Recently some of our missionaries visited a new “squatter camp” called Killarny, which is located just outside the beautiful suburbs of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. A “squatter camp” is what is known as a settlement with shacks made of wood, cardboard, tin and other scrap material, where whole families live in a single shack, the size of a garden shed. Most of these people have come from all over Zimbabwe in hope of a better life near the city, and hopefully a job. These few missionaries, along with the partnership of the local Baptist Church, went into this settlement in order to do a “food distribution” to those who are starving. We gave out mealie meal, oil, salt, soy products, beans and tuna chunks. But even more important we went in with the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of the 150 people were only hoping to get some nourishment, but we also fed them the word of God, and gave them the hope of salvation which only comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Will you pray for Killarny, and for the local church who is reaching out to them, that much fruit would come from the teaching times in this community? The “harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…so pray” says Luke 10:2. Pray that many would come into God’s Kingdom through the outreach in this community.
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!
February 24-March 9, a volunteer team will work among the Swazi people in Swaziland. Ministries will include BGR bucket and food distribution, Bible study, revival services and communication and multimedia ministries. Pray that the team’s time in Swaziland will be a blessing to the Swazis as well as to each team member. Pray the Lord will continue sending His chosen servants to work in Swaziland to help see that the darkness in which the Swazis are living will be replaced by the Light. Pray many will accept His bidding and purpose to receive wonderful blessings and life changing experiences.
Like much of Africa, the entire region of southern Madagascar has been experiencing an inconceivable drought and subsequent famine. As a result, many have died, are severely malnourished and have no hope of future harvests. Some villages have sold the last of their livestock and are surviving off of bitter, often poisonous, manioc.
In October, we partnered with BGR and coordinated the “Seeds of Life” seed distribution project. Through the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists and others all over the world, we were approved to help aid in this time of crisis by providing seed to the Mahafaly people, in hopes of a reproducible harvest next year. Despite being limited on preparation time, God heard our prayers and provided 165 tons of seed. If you are like me, and struggle to understand how much 165 tons really is, imagine about fifty-five elephants! You can imagine what it took logistically to get that much seed way out to the remote Mahafaly villages!
Our first generation church leaders played a major role in the planning and implementation of the seed distribution. They received training from BGR on distribution protocols and worked hard to develop an evangelism strategy. Each first generation church/village was given the seed for their village, along with the bags of seeds for the villages of their second, third and fourth generation churches. Each first generation church took seed to the second generation church and helped them distribute within their village. This continued on with the third and fourth generations.
In all, we were able to distribute over 3,000 (50 kilogram) bags of corn, cowpeas and peanuts to 55 villages with a combined population of nearly 41,000 people! The Gospel was spread to thousands who have never heard God’s saving message and over 700 people have received Christ. Over thirty new villages have new groups of believers meeting!
Now that the people have seed to plant, please pray God would send rain to the dry, parched land. Pray for a bountiful harvest, not only in their fields, but also among their hearts. Pray for many more to come to Christ and for the believers to continue to grow in their faith and commitment.
From Barbara & Wayne:
Section 19 is an informal settlement surrounded by fields of sugar cane. Vuvulane church ladies had shared about a ‘gogo’ (grandmother) whom a couple of the ladies had been caring for. They reported she was very sick and in need of one of the In-Home Health Care Kits from Baptist Global Response. We took the ‘bucket’ one morning with 3 ladies from church. We found gogo in a lot of pain and learned she had in the past few days gone to our regional hospital and was told she had cancer and needed an operation in Mbabane. She had no money to go and no one to look after her at the hospital after she had surgery. Pray for these needs to be met. While spending about 45 minutes with her we shared the gospel and prayed with her. (www.gobgr.org )
May 30 – Summer missionaries will arrive in Swaziland and begin orientation before going to their homesteads on June 2. Please pray for safe travels to Swaziland and that their time would be a blessing to those they encounter. They will be sharing the message of True Love Waits in schools.