Sunday, March 19, 2017

Discipleship Training

Last Saturday we held a Discipleship Training at Gaborone Baptist Church and had 30+ in attendance. What a great day it was to share God's Heart on sharing the gospel with others. Brent did a great job teaching and really helped equip those in attendance with tools on how to share their faith. 

We challenged them to write 5 people that needed to hear about Christ and 5 people that they could disciple to share Christ with others. It was so great to hear testimony from each one of those in attendance that they have wanted to share their faith but just didn't know how and if they taught one person who teaches one person then the gospel will spread even faster. 

Pray for the Batswana people to catch the vision of sharing Christ with the lost and that many would come to know HIM!






Kid update

These kids sure do keep us busy! Sometimes I feel like all I do is chauffeur them around all day to school and  to this activity and that activity. We are so blessed to have such an amazing school to send the kids to and all the activities they provide for the kids. 

Taylor class recently went on a camping trip for 2 nights to a game park. She had a blast and got to even see cheetah and giraffe. Our girl is growing up!
Tay and her friend Munopa

 Bradyn lost his top 3 teeth when he was 3 years old after falling off of a swing onto our cement porch. We have loved that big gap for the last 3 years but now it's getting even bigger. He has lost his first tooth "naturally" on the bottom. Corn on the cob is sure getting a lot harder to eat.
Bradyn losing his 1st tooth "naturally"

Sometimes it takes a dream

I have been working with Ona (Oh-Nah) for the past 5 years. She has become someone that I not only study the bible with, but a dear friend.

In the last couple of years, we really have started focusing on discipleship where we share a story/lesson from the bible with people and then in turn, we ask them to go out and share the same stories with those around them. I have to admit, this was a bit discouraging for me as I would share a story with my bible study group and each week when I came back the majority of those in our group never shared the story or their faith once that week. Ona would share occasionally with those around her, but not consistently.

Just through busyness of schedules and I have to admit a bit of discouragement about people not sharing Christ, we didn't see each other much in the beginning of this year. I recently visited with Ona and wanted to give her a renewed challenge to share the stories I had been teaching her, but before I could do so she began to tell me about a dream that she had. To make a long story short, she told me about a man who was taking her around and showing her the graveyards here in Botswana (did you know about 100 people a day die here in Botswana and maybe only 5 of them know Jesus??). She then said that this man showed her a bunch of different religious groups and one group was noticeably smaller than the others...those were the Christians. He told here then that she needed to do more, she needed to share Christ. Wow! I had chill bumps hearing this. Since this time, Ona has hit the ground running sharing her faith with anyone who will listen and lining up bible studies with people. God can use so many ways to speak to us, sometimes He can even use a dream.

Will you listen and be obedient to what God is telling you to do?
Ona teaching bible study

Friends

We have been so blessed to have made so many friends from all walks of life and around the world in our time here in Botswana. Here are a few friends we recently had the privilege to have in our home.

The Knoetze family grew up in South Africa, but came to live here in Botswana many years ago and ran a farm and they now run a lodge up in northern Botswana. They are the type of friends you just pick right back up with even though we might not have seen them for a couple of years. Love these guys!
Abram, Nanette, and Kristy (Stephan not pictured)
This is our friend Janice. She is from Texas and travels around the world working with the deaf. She has been here to Botswana about 4 times either with a team or this year she came on her own. We thank God for her willingness to share Christ with the deaf and to teach them stories from the bible.
Janice-everyone calls her Mama T

PULA

Rain is so important here in Botswana that the Setswana name for both "rain" and "money" is PULA (poo-lah). This has been one of the best rainy seasons we have seen in our 7 1/2 years of being here and it is much welcomed as we have had a major drought for the last 3 years. The Gaborone Dam that feeds water to our city has failed the last 2 years, but I am happy to report that it is now 100% full (the dam has not been full since 2001). We thank God for the rain!

Gaborone Dam at 100% full

Bradyn with his friend Abe and Micaela trying to stay dry
after school
 So one of our favorite things to do after a big rain is to get the bikes out and ride through the mud puddles. Way too much fun!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ripe for Harvest

One year I really invested in some strawberry plants. I watered and weeded them every day and when they finally started producing strawberries, they were literally the BEST strawberries I had ever tasted. Why? Because I had put so much work into them and I was reaping the benefits from all the blood, sweat, and tears put into it (ok, not literally blood and tears...just water and a little sweat because it does get pretty HOT here in Botswana).

In John 4 when Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman at the well and she finally realised who Jesus was...the Messiah they had been waiting for, she ran to tell the whole town. Jesus said the fields were ripe with harvest .  Many have planted seeds of the gospel before us with I am sure literal blood, sweat, and tears and now we are seeing here in Botswana that the fields are ripe with harvest.

