Category Archives: Tswana People of South Africa

Stuck in Darkness

Stuck in Darkness

The Tswana people living in the North West Province of South Africa are a friendly, easy-going people. They have had a Bible in their language for over a hundred years.  They have access to the Gospel.  Still, they are considered “unreached,” as less than 2% of the population are true believers of Jesus Christ.

Most Tswana people remain entrenched in ancestor worship.  Their culture demands they spend their lives striving to please the “living dead.”  The ancestors are the ones believed to hold power over life & death, blessings & curses.

We serve a God who says, “I, I am Yahweh, and there is no other Savior but Me”  (Is. 43:11).  Stand with me against the “god of this world who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving” (2 Cor. 4:4).  Pray for a mighty movement of God’s Spirit among the Tswana of South Africa!

 

Preaching with Perseverance

Preaching with Perseverance

Phot2012 004

*Jonah and *Mary live in a big village in the North West Province of South Africa.  After they married, *Jonah began studying to become a pastor.  He would leave for 10 days of study in another province, once every month.  *Mary worked hard at a local restaurant to help make ends meet.

*Jonah and *Mary have been leading the Baptist church in their village for many years now.  It is not easy.  The church consists mostly of unemployed people.  Yet, *Jonah and *Mary press on.  They live simple lives like their people.  *Jonah works in a local mine to support his family and cares for the church after work hours.  *Mary still works hard in a local restaurant and leads women’s ministries after work hours.

This couple remains steadfast, striving to teach God’s truth to a people who often mix ancestor worship with Jesus.  They face constant challenges.  Please pray for *Jonah as he often faces danger connected to his job.  Ask for God’s Spirit to give him boldness in preaching God’s Word.  Pray for his health.  Ask for God to strengthen *Mary for each day’s struggles.  Pray for their two sons to follow hard after Jesus. Ask for this church to be a light in the darkness.

 

*pseudonym

Small Church/ Big Need

Small Church/ Big Need

IMG_3723There’s a small church family located in a big village in the North West Province of South Africa that could use your prayers!  Ledig (lee-duh) Baptist Church met for many years in a house, but now meets in a “makuku” or tin shack on their own plot of land.  This church is mostly made up of women and children.  It is very difficult to get the men to come to church.  Every week the children/youth sing songs for the church.  Every week the ladies lift up voices of praise.  The offering is taken and a message is shared from God’s Word.  Many Sundays special prayers are lifted for those with “matata” or trouble.  There is a family spirit in this church.

I’m asking you to pray because the missionary family that worked with this little church for many years has had to leave.  It is God’s time, but still painful.  Pray for the women in this church to persevere in difficult circumstances.  Most of their grown children are not following God.  There are many issues; including joblessness , alcoholism, food insecurity and ancestor worship.  Ask God to strengthen the women of this church to be the role models & teachers of God’s truth to their children & their grandchildren.  Pray they will continue to share the Gospel in their communities.  Pray for the young adults to take their places of responsibility in the church.  Ask that the children will see that God’s way is best.  Petition our Lord to raise up more godly leaders.  Praise Him for His faithfulness!

Holding Back

Holding Back

*Bart is a young man, probably thirty something.  He is HIV+ and has been hospitalized twice in the past year.  *Bart’s mother shares the Gospel with him often.  She prays for him diligently.  Even the local missionaries have shared truth from God’s Word with *Bart.  Yet, this young man continues to resist giving his life to God.

Recently, *Bart made a suicide attempt.  His mother again pleaded with him to step out of the darkness and to come to Jesus.  He never responded.  He only wept.  Something keeps *Bart from taking this step of faith.  Will you pray for *Bart today?  Ask for all obstacles to be removed, for his heart to soften, for his eyes to see…Pray that he will surrender completely to Jesus as Lord of his life.

*pseudonym

STUDENTS PROTEST

STUDENTS PROTEST

no feeThere has been much chaos on South African Universities for the last couple weeks.  First, students united against fee increases for 2016.  The president acted quickly to cancel those increases, hoping things would return to normal.  Instead, chaos remains on many university campuses, as students use the opportunity to protest many other issues, as well.  Pray for wisdom for government and university administrators in dealing with the concerns of students throughout South Africa.  Pray that classes can be resumed and finals written.  Ask that protests will not become violent or destructive.

