We went out to Molepolole (Mo-lee-po-lo-lee) Baptist Church recently which is located in one of the largest villages in Botswana. We were able to give out some school kits to the kids and initiate a feeding project because of your giving and assistance of BGR (Baptist Global Response). In 2014, this church opened a Care Center (an after school program for orphaned and vulnerable children), but due to jealousy of preschools in the area, the government shut the Care Center down until it could provide a long list of things like a playground, child size toilets, and a kitchen. The government was making them function as a “preschool” program even though it was a program designed to solely help children and not take money from the parents or the community. Pray for this church as they try to meet all of the government requirements to reopen the Care Center in 2017. There are so many kids in this area that need help and this church is willing to help!
What happens when one village gets burdened to reach the next village over? That’s exactly what we experienced when a new church plant started living out the “Go” that Jesus talks about in Matthew 28.
So where do you begin? It starts with building relationships, getting permission from the chief to meet in his territory, and going house to house telling them about Jesus. It’s a process that can take time. We started to pray and meet with the people in the village of Dutlwe (Doo-Kway) and could tell that a foundation was needed. The pastor from the burdened church started to preach that it was Jesus and Jesus alone that could save, not the church, witch doctor, or ancestor worship. After months of answering questions that are the foundation of our faith, missionary Brent Turner had an opportunity to use the “Two Paths” evangelism tool that we often times use in Botswana to clearly explain the Gospel (Matthew 7:13-14). At the end of this gospel presentation he asked two very important questions: 1)which path are you on and 2)which path would you like to be on? Before he finished one of the ladies yells out, “wide, Wide, WIDE, and I want to be on the narrow path.” Another lady said she always thought church membership allowed her to be on the narrow path but now is seeing that it’s Jesus alone that will allow her to be on the narrow path. That day all 15 people in that meeting asked Jesus into their hearts. Please pray that this group in the village of Dutlwe will grow.
Do you ever have moments in your life when you say “AHA”. This actually is a word that Webster’s dictionary defines as “a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension.” I know I have these a lot in my life…like the realization that hits me sometimes that I am actually living in AFRICA and pursuing the DREAM that long ago the Lord put in my heart to be a MISSIONARY.
I have often asked you to pray for the Friday children’s ministry at Gaborone Baptist Church. Sometimes it just seemed so overwhelming with so many kids (averaging 120 kids) and so little helpers. I would make a schedule for the year and leave blank spaces for teachers to sign up and I was always discouraged when I ended up teaching the majority of the time because no one had signed up. A few months back, one of the helpers recommended I make a schedule and just put peoples names in the slots. At first I was so skeptical that people would actually show up on their scheduled date, but I am here to tell you it is working!! I had my “AHA moment“…this is what works here! People are showing up to teach and more people are become vested in the children’s ministry. So now we have enough people to schedule not only teachers, but also translators and song leaders…it’s awesome. I want to thank you for partnering with us in praying specifically for this ministry!!
Theresa’s home was not a place she enjoyed going. She lived there with her siblings, mom, and aunt. Theresa was often left taking care of her family using the small stipend she received for her schooling and often times was left without money for transport to/from school. Her mom and aunt would go to the bars and drink away all the money and men were in and out of their home all the time. Theresa continued to share the gospel with her family, but decided she needed to remove herself from the situation, so
Two years later, an International World Changers (IWC) team came to Botswana and Theresa was part of this team. The team was doing door to door evangelism and another group ended up unbeknownst to them in Theresa’s mom’s home. They shared Christ with her whole family and they ALL accepted Christ. They told the team how Theresa was always telling them they needed Christ, but today they finally opened their hearts to Him. Never give up hope!
Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone
I am sure you all have that popular Beatles song in your head now. I find myself singing this song quite often on Friday’s during our after school children’s ministry. When we moved to Gaborone, Botswana 6 years ago we started helping out with this pre-existing ministry and the children have not only grown in numbers from about 15 kids to 90+ kids but have grown in the knowledge of the Lord and many have been saved and baptized. We have had helpers come and go, but recently we have only about 2-3 of us there. Can you imagine trying to play games with 90+ kids, teach them bible verses and songs, and then teach a story and do crafts with them with only 2 or 3 helpers. Yep, it’s just like what you are picturing..chaos! In the Bible it says in Matthew 22:36-40 to love God and love people; sometimes we get the God part down but forget about loving people. Please pray that the Lord would raise up helpers that will be committed to coming and loving on these children each Friday!
In a few months a number of us that will gather for several days. We will be studying God’s Word, worshiping Him and spending time in prayer, individually and together. We are going to specifically be praying for the Sub-Saharan African Peoples. Our theme is “Return to Me”. Will you join me in praying for this Prayer Forum as we desire to draw near to the Father, interceding on behalf of the lost, that their hearts would be open to the Gospel, that their ears would be open to the Truth?
- Pray for the Lord to blow the winds of His Spirit in our churches/ministries, bringing new life and vitality to believers and ministries.
- Ask the Father to give our churches a hunger to encounter Him in a new and fresh way through prayer.
- Pray that the Lord will give us an urgent heart to prioritize prayer for revival in our lives.
“If you build it…he will come.” That was the premise of a movie called “field of dreams” that I watched as a child. If you haven’t seen it, an Iowa man builds a baseball field in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere and when he finished all of these baseball legends came and played from the “beyond” and his dad shows up as the catcher at the very end (spoiler alert, sorry!). There is healing that takes place in the heart of this grown man with his father.
Recently, my husband and 5 year old son together built a baptismal trough for a scheduled baptism for 6 of our kids from children’s ministry who recently accepted Jesus as their Savior. We prepared by building the baptism, sending letters to parents, getting permission slips signed, and filling the baptismal with water but come that Sunday morning I was so afraid all the kids who wanted to get baptized wouldn’t show up.
I am happy to tell you that we built and they came…9 kids got baptized! Just like the man who built the baseball field in the middle of nowhere, there was so much healing that took place in the heart of these 9 children when they came to know Jesus as their Savior. Many of them came with their whole families who don’t normally attend our church. What a blessing it was to see so many of the children following the Lord in obedience and being baptized! God is doing some amazing things here in Botswana!
Christ loves the church so much and gave Himself up for her. As we obey His command to go and make disciples, we want churches to be planted all across the countries of the Ocean2Ocean Cluster, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Several of our personnel from different countries will be attending a church planting training to learn effective ways to multiple disciples and churches. In addition, several of our personnel will be going to teach at this same training. “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4 Pray that as we come together for training God will speak through the trainers, that all those learning will hear from the Father and know His Heart, that each of us will be challenged daily be obedient disciples.
Baptist Global Response (BGR) recently provided school supplies for the children’s ministry at Gaborone Baptist Church. Each Friday we meet together after school and the kids get to play, sing songs, learn bible verses, hear a bible story, and do a craft. This ministry has been so vital to this community and we have seen many children come to know the Lord.
We saw the need for kids to have school supplies in this area. One of the kids parents told me that their daughter was using an old notebook from the previous school year and just had a couple of pages left to write in for her school notes this year. She said it was such a blessing to get the notebooks and school supplies for her daughter. The kids will be more confident in who they are by going to school with the proper school supplies. The love of Christ was shown to these children through this project. Please pray that not only the children will come to know the Lord, but also that their parents will start coming to church with them and come to know the Lord.