Romans 15:30;  Hebrews 13:7;  1 John 1:3

Leaders must set the example in word and deed and all must pray for their leaders.

Prayer: Help me to stay focused on you Jesus – to love as you loved; to trust the Father as you trusted Him; to be an incarnation of you in my witness.

30 January 2000

The newsletter #3:  (See Photo Copy of Original with artwork)
From Charlie in The Gambia
A Prayer Newsletter for the Jola People & The Gambia
30 January 2000 – Issue 3

Your Prayers Answered:
1. I am HEALTHY and have had none of the usual stomach problems most have in Africa! PTL!
2. Many people will listen politely to my WITNESS.
3. The HUTCHISON family was successfully packed and moved back to the states.
4. The CORBITT family has about settled into Lamin for their new “Righteous Way” platform to get out God’s Word to the Mandinka people and others.
Read: Mark 11:24

New Prayer Requests:
1. That MORE MISSIONARIES will be sent to The Gambia to help spread the good news among seven people groups locked in the chains of Islam and animism.
2. That MORE people will join you as PRAYER PARTNERS for the Jola people group and that others will also join those praying for the Mandinka and Fula people.
3. DRIVING SAFETY for me. More than being hurt, I am concerned about hitting a child or adult as hundreds dart in and out of the traffic, walk, run, and bike all across the roads, streets, and dirt tracks.
4. BINDING OF SATAN who is working hard here, not only through Islam but in discouraging missionaries and creating conflicts.
5. DAVID SIMPSON who is at MLC now and will arrive here in March as the teacher for the Kelly family in Farafenni and sometimes a neighboring village.
Read: 1 John 5:14-15

Who are the Jola People?
Jola are primarily an agricultural people south of the Gambia River in The Gambia and Senegal Casamance region. Jola are called Diola in French-speaking Senegal. Another British/French thing!

Now many younger people are breaking tradition and moving to the “city” in hopes of work and a more prosperous lifestyle. They are the ones I will relate to, while the Kauffman’s and others are working in villages. Besides Gambia and southern Senegal, there is a smaller concentration in Guinea Bissau.
Jolas grow groundnuts (peanuts) as a primary cash crop and rice as their main staple food. Unlike some peoples, everyone (men, women, children) work in the fields from first light to sundown, rain or shine.

They have no caste system, all considered equal. Families are large and fiercely loyal, with a strong sense of interdependence in the community.
Some families are polygamous, as most other tribes here, but four wives is the maximum! Their real “social security” is family with all needs being met by other family members.

Next month: Ceremonies, Beliefs, and Cultural Traditions.

A Typical Day?
Yes, that is what several of you wrote and asked me to describe. Flexibility, or waiting, and/or expecting every chore to take longer than expected might describe it! Or something totally different each day!

Week before last I was in Dakar for a mission meeting Jan 20-23. (IMB meets as much as LifeWay!) This week I drove to Farafenni to meet and pay guards there and survey property and needs of the Kelly family. They are learning Mandinka to soon do rural evangelism in small villages “up-country.” I also met the landlords of our two rental properties there and renewed the contract for one where the new teachers for the Kelly will stay. Took this landlord a gift of Kola nuts, a Gambian tradition of friendship. I also ordered some repairs and cleaning on your house David!

Tomorrow I drive to Bignona and Zichenchor in southern Senegal where I facilitate the Kauffman family and a new single missionary coming this summer. I will take an interpreter with me on this one. We will visit two villages and spray houses for termites, a big problem there! So, some days or weeks, traveling and business elsewhere is a “typical day.”

When back in Banjul and the suburbs of Fajara, Serekunda, Bakau, and Lamin here are some typical day activities:

Up at 6:30 or earlier. In office by 8:00 and check business email first, IF the power is on! It has been off most of the day and night this week.

I work on a many kinds of paperwork and sometimes on the computer, plus many calls and visitors coming by or problems/needs of the guards and the properties. Still working on the phone and electricity for Lamin.

Try to take my “to do” list out by 10:00 which includes trips to post office, businesses, other agencies, shopping for a needed part that might include as many as 5 stops! If going to a government office, I leave shortly after 8:00 and expect the whole morning and sometimes the whole day. Nearly always long lines and new red tape required.

Usually it is a sandwich for lunch, either at home or at MacFadi’s, Roosters, or Ali Babba’s.

If there is any afternoon left, I try to finish as many tasks a possible and hope for electricity for the computer!
Many evenings I eat out and I will tell about that another time.

My Alkalo:
He is the official chief or government leader in a village. The Fajara section where I stay is under the jurisdiction of the Alkalo of Bakau. He is Mandinka. I had to get his signature for my Alien Card in two trips because I didn’t first get my landlord’s signature to prove I “stay here” (instead of “live here”). So I just got one of the missionaries to sign. Then after I got the card from Immigration, I took it back to him so he could record the number. Took him Kola nuts then. After I’m here 90 days, I will repeat the process for a residential permit. Then renew both every January.

With God in the Gambia:
Psalm 5:3

Home phone 220+37.06.98
Office phone 20+37.40.51
ibgambia@gamtel.gm Office
charliedoggett@hotmail.com Personal


31 January 2000

I had a great but tiring one-day trip to Bignona and surroundings. Next time I will plan to spend the night and make it a two-day trip or connect it with the Farafenni trip.

The translator Adelia found who did not speak French did not show up on time because his nephew died. I went alone, though the Gambian Customs guy, Abdou Sonko, gave me a school teacher who spoke 5 languages including French. But he mainly used Mandinka and Jola to talk to the Senegal Customs and police and soldiers. I could have done it by myself because most of those who stopped me spoke some English. Hopefully I will soon speak Jola and that will also help. Of course the teacher had his sister around the corner who needed to go too and then we picked up 3 more riders at the Senegal Customs!

It was kind of amazing to talk to the Senegal soldiers at a stop in Bignona and then 20 minutes later seeing rebel soldiers in the forest going to Bougatoub. Jules Sene was really nice and we will work well together. We talked about all that goes on there and how I will work with him on bills and guard salaries after I get my signature on the Zigenchor bank account. Of course all is in CFA Francs down there.

A bumpy ride back with more riders acquired at the border. One came all the way to Serekunda, with three others for Brikama. I stopped in at The Taste of India Restaurant for dinner and it was very good.

3 February 2000
Yesterday and today were so full of so many things getting done with a plumber and electrician here and the plumber also at Lamin and finding someone to get the generator moved and hooked up and the phone working in House 2 and my bedroom! Wow! I feel like I am finally accomplishing something! And oh yes, I got the disks for the cars today! Ate at BB’s tonight and just don’t like it as well as most other restaurants. Last night was at Antinico’s again and loved it as always. I took the Christian Kora music tape to Bajallie and three photos of him taken earlier. He was rushed, but I will look forward to hearing his response to the Christian music.

I enjoy going out to nice tourist restaurants to eat but sometimes feel a little guilty or something, knowing that my meal cost a week’s salary for my guards. I must deal with this sometime.

4 February 2000


Other than a person, your health and your job, what would be the most difficult things for you to lose and why:

Service opportunities


Sight, hearing or voice


Luke 24:15, 52-53;  Galatians 4:4-7;  2 Corinthians 8:7;  1 Peter 4:8-9

Depend on God and His grace. Do all in His strength and for His glory. Imitate Christ in love, service and hospitality.

Prayer: Lord, you have answered or you are in the process of answering: My relationship with Jason; my relationships here; Ginger; Bonnie & Jerry; my thorn. Help me to depend on you and to stay in your will.


Busy day again, but it was somewhat productive. I hand delivered letters to the directors of customer service at both Gamtel and NAWEC in hopes of getting phone and power meters for the Corbitt’s. Paid NAWEC bills and started on the “To Do” pile on my desk, but then the day was gone.

Ate at Antonico’s again and enjoyed visiting with everyone and great Fish Benechin! I met the owner, Anton, chatting a little. Business is not as good as it needs to be and I promised to spread the word on how good it is. Musa is the cook who did my Yassa the other night and the Benechin tonight. Bajallie is the Kora player and Isha is the waitress’ name.

It is amazing to sit down to a wonderful meal under palm trees in the quiet early evening before there are other customers. I enjoy the breeze, the scenery, and the friendly company. I sit there and think, “I’m really here!”

One of the waiters came by named Seedy. He is a part-time journalist for a little weekly paper call Foroyaa (Freedom). He is a self-proclaimed socialist. He gave me a sample of the paper which I may finish reading. It is not like the Observer!

Talked with Bajallie on the way out, he was polite about the Christian Kora tape I gave him and said that he had not heard the songs on there and wondered if she wrote them. He said she is good. But I don’t think many if any are as good and soothing as him on the Kora.

I’m burping fish! And took an Axid! Think I will check some email before the battery goes down, then off to bed with maybe another Axid.

I’m glad to be in The Gambia and providing some witness and some help to the missionaries! I’m almost getting into a routine!


5 February 2000


Exodus 4:12;  Matt. 9:37-38;  Luke 21:14-15;  John 20:21

Phil. 2:10-11  –  . . . that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father.  Philippians 2:10-11.

Prayer:  Thank you Father!



3:22 PM on Saturday and I was going to sleep late, do a little around the house and go to the beach for a couple of hours of sun. I was awaken early by prayer calls and then more by Jerreh and Sunkary talking in the yard, seemingly right outside my window. So I’m up and showered soon after 7, but still no electricity. Sunkary wanted to buy D300 worth of his vacation time to pay for his younger brother’s school fee. He is in ninth grade. Got him off; ate breakfast; packed up some stuff for the beach including a sandwich when up came Pa Leigh with a huge truck & wench and the generator. Wow! Didn’t expect it this fast nor on Saturday morning. Well, it took nearly two hours to get that big, heavy thing from the house gate to the new Generator room. And there were at least 8 helpers with him! Big job! That cost me D1,500 which is a little less than US$150. Well worth it for use of such a big expensive truck and getting it in the building. But Pa was trying to get the truck man to come down on his price.

Pa left for some parts more than hour ago (3:30 now) and still not back. ???? Well, maybe I will go to the beach tomorrow afternoon after church, if I can get away from Pastor Donkor quick enough. I will need to not go out for lunch. Aaaaa! Pa just showed up! His “boys” (young men working for him) have been just sitting around waiting.

I’m cleaning up the desk and trying to organize some of my junk which should have already been done. So it is good that I didn’t go to the beach! Going to type in some written journal stuff now.

6 February 2000


Yesterday you were to record each time you turned to God and the responses:

He was always there – But I was slow to ask. Yet I am in more of an attitude of dependence and trust in Him. I don’t know how I will get it all done , but He will take care of all the true needs.

2 Thess. 3:1-3;  John 15:12;  Ps. 27:22-28;  Matt. 10:19;  Acts 1:8;  Eph. 3:6

Prayer:  God infill Otis & Geri with your Spirit, help them to rest, to have no more house problems, for the soak-a-way to be fixed and spiritual joy to come their way.


7 February 2000


Isaiah 9:2; Matt. 24:14;  Acts 4:14;  Eph. 4:11

Isa:  The people have seen the light, a prayer for TG.

Acts: Since they could see the results (the healed man) there was nothing they could say.

He does the work of salvation, I just preach the word. On my work frustrations, I just do my best and He will take care of it. I am trying too hard. “Let go and let God have His wonderful way. Let go and let God have his way!”

Prayer:  God help me with prayer and lists and what and who – Is it too much? I just want to be yielded to you. Help me.


Wow! How time flies when you are having fun! There are so many things I would like to tell about! Every moment here and every place I drive to or on the way has new experiences today. Today I was stopped for the motorcade of President Jammeh. I went all the way to Banjul for the disk needed from Income Tax for the motorcycle in Farafenni. “Oh, we don’t give disks for motorcycles like we do cars. But you do have to go to the Police for those two disks to register the cycle.”

Yesterday was a good worship at Glory Baptist and I met some folks from the Mercy Ship Anastasia in port here through May. I had a burger at Ali Babas and went to the beach for about 2 ½ hours of sun and rest. Nice! Then back home and ate at home and watched the movie “The Hobbit.” And that was via the generator since the power was off again.

The Corbitt’s were in town today and that took part of my time, which I enjoyed, especially dinner at Rum Runner. Checked email with the battery and this writing and I am off to bed at nearly 10!

8 February 2000


Isa. 45:22-25;  Matt. 28:18-20;  Acts 5:20-21

Hang in there! Being faithful in hardship and difdiculty – carry out my duties and be an evangelist regardless! Always depending on HIM, not myself or my abilities.