Reaching Out

Reaching Out
Learning Tae Kwon Do

Learning Tae Kwon Do

Pray for a special outreach during the first week of October in Jouberton, South Africa.  This is a combined effort of workers from two national churches, university students from Mahikeng, a team from First Baptist Church in Fisherville (U.S.) and IMB missionaries.  Pray for many seeds to be planted in the hearts of children learning stories from creation to the cross.  Ask that many young people will come to know Christ and/or will grow in their faith.  Ask God’s blessing on times of training for church workers.  Pray that these two churches will be strengthened and their communities changed for God’s glory.

Finally, ask that the many parts of this combined effort will communicate well & work together effectively!

Pastors’ Summit

Pastors’ Summit

Bapedi9The Sekhukune Bapedi are an unreached people group living in Limpopo Province, South Africa.  They are a sister tribe to the Tswana of South Africa.  For several years, IMB missionaries along with partners from the U.S. have been working to strengthen existing Baptist work in the area.  Recently, believers in a remote village were trained to share their faith with others.  The Baptist pastor in this village was encouraged by the new enthusiasm of his church members.

PLEASE PRAY for a Pastors’ Summit being held in Diphagane (dee-pa-ha-nee) on Saturday, Sept. 12th!  First, ask that the pastors in the area will make every effort to attend the Summit.  Second, pray that the presenters will effectively communicate the heart of the Father for the lost among the Sekhukune Bapedi.  Finally, ask that these pastors will carry the vision of “making disciples who make disciples” back to their people & their churches.

Sharing Our Father’s Heart

Sharing Our Father’s Heart

Ladies from Tswana Baptist churches in the NW Province of South Africa are coming together for a special time of training!  Our goal is to rediscover the Father’s heart for the lost and to learn one, simple way to share our faith.  Women have so many relationships and so much influence!  Pray for the trainings on Aug 8 & 10 to be amazing times of hearing from the Lord & realizing how He desires to work in & through our lives.  Pray for these ladies to come with open hearts & to return home with a new vision for  sharing Jesus with everyone!

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

July 2006 021We met *Keliagile for the first time last week.  She walked slowly out of her rusted shack, her African hair standing on end.  She and her friend listened politely as we shared the story of Zaccheus and spoke of the One who came “to seek and to save the lost” (Lk 19:10).  We asked how we could pray for them.  *Keliagile said, “Something horrible happened today,” and I steeled myself to hear.  “My husband was paid but he did not bring home any money for food,” she explained.  We discovered this man is abusive to her & her children.  Her friend then told us the horrible thing…that morning *Keliagile had sent a text message saying goodbye to her neighbour and proceeded to hang herself.  Thankfully, the neighbour came quickly & stopped *Keliagile from hurting herself.  We stayed long that morning at the rusty shack to assure this broken one of God’s love for her and to warn her of the lies of Satan, who comes only to “steal, kill & destroy” (Jn 10:10).  We are praying for *Keliagile to give her life completely to Jesus & to allow Him to be King in her life.  Will you also pray for *Keliagile to know personally the life-changing power of Jesus….for her to see God as actively involved in the details of her life?

*pseudonym

Village Erupts in Protest

Village Erupts in Protest

DSCN7519Suddenly a protest broke out in a large village in the North West Province of South Africa.  Roads were blocked, tires were burned and a house set on fire.  It seems the residents of this village were trying to get the attention of their community leaders.  Land full of precious metals had been sold and the money entrusted to these leaders.  Still, there was no progress being seen in the living conditions of this village.  For example, water is not always available and people may have to walk far to get it.  The protest grew more violent as criminals took advantage of the situation and began looting shops owned by foreigners.  Finally, the police brought a temporary calm through the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.  Presently the community leaders are in “negotiations” with the people of this village.  Please pray that real, lasting solutions will be found for this problem.  Ask for a lasting peace and for healing for those who have lost trust in both their leaders and their neighbors.