We want to thank each of you for your continued prayers and support over the past year for our ministry here in Gaborone, Botswana. Merry Christmas!!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
When we first moved to Botswana over 2 years ago, we lived in Lobatse which is a small town 1 hour south of where we currently live. We studied the language of Setswana for about 9 months and during that time, we were able to volunteer at an orphan care centre. This centre is not an “orphanage” as we think of in America, but the kids that come here have lost either one or both parents to AIDS. They come to the Centre after school (if they can afford to go to school) and have a time of bible stories, games, singing, and a hot meal for the day.
When we learned about the kits for kids sponsored by the BGR (Baptist Global Response), we knew we wanted to order some for the children who come to the Centre. These kids probably will not receive anything else for Christmas which is so sad, but to see the joy on their faces when they saw they were getting school supplies was priceless. Many thanks to the kids in America who put together these kits during their VBS this past year for needy kids around the world. We received such a blessing being around these kids and we were able to share the true meaning of Christmas-JESUS-with them.
Above: Playing games outside and of course Taylor and my friend Torie joined in all the fun.
Below: Yola works with the children 5 days a week and loves them so much.
Yola and Granny handed out the kits for kids to all the kids (48 total)
Me, Yola, Taylor, Granny, and Torie
Monday, December 5, 2011
Recently, we have gotten to know our neighbors Kelly and Jacob. Kelly is a Motswana woman and she has been married to Jacob, a white British man for about the last 1 1/2 years and they were expecting their first son on December 8. We met them on one of our evening walks and it turned out they lived only about 4 houses away from us. Kelly had started coming to my house as she wanted to buy some of my baby things I had for Bradyn and we became friends. We had her and Jacob over for morning tea just 2 weeks ago. This past Saturday morning (Dec 3) Jacob came knocking at our gate. I looked all around and didn’t see Kelly and asked him if he was ok. He just hung his head and said no.
As we opened out gate, he begins to tell us that Kelly had passed away on Thursday. She started having some complications and they ended up doing a c-section and successfully delivered the baby. Kelly though did not make it. Jacob is now left to raise his new baby boy-Letsepa-on his own. Please pray for him for strength as a single-father, but most importantly we don’t think Jacob is a Christian and we pray he can find God through all of this.
This whole week they are doing a Merapelo or prayer services at their house each evening at 5:30pm and the funeral will be all night Friday and the burial is on Saturday. Please pray that our God will comfort Jacob as only He can.
This past Saturday, December 3, the youth at our church-Gaborone Baptist Church-had their annual Christmas Party at our house. We along with the Warner family enjoyed having them over. Youth here in Botswana are considered anywhere from teenage years till when you are married, so we had many age ranges.It is so great seeing youth serving Christ boldly.
The youth brought all of their own food and they guys-Brent and Brandon-grilled all of the meat for them. It was so good!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We oftentimes talk about the village of Mochudi in our monthly newsletters and wanted give a brief update. We have been going out there for about 1 1/2 years now. We originally started visiting with the Moreki family (below). They were so welcoming and open to the gospel. Through those visitations, it has opened many doors throughout the village of Mochudi. Brent, fellow missionary Daren Davis, and Jones who is a national believer, go out to Mochudi once a week to tell people about Jesus and do bible storying. Many people have been responding to the gospel and are praying that a church will start meeting there in 2012. God is working here so please continue to pray for God’s guidance.
Above: The Moreki family last year holding Bradyn who was only 1 month old
Below: Mma Moreki holding Bradyn one year later. He is growing up so quickly!
Our friend Jessica from Johannesburg came to visit and went out to the village with us. The kids were pretty tired from about 4 hours of walking. Fun times!
My friend Marea will be delivering her baby girl in early December. They had a baby shower for her this past Saturday. We had been out of town all day and I thought I was going to be late for her baby shower that was supposed to start at 4:30pm. I was not able to arrive until 5:30pm and guess what…the mother to be had not even arrived yet. I waited until 6:15pm when she finally did arrive and visited for a few minutes and had to leave so the kids and I could walk home before dark. We have definitely had to learn that most things start on “African time”, not the set time and that sometimes you just have to go with it and be patient. TIA-This is Africa :)
Marea and her mom Josephine
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Holidays are some of the hardest times to be away from our family in the States. This Thanksgiving we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with our wonderful mission family and even were able to eat some yummy turkey.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I have to admit that being away from our family in the States is always hard, but especially at the holidays it is even more difficult coping with that distance. But I have to tell you that our God is so amazing! Sometimes we see little fruit in our ministry, but this week has just been so amazing and He has over and over showed us that this is why He has called us here to Botswana.
Back in June, we shared a story with you about a girl named Christina. We had spent several days in her village sharing Christ and then Christina came to church that Sunday and found Amanda and with tears in her eyes she expressed how she wanted to accept Christ. For some reason, we never were able to exchange phone numbers and Christina somehow fell off the grid.We did not see her in church and we could not find her in the village. On Monday, a young girl who has been coming to our children’s ministry on Friday showed up at our gate with another girl. She asked me if I knew this girl who was with her and it took me a moment but I realized it was Christina who I had looked for for about 6 months. This honestly is a miracle as we are a 20 minute drive from the church and 30 minutes from the village we originally found Christina in. This young girl that the Lord had put into our life actually was Christina’s sister. Christina had been staying about 6 hours away with her cousin over the last 6 months and had just gotten back into town and started looking for me. Out of the million people who live here in Gaborone, it is so the hand of God that we found each other again.
When following up with her about her decision to accept Christ, she told me that she has been trying to read the book of John that we gave her but she didn’t understand it. I asked her if she wanted to start studying the bible with me and she immediately said yes. So 2 days later (today/Wednesday) she came to my house for her first bible study. I told her on Monday that if she would memorize John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, and Romans 10:8 that I would give her a bible. In just 2 short days she came today knowing all of her scripture. She is so hungry for the Word and I am so thankful that God has put her back into our path in only the Sovereign way that He can.
Please pray for us every Wednesday as we study that bible that God would open her eyes to see and ears to hear His Word.
This picture was taken back in June when Christina asked the Lord into her heart.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Amanda and her friend Torie have been working at Gaborone Baptist Church (GBC) on Friday’s alongside of Mma Kabika (the pastor’s wife) doing a children’s ministry. It has been so much fun. The schools here go on holiday in mid November and don’t go back in session until January. During this time most everyone travels to their villages, so this is why we had our Christmas party in mid-November.
Torie teaching about the birth of Jesus
We were very blessed to have gotten Kits for Kids from the BGR (Baptist Global Response). Kids in America put together these kits including notebooks and many other school supplies for the children around the world in need. The kids were screaming with delight when they saw their gift.
Also, Oakton Baptist Church in Chantilly, Virginia sent some Christmas gifts for the kids that included candy canes, Christmas note pads, pencils, crayons, stickers, and bracelets. It was so amazing to see the joy on the kids faces as they received their gifts. Thank you Oakton Baptist Church for your generous giving!
Each of the children made a thank you card for Oakton Baptist Church
The kids have worked very hard since July to learn John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Romans 3:23, and Romans 5:8. If they memorized and said their verses they received a new testament in Setswana. About 15 of the 30 kids learned their verses…we were so proud of them!
WE are so thankful to be able to live here in Botswana and be able to tell others the good news of Christ!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
My friend Torie and I drove to South Africa and successfully completed out first 10km (6.2 mile) race on Saturday.
Below: 1 hour and 20 minutes after our start we finally finished
We were so tired afterwards!
Friday, October 28, 2011
When we first arrived in Botswana 2 years ago, we were surprised when we went to church and they were praying for “pula”. Our currency here is called pula, so we thought it odd they were praying for money so hard. Afterwards we were told that pula is also the word for rain and that is what they actually were praying for. Most of Botswana is desert and rain is much needed this time of year. It has not rained here since about March and the rain has finally come again. The kids enjoyed playing in the rain/mud for our first “pula” of the season.
Bradyn was trying to drink the water, ugh!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Recently 3 new Christians were baptized at Calvary Baptist Church in Molepolole, praise the Lord! Molepolole is the largest village here in Botswana and there are two Baptist churches there. Pastor David Thokwane and his wife Rose began Calvary Baptist Church many years ago. They have an amazing ministry there in Molepolole and we are thankful to have national partners such as them to work with. They are looking forward to baptizing 6 more new Christians in the near future. Our God is so good!
Above: Pastor David Thokwane