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!
“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!
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.
Botswana has about 26 Baptist churches in the entire country, but only about 15 of them have someone in permanent leadership/a pastor. This year, we will be starting the first Baptist Seminary in Botswana that will allow people to be trained from all over Botswana to not only go and make disciples, but also to train leaders to help strengthen some of our existing churches and train pastors to teach at some of our existing churches and hopefully new church starts we will have in the near future. We are so excited to see how the Lord is going to use this seminary “so that all may hear!” The Principal of the Seminary recently wrote: “At Baptist Convention Seminary, we focus on the importance of God’s Word and not men’s ideas and provide practical ministry tools. With emphasis on the Word, the anointing of the Holy Spirit and prayer, we endeavor to prepare men and women to fulfil the destiny of God on their lives.” Please pray for these students as the first class starts at the end of January 2016.
Sometimes certain smells or seeing something triggers a memory that maybe you have had tucked away for a long time and didn’t even realize it was there. This past Friday during our weekly children’s ministry, we held our first baptism. We had four kids get baptized and one of them was our Taylor Grace. As I watched her daddy baptize her it took me back to the memory of 8 years ago of the day we had her, it was somehow the same JOY and LOVE I felt on the day she was born. I am so thankful that our daughter loves Jesus has chosen to follow Him. We ask that you pray for her that she would continue to walk in His ways and to tell others about HIM here in Botswana.
“Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.” Psalm 96:2
Pray with us that the Lord’s name is exalted across the countries of the Ocean2Ocean cluster, that believers in these countries and islands will rise up and proclaim the good news of His salvation every day.