Dec 7, 2012, 11:04 AM
Sunday, 26th June 2011 marked the faithful day in which Rev. Dr. Mark A. Jason concluded his missionary services in The Gambia. This event was marked in a farewell and thanksgiving service at the Trinity Methodist Church, Serrekunda. Bishop W. Peter Stephens, eleven ministers and a good number of Christian worshippers gathered to give thanks and bid farewell to Rev. Dr. Mark Jason and his family.
The service was colourful and well sung by all who attended as good congregational singing is reknown of the Methodist Church. The family of Rev. Dr. Jason read the scriptures. His wife, Mrs. Sarah Jason read the passage of Gen. 22:1-14, their son, Abishek read the second reading from 1 Cor. 12:1-13 and Rev. Dr. Jason read the gospel text of Matt. 10:40-42.
The Bishop, Rt. Rev. Professor W. Peter Stephens gave the sermon and exalted the congregation on the presence and the role of the Holy Spirit. He explained that “the Holy Spirit is of God and we cannot tie down the Holy Spirit in a particular Sunday celebration as in a feast day”. Using the reference of 1 Cor. 12:1-13, he emphasized that the Holy Spirit is always with us and so whenever Christians gather the Holy Spirit is with them. Hence in 1 Cor. 12:3 it is said, “No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit”.
Bishop Stephens continued and said that “when Christians gather, it is only by the Holy Spirit they can exalt the name of Jesus and so the need for the presence of the Spirit in their midst”. He further went on to spell out the role of the Holy Spirit as that of bringing unity and granting variety of gifts as explained in the epistle. The Holy Spirit brings unity so long as the baptism of Christians is carried out in the same Spirit of God. Also the Holy Spirit brings unity so long as that unity is from the same source which is God.
In conclusion of his sermon, the Bishop of the Methodist Church affirmed the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives especially as recognized in the life of Rev. Dr. Jason. He said that, “Rev. Dr. Jason is endowed with the gifts of preaching, teaching counseling and pastoral care in his visitation to church members. These are gifts given by God to Rev. Dr. Jason and he wished that Christians will use the gifts given them in Church. He urged Christians to use their God given gifts of unity, faith and ministry in the service of the Church.
He finally prayed for Rev. Dr. Jason and his family so that the Holy Spirit may protect the unity in them and their ministry in the Church even when they leave The Gambia.
The service continued with more favourite songs of the Jason family and other renditions from the Ghana Town choir. A farewell address was given by Bro. Sammy H.W. Davis, the lay President of the Methodist Church of The Gambia. Rev. Dr. Mark Jason also responded by acknowledging the warmth he received in the Methodist Church and The Gambia. He thanked everyone who came to say thank you and farewell. Many gifts were presented to him in appreciation.
Rev. Dr. Mark Jason came to The Gambia four years ago to serve as a Missionary in the Methodist Church of The Gambia. He is married to Sarah his wife and are blessed with two sons, Abishek and Paul. He served in the Wesley Cathedral and Circuit in Banjul, taught at the Gambia College, facilitated the training of lay preachers and ministers. He had also occupied the seat of first Secretary to the Church when it became autonomous. As he leaves The Gambia, he is transferred to the Methodist Church of Great Britain and will reside in Scotland.