Prayer:  Peace in it all Father – give me peace!



“What is happening?” I sometimes ask. It was another world wind day with most not planned, all taking a long time with anger, delight, surprise and adventure! Can I stand it much longer? Can I be a witness in all this? It’s what I wanted, I think, but wow!

Up earlier at 6:00 with good devotional time and Scripture passages. I really want to surrender to Christ completely and be that incarnate witness some talk about—let Him live in and through me. So why don’t I? Weak? Selfish? Easily led astray by Satan and the world? Maybe! I had many opportunities today and blew many of them!

At 8:00 in the morning, I’m off to the Kairaba Police Station to get the “disks” (stickers) for the motorcycle in Farafenni. Waited an hour and fifteen minutes to be told he was out of motorcycle disks, “come back tomorrow afternoon.” This is after going yesterday and deciding not to wait in line then. Plus last week I went to Income Tax for the first disk, which I learned is not required for motorcycles. And if I had just put the cycle insurance papers with the car files I could have already finished this task! Kick self! Kick self!

Back from that and still no electricity and the generator won’t run the computer and printer for some reason? Auuuugh! I need to write a letter to the MRC Administrative Director requesting that mail be sent with their runner weekly to Farafenni. Don’t understand! The TV works but not the computer!

Then Geri calls with another emergency in Lamin—septic tank overflowing, please come out and fix it! Plumber is there. I call Mr. George and 4 hours of misery except for roast chicken lunch with the Corbitt’s. The arguments with Mr. George were embarrassing and tiring! I wouldn’t take him to find a Sanitary Truck to come pump it out. But I called one and scheduled it for today or tomorrow; as soon as they can get to it.

Mr. George agreed, though we are paying. And after Tijan Jarju explained the need for a new soak-a-way, he agreed and also for me to have a truck haul off the dirt by the outdoor tap. Wow! It was so emotional beforehand because the Corbitt’s have gone through so much with Mr. George that there is near hatred of him. And I’m sorry I got caught up in the arguing. Satan is at work! I even called Mr. George a liar (which he is). But that is not the way for a Christian to behave! I was ashamed and was nice to him later and drove him home.

Well, I just bounced back up that horrible road and came straight to Malawi Grill for dinner. It was a delicious roast chicken, even if I did have it twice in one day! And now I am waiting on lemon meringue pie and hot tea and it is 7:09—another day gone, but I really did get a little accomplished. I hope I have electricity to write that letter when I get back to the office!

If not, I will read and go to bed or with power I may watch the second Hobbit movie—whatever. I’m tired as every night and that is good. Help me Lord to be more like You and learn to deal with these tensions better. And thank you for these quiet, garden dinners to relax!

It is still “neat” to be sitting in a tropical garden for dinner most nights. I’m at peace now and will do better next time!

9 February 2000


Describe an occasion when God worked on His schedule, not yours:   My call to The Gambia – the very act of being here!

Jer. 5:14;  Mark 2:12;  Acts 16:9-10;  Phil. 2:10-11

Tell people about Jesus.

Prayer:  Kneeling is humbling before God and I need to do this. Open hands fit a praise service more than personal prayer, but seems to say “save me Lord, fill me with your spirit.”



Woke up with power and by the time I showered and ate breakfast, it was off! Did some paperwork in the office and ran some errands. Soon after I was back, Geri called and Gomez hadn’t come to pump out the septic tank yet, so after 5 or 6 calls I find someone who will go to Lamin at another Gomez location in Churchill. But I have to go lead him out there and wait and ate lunch with the Corbitt’s again and waited more and finally left it with them at 3:00. This was the day I had power 12-6 and I missed most of it. All I did was answer some emails. Then it was off again. Got my expensive Prozac and went to eat at Antinico’s.

I’m almost looking forward to getting away next week except that I will just get further behind in my work. I have Thursday and Friday, if I just had electricity. I’m going to call about the electrician again tonight. Now!

10 February 2000
Wow! Another day! Tried to open Righteous Way account at a different bank, Standard Chartered, but it will take a month for the red tape. I will write Chris about considering Trust Bank as easier and what he said in his Constitution for RW.

Did a lot of running around, but the lines were too long to try for the motorcycle disks today. Maybe in the morning early! Ate at home tonight. Generator will not be fixed until next week it appears, though he might get on it tomorrow. So no power most of the time and I have to do other things during some of the power time. Frustrating, but just another way for the devil to get me and I am going to depend totally on God and not worry about it! Some things will be late, but what has to be done will be.

Did personal email and this on battery tonight. Will go ask Modou if he would like to turn the generator off. Will be quieter sleeping!


11 February 2000
Up at 5:00 with prayer call and electricity. Showered and over to office until it went off at 7:00 AM. Then breakfast and off to work! Finally got the motorcycle disks with a nearly 3-hour wait! And I got Jallow’s Social Security Card! So I felt like it was a somewhat productive day! The afternoon had some office paperwork and the Corbitt’s by for money. Enjoyed a late dinner with the Robison’s. Their son Daemon was there and is a lot of fun. They also had an older friend over, a single man in 60’s or 70’s who lives in a village on the south bank and does volunteer work for the Catholic Bishop of The Gambia. He’s an engineer from Canada.

Power’s been on this evening while I ate and visited and it will go off again at midnight, most likely. And it is 11:00 now. Oh well, have to rest sometime. If I have it in the morning, I need to finish my covenant and start on the January financials. If not, I may go to the beach to sunbathe again. And rest!

I hope to rest, regroup, refocus, and read during the Lome meeting. I need an escape novel, but also some time in the Bible. I may start ordering books from Amazon.com.

Bed now!


13 February 2000


Abijan, Ivory Coast, 8:58 AM

Plans 12 hours from now: Bible reading and prayer

Judges 5:2;  Matt. 5:13-16;  1 Cor. 3:9;  2 Tim. 4:2

  • Willingly offer myself
  • Let the light shine as a lighthouse; stand out for Jesus
  • I am one of God’s fellow workers. He does it and gets the glory.
  • Be prepared in season and out of season.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes it is overwhelming and sometimes it is as simple as following you. Help me to get the perspective right – to be like a light house; to always be ready to represent you; to do my par, my role in your kingdom’s work here in The Gambia.


14 February 2000


Pray for someone you could be a prayer warrior for: Pastor Frank

Deut. 10:12;  Matt. 25:22-23;  1 Cor. 15:58;  Titus 2:7

Don’t get discouraged or give up. The work is not in vain. Don’t lose sight of the hope that is in us.

Prayer:  Father, I love you and trust you to work regardless of the problems, the lack of me getting everything done. I ask that you allow my spirit to be the Spirit of Christ around the guards and all others I contact. Thank you for the privilege of representing you.



It is Monday afternoon, about 4:00, in Lome, Togo. I traveled from 3:00 Saturday afternoon until we got here about 8:00 PM last night. I was worn out and slept like a log! Then there is nothing planned until the Valentine Banquet tonight and a movie being shown. I went with Tim Mahoney shopping this morning and got only some cards with local paintings to use in writing home, if I ever do! Then found that they were cheaper here at the West Africa Conference Center in Lome. The markets here are similar to other African markets, but the dealers are the most aggressive I have seen anywhere. I didn’t like that aspect of shopping.

I have finished the newsletter for February early and will mail it tonight or tomorrow. I have not figured out how to access Gamtel for emails when out of the country. Need to talk to them about it when back home.



15 February, 2000 – Newsletter #4  (Link to photocopy of original)

From Charlie in The Gambia
A Prayer Newsletter for the Jola People & The Gambia
15 February 2000 – Issue 4

Your Prayers Answered:
5. We have GOOD NET- WORKING with other Great Commission Christians, particularly WEC & ABWE!
6. PATIENCE is developing in my life! I am starting to slow down and trust God to accomplish His work without me!
7. ISHMAILIE BOJANG, my Jola relief guard, has agreed to go to church with me the Sunday after I return from Lome! PTL!

Read: Mark 11:24

New Prayer Requests:
6. BAJALLIE is a young Mandinka man who plays the Kora* at a favorite restaurant of mine. I have gifted him with a tape of Kora Music about Christ. I have also picked him up hitchhiking once and generally developing a relationship. Please pray that God will lead me to the proper time to give him a Mandinka New Testament and a copy of the Jesus Film in Mandinka. (*Kora is a harp-like instrument made from a calabash gourd and is distinctive to The Gambia, particularly the Mandinka.)
7. EFFECTIVE METHODS of sharing the good news to people as I travel and have just brief contacts with soldiers, police, and others on the road and in town.
8. LANGUAGE LESSONS begin again in March. Pray that Satan will not rob my time to use and practice the heart language of these wonderful people.

Read: John 15:16

Who are the Jola People!
Part II:
When important life cycle events such as birth, circumcision, weddings, or funerals occur, all of the community is expected to contribute to the event. The naming ceremony for a new baby requires a goat to be killed and I have already given an advance in salary for one of these goats! Plus time off to have the ceremony.

Boys in villages are still taken into the woods for training and initiation by the men before they can become men by being circumcised. One young man told me he has seen as many as 80 boys circumcised the same day with the same knife! (Pray for acceptance of newer, sanitary methods!) If you will check out a copy of the Roots video from your video store and watch the first 30 minutes or so, you will see one of these events portrayed very realistically. They are Mandinka in the movie, but it is basically the same with the Jola.

Weddings are very happy times and wives are often obtained by giving her parents livestock or other significant gifts. Funerals are a very sad time with many mourners and visits to the family. In Islam, and some villages without Islam, the body is to be buried by sundown on the same day of death.

There is an intense feeling of community among the Jola, which makes if difficult for outsiders to have much influence. All must agree that something is right, and the chief or alkalo with the elders makes the final decisions. For this reason, very few Jolas have come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Chronological Bible storying is being used as a follow up to well-digging projects to teach the truth about Jesus. Story telling is a cultural tradition, which makes this effective to a mostly non-literate people. Some scripture portions have been translated into the Jola language and eventually the entire Bible will be translated. But they are of little value to people who cannot read!
The Jesus Film is now in Jola Fogny, a good follow up to other witnesses!

Next month: Beliefs, Needs, and Other Resources about the Jola People.

Dangers, Adventures, or prayer requests?

I’ll let you decide! Jerreh, my day guard, says he saw a Black Mamba snake in my yard last week! Deadly poisonous, but afraid of people!

In the Casamance area of Southern Senegal last week, I was stopped by Senegalese troops several times, looking for rebel soldiers. About 20 minutes after one of these stops, Jules and I were on a forest track in the literal bush when we passed an ox cart full of rebel soldiers. It is with your prayer that I get through these adventures/dangers!

Drums? In 21st Century?
In my December newsletter I mentioned going to bed sometimes with African drums among other sounds. Someone wrote: “Amazing! In the 21st Century!” And yes, I live in a “city!” But drums are a big part of the Gambian culture for ceremonies, parties, and for tourists. One night I asked my guard about some drumming and he said: “It is a Wolof ceremony. Jola or Mandinka drumming are different.” I couldn’t tell!

About Mail to The Gambia:
It almost always gets here! BUT, it may take awhile! And I don’t know if the delay is here or in route.

I have seen a letter get here in as few as 8 days while others take as much as 2 months! Packages can take from 3 weeks to 3 months. Everything will get here faster if by AIR MAIL! If you send it surface mail, it will go by boat!
And that PRIORITY MAIL label puts it on the fast end of the non-airmail.
Aways include “West Africa” as the bottom line of the address. Otherwise it may be routed through Zambia or even Ghana.

Join God’s Work in the Gambia!
Romans 15:30

Charlie Doggett
PO Box 2376
Serekunda, The Gambia
West Africa

ibgambia@gamtel.gm Office
charliedoggett@hotmail.com Personal
Home phone 220+37.06.98
Office phone 220+37.40.51

15 February 2000


Review your plans for an extended time with God during or after this week:

Walk way down the beach in the early morning alone.

Ps. 40:8;  Mk. 10;4345;  2 Cor. 6:1;  Heb. 10:54

  • Word in my heart – work on scripture memory
  • Service to others
  • Receive grace – Accept God’s Grace  (This & scripture memory are my two weakest areas of today’s reading.)
  • Love & good deed

Prayer:  God, help me to make time to memorize Scripture as I must also to work more on language study (Jola). Help me to be filled with your word, to meditate on it day and night, to live it. I accept your grace, knowing I will not do this perfectly, but you love me anyway. THANK YOU GOD!

16 February 2000


Review your past week{s prayer needs in this journal and give a progress report below: 

Slow down – More time with you God – Meet needs of others.   This retreat is helping me to slow down and spend more time with you Father – but the time increase can be much more. 

Luke 10:25-37;  John 13:14-16;  Galatians 6:10;  James 4:17

Fruits of the spirit? I need to memorize one on self-control but I can’t think right now. 

Prayer:  Help me Father to focus on Jesus, becoming more like Him and controlled by Him that it will be more Jesus-control than self-control.

17 February 2000

Luke 12:48;  John 21:15;  Ephesians 4:11-12;  1 Peter 4:10-11

What is your life verse and how has it contributed to your life?

When I trust Him and follow Him, He does direct my paths. It is too often that I trust myself and my abilities rather than God. When I trust Him, I bloom. 

Prayer:  Father, Help me to trust you with all my heart and to not depend on my own understanding. Help me to acknowledge you in all my ways. Father, direct my paths. Be in control of my life. Amen!

19 February 2000


  • Matthew 3 & 4, He began with The Word, then Prayer, then Healing the sick, all right after baptism. 
  • Psalm 55:17, He hears my voice. 
  • 1 Timothy 5:5, Widow prays night & day.


20 February 2000


Write what is required to abide in Christ: 

Keep His commandments and remain in His love. 

Matthew 1-4

Prophecy fulfilled – God comes to earth in human form as Jesus. Begins with baptism, calling followers, teaching, preaching, and healing. 

Prayer:  Help me to prepare for Ismaila’s Bible study and trip to Grace Church. 



Got back from Togo today and busy! It was a good retreat because of the Bible study led by Bud Fray. Some of it is life changing! I hope to see a more Christ-filled life because of it! Too tired and late to write more now.


22 February 2000
Just came in from dinner at Luigi’s and Modou asked for an advance to buy rice. His family is completely out of rice, nothing to eat. It could make me feel guilty and I want to personally help. But with so many guards and their friends and neighbors here, there is no stopping place if I ever get started. I will do something for each at Christmas.

I’m enjoying the book C.S. Lewis and the Shadowlands. He is such an interesting person and writer. Much of his interests as a youth remind me of Jason. And Jason liked the Chronicles of Narnia! I am looking forward to receiving them as a gift from Leigh Ann Dans. Reading things like this is like being a kid again.

I need to go see the Corbitt’s tomorrow and believe I will take their mail and Essa to learn the way there. He can do runner trips out there once a week or more if needed. They are still having septic tank problems and are in a pretty dismal mood still. I hope I can be of some encouragement. Couldn’t get their kid’s passports renewed today because the embassy is out of application forms.

Tried to get on the net and couldn’t get through to Hotmail. I may try something else in a minute. It was pleasant sitting on the porch of Luigi’s, looking out at the ocean, reading and eating. There are some really nice perks among the hard times here.



23 February 2000


The commandment I had trouble with yesterday was “Staying focused on Jesus” because I get too wrapped up in the task, forgetting my purpose. 

Matthew 5:1-20

The Kingdom is God’s manifested reign in human affairs, a present spiritual reality. Being blessed by God is the status of being approved by God.

Prayer:  May my relationship with all persons today be in light of my witness to them.

24 February 2000


Am I aware of God’s presence throughout the day? How?

More so when I memorize and think on The Word. 

Matthew 5:21 — 6:15

To be like Jesus is to be loving and kind always. 

25 February 2000


Read Matthew 6:16 — 7:23


27 February 2000


What are your hindrances to being totally obedient to God? List, then ask God to remove them:   Selfishness and desire to control. 

“Let it be done according to your faith.” ~Matthew 9:29


Neat day! Took Ismaila and Nene to Grace Baptist in Ghana Town this morning and led both of them in a Bible study tonight. Will switch to 5:30 next Sunday on the study.

This afternoon I went with Musa (guard across street) and Jerreh to the Jola naming ceremony on our block. It lasted all night last night and kept me from sleeping, but I enjoyed the afternoon of drumming and dancing and took more than two rolls of film. Looking forward to seeing the prints! Tomorrow maybe!

Busy week coming, but all here in town! No more travel for a while. Tired!



1 March 2000


Identify unacceptable patterns in your life and how you can change them:   I talk too much.  I will aim at speaking only when necessary and with carefully chosen words. 

Matthew 12  —  Think on Jesus today and watch what I say. 


2 March 2000
Generator works, computer doesn’t all the way. No contact with office email all week! Can’t get it configured right and Gamtel technical support seems non-existent. And half of every day is in language class now. And the rest has been getting discs for Chris and other details, plus worrying about not balancing the books for January yet. Starting to get discouraged again, but know that this will work out too! Wait upon the Lord Charlie!

Greatly encouraged by emails and notes from people who are praying for me and the work here and some of the doors that have started opening. Just a little bit at a time, one day at a time!

Good meal tonight with Chris at Weezo’s Mexican Restaurant. Still don’t have Trazadone which is due at Malak’s March 10. I sleep well the first half the night and then toss and turn a lot. Trying a sleeping pill tonight.

One day at a time!

3 March 2000


Be attentive to two people today with spiritual needs:   Ismaila & Nene

Matthew 13  —  God’s word can be brought out of my memory like tools out of a tool box. Help me to understand and use your word God.

NOTE:  This was my last day to use this particular guided prayer journal. Don’t remember exactly why, but I think it was too structured for me and too controlling.

5 March 2000
Thank you Lord for a good day! Praising you this morning at Glory Baptist Church was good as was the sermon on faith and how I can always trust my Father in Heaven as the Daddy who keeps his word and always comes through. I do believe and trust you Father! Help me to be an obedient, loving child.

I may be overdoing the Chicken Yassa, but enjoyed it again at lunch today! And the two hours on the beach were really nice! It was restful, with more sun, and some good practice of the Jola language. I’m counting to 10 now! It was also fun to watch the fishermen bring in the net and realize how much work it is to fish like that. Their catch was small.

The Bible study with Ismaila and Nene was better today than last time and I got a little bit of email checked, though system is real slow tonight. Will read a little and off to bed. Must get office email connection tomorrow and start balancing books for January and February. Another challenging week, but God is in control! Romans 8:28!

In faith, Charlie.


7 March 2000

From: “Charlie Doggett” <charliedoggett@hotmail.com>
To: mnkteam@gamtel.gm, mnklamin@gamtel.gm, rikelly@gamtel.gm, ibgambia@gamtel.gm, simpson777@juno.com, charliedoggett@hotmail.com, ldkauff@aol.com, ldkauff@telecomplus.sn, bethheyer@imb.com Save Address
Subject: Last Week’s Emails & Struggles
Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2000 11:50:17 CST

Dear Gambia Crew,

1. LAST WEEK’S EMAILS: Some of you don’t know that the office computer has been sick for more than a week. “Bad sectors on the hard drive.” In short, it means I am getting a new hard drive, but all emails sent to ibgambia@gamtel.gm Feb. 25 – March 5 have not been read. I’m now getting current ones on my laptop, but all of the others were downloaded into Outlook and I can’t get them until the hard drive is replaced by tomorrow, but may not get them then. So if you sent something really important, you might want to resend.

2. STRUGGLES: The copied story below is not new and you may have read it before as, I had; but it seemed to have new meaning for me when it was forwarded in today’s batch of emails. So I thought I would share just in case you need it too! —Charlie 🙂

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force
its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any
progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could
go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of
scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly
then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any
moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body,
which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly
spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and
shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness
and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the
struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were
God’s way of forcing fluid from the
body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight
once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed
us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We
would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

I asked for Strength………
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom………
And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity………
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage………
And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love………
And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors………
And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted ……..
I received everything I needed!

Thank you Lord! I needed that!


My watch just beeped 6:00 PM and I am going to eat dinner at a new restaurant tonight and hopefully something really good! The restaurant Memories got a good review in the paper last week and so I will try it tonight.

Been another big day with a lot less accomplished that I hoped, but there were accomplishments! And things are getting better! Gary will come Sunday night for two days to help me get my financial books in order. I can’t balance January and think I know the main reason, but need the financial facilitator to see the problem and make the correction so future books will balance. In short, Lynn did not correctly balance November and December. But Gary will get it straight and I will sleep better and start catching up.

Tomorrow Otis and I go to town together on business and I’m starting to use Essa more. And I will have the computer back tomorrow! So a good day expected! Now let’s end the 7th of March! Goodnight! Whew!


9 March 2000
Wow! Another tiring day! A full morning in office and bank, then afternoon downtown with a trip later with Otis and back to the bank for a packed day! We are out of money. I loaned some of mine to the mission. The office computer is broken and I bought a new one today. Can’t get hold of Ebrima to cancel my lesson tomorrow, but want to. Will try again in the morning. Tired.


10 March 2000

Got a good start on the new computer and on the bookkeeping to prepare for Gary’s arrival Sunday night. I will probably work most of tomorrow on it because I want to be prepared and to have solved as many of the problems as I possibly can. I would like to finish the videotape file tomorrow too!

Making several Tobaski loans of D500 to workers who want to get a ram or new clothing for their children. It’s amazing! Similar to the way people spend for Christmas in the U.S. Because a previous facilitator did this, I have followed through, though I’m not sure it is wise. But does win some favors from the guards. They will pay back the money $100 per month for five months. I have told them that there will be no other advances while they owe on the loan. Some didn’t believe me.

It is really getting hot! For two days now. I’m sitting here in my undershorts and sweating with the windows open, though most curtains are closed. No power or generator, so no fan right now. I guess this is a taste of what is to come this summer. Plus humidity then!

Got my Trazadone prescription in today, finally! It really helps me get some good, deep sleep. A year’s worth cost D8950 or more than $800! She gets everything from England. Oh well, insurance will pay 80% after $360. That and the earlier 3 month supply of Prozac together cost US$1,329! But I will get $775.63 back from insurance.

Thought I would read more tonight, but may not. Plan to type a little on the video file and then maybe a chapter or two in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. It is really interesting with more of his fantasy approach than The Abolition of Man, which I just finished. It was more like a series of three lectures. This one is more in the vain of Screwtape or Narnia. It is about a bus that travels through hell and heaven. He gives a whole new perspective to each!

Had a good Jola lesson Wednesday, but missed today and won’t do any until next Wednesday. With all of my responsibilities, it is really going to be hard to learn a language.



10 June 2000

Dear Uncle Charlie,

Congratulations on your namesake. What an honor! I look forward to each of your newsletters. It’s an adventure. Plan to write a book when you return.

You are missed but you are with us each Sunday as you are always on the prayer list.

Julia Simmons is here for the summer. She tires easily, but what courage!

I have contacted the American Bible Society about their method of getting Bibles to you. I have not ordered any yet, but wanted to contact you first. They will send you a voucher for the amount of the contribution and you present it to the society nearest you, is how I think it goes. Give us some feedback about that need or other needs. We all love you and pray for direction and protection.

Love and blessings,










June 16, 2000 – Video Review on Amazon.com

Reviews Written by
Charlie Doggett (Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa)

West Africa – Benin, Mali and Burkina Faso VHS ~ Justine Shapiro
Price: $18.95
Availability: This item is currently unavailable.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
A taste of 3 Countries in West Africa, June 16, 2000
Good videography for a travel film. And covers enough to let you know if you want to go to Benin, Burkino Faso, or Mali, though did not show all parts of Mali. I was disappointed that I bought a film titled “West Africa” and it showed only three small countries right there together. It should be titled “Benin, Burkino, & Mali!”


















16 October 2000
LETTER FROM FRAN HEARN  (My sister-in-law, Ginger’s half-sister)

Dear Charlie,

Hope you are fine. Times really tough here, but I feel god is pulling us through. Tom’s death was at least a double tragedy, because of Momma’s Alzheimer’s disease. She was totally out of touch with reality the first week I spent with her. I probably couldn’t have handled her ever without the diastic dedise. Anyway, the whole family knew she required 24-7 care and her brother, Sonny (Paul) got her in a rest home in Cedar Hill. It is the nicest one I’ve ever been in, but I still hate it. She is grieving Tom so badly.

I knew you’d drop her a note if I could get you her address. I send her cards, letters, and packages 3-4 days a week, but she’d love to hear from you. She always asks me about you & I remind her that you called & talked the day of the funeral. She just loves you. Hopefully & (I believe God has led me to a better place for her) temporarily – she is in Room 107 – Cedar Hill Health Care – 230 S. Clark, Cedar Hill, TX 75104. The uncles have been trying to sell off all her property to qualify her for Medicaid to keep her in this expensive rest home – sharing a tiny room too far away from me.

There is an assisted care 24-7 WONDERFUL (I just found) place 16 miles from me with only 4 other residents. It’s called The Rocking Chair Ranch and it’s a big, lovely, comfortable HOME on 7 acres in Jonesboro (like Mound, country w/neighbors). She would have a big bedroom to herself w/her own furniture, TV and even her DOG. It has a live-in nurse just feet away – impeccable reputation. The owner built the place specifically to house her mother who had Alzheimer’s and studied and got certified, etc. It is better than my wildest dream for her since losing Daddy. They don take Medicaid, but it’s cheaper-won’t know her exact income until the 30th, but f it is $1,500 (& I know it’s close-she gets ½ Tom’s pension & tiny SS) I can get her in. I think she can be happy there-as happy as she can be without Tom. She has been so dependent on him. They were like the Bobsey Twins these last years.

I love the place. They said I can sleep over. I can’t ever begin to tell you all the good things about it. Sonny sounded happy about it on the phone too. He is just worried about the money. I believe it is an answered prayer! (Tom had no insurance—hence all the $$ worries. Burial took their cash, all of it! And Momma has no insurance yet either.)

I have barely been walking for 3 or 4 weeks. Started limping one morning and by noon was on crutches—then a walker—Dr. put me on chemotherapy & I’m improving. Up to a cane now. Probably better everyday now.

Ginger came to the funeral & spent 1 night at Mamma’s. Made Mamma so happy.













24 December 2000
Bird Safari Camp, Janjanbureh/Georgetown, The Gambia

Thank you Father for these days of rest and adventure and fun!
– Canoeing and the guys swimming was a blast!
– Boat trip, hippos, etc.
– Our Christmas Eve morning worship together and the neat Christmas Eve Campfire with witness and sharing with people from Holland and Switzerland.
Father, it has been one of the best Christmas eves ever for me. Thank you, Thank you!






24 January 2001

Dear Journal,

I’m at the Institut Industriel de L’Afrique de L’Ouest, in Grand Bassam outside of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. This is the annual January Regional Strategy Team Spiritual Retreat. RST = Strategy Facilitators (old cluster coordinators), Financial Facilitators, and Business Facilitators. This year the wives and African Baptist Partners also are a part of it with a Baptist Partners’ Dialogue on the last day.

The Spiritual Retreat is being led by the pastor and others from Second Baptist Church of Hot Springs, AR; the church that buried both Mom and Dad. Pastor Chuck McAllister is speaking to me as he teaches and preaches on the importance of trusting Christ and not our own abilities. It is rich! His message last night, “How to Change Your Crisis Into Your Defining Moment,” and this morning’s “The Power to Cope with the Dark Night of the Soul,” both spoke so clearly of the 1988-99 crises of my life and how God took charge when I let Him. And how I’m more in the center of His will now. It would have been great to have had these messages back then! I would have turned more over to Jesus than I did and a lot sooner! I cried and grew! I’m ready to lean on Jesus all the time now! And I will take his advice and try to read some writings of Jonathan Edwards. He went into his Dark Night of the Soul and never came out by not yielding all to Jesus.

I’m enjoying this retreat very much even with the 36 hour delay in Ghana Airways getting me here! And these first two afternoons on the campus I have taken long walks and will tomorrow and hope to make this the habit back in The Gambia for at least 3 or 4 days a week.

Going to work a little on my web page.















13 May 2001


Never a dull moment! Just as Gary Inman was about to give his report of the meeting in Abidjan on resignations of Phillips, Hunts, and Babcock’s; I got a phone call. It was from David Simpson who had just hit or almost hit a child on his motorcycle in Farafenni. She was not even knocked down and walked away. Two ladies and a man told him not to worry about it.

I advised him to go to police and make a report, but mentioned two other possibilities of ignoring it or trying to see the girl and her family. Then I went and told the group to pray (after they prayed for the region related to Gary’s report).

Tim then took me out and said I should not give David a choice, but he must go to police and make a report and tell them everything, including the girl walking away unhurt. So I did through Fran. But Fran kind of wanted to talk with the Austin’s. So, I went back to get them and we called back. Then Tim was upset with me for allowing that. It is my job and my decision and they should not have been called in on it. Then he told the Austin’s to tell the Kelly’s that they should work with me only and not go to them on everything. Wow! I try to be nice to everybody and keep everybody happy and still get in trouble! And of course the Austin’s weren’t too happy with Tim’s words. Aaaaahhhhhhh!

I had already told Tim that I would not come back as a BF, if I came back at all! And that is certainly true for this country or affinity group!

Well, I’m going to work on my web page for now. One of my escapes! Then I’ll take a walk!

One day at a time!






12 June 2001

Dear Journal,

I’m on the 2001 Cluster 1 Retreat at Aldianos in Senegal. Just finished my June newsletter and thought I should get back to the journal again. But when I start to write I’m somehow not motivated or don’t think I have anything to write. Actually I have too much and if I wrote everyday I would have a great journal!

I’m being lazier than usual on this retreat. I go to the morning meetings of worship, preaching, break, more worship, and then Bible study from James until lunch. The rest of the day is free. I walked on the beach the first afternoon and read. I only read yesterday, finishing an Agatha Christie mystery by today.

Then most of this afternoon has been the newsletter which in reality is a monthly journal of sorts. It just does not have all the funny and adventure or leisure things that happen. Like a few weeks ago I was driving back from Basse where I had been setting up a house for the McInnises who may or may not even come now. Ugh!

My feelings have been kind of blah with the Austin/Corbitt conflicts still keeping everyone miserable and then just as I was leaving Banjul, I received an ugly email from Otis because I didn’t readily take care of collecting money from the Huntsville group for him. I felt like he should write them, not me. Made him mad. And I guess I still have this need to feel accepted by everyone!

Acceptance here has been universal and good to be with a lot of Senegal missionaries I seldom see. The North Arkansas Baptist Association people leading the retreat are great country folk and I have enjoyed them. My 70-year-old roommate is not exactly on the same plain with me, but we have mostly enjoyed each other. Too much food here, but mostly all good. I haven’t particularly been in the mood for any of the recreation here, even swimming. Too many people around and I am tired, feeling a little shy or something.

I did enjoy the Disney musical one night put on by college-age staff. There is supposed to be really good finales show tomorrow night, which I will probably go to. The shows are kind of late for me, 9:45 to 11!

Well, Varl is talking, so I will quit for now. Later maybe! –Charlie


14 June 2001
Dakar International Airport

Dear Journal,

Hey! I’m on a roll again! Third time to write this week!

The retreat ended at lunch and I road the charted bus back to Ouakam. The Kauffman’s had two boxes at 10.9 kg each plus some packaged and loose Jola Scripture portions. I crammed all I could in the suitcase and then taped the boxes well for checking on the Air Senegal flight back to Banjul. The Kauffmans brought me to airport. I had to pay for being 25 kg overweight or CFA 11,250.

No customs check! And immigration was easy tonight! But as much as I travel in West Africa, there is still a little uncertainty every time I walk into an African airport. Men in uniform here have a certain amount of power or control over you and they like to show it occasionally! I will of course have to deal with customs in the Banjul airport and they are quite unpredictable! I am taking in a lot of Christian literature that they might question. Of course I am ready to give them copies of any they want and explain how we teach Jola literacy with this material.

The retreat was good to just get away from Banjul, the office, and the missionaries there for a while. The spiritual sessions in the morning, led by North Arkansas folk, was okay even if not as good as the last facilitator retreat or the Cluster 2 retreat two weeks ago. I did get a lot of rest, ate too much food, read an Agatha Christie book, wrote my June Newsletter, and took some walks. I was not in the mood to play much with all the adult toys like catamarans, parasailing, swimming, etc. And my 70-year-old roommate slowed me down a little.

It is 19:33 and the plane is scheduled to leave at 20:20, but Air Senegal International will leave early if all passengers are here and checked in. The plane has arrived, and the luggage is ready for us to claim before they put it on the plane. So I expect to leave early tonight. There are several people in the waiting room, but I don’t think it is a full plane. As most common on this flight, I am the only white person flying.

I enjoyed being with everyone at the retreat, meeting new people from Arkansas, and just having fellowship with long talkative meals, etc. Life is good here even if hard some of the time! I had to deal with David Simpson having a motorcycle accident where he barely hit a girl child. Had to deal with Tim Mahoney telling me how to handle it and then involving the Austins against his will. People are the most complicated part of the job here! And when I get back, I have to deal with a nasty email Otis sent just as I was leaving.

One sad part of the trip is that this may be the last time I see Mike Sweeney or Crystal Pope. Mike leaves in one month and Crystal in two! Both will be adding to their education and I expect will return to the mission field in someway, somewhere. They have both been fresh and enjoyable young friends during this first year and a half. Then David leaves in December and all of the other short-termers next year; even me!

Well I think they are about to board us, so bon voyage!





Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 7:48 PM
Subject: Office Closed on July 4th
In honor of the coup that took America from Great Britain, July 4th, 1776,
Baptist Mission The Gambia Office in Banjul/Fajara
Will be closed 4 July 2001. (Hey! I don’t close for Gambia holidays!)
Charlie   🙂



Email Birthday Greetings,
July 4, 2001

Think of you often. And, of course, I don’t ever think about July 4th
without remembering that it is your birthday. Enjoy so much your newsletters every month. And the few other notes we see through Reagan.

It’s hard to believe that half of your tenure is already over. Can’t wait
to see you and hear some of your stories. I know you will have plenty to tell.

May your birthday be filled with wonderful surprises and blessings.

You’re much loved and much missed!!

Dianah West
Customer Accounts Section
LifeWay Church Resources


Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 7:48 PM
Subject: Office Closed on July 4th
In honor of the coup that took America from Great Britain, July 4th, 1776,
Baptist Mission The Gambia Office in Banjul/Fajara
Will be closed 4 July 2001. (Hey! I don’t close for Gambia holidays!)

Boy , we are getting it in there !!! Hey , I think it is fine to take your birthday and the birthday of the coup de tat government !!! Have a great birthday , and thank you for who you are . That does not go unnoticed .Your friend,David

From: David Russell Kennedy

Happy Birthday, Charlie

Hello Charles,
Happy Birthday to a fine cousin. Every year on your birthday, Iris calls to
remind us. I always remember, because of the Hardgrave Family Reunion, and
as you know this year we skipped, so maybe you will be hear next. We hope you are having the best birthday you have ever had, and as always our prayers are with you and all of the people you are working with.

Everyone here is fine, and we will stay in touch a little better. We always
enjoy hearing from you, and we are so proud of you and the work you are doing for other people.

It is hard to believe you have not been to a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in two

Gene and Jo Ann Hardgrave


Joe Photo – Happy Birthday!
© Webshots

Just taking time out to wish you a Happy Birthday!


Joe Photo and Webshots



From: Avanisha Productions <avanisha@usa.net>
To: <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Wednesday, 04 July, 2001 5:39 PM
Subject: Happy Birthday….

I sent an email a week ago but had your email address wrong. I got your  message of Tim’s email, but have not tried it yet. I tried to call him once  and he seemed real buisy. I am not moving now until August 10th.

The music  group situation has been holding me back a little. So we are going to play once  more at a coffee shop, and we are finishing up a full length CD. That’s about  it for now, just trying to get everything taken care of to move.



Subject: Happy Birthday
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001 07:51:57 -0500
From: “Jerry Lemon”

I noticed just now that you had a birthday on the Fourth. I thought all
the fireworks were for our nation’s 225th anniversary of the Declaration of
Independence, but now I know the real reason. I trust yours was a
Christ-blessed birthday. We pray often for you in our prayer room at
In Christ,


Subject: I’m Late – from Keri
Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2001 07:08:34 PDT

Hello! Keri has just sent you a greeting card from Bluemountain.com.

You can pick up your personal message here:





7 December 2001
Bird Safari Camp, Janjanbureh, Burial of Steve

Another day like none before!

From 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM we transported Steve Jones’ body by truck from Royal Victoria Hospital Morgue in Banjul to Bird Safari Camp in Janjanbureh. From the Janjanbureh Ferry Crossing they decided to take Steve by camp boat to the camp on the other side of McCarthy Island. The two of us in vehicles drove after the ferry and of course got there first.

A large crowd of locals came for the funeral (some said up to 100). It was amazing to watch people look at the embalmed body with a huge amount of curiosity and respect. Then I conducted the funeral for a mostly Muslim audience, explaining why we believe Steve is in heaven and how Christians get there!

I included a “share time” where people could share short memories of Steve. There was a lot of sharing and some was rather emotional and almost all was from local Gambians. God was good to us in it all today and He was lifted up in the funeral.

Dinner was a good closure for the Banjul group as we began to relax a little. Steve is buried now—it is over—we go home in the morning. Though it will never be the same without Steve Jones, I still love Bird Safari Camp and will return. This was my first time to stay in the new wall tents on platforms which I like better than the huts!

Charlie     See photos of the day.

Later Post Script (Dec 02, 2001):
I only returned two more times, once for a quick night on the way back from a Basse trip and then I brought Jason when he visited in July 02. Just wish he could have met Steve. They would have liked each other! Ethan Nokes came with Jason and I and by the way Dave Moore came with me to the funeral described above.




4 January 2002
At home in The Gambia

Father, you have just touched me or even changed me with the reading of Bruce Wilkinson’s little book Secrets of the Vine. I want to abide in you and accept your discipline, pruning, and the yielding of abundance for Your glory!

Oh Father, I’m ashamed that I don’t know what to say to you or how to slow down, quiet down, just be with You and love You, enjoy You, and let You become a part of me. Help me to abide in You! Help me to not try to do everything myself. Help me to keep You first in my life and to depend on none but You!

I am being still now – trying to know You. Speak to me.


Sunday, February 17, 2002
In my apartment in The Gambia

Melonye Lowe & Joy Fisher at FBC Nashville asked me to write a devotional for the Holy Week prayer guide. Mine is to be the night before Easter this year. I wrote two versions and sent them in last night for them to choose from. The scripture was assigned:

Saturday, March 30, 2002
First Devotional version (which is the one they used):


“Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
I Corinthians 6:19-20 HCSB

By Charlie Doggett
First Baptist member and missionary to The Gambia, West Africa.

I prayed for the group of Jola people under the tree with my hands held open and cupped in front of me, in the tradition of West African Muslims. As I prayed for their health, crops, and their salvation in Christ, the wind begin to blow and a leaf was whipped from the tree into a spiraling fall – directly into my open hands! Then another breeze spun it up in the air; whirling around for several seconds, then back into my hands again!

Immediately after the “Amen,” three older Jola men (who obviously kept their eyes open) began chattering in Jola with the others. My interpreter, Ismaila, explained that they saw the leaf experience and believed it was the spirit of God descending on me.

Back through Ismaila, I explained that the Holy Spirit of God does come upon us who follow Jesus and he lives within our bodies as His sanctuary. It is a place He receives worship from us while He also comforts us and works His good works through us.

This is possible because of nothing I do, but because Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb of God to bear the punishment of my sins. His grace cost much more than the humiliation, torn flesh, and the spelt blood. He was separated from God just so I would never be! My constant slipping into self-centeredness, ungodly thoughts and desires are daily forgiven as I begin to pray because, “…He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me of all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Yes! “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He wash’d it white as snow.”

Almighty God, thank you for your grace and for the price Jesus paid for me. May the celebration of His resurrection tomorrow help me to glorify Jesus in my body, that people might see Him instead of me, and learn that Jesus paid the price for their sins too! Amen.

Saturday, March 30, 2002
Second version of the devotional (not used):


“Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
I Corinthians 6:19-20 HCSB

By Charlie Doggett
First Baptist member and missionary to The Gambia, West Africa.

As I worked late that night in the office, Ebrima Sanyang, the night watchman, came into my office to greet me. I continued working away on the computer as we spoke. Sanyang then leaned over and patted the top of the computer monitor saying, “Charlie’s friend.” I was speechless and sad as he left the office, finally saying, “God please forgive me.”

Daily I need to be forgiven. I’m still a sinner! Before preaching here, I usually introduce myself as “Charlie Doggett, a sinner saved by grace!” But I still sometimes forget that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). Our only righteousness is in Jesus Christ!

Like Paul, the very thing (sin) I don’t want to do, I do! Jesus said that if you hate or dislike someone you have committed murder in your heart; looked upon a woman in lust, you have committed adultery in your heart; and as we desire to “keep up with the Jones,” we have in our heart robbed another and robbed God of our dependence on Him! Sins continue with gossip, the little white lies, or just trying to “stay busy for God!” The hymn has Jesus telling me, “Thy strength indeed is small, child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all. Jesus paid it all!”

The grace (unmerited favor) of God toward me cost a huge price as His only son died for my rebellion against Him! Yet I seldom think of the agony of His ripped and torn flesh, humiliation, huge nails, spelt blood, dehydration, the spear, and all else that went with one of the most painful deaths possible! And that was not all! He was separated from God, an absolutely horrible experience for Jesus. He did it so I won’t be separated from God! Tomorrow we celebrate the price He paid as well as His resurrection!

Almighty God, help me to glorify Jesus in my body that people might see Jesus instead of me and learn that Jesus paid the price for their sins too! I praise you for paying the price to conquer sin and death! Amen.


Sunday, September 1, 2002
I’m counting down the six weeks now before I leave the Gambia. I’m feeling the need to keep a separate journal for my quiet times – not that the other was non-spiritual nor has it been regular!  🙂   We’ll see how regular this becomes.
This cheap little book purchased here in The Gambia. And the leather cover is cow-hide made by a craftsman at the Senegambia Craft Market. Perhaps the better title for this would be  QUIET TIME JOURNAL .

God is speaking or revealing things in many different ways and hopefully this will help me to remember and grow from these combined experiences.

The praise is always the best! I’m encouraged to praise you God as I see the exuberance of praise by this body of Christ! And today was excellent as a time to do that.

The sermon was by a Sierra Leonean, Modu Conteh and lifted the centrality of Christ as God in a very interesting speaking style. And the Lord’s Supper helped me remember again how much my salvation really cost you Father. Thank you and I am so undeserving, selfish, sinful to be included in Your family – oh how amazing Your Grace!!!

Father, I need your help in knowing how to deal with what I am calling Pentecostal healing and anointing of the Holy Spirit. As before, I saw a good preacher (to me) turn into an emotional manipulator, almost a hypnotist! I keep saying from the Bible that God is not the author of confusion, and you have said that all things should be done decently and in order. Yet he is pressing people on the head and women are screaming and falling on the floor. Somehow I can’t see You in this God. Help me not to judge, yet I sometimes feel I should speak out against what I believe is wrong. Help me to do what is right, to do what is Christ-like. WWJD? Is not always easy to answer.


September 2, 2002


Tom & Mindy,

I’m a fortunate guy! On the same day I receive emails from both of you inviting me to your wedding! Believe it or not I have already put it in my “Future Travel Plans” folder! I am also considering a mission trip to Alberta June 16-29 that summer. An additional 12 days is a long time to hang out in Canada, but I just may do it! No details on the mission trip yet. Or if I will have a job by then! But I hope not!

I believe God is blessing this marriage already and I will pray that you will be one in the Lord! And that He will be the head of your home! (Hey! Marriage is not as easy as you think it is! But with God, anything is possible!) Also glad to hear that that Trevor will be your best man Tom! That’s cool!

The next two months will be really busy for me! But I will try to stay in touch and let you know where I have landed, address, phone, etc.

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord . . .”
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett


September 11, 2002 – Mid-day
A call from another missionary and I run upstairs to turn on CNN News and actually watched the second plane crash into one of the towers. Shock! Later I thought that now finally Americans are going to see the fear that people in much of the rest of the world face every day.

September 11, 2002



I forwarded your message to a Wolof missionary who may or may not have time to help you. If you want to see what typical villages look like here (similar for all tribes) go to my photo albums below on webshots.com, On page 2 is an album titled “Gambia Villages.”

Some of the other albums have village views too. Serrekunda Market album is where they shop when they come from the village to town. I am packing up to leave, so sorry I have no more time to help you.

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett

—– Original Message —–
From: Steve & Brenda
To: charlie@charliedoggett.net
Sent: Wednesday, 11 September, 2002 6:15 PM
Subject: Can you help?

Hi, Charlie!
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

My name is Brenda. I live in South Carolina. I attend a non-denominational church that is affiliated with The Christian Missionary & Alliance. We have a women’s group that gets together once a month to pray for missionaries and the work that God is doing around the world. If there are any requests that you would like us to pray for, please forward them to me, – and we will be faithful to stand in the gap for you.

My initial reason for contacting you, however, was to see if you would be able to help me. I am writing a screenplay that takes place in a remote Wolof village off the Gambian River outside of Banjul. It is based around a missionary couple and a teacher who are doing work in the village. I want to make the environment as true as possible. And since I have never been there, I can only rely on research that I have done. Then I thought, why not see if I can get some insight and help from someone who has actually been there. I know that you have not worked directly with the Wolof and may not have been in the area that I am writing about. But, I was wondering if you know of someone who has, who might be able to help me. Any information or email addresses of who I might be able to contact would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your help!


September 11, 2002



I will share with the others! Our embassy invited all Gambians to come by
today and sign a book of condolences for the 9-11 victim families. So
everything is peaceful here!

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett


—– Original Message —–
From: Steve Gateley <sgatele@lifeway.com>
To: <nipper@gamtel.gm>; <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Wednesday, 11 September, 2002 3:25 PM
Subject: Thinking of You

This morning we had a joint (the SBC building folks came over) 911
> And during that service, I thought of you folks …… Charlie, Gary, Pam,
> the Dovorak’s (please let them know) ….. by saying a prayer to keep you
> all save on this special day. Having experienced your situation …. it
> seems to be a save and friendly environment to Americans. But still …
> myself included here in Nashville …. you never know … and so I am
> remembering you today. Play it safe …. stay away from McFaddy’s and the
> ice cream parlor across from the embassy …… you’ll just gain pounds
> anyway!!
> God bless your missionary efforts and God bless America!!


September 16, 2002


Thank you so much for getting the credit card here so fast! It arrived this morning (Monday morning) about 9:30. I have already called the number and activated it and everything is A-OK! I’m now covered for the trip home!

See ya’ in another month or so!


—– Original Message —–
From: Linda Craddock <lcraddo@lifeway.com>
To: cdoggett <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Thursday, 12 September, 2002 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: DHL

 I have sent your debit card via DHL. The confirmation number I have from  them is 2942. The lady I spoke with( Lacy) says your card will arrive Monday by the end of the business day.

If you have any further questions please let me know. Also, please let me know that you have received the card.

> Thanks,
> Linda Craddock
> Operations Asst.
> LifeWay Credit Union


22 September, 2002(Quiet Time Journal)
Writing while in worship service at Glory – In a song God just spoke to me: It is not my burden! I am responsible for only myself – I just praise God that so many are praising Him in whatever way! He will deal with false doctrine or behavior. Judge not that you be not judged! AMEN! I’m at peace about my earlier concerns on the Pentecostal nature of the church and some preachers.

I received another message from the choir special music which basically told me to just stand back and see what the Lord will do.

Donkor’s sermon was on prosperity again. God, I will try to listen for you to speak, but I don’t see this in the mind of Christ. Help me Lord! He has quoted from John where he prayed that God prosper them. He didn’t give reference. Lord help me not to judge.

He is now pushing the importance of school, a danger of making education a God, along with the money of prosperity. He is sounding like America. I’m sad.

The best thing he said was that God created all of us as unique individuals—we are all great in God’s sight. I like that basically, though there can be the danger of making ourselves God!


September 23, 2002


Leigh Ann,

Sorry if I confused you. The mission will be shut down for awhile until a
replacement comes and in the meantime my maid and courier are without jobs.

Cote d’Ivoire has little affect on us except for no airline flights there
for now. And our Gambian football team is “trapped” there until airlines

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett

—– Original Message —–
From: Leigh Ann Dans <ladans@lifeway.com>
To: <webmaster@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Monday, 23 September, 2002 3:32 PM
Subject: Re: From Charlie In The Gambia, Sept 02

> What loss of jobs are you talking about? Is the Ivory Coast coup affecting
> you all?
> Leigh Ann Dans
> Graphic designer
> Advertising & Promotion
> LifeWay Christian Resources

September 23, 2002



Glad to hear from you and sorry it is so close to the end of my time here. I close the office 7 October, then will be in and out for a week with my last three nights (11-13 October) in a hotel and with my plane to the states leaving the 14th after three years here.

When you return, you may call me at anytime day or night at 37.40.51 and we can talk. The Dvorak’s supervisor and 18-year Baptist missionaries in The Gambia, Chris and Karen Austin are here and out in Lamin with the Dvoraks and could tell you even more. Note below that I have a website with some info on our work and mostly in the newsletter archives. God bless you in your ministry.

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett
—– Original Message —–
From: Baptist Mission The Gambia
To: Charlie Doggett
Sent: Monday, 23 September, 2002 10:13 AM
Subject: Fw: greetings

—–Original Message—–
From: Rhudine Poole <sojourner1949@hotmail.com>
To: ibgambia@gamtel.gm <ibgambia@gamtel.gm>
Date: Saturday, September 21, 2002 2:34 PM
Subject: greetings

Dear Brother Doggett,
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rhudine Poole. I am a missionary here in The Gambia from Florida, having arrived this second time since February. I met Josette and some Canadians who were here earlier and they mentioned you to me. I had hopes of getting to meet you before now, but was unable to locate your information.

My vocation is early childhood education and thus I am training nursery school teachers with the Christian Children’s Fund. Also, I am ministering at the Assembly of God Church here with their women’s ministry.

One of the churches back home that is supporting me is a Baptist Church that I attended for many years. I would like to hear of your ministry here to share the news of the work of the Lord that is going on here with churches that are supporting me. I will be leaving for up country tomorrow but will return by next Friday. My mobile is 799556. When you have a moment, please contact me either by phone or email and I will be delighted to speak with you concerning you mission here.

In Christ name,
Rhudine Poole


September 25, 2002


To those getting the Word Document version of newsletter:

Sorry! I made a big error. My arrival in Nashville is at 4:30 on the 15th October, not two hours later like the first newsletter said. It is on Continental Airlines 855. But don’t worry about coming, it is too much trouble! But for those who do come, please note the change!

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett


September 30, 2002



It was the worst sea accident in history for the Senegal-Gambia region! But
obviously exaggerated in your American news media. There were about 800 on board the 550 capacity “people ferry” between Dakar and Ziguinchor, Senegal.

As they were passing the Gambia shore in a night-time storm the
poorly-maintained vessel (with one of 2 motors not working) capsized in the
ocean and most were trapped under the boat. And most Africans here cannot
swim. There were about 100 survivors, 300 bodies found, and the others
“missing.” So they think about 700 died in this accident.

In The Gambia, more people die in boating accidents than in car accidents!
The majority on the boat were Senegalese, but some Gambians were included
along with other expats from Guinea, Guinea Bissau, France, and other
countries. It seems that these kinds of tragedies are weekly occurrences
somewhere in Africa. And of course it could have been avoided with proper
maintenance and not overloading. Pray that the tragedy might cause some to
turn to the real God!

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett


—– Original Message —–
From: Kathy Edwards <kedward@lifeway.com>
To: <charlie@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Monday, 30 September, 2002 1:27 PM
Subject: Accident

> I just heard about the ferry boat accident there. I’m so sorry. I heard
> 1,000 people lost their lives. I know your heart is breaking for The
> Gambia people. My thoughts and prayers are with you and The Gambia
> people.
> “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and
> petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the
> peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your
> hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
> Kathy Edwards
> Copy Editor
> Student Ministry Publishing
> LifeWay Christian Resources
> kathy.edwards@lifeway.com
> 615/251-



October 9, 2002



Sorry about your keyhole problem! But you had many choices of laptops when you purchased. Why didn’t you get one with a larger screen? I have been overseas for three years and thought I would hate working on a laptop all the time. But I got a good one, DELL Inspiron 7000 (They now have better ones!) and I swear by this machine! It has a 15 inch screen (plenty big for me!) and even with all the dust sand in West Africa, I still have had no problems with my DELL for three years! When I get home later this month, I will get a DELL desktop too! DELL has stood the test and made me a believer!

And the cost? Well, at age 62, I have learned the hard way that “you get what you pay for!”

Charlie Doggett
The Gambia, West Africa
Soon back in Nashville, TN


October 9, 2002


David & Terri,

I received your nice thank you note and beautiful prayer card! Your photo, design, and choice of colors is the best I’ve seen on a prayer card! I really like green and brown together like that!

I hope the Wolof language is getting easier and that you are both just talking up a storm in Wolof! Ha! I guess being forced to use it in the market or whatever is a pretty strong motivation. I’m praying for you!

And it is nearly over for me–a fast three years! I am leaving the office and apartment Friday afternoon for a hotel and then fly out on Monday. I hope to be rested up for the trip!

Everything has been a little disjointed for you guys and I know it has been easy to be discouraged, but remember that God is bigger than all the moving around and language difficulties, etc. and He is still in charge! He will not only get you through these first couple of years, but will find ways to bless you and bless others through you! I really believe that! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths!” That is my life verse and if I would just quit leaning on my own understanding of things, my life would have stayed on His path a lot better! I trust it will for you!

I want to keep up with you! Please put me on your email newsletter list, if you have one. When I find a place to stay I will share my address and phone number. But this email address is permanent. Please come to Nashville for a visit sometime!

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett


13 October 2002 (Quiet Time Journal)

Tomorrow I leave the Gambia. I’m spending my last three nights at Coconut Residence Hotel. I’m reading from Luke 13 and God speaks to me:
Vss 1-5: I am a sinner, always have been—always will be! I am sorry God! Again I repent of my selfish desires, lust, lack of total trust in you. Help me to spend more time with You, to read your word more, to pray more, and in prayer help me to listen to you more and meditate on your word.

Lord because I am imperfect and you are perfect, as you want me to be; I repent of my sins today as I must every day. Thank you for your grace – AMAZING GRACE! Thank you for your forgiveness as I begin another day!
Vss 6-9: I have not read a commentary on the meaning of this particular fig tree parable. Today it spoke to me as the fig tree myself, not bearing fruit or enough fruit. As the vineyard worker tells the owner to give it one more year while he digs around it and fertilizes it, I am believing that you are giving me another year as your Son Jesus and all of your vineyard workers around me dig and fertilize around me that I may bear more fruit.

Lord, during this time teach me the meaning of “fruit” or “bearing much fruit.” You know that I am feeling now that it is the spiritual fruit of Galatians 5:22-23 rather than converts and that He can use Christ in me as an incarnation ministry and witness to help lead people to follow Christ. I am seeing or feeling that this is the “Kingdom of God.” A growing mustard seed in me that continues to grow and branch out so that my life, like the mustard tree branches out and attracts many to Christ. It is the yeast that is spreading throughout my life that the bread of Life (Jesus) will be available through me to the hungry. Or is it in me? Christ in me, the hope of eternity? As I feed on God’s word, it rises like the yeast rises bread and others find the bread of life in or through me. Thank you God for this understanding and help me to correctly understand and please correct me where I understand wrong. I want to be in you and you in me.

Vss 10-17: Lord help me to not be hypocritical, legalistic, or a stumbling block to someone needing to be “…untied from this bondage…” of sin.
Vss 18-21: I pray that my understanding of the mustard seed and yeast commented on above is correct Lord and please correct me if not.
Vss 22-30: Help me to understand the concept of “the narrow way” and the concept of “some who are last will be first and some who are first will be last.”

Henry Blackaby says here that the world will judge you by the number of people serving you and God by the number you serve. That is true in one sense, but I think this passage is deeper than this—service yes, but maybe more than that. I’m not sure God. Help me to not make a simple thing too complicated. Help me to understand the meaning of “the narrow way.”
Vss 31-33: Jesus knew what He must do and stuck to it despite threats against Him.

Vss 34-35: As Jesus wept over Jerusalem, does He weep today over those who reject Him? Lord some say that Jerusalem is still significant in the Kingdom of God and that Christ will return there – I don’t know! I don’t understand that nor those who take sides with Israel today. Help me to not judge, because I really don’t know or understand. Help me to learn more and to control my tongue, especially in the U.S. politics on Israel. Yet Lord, I want to follow Christ—is it as simple as what would Jesus do? WWJD?
Thank you God for this time alone with you! If this is your will, help me to do it daily or twice a day! I do want to know You and be in You and have You in me! I think that this time this morning is what I had in mind for this journal. Whatever—to God be the Glory! Amen!

15 October 2002 (on a plane over the Atlantic Ocean – Spiritual Journal)
Luke 14:1-6: Anytime is a good time to do good!
Luke 14:7-14: I must consciously try to be humble and never lift myself up. Likewise I must consciously invite the poor, downtrodden, and needy to both physical and spiritual food.

Book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster
I have been reading this book off and on for two months now. It is deep, intellectual, and frankly hard to follow or at least to pray in some of the ways he suggests. I just read a portion of his chapter on contemplative prayer. I am simply not spiritually ready for what he describes, but as I read I am “hit right between the eyes” by the fact that I need to learn to be quiet and listen! That brings to mind the Scripture statement or command to “Be still and know that I am God.” It is a simple fact that I talk too much! Even to God! Of course this must be applied to my daily relationships with people too! Lord help me!

I have been thinking some more about the fig tree parable I commented on earlier (13 Oct). I thought then that God was using it to speak to me and it keeps coming back that I am the fig tree, God is the gardener, He will dig around me and fertilize me for one year that I might produce fruit, and He will make me a fruitful tree.

God help me to know if you really meant it as a specific message to me – If so; make it clear what I am to do this next year:

• Become a meditative monk to learn?
• Find a particular ministry in which you will grow & mature me?
• Go to school?
• Have longer, scheduled quiet times & Bible studies to grow?

Father, help me to be the clay and willingly yield to you as the potter! Help me to be still and know that you are God. Help me to be in Christ and Christ in me! Help me to be a fruitful fig tree!
Now Father . . .

I am returning to Nashville to live by faith–in total dependence on you. I ask that You provide and make it clear to me:

1. A place to live that pleases you.
2. A car that is what you want me to drive.
3. Only the role you want me to have in church.

I am resting in You! I look forward to how You will surprise me and use me. And Father, I LOVE LIVING BY FAITH!

I love You God! I thank You that I can rest and be all Yours now. Thank You for this new era of my life – I am so looking forward to it.

Luke 14:15-24: “Parable of Great Banquet” If I don’t join God in His work, eat and share the Bread of Life, He will get someone else.

Luke 14:25-35: “The Cost of Being a Disciple” I must give up everything, everyone, that take my attention off Christ. I must give up my right to myself.

So what does this mean to me in retirement?

• Do I give up hobbies? Or work to use them as doorways for the lost?
• How comfortable or how sparse should I go in my house or apartment?
• Should I survive with no car like Bill Berge? Or do I get a solid but simple and basic car as I am now thinking?
• How do I eat?
• How do I dress?



15 October 2002 – On plane between Newark and Nashville in Afternoon

I have been feeling ill since yesterday morning at Coconut Residence: feverish in head, aching all over, cold chills sometimes in the arms and torso. I have no energy and now it bothers my eyes to read. This is the classic flu symptoms in the States, but it started in Gambia where the same symptoms can mean Malaria. I don’t know what it is. I plan to try to see Dr. Tucker tomorrow and hope he can get a malaria blood test – especially for cerebral malaria. That is what Steve Jones died of. I have been treating whatever I have with aspirin which helps me feel better for awhile. At 12:30 I took two DayQuil Flu & Cold capsules. It is 3:00 now and I don’t have chills, but otherwise about the same. Not good!

The thought has come to me that I could die as I return home – and Lord that would be gain for me, but You know that I love life and seeing You work.

I have also prayed that God make me well by the time I arrive so I and the ones who come to the airport to welcome me back will have an enjoyable experience. If not, then maybe this is the beginning of God’s humbling of me for my time in Nashville. Your will be done Lord! Amen!


Issue 33 — October 2002 (sent in late October)

As the folks who saw me on my last day in The Gambia (14 Oct.) will remember, I was not feeling well; weak, no energy, and a little feverish. Well . . . as the flights progressed though Brussels and Newark to Nashville, the fever got hotter and I was having chills in-between! Miserable! Upon arrival in Nashville I asked Reagan, who picked me up along with a great little welcoming committee, to take me straight to the hospital. I stayed there 6 days with temps up to nearly 105, red eyes, a rash on my abdomen, and just plain sick!
They brought in an infectious disease specialist who eliminated pneumonia, Malaria, and TB. Then after he researched on the web, he declared that I have Dengue Fever which is a mosquito-born virus found in tropical regions around the world. I later got to read about it myself on the CDC website. Interesting. I’m the first case this doctor has ever treated and maybe the first at Baptist Hospital here!
My problem now is that even though the high fevers are gone, I am still having low-grade fevers once or twice a day and just simply not feeling well. I have low energy, which just kills me! Except for the Debriefing in Richmond, VA, I haven’t felt like doing much of anything. Except . . .

My permanent address will be
Charlie Doggett
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228
Temp. Telephone: (615) 383-7490, extension 7721 (until middle of December)

From now until sometime in December I will be staying at Extended Stay America on Westend Ave. in Nashville until my new urban row house is finished across the street from Farmer’s Market and Bicentennial Park, north of the State Capitol. At that time I will inform you of my permanent phone number. Until then you may call me at this hotel at the number listed above. This number includes voice mail if I am not in. So leave your number and I will return your call.

Transportation? I bought a cheap little new Toyota Tacoma Pickup, stick shift, single cab, at 0% interest on the loan! (Hey! Free money! Everything’s a buyer’s market right now.) And the cash I was going to buy a used car with will go on the house to keep those payments lower and less interest there! So, even though I don’t feel well, I am off to a good start! Just have to wait on the house! Ugh! And by the way, my pension check may be low enough to qualify me for a housing grant from Affordable Housing Resources here! And a lower interest house loan! There are advantages to making lower that the average income!

1. There sure are a lot of white people here!
2. Nashville people have southern drawls! (Do I really talk like that?)
3. Most of the children are fat. (A big contrast to Africa!)
4. The restaurants serve such large portions of food, that half my lunch is dinner!
5. I’ve been to Kroger, Walmart,  and Target & I’m still overwhelmed!
6. America has an arrogant, selfish world view which is scary to me.

Thanks for your prayers and other support while I was in The Gambia and in the hospital! This is the final Gambia report, but I may use the mail list for a once-a-year update or Christmas Newsletter! So keep your email address updated on my site!

Your friend,
Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6

EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEB: http://charliedoggett.net



October 31, 2002

I returned to the states after three years in The Gambia, West Africa on the 15th October and went straight to the hospital with Dengue Fever. I am still not well, but finally getting to emails. I will attach the highest resolution photos of the two theatres that I have on my computer. For web-use a 72 resolution is the max for any computer screen and so that is what most of mine are. Hope they are better than the Webshots photos.

Charlie Doggett
WEBSITE: http://charliedoggett.net
PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett
—– Original Message —–
From: Richard Antisdel
To: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
Sent: Sunday, 13 October, 2002 4:53 PM
Subject: webshots albumn

I am searching for some photos of two London theatres and an internet search using Google turned up your webshots album.

This past July/August we were traveling around the UK on holiday and attended My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Mousetrap.

When we returned home, we discovered that a malfunction of our film camera resulted in five rolls of unexposed film. The motor winder did not advance the film, despite the frame counter showing it had.

So I have been searching for photos to borrow (?) to re-create some of the places we visited.

Would you have available high resolutions digital versions of your pictures of the Theatre Royal and St Martins as shown in your London West End album and you would be willing to share them with us?

I want to be able to produce some 4″x6″ prints for our album.

Richard Antisdel
Owings Mills, Md



November 3, 2002

Thanks so much for your comments on my website and dining out choices. I will definitely try Baily’s Bar the next time I am back in The Gambia. Sorry for the delay in responding, but I arrived back in the states 15 October very sick with what was later diagnosed as Dengue Fever. I spent a week in the hospital and though I am not well yet, I am better and without the 105 temperatures!

Since I no longer live in The Gambia, I will be updating my website as I feel better and will probably remove my dining out suggestions which become dated quickly there! Always good to here from a Gambia fan! I love it!

Charlie Doggett
—– Original Message —–
From: Julie WARDEN
To: charlie@charliedoggett.net
Cc: charlie@charliedoggett.net
Sent: Sunday, 13 October, 2002 3:15 PM
Subject: Bailys Bar

I have just visited your website and am dissapointed that bailys bar is not mentioned i know it is not on a high scale like luigi’s and churchills but they serve the best ladyfish and chips in the Gambia Harry and Nancy come from north england and make everyone welcome gambian or tourist.



November 3, 2002

I assume you have now received my newsletter and know that I have been very sick since the time I got on the plane in Gambia. They have diagnosed it as “Dengue Fever” and I was in the hospital 6 days with temperatures up to 105. Only low temps now, but still “achy” and no energry. But I think it is slowly going away. But I haven’t done much since getting here. My address and phone number were in the newsletter. Let me know if you didn’t get them.

Charlie Doggett
Proverbs 3:5-6

—– Original Message —–
From: Carruthers Donkor
To: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
Sent: Tuesday, 29 October, 2002 7:28 AM
Subject: Arrived?

Hi Charlie,

Just want to know if you arrived or you lost in space? Have some rest and rest and rest and rest. All is well here. I yet to meet Tim on his next circuit to the Gambia.

God bless you.




November 6, 2002

I am still not feeling well, but better! A former missionary to the
Philippines here said it took him 2 months+ to get over Dengue Fever. So we
will see. But this too shall pass. And I am in forced-rest in a hotel
efficiency room. I want to move into my house! But the earliest it will be
ready is mid-December. Soooo . . .

The visit with you and Beth was great, even though I didn’t feel real good.
I assume that you got my newsletter with permanent mail address and
temporary phone number.

I got that Katadyn email too! So it is a worm virus. I have warned Tim and
suggested how he can get rid of it. But that is his computer now!



—– Original Message —–
From: David Simpson <davidasimpson2002@hotmail.com>
To: <charlie@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Wednesday, 06 November, 2002 7:52 AM
Subject: Fwd: Order Katadyn Filters

> Charlie,
> I hope you are feeling better. Beth and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit
> with you as it was so good to see you . The Kellys had sent us an e-mail asking how you were feeling .

> Charlie, I have gotten this e-mail from you several times . I really
> wonder if it is a virus.

Have a great week. Please write us when you can.
> In Him,
> David



It appears that your ibgambia computer has a virus that is sending out some of my old emails. I also received this old email (the whole email in the body on mine) and David said he got it more than once. Next time you are there, call ITS and they will fix it. They can come to the office, but may say that they would prefer to work on it in their shop. Good luck!

I guess you heard that I arrived here with Dengue Fever and went straight to the hospital for 6 days and 105 temps! I am better, but still not well. The aching all over and a milder fever recurs every afternoon/evening. Weird! A former missionary to the Philippines said it took him 2 months plus to get over it.

Everything else is going okay. The house I am getting will not be ready until mid-December or later, so I am staying in Extended Stay America on Westend and using their phone until I get in my house around the middle of December:
(615) 383-7490, ext. 7721

But my official, permanent, mail address is:
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228-0344

Charlie Doggett



> >

November 7, 2002
It is one of the row houses (“row 8.9n”) across the street from Farmer’s
Market (Ref. Newsletter). I will actually be in one of those facing 9th
Avenue behind KFC. Hopefully ready in mid-to-late December! It is similar to
my old house, 2 story townhouse, but a little smaller and a “more hip”
place; a contemporary version of an old NY or Chicago Brownstone Rowhouse.

Charlie Doggett

—– Original Message —–
From: <jodieh@bellsouth.net>
To: <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Wednesday, 06 November, 2002 11:54 PM
Subject: Your HOUSE?

> That went right by me until I re-read your message! Where? Same old
neighborhood, same type house?
> And is that West End living place?
> Hope to see you this Sunday. ): “jobless jodie”

November 9, 2002

Brian & Leigh,

You didn’t sign up for my newsletter mail list with your new address! This is what Leah got + we saw each other in Richmond. And I even had dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Simpson! (Dinner out! She says if she cooks dinner it could be 9:00 to 10:00 before it is ready! They are both the same!

Hope married life is treating you guys great! Have a good day!


From: Brian Leigh
To: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
Sent: Friday, 08 November, 2002 7:51 AM

Hey Charlie-O,

HOw are you? where are you? Leah told me about your bout with dengue fever….sounds fun!! I hope you are adjusting well to being back in America…..I still have my moments, though. I was wondering if you could send me your snail mail address? I would really appreciate it!

November 25, 2002


Thanks for letting me know and I am sorry you guys can’t come by! I have the
photos all ready!

And Jason is not coming either, but I am going with a friend’s family to
their old log house in the country for Thanksgiving Dinner. So that will be
fun. He is Ethan Nokes who came with the FBC group, but I’m not sure you met
any of them.

They are now saying we may still close on the house December 16 and no later
than December 20. So my Christmas present will be a house! You can see some
photos of it “under construction” at my new web site:

Charlie Doggett
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228-0344
Temporary Phone: (615) 383-7490

—– Original Message —–
From: David Simpson <davidasimpson2002@hotmail.com>
To: <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Sunday, 24 November, 2002 9:52 PM

> Charlie,
> I hope all is well.I am glad Jason is coming to spend time with you.
> Unfortuantely, it doesn’t look like Beth and i are going to be able to
> by. I was hoping that it would, but right now it just doesn’t look
> Sorry about that as we were both hoping to see you then .
> I imagine you are more than ready to move into your new home. You will
> have to send us pictures as we love to see what it looks like .Well, I
> get to bed so I can get up and go to work at the golf course in the
> Have a great Thanksgiving.
> In Him,
> David
> >From: “cdoggett” <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
> >To: “David Simpson” <davidasimpson2002@hotmail.com>
> >Subject: Re: THANKSGIVING
> >Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 17:46:20 -0600
> >
> >David & Beth,
> >
> >I’m still using a European calendar (with no Thanksgiving!), but I guess
> >that Thanksgiving in 28 November rather than 21since I am scheduled for a
> >class the night of 21st. I have no plans for whichever weekend except
> >Jason is driving over and will stay with me in my one room that weekend
> >while visiting with me and his Mom (separately!) who is driving to
> >Nashville
> >from Memphis, if Jason gets it his way. She wanted him to drive to
> >to have Thanksgiving with her. He drew the line at Nashville. And I don’t
> >care what either one of them do! The thrills of Divorce never end!
> >
> >So just tell me which half of the day you will be passing through
> >or afternoon) and I will stay put right here at Home Sweet Extended Stay!
> >383-7490, located at 3311 Westend (3 blocks from the Westend exit on
> >I-440).
> >Or call me when you get in town and I will meet you at a location you
> >or just where ever you land. If Jason is around, you can meet him. No
> >promises!
> >
> >You said on Saturday, so whichever Saturday is after Thanksgiving (23rd
> >30th)! (Wise move David! Never let you wife go shopping right after
> >Thanksgiving!)
> >
> >Charlie
> >
> >
> >—– Original Message —–
> >From: David Simpson <davidasimpson2002@hotmail.com>
> >To: <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
> >Sent: Tuesday, 12 November, 2002 1:11 PM
> >Subject: Re: Order Katadyn Filters
> >
> >
> > > Charlie,
> > >
> > > Thanks for your e-mail. I do hope the Dengue Fever is beginning to
> >wear
> > > off. I know you must be anxious to move into your house.
> > > Beth and I saw the Fergusons last weekend at a Mission Conference
> >the
> > > Richmond area.They are headed back to Togo in December.A couple months
> >ago
> >I
> > > saw Tammy Cortimillia at a matching conference at MLC.It really is a
> >small
> > > world.
> > > Beth and I would love to see you at Thanksgiving. Right now it will
> > > depend on when we leave Ky and what your schedule will be like on that
> > > Saturday .Please keep us posted .
> > > Have a great week.
> > > In Him,
> > > David

November 28, 2002


I am staying at “Extended Stay America,” 3311 West End Blvd. — 383-7490,
Extension 7721. You have a schedule and I don’t as a retiree, so let me
know when you are available for a meal. I am a retiree now you know!

Happy After Thanksgiving! And a good trip! See ya’ next week.

Charlie Dogget
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228-0344
Temporary Phone: (615) 383-7490

—– Original Message —–
From: <EWilli2465@aol.com>
To: <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Wednesday, 27 November, 2002 10:33 PM
Subject: Thanksgiving Greetings

> Charlie:
> Just to let you know that you are being thought of during the Thanksgiving
> season and that I am thankful for your friendship through the years.
> Hope to see you in Nashville next week. My plans now are to arrive Monday
> and will leave around noon on Thursday. I will be staying at the Sheraton
> downtown. If you get this in time, email me your phone number or give me
> call at the Sheraton.
> Looking forward to seeing you,
> Eric

December 19, 2002

Hi Carol!

It feels strange being back in the states after 3 years in The Gambia! I’m sorry the mail went to you! I am bold-facing below my address in the states. Thanks for forwarding it!

Charlie Doggett
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228-0344
Temporary Phone: (615) 383-7490 after Christmas: (615) 780-3898

—– Original Message —–
From: Bass, Carol A <BassCA@state.gov>
To: <cdoggett@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Thursday, 19 December, 2002 5:06 AM
Subject: RE: US mail received at USEmbassy Banjul

> Dear Mr. Doggett:
> Our post received a check addressed to you from the US government. Please
> furnish your forwarding address to have the check forwarded. Have a happy
> holiday season.
> Sincerely,
> Carol Ann Bass
> Special Consular Services Assistant
> American Embassy Banjul
> Tel: 011 (220) 392-856 (ext. 2130)
> Fax: 011 (220) 392-475
> BassCA@state.gov

December 20, 2002


From Charlie Doggett in Nashville, Tennessee, USA

I’m out of Africa for two months now and almost Americanized! I am totally recovered from Dengue Fever and rejoicing with Christian friends over the birth of Christ more than 2000 years ago!

I keep waiting for the word that I can move in my new townhouse. But they have already told me I will be homeless this Christmas. It is now looking like 30 or 31 December for a move-in. Whenever it ends up being, a new house will be my Christmas gift!

Then I look forward to settling down for a quiet 2003. I expect to stay retired, spending most of my time with hobbies of nature photography, genealogy research, and maybe some writing. There are small income possibilities with all three. Plus, I can hardly wait to hike the Tennessee trails again! There will also be visits to my brother in Minnesota, sister in Missouri, and relatives in Arkansas – and of course Jason in North Carolina who is coming here for Christmas!

Sometime after Christmas or by January 1, this will be my new phone and address:

PHONE: (615) 780-3898

1040 9th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37208-3104

For now and I will also continue to use:
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228-0344


And visit my website at: http://charliedoggett.net

Last word to those in West Africa: Enjoy that warm weather! I’m freezin’ here!

Your friend and brother in Christ,



December 21, 2002

Chris & Karen,

Thanks for the nice newsy letter! I haven’t heard from the Dvorak’s in a
month, but I knew they would be having a great time!

The Social Security mail is probably old since they now have my address
here, but you can just mail them to my PO Box. They are a lot of trouble,
but I am finally getting a Social Security check each month! PTL! What is
strange is that the Embassy emailed that they received “government mail”
there also, and they are sending it on to me.

Enjoy your holidays with Ginny and the Vaughn’s and I will pray that your
house is ready faster than mine! They told me today that I would have to
wait until the 30th of December–soooo! That’s life!

Charlie Doggett
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228-0344
Temporary Phone: (615) 383-7490
By January 1: (615) 780-3898
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
WEBSITE: www.charliedoggett.net

—– Original Message —–
From: Chris S Austin <spurscafe@lycos.com>
To: <webmaster@charliedoggett.net>
Sent: Saturday, 21 December, 2002 3:17 AM
Subject: Re: Merry Christmas!

> Charlie,
> Great to hear from you. We are living in your apartment; moved over the
first of November as we began the closing out process of the Lamin Compound.
The Dvoraks left for a month in Europe on Dec 2; everything on schedule.
Their “crate” has already arrived. They are having a good time.
> We, too, are still homeless. We are now hoping by 1 February. If we
weren’t convinced before, we certainly are now, that Satan does not want us
in Sedhiou. We’ve come up to Dakar to spend Christmas with Ginny; we’ll go
on to Kaffrine to visit with the Vaughns and return just before New Year’s.
> FYI, your letters to Ishmaila and the Wakenhut guys arrived the other day;
I delivered them. Also you received 2 letters from the Social Security
office; what do you want done with those? The church has tiled the floor;
it looks wonderful. We will send you a picture after we get back home…the
card with that digital picture on it is in Fajara.
> The Kelly’s are doing fine; going to Cap Skirring for a week the day after
> Well we are enjoying the heat…well, I wouldn’t say enjoying, but it is
hot! The dust etc has been reminiscent of February in FF! We have found a
moving company that can lift a fully loaded container, so we will go to FF
the first week of January to work on that.
> Take care; we do miss you around here. Write when you can.
> Love, Chris & Karen

December 24, 2002


I was a missionary in The Gambia, West Africa for the past three years, but I am now retired and living Nashville, Tennessee.

The education system in The Gambia is much like it is in all of the “3rd world” (very poor countries). There was a time when only the rich went to school and the majority of children worked at home and on the farm, with some boys learning skills or a trade from their father or other man in the community. Now the majority go to school with those in rural areas getting off for planting and harvesting seasons. School buildings in small village areas may be made of mud walls with grass roof, though most are now beginning to be concrete block walls with a tin roof. They cannot afford many books or even enough paper and pencils sometime.

Most teachers have been to the one teacher’s college in Gambia, but are not nearly as well-trained as American teachers. And they are not paid well at all. In the one city area (Banjul) there are bigger public schools and private schools and mission schools that often provide a better education. But many cannot afford to go to school beyond grades 6 or 9 because they do have to pay a school fee even in public schools, plus buy books, supplies, and a uniform. So the poorer you are, the less school you can afford. All students wear uniforms to school in public, private, Muslim, or Christian schools. That way the rich and poor all look alike. But most are poor here.

Gambia was a British colony, so schools teach in English while schools in nearby Senegal all teach in French. There are so many local or tribal languages (12 in Gambia) that they must use the country’s trade language which is English. Some Muslim schools teach the Arabic language and how to read the Koran in Arabic. About 90% of the people in Gambia are Muslim, but there are not that many Muslim schools. Most go to public schools.

There are a few school buses in the city and a few ride a public bus, but most children walk to school, some several miles. In rural areas it is not unusual to walk from 1 to 4 miles to school. Some children do this barefooted or wearing the most common shoe here, a flip-flop. You see more shoes or flip-flops in the city.

My opinion is that free education in these poor countries is the first answer to a lot of their problems. But they can only have it if richer countries help them. I am including a photo below of a class in the one and only Baptist school in Gambia which is at Glory Baptist Church in the Banjul area. They are displaying some flowers that a volunteer group from Nashville helped them make. The other photo I took on the road upcountry with a teacher and students walking down the road. A field trip maybe? I hope this helps you in your social studies project. If you want more photos of just children, go to my Webshots Album titled “Gambia Children” and you or a parent can help you download them if you do not know how.

Charlie Doggett
PO Box 280344
Nashville, TN 37228-0344
EMAIL: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
MY WEBSITE: www.charliedoggett.net
36 GAMBIA PHOTO ALBUMS: http://community.webshots.com/user/charliedoggett


Students at Glory Baptist School

Muslim Teacher and students on field trip or walking home after school?


—– Original Message —–
From: Kim Stacy
To: cdoggett@charliedoggett.net
Sent: Monday, 23 December, 2002 4:53 PM

Hi! My name is Maegan Stacy. I am in 6th grade. For social studies we are doing something called Cultural Alphabet.We each get a topic to research on a certain continent. I got education. We are doing Africa. I was wondering if you could tell me stuff about the education in Africa. It doesn’t matter what country. I hope you can help me. E-mail back when you get a chance. Oh and if you can add your opinions about it.

Thank you,
Maegan Stacy

October 02 Newsletter


16 December 2002
Extended StayAmerica on Westend in Nashville

I just updated this computer journal by typing in some written pages from while in The Gambia. And I actually have many more to add one of these days. Maybe they will become the beginnings of a book about The Gambia.

August & September 2002
The last two months in Gambia were really full with so much to do getting things ready for someone else in the office, writing a 40-page booklet of instructions on how to do my job, spending time with David & Terri McInnis (they were there 3 weeks) and then two good days with Tim Mahoney who is the interim Business Facilitator for The Gambia. There were a few things to do long distance about me moving back to Nashville and some packing and shipping of 6 boxes! And some last minute things for the missionaries still there!

October 2002
My last worship service at Glory Baptist was an awesome farewell service for me with Grace Baptist of Ghana Town coming in to join. I got to dance with the choir to “Walkin’ In de Light” and received way too many gifts! They were mostly African clothing! And I can really be decked out now, even have a three-piece dress with two flowing robes!

My last three days were spent at Coconut Resident, which became my favorite hotel even if not on the beach. (When I return for a visit someday, I expect Makasutu Lodge to be my new favorite!) I rested well and worked on my photo albums while hiding at Coconut! I was feeling great until the day I was leaving that night on a flight. I started feeling feverish or a little like you do with the flu.

Sure enough, I was really sick on the plane to Brussels but didn’t tell the Stewardesses so they wouldn’t put me off in Brussels. The same on the flight to Newark! But when I arrived Nashville I asked Reagan to take me straight to the hospital. I ended up staying there 6 days with temperatures up to 105 and was finally diagnosed with Dengue Fever. It is a tropical, non-bacterial, mosquito-born virus. Bad! I was still not well for 3-4 weeks after getting out of the hospital. I could only function in the mornings after 8-10 hours sleep, then conked out by mid afternoon. But I still bought a pickup and a new townhouse that I was suppose to close on today, 16 December! Not!

December 16, 2002
I am now scheduled to close on the 30th or 31st. But as soon as the builder gets the “Use and Occupancy Permit,” we may be able to work out a move-in agreement which means I may get to move in next week after Christmas or if really lucky, by the end of this week! That is what I am hoping for. We will see! In the meantime, just staying busy and resting in a hotel room efficiency. I have thought that two months is just two months is too much to wait on a house, but now I think God allowed it in His grace because He knew I needed the rest!

I also think that God led me to these “8.9 n rowhouses” because when I got ready to apply for the loan, I had not started receiving Social Security yet, so my only income was the little pension check from LifeWay. When the Affordable Housing Resources saw it and this project is part Government with MHDA, I qualified for assistance and a low-interest loan! PTL! They gave me a $14,000 grant on the house as part of the down payment and I plan to put an additional $50,000 of my equity savings in addition. That keeps my payments down to about $500 per month. I can afford that in retirement. PTL! Whew! God is so good to me! And His grace is always more than abundant! PTL!



December 2002
Personal writings about my return from the mission field in a workbook journal provided by the IMB as a “Reentry Guide.” I put off using it until now and only used the first part of the guide which I did not finish. It is a mixture of Bible study and personal reflections on the experiences of the returning missionary. It is titled Fishers of Men Reentry Guide. Here are the few questions I responded to and wrote something on, before putting the book aside as not what I needed:

The farewell worship service at Glory Baptist Church was the biggest thing with prayers, blessings, and the many gifts. The missionaries had a couple of farewell meals for me as did the Glory pastor on behalf of the Gambia Baptist Association.

Mixed feelings. I love them and the country and miss them. Yet it was God’s time to return and I was ready.

Inefficiency in government and business
Horrible roads
Electricity, water, and telephone “service” or lack thereof
False doctrine preached and taught
Poverty, hopelessness
IMB Bureaucracy

Smiles and love of local people and employees
The tropical paradise for photography

A Prayer:
God, I have taken full responsibility for my “thorn in the flesh.” Thank you for making it clearly my responsibility and help me to conquer it and all my thoughts, attitudes that don’t bring glory to you!

Thank you for always forgiving me and continuing to bless me with the abundance of Grace. I don’t deserve what You do for me!

Forgive me for talking politics tonight and help me to use wisdom and restraint of my tongue. WWJD? I did not respond as Jesus would tonight – forgive me and help me I pray. Amen.

1. His call and plan for me in The Gambia
2. His using sickness and unfinished house to give me rest
3. His financial provision for a house

By remembering both my own and the experiences of others in the Bible and current testimonies.

1. Just trust and obey!
2. He is always there!
3. The most powerful witness or ministry I can have anywhere is the incarnation of Christ in my life!

1. Smiles, friendliness, and genuine acceptance and appreciation by the Africans
2. The common goal to represent Christ by missionaries

1. Missionary conflicts
2. The Austin factor

I was ready to move on with my life and getting excited about a new house and just chose to go no further in the guide book which looked like more of the same.


December 24, 2002

Saritha Prabhu: (In response to his/her letter to the editor)

I just moved back to Nashville after living 3 years in The Gambia, West Africa. I’ve had some difficulty adjusting back to this self-centered culture, and when I say something about it, my old American friends say, “So, you don’t like America any more. Are you moving back to Africa?”

You stated your concerns in a polite and balanced way. I just hope people will read it and begin to have their eyes opened. Though I do not like most of our current government’s foreign policy, it is our culture, spreading like a cancer that is probably doing the most harm around the world.

Charlie Doggett