Calvary Baptist Church in the village of Molepolole (Mo-lee-po-lo-lee) got the vision to plant a church in a village about an hour away called Ditshegwane (Dee-say-wah-knee). Ditshegwane then got burdened for the village of Dutlwe (Doo-kway) and the pictures you see below are from this village. The people from the village are now meeting every week in one of these small one room houses and sharing the gospel. Recently, we challenged them to write down 5 people they would share the gospel with and gave them tools on how to share Christ with those on their list. God is working and doing some amazing things here in Botswana. We thank you for being a huge part of that through your praying, giving, and even coming to Botswana  to serve with us!!


Walking to the one room meeting place in Dutlwe

Practicing evangelism and writing down the
5 people they were going to share the gospel with


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

School Kits for Kids-Molepolole Baptist Church

We went out to Molepolole (Mo-lee-po-lo-lee) Baptist Church on Sunday and were able to give out some school kits to the kids and initiate a feeding project because of your giving in BGR (Baptist Global Response). 

The kids led the service with songs

Mma Kgalaeng (the pastor's wife) with 3 kids from the Care Center.
She loves these kids so much!

The church and all the children with their school kits

Mma Kgalaeng giving wise instruction to some of the girls

sweet kids


loved this sweet little girl sitting by herself
We started a feeding project for the kids thanks to your giving and BGR

Love to see my girl serving
Pray for this church as they try to meet all of the government requirements to reopen the Care Center (an after school program for orphaned and vulnerable children) in 2017.

1st day of school

The kids are part of a school that has year round school so our school new school year started January 18. It hard to believe we now have a 4th grader and a 1st grader. The kids really love school and we are thankful that there is a great school here that we can put them into.
4th grader and 1st grader

ready to go!

Bo (our dog) wanted to join in the picture and would have
happily went to school with them if we let him. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas

It's hard to believe that this was our 7th Christmas in Africa and being hot at Christmas actually is starting to feel normal. I do admit, Christmas is the one day of the year that I miss snow but the other 364 days I am thankful it's not snowing.  The past 6 years, we have had our mission family to spend Christmas with but this year was a bit different. With everyone leaving this year, I was quite dreading being in Botswana for Christmas. BUT our God is so good and so faithful. We had a family invite us over for Christmas Eve and another family invite us for Christmas with their extended family. We are so thankful for friends!

We spent Christmas Eve with the Anderson and Dorough families. It has become tradition to swim on Christmas and this one was no different. We celebrated with swimming, grilling out, crackers/poppers, and a fun game of family feud (btw, the Turner family won).
Bradyn and Abe

Sweet friends

Tradition of pulling poppers/crackers. They contain a crown,
joke, and toy. Love this tradition!

Kids with their crowns

Christmas Eve crazies
 Taylor's best friends family invited us for Christmas day. They even cooked a turkey and ham and we all ate way too much!
Kids with too much sugar

Bradyn enjoying some ice cream
Merry Christmas from Botswana!!

Camping in Botswana

We just got back from a family camping trip in northern Botswana (Moremi, Savuti, and Chobe). We stayed 6 nights/7days in the bush with the lions roaring around us away from all civilization and had the most amazing time. All the animals we saw were beyond what words can describe but looking back through the pics, some of my favorites were seeing the joy on the kids faces as they try to find something in the binoculars and actually find it. Taylor's favorite memory was not the hippos swimming, baby elephants trailing behind their mommy, or lions roaring at night as we slept (or tried to sleep) but was of the times we spent around the campfire. #family #botswana

Our tent

Baby elephants are definitely my favorite!


"Wait, mom!!"

Even baby hippos are too cute

baby wildebeast

Lions can be so fierce but they love on the members of their pride

This baby lion literally licked our bumper...amazing!!

Family boat ride on the Chobe river

My love

"Mom, there are lobsters in the pool"...nope, they were scorpions

Relaxing in the hammock

Beware crocodiles...really!!

Hippo swimming

3rd bridge at Moremi. We drove 160km (99miles) this day to our next
campsite and most of the roads were like this. It took us 8 hours!

Cooking over an open fire with lions roaring in the background

Giraffe with rain looming behind it

Lilac breasted roller

I love seeing giraffe drink

Kori bustard-national bird of Botswana

Bee Eater

Majestic Lion

Lions on a hunt

baby lion cub

I know this is hard to see but it's one of my favorite shots.
It shows a lion on the ridge stalking the zebra just out of site. 

beautiful

stalking

african sunset

elephant crossing the road in front of us

taylor with an elephant bone

Bradyn with an elephant bone

Tay being silly in a cape buffalo skull

this truck and brent did amazing getting us through some pretty
crazy roads!

Dung beetle rolling poo...too cool!

Hippos grazing

Croc...I think he was smiling at us!
 
Tay's favorite times were sitting around the campfire

Bradyn spotting something cool, or at least trying to

My boys