Opening a door to the Gambia

This page will help you learn about the Gambia and how I will be able to work there in the City of Banjul.

Operating as usual


From the Reader's Digest about voting methods in the Gambia. Looking forward to helping the Gambian people learn to read especially the Bible


“The Fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”
Proverbs 19:23
Yesterday my plan was to be on a plane to the Gambia. It didn’t happen because the United airlines worker looked at the type of covid test (which was negative) and said it wouldn’t be accepted by the Gambian government. I was and am disappointed that I couldn’t get on the plane. Today I am working on finding out how I can get the PCR test. I went through my doctor’s office and they said I had to have symptoms to get this test in our county so I couldn’t get it. So as suggested by another United worker I am looking at different counties or State to see if I can get the test. Gotta love New York!
The ways I saw God work yesterday was very encouraging through different people and timing. IT was a joy to run into Folly a Togolese man who helped me get to where I needed to go to reschedule my flight and them Mercy from Ghana who was helping a customer. I was able to get my flight rescheduled quickly for January 22nd then Kim and Esther repacked my stuff, gave hugs and a prayer then we got safely back to Binghamton. I am back at my Friend Kelly’s home. My oil on my car was changed yesterday too!
Pray that I can get my covid test done 72 hours before my flight and get the results back by Thursday. I believe the Lord has allowed this for a reason and have some time to work on some shipping options too.

God bless, Joan
UPDATE: Monday is my PCR test. Results back in 1-7 days. I leave Friday the 22 nd.


Thank you for your part in getting me to the country of the Gambia! Your Prayers are appreciated as friends drive me to Newark tomorrow to fly to Brussels, Belgium overnight. Today my covid 19 test was negative so I pray they accept the paper work that shows this. Then from Brussels, Belgium I will be traveling to Banjul, Gambia. I should arrive in the capitol Saturday night. I will have another covid test upon arrival at the airport then be whisked off to a hotel for a few days until my negative test is verified. After a negative test I can meet up with my colleague Joanne Tompkins. We will probably do some food shopping, set up my phone and then travel via the ferry to our ministry in Ndugu Kebbeh.
That is when I will officially start my Wolof language learning.

Pray for:
Safe travels to Newark, Brussels then Banjul, Gambia
A smooth transition with my luggage that it arrives with me to the Gambia
Clear understanding of forms to be filled out in Brussels for covid and that the Covid 19 paper I have from my doctor is a-ok in each airport.
A smooth transition to living in the Gambia and all that entails with language, the heat and keeping healthy

Thank you,



I'd appreciate your prayers...


This week I had another church take me on and am working on my tickets to the Gambia in January!


Follow the link in the comments to help keep the Guest House going well in 2021. This is one of the ministries I will be helping in...


✔️💯% of monthly support is in for the Gambia!
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement as the Lord has used many of you to encourage me as God opens this new door of ministry in the Gambia.


I am humbled at how the Lord is taking care of me...He is doing great things!


Thankful for some good news this week. New supporters for the Gambia


Keep the prayers coming! God is answering...The Gambia or Bust!

Joan Schmitz 20/10/2020

Puzzles? Before the pandemic it really wasn’t my thing. This pandemic opened up a new interest. These last few months I watched and listened to an expert puzzler put together many puzzles. She makes it look easy to put those 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle together in a weekend. There is something very satisfying in hearing and seeing each piece snap into place to form the picture that is on the box. I have learned that to do a puzzle you have to find the outside edges first, organize the other pieces by color or images then try to place each piece to find where it fits.
Ministry can be a lot like a puzzle. This missionary has seen God take different pieces of her life to mold her and change her to prepare her for a new ministry. As I left Togo last November, I didn’t know what the Lord had in mind for me. It has been exciting and sometimes terrifying seeing how each piece of this new puzzle is fitting into place. The finished puzzle will be serving in Banjul, Gambia.
In September and October I have been busy traveling to visit six new churches. I am thankful for these new contacts and how God used pieces from my past to obtain the goal to have churches and people praying for me in the Gambia. My travels took me from Binghamton to Lake Erie area then down into Pennsylvania. Each church encouraged this missionary and I pray that the Lord will allow them to be a part of my team whether it is to be through financial aid or prayer support or both!
Autumn is one of my favorite seasons and I miss it when I am in West Africa. Each weekend for the last six weeks as I traveled, I drank in the colors of fall as I drove on different highways and back roads. I had some near misses with a deer, a hawk, a flock (rafter) of wild turkeys and even a truck that was barreling into my land. My little Hyundai has gotten a work out but the Lord has been so faithful in keeping me safe. I know that you have been praying for my safety and ministry in each church. Thank you.
If you know of a church that is interested in hearing about the Gambia in November or December you can contact me at [email protected].
My teammates Patrick and Michele Reed are at 90% of their support. Pray that we can get to the Gambia to help the rest of the team as they are doing their ministry and running things in Banjul for us.
Praise the Lord as He has been adding new personal supporters this month, I am at 94.5% of my support with $200 needed per month. My Outfit and Passage account lacks only $6000 to set up a home in Banjul, Gambia. I am praying for 4 more $50 puzzle pieces of support because the last piece of this Gambia puzzle to fit is to have 100% of my support to leave for the Gambia soon. Click on the link if you are interested in being part of this puzzle!

Joan Schmitz

Joan Schmitz Joan is an experienced ABWE missionary living over 25 years in West Africa. She is excited to help plant ABWE churches in the capitol city of Banjul, Gambia. Her education background will be a tool to teach and evangelize the Gambian people.

Photos from Opening a door to the Gambia's post 05/10/2020

Thanks for your prayers as I travel about NY State and Pennsylvania. Each church visit has been a blessing and encouragement. The fall colors have been beautiful. I have almost hit a few deer, turkeys, and yesterday a hawk who would n't leave his breakfast on the double yellow line!


It was a year ago that Joan traveled✈️ to the Gambia🇬🇲. The Lord opened a door🚪 to a new ministry in Banjul, Gambia working with children and women💖. She is at 89% of her needed support to get there by the end of this year. Pray with Joan for 9️⃣ new supporters at $50/ month to cover the $436 needed to have 💯% support.


I'd appreciate your prayers as I travel to these churches in the next 5 weeks. Prayer for safe travels and that God will open hearts to pray for the work in the Gambia.

While I'm Waiting John Waller LYRICS FIREPROOF SOUNDTRACK 02/09/2020

This song has been a great encouragement for me as I wait for God to open the door to Gambia.
Praise God as support is up to 88% this weekend. Only $486.00/ month.. What can you do while you are waiting?

While I'm Waiting John Waller LYRICS FIREPROOF SOUNDTRACK Song: While I'm Waiting Artist: John Waller This song is part of the soundtrack for the 2008 movie Fireproof directed by Alex Kendrick. I DO NOT OWN ANY MUSI...


Monkeys are fun to watch in the capitol of the Gambia. You can see vervet and red colobus monkeys at the hotels on the ocean.


Praise the Lord for another supporter! Just little over $600 per month needed. Come join the Gambia team.


Thankful for another new supporter this week!


This pandemic and the media may increase our fear but Jesus reminds us in Matthew 17:20 to have faith...Even faith the size of a mustard seed with God's help can do great things. Pray and walk in faith today


In October I took a ferry boat ride from Banjul to Barra so that I could see the ministry on the Northside of the river. It was an adventure buying tickets then waiting for 3 hours for the ferry to return from Barra. Then finding a seat on the ferry. I had some cute girls sitting near me in very tight quarters. I'm looking forward to take that ferry again...


It's happening by your prayers and support. Let's keep the momentum going!


Green tea and hospitality go hand in hand when you make a visit in the Gambia. It shows that you are welcome and opens a door to spiritual and personal conversations. Pray with me that I can get to the Gambia soon.


Did you know that there are over 16 unreached people groups in the country of the Gambia? Message me to find out who God is calling me to work with. I am praying for my people group with these verses.

Women of the Gambia 16/07/2020
Joan Schmitz 16/07/2020

***Help Joan Schmitz get the spark going***
All around the world, ABWE missionaries are working to spark missions movements by sharing hope, building communities of faith and serving with love. Support their efforts with a one-time or recurring gift.

Joan Schmitz All around the world, ABWE missionaries are working to spark missions movements by sharing hope, building communities of faith and serving with love. Support their efforts with a one-time or recurring gift.

Joan Schmitz 16/07/2020

Welcome👋! Joan Schmitz is a veteran missionary who has worked in West Africa for 25 years. Her desire is to get to the Gambia 🇬🇲 and shine the light of Jesus in this dark place. She needs your help to start the mission Jesus has laid on her heart💖.

Joan Schmitz All around the world, ABWE missionaries are working to spark missions movements by sharing hope, building communities of faith and serving with love. Support their efforts with a one-time or recurring gift.


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