Written by Sherra Still:
Isaiah 55:11 states, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” However, sometimes, as missionaries, we wonder, is what I am doing making an impact for the kingdom of God? We recently had the privilege of seeing the answer to that question for a missionary to Botswana over twenty years ago!
This past week, we traveled several hours outside the city to a village 17 km off the paved road. As we bounced along the dirt road to this village, we anticipated meeting the chief who had invited us. In the car were three IMB missionaries and two national pastors. We prayed for the kgotla we would attend, in which the chief would lead his community in deciding about Bible teaching in their village.
We arrived at the village and greeted those present at the government building. We waited in offered chairs for the chief to arrive. Once the chief arrived, we greeted him appropriately, met with him and discussed the opportunity to teach Bible in the village. The chief shared his burdens for his people and the bad things that were happening in the community. We discovered that he believed that Bible teaching could make a difference there. He, however, did not express personal faith in Christ and we wondered why he thought the Bible would help his people?
The chief then walked us to the kgotla and we were given seats at a table in front of the gathered community. After about three hours of presentations and discussion, the community was in agreement that the Baptist Convention Seminary of Botswana could provide Bible classes in the village. Pula! Pula!
As we began to meet the people, afterwards, it was one gentleman who captured our attention and answered our questions about the Bible influence in the community. He smiled with genuine joy and showed us what he had in his hand. It was the Bible Way notebook that he had been given by David Carlton, some twenty years ago. He explained that he had been taught and discipled by David and that he wanted that for his village again. He introduced us to his son and explained, he wanted him to be taught the Bible, just as he had been discipled so many years ago. He was so happy that we had come! What a celebration we had as we drove home from the village and thanked God for the work of a faithful servant so many years ago.
|L to R: Pastor Jack, Coye, Brent, Pastor Kabika|
|In Kokong, the chief is the very tall man. The older gentleman on the left|
is the one who studied with former missionary David Carlton