This is the story of Seedlings and how God took one small Christian family who wanted to put their faith into action and turned it into something bigger than they could of ever imagined.
Seedlings for Christ started as a family run group set up by Ruth and Martin Kingdon. They live in Barnstaple, North Devon and they first visited Gambia, in West Africa in the year 2000. They soon realised that the amount of children who were unable to attend school and get an education was immense. Many of the families found it hard to feed their children let alone pay for their schooling. Unlike many English children Africans love learning and going to school and it was on that first visit that they met Seedy and Anna; (pictured left with Ruth and younger sister Ruthy in 2010) 2 young sisters playing in the dusty streets who really wanted to go to school but their dad could not afford it. His wages were £18 per month and £14 of that was for rent! Ruth and Martin met with their parents and the headmistress and paid their fees. They are still in school today.Since that meeting with the little girls on the dusty street the amount of children
Sponsoring is not the only work that Ruth and Martin have started up. They distributed clothes, shoes and medical supplies. They visited schools and hospitals and went to villages giving out basic food supplies and generally helping families and those in poverty stricken areas. All these activities, and some new ones are still carried out today.
Seedlings have recently opened up their own school in the Manjai area. To date there are approximately 100 children in the school with more waiting to start once sponsors have been found.
In December 2004 a group of 18 visited Gambia for a week. They visited schools, churches, hospitals and the prison taking aid and supplies for those in need. Little did the group know that this was the start of something much much bigger. In February 2006 another group of 26 travelled the 4,000 miles from London Gatwick to Banjul airport, The Gambia. With them they took over 70 suitcases packed with essential aid for the African hospitals, schools and churches. They stayed for 2 weeks travelling inland for a few days to find the more poverty stricken villages and families. They worked with a village trying to restore an old derelict medical centre and gave money they had raised to a church enabling them to put a roof on their building! Then in December 2006 28 people travelled to Gambia for 2 weeks. The amount of work carried out was nothing but amazing. The amount of money donated to this little group was simply astounding. The medical centre from the previous visit was fitted with running water and a drop in clinic was set up. It was kitted out with supplies and a general tidy up was carried out including the digging of 2 big pits for old needles and medical waste. Some of the school rooms were painted in bright colours making it much more inviting than just plain concrete walls. In March 2010 the biggest group ever of 32 people travelled out for 2 weeks. Work was carried out at the school both in the classrooms and building works outside. Building work was also done at the local medical clinic and there was the usual inland trip to visit villages.
After returning to England in 2006 a small group came together and decided that due to the massive growth and obvious interest it would be a good idea to consider becoming a charity.
Ruth and Martin's plan was to keep things simple and small, doing whatever they could with the little they had. However, God had other plans and has taken this small group and turned it into a growing and thriving registered charity.
Please take your time to browse round our site where you will find up to date information on future trips, activities, and fund raising. You will also find contact details if you would like further information about us as a charity or if you would like to be involved in forthcoming trips.
I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own;