I am currently entering week three of ministry here in Africa, and God has been faithful to show us people who yearn for a relationship with God. He has used our combined Botswana-USA Cru Mission Team the past few weeks to bring the Gospel to the people here. We have been praying God multiply our efforts and honor our obedience so more people can hear the message of truth and life proclaimed within the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In meditating in God’s sovereignty over our time here in Botswana, I remember this Pauline prayer, knowing that God will take our willing hearts and do great works through our team.
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:4-6 NIV
During our first week in Botswana, we spent meaningful time together bonding with the Botswana Cru Team and getting acquainted with the city of Gaborone. As a team, we have adopted “the four L’s”: to Love the Lord, Love our team, to Learn the culture, and to Launch Movements. One morning during a team devotion, we spent time identifying many different characteristics of God and his love for us through the story of Moses.
“And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
Exodus 33:17-19 NIV
Here, we see God’s love for Moses and his people, which shows us today that God’s love for us and the nations is limitless. By loving the Lord, we, though imperfect and broken, can be living examples of his steadfast love. Through this, we can love each other as a team and serve each other as Christ served his disciples.
This past week, we had an incredible opportunity to venture out to a nearby village called Otse, and spent a few days there sharing the Gospel and partnering with the local church there.
I had my first experience with facilitating a Jesus Film showing, and this was my favorite part of the week. After setting up the screen and placing the reels on the projector, over 70 people saw and heard the story of Jesus told to them in Setswana, the heart language of Botswana.
In between scenes when we had to change the film reels, I was given the opportunity to share my testimony with the people at the showing. My friend KD translated each sentence of my testimony into Setswana, and I was in awe as I heard God’s love and grace in my story translate into the language of the Batswana.
This was a moment that I got to see firsthand God’s love for the nations come into picture: He used my story to point people from a completely different culture to point back to Himself, the same Almighty God that created every tribe, tongue and nation in his image. After the film, the Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Otse gave a small talk inviting people to come forward who wanted to follow Jesus and commit their lives to him.
We saw 11 people give their life to Christ that night.
The next few days, we went out sharing our faith and inviting the people of the village to the Church for follow-up videos and further training. We saw many more come to Christ in these outreach days, and people came to the church, desiring to learn more about Jesus and how to start their new life as a Christian.
We led discussions about prayer, reading the Bible, discipleship, and how to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. It was encouraging to see new believers invest in learning about Jesus and how to live a life submitted to His love and plan for us!
Our last day in Otse was yesterday, and our Male Director, Chaz, gave an incredible sermon on John 15. He emphasized the importance of growing in our faith, and that spiritual fruits will appear in our lives, which are symptomatic of the word of God changing and rewriting our hearts.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
John 15:5, 9-10 NIV
Continually pray that we as a team would abide in the love and commandments of Christ everyday we are here. Apart from God, we can accomplish nothing: pray that we will seek Him first, and then from our submission that He will multiply our efforts and use us to declare the name of Jesus here.
Additionally, pray for the Assembly of God Church in Otse, that they would embrace these verses as well. We are praying that God will use this Church to disciple and mentor these new believers in the village.
This week, we will be doing ministry at the University of Botswana and surrounding campuses: pray again for Holy Spirit empowerment and ready hearts to receive the message of Jesus. We know that God will meet and exceed our expectations for the week, and we ask as a team that you would come alongside us in prayer for our ministry at the university.
Thank you so much for reading, and stay posted for more updates!
The landscape of the village was gorgeous, the sky seemed to never end, and the hills showcased God’s artistry in creation!
I, along with some of my teammates, got to go and speak in the local high school about striving for excellence, as well as pursuing sexual purity and abstinence from unwholesome behaviors.
Setting up the screen for the Jesus Film Showing at the soccer field.
On Tuesday, I went out for door to door evangelism with Mpho, the Director of BotsCru. She is an incredibly wise woman that helped me learn the culture and how to best share the Gospel with the Batswana. She also acted as a translator when we shared with people that spoke primarily Setