One year ago we were five days away from embarking on our Gambian Adventure. (Yes, I'm all too aware that I still have most of that trip to write about.)  If our trip were this year instead, we would have had to cancel it.

The Gambia is poised on the brink of real political reform, but it may not come as easily nor as peacefully as originally hoped. From a New York Times article two days ago, emphasis mine:

The longtime leader lost a Dec. 1 election to opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow. Jammeh initially conceded, but later called for a new vote. The United Nations, the United States, the European Union and others have united in criticizing him.

Jammeh's party filed a petition to the country's Supreme Court against the election, and a key court ruling is expected Jan. 10.

What might follow the court ruling is anybody's guess. Civil war could erupt. Most Gambians are happy with the regime change, but not all. The Gambia's neighbors have not ruled out military intervention if necessary, and even diplomatic and/or economic sanctions could devastate the Gambia's shaky economy.

The uncertainty has already disrupted the educations of those who are the country's best hope for progress, and it could get much worse.

In recognition of the solidifying crisis, the United States on Saturday advised American citizens not to travel to Gambia "because of the potential for civil unrest and violence in the near future."

The U.S. State Department also ordered relatives of diplomats and embassy staff to leave Gambia and warned all its citizens to depart now, saying those who choose to stay should "prepare for the possible deterioration of security."

Per these recommendations, the Gambia's Most Awesome Math Professor is away on what she hopes will be a short visit out of the country. But of course her home, her job, her beloved students, and our new Gambian friends are left behind.

Please pray that the transition will be smooth and the disruption short-lived. If all goes well, the new president should take office on January 19, and the Gambia will embark on a new, democratic path of reform. It will be a difficult road—the Gambia is desperately poor and lacking in resources—but a hopeful one.

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Edit
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Praying for our dear sister and all of Gambia for peaceful transfer of power in JESUS name.

Posted by Pami on Monday, January 09, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Gambia in my prayers.

Posted by Diane Villafane on Monday, January 09, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Hey, something you two agree on! Many thanks.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, January 09, 2017 at 3:31 pm

The "court" that is supposed to make the ruling consists of foreigners flown in by Jammeh. (Since he had previously fired all the supreme court judges.) So nobody here sees it as a meaningful court decision. But the latest rumor is that the foreigners have not arrived in Gambia, so the court decision will be postponed. Thank you for praying!

Posted by Kathy Lewis on Monday, January 09, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Take care and keep in touch, Kathy.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, January 09, 2017 at 5:34 pm


Posted by Janet on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 9:06 am
Gambian Update - Great News and Continued Need for Prayers
Excerpt: I've held off updating my prayer request for The Gambia, waiting for events to settle down a bit, but it seems that I can truly report good news:  Former President (dictator) Yahya Jammeh has been persuaded to step down peacefully and make room fo...
Weblog: Lift Up Your Hearts!
Date: February 7, 2017, 7:48 am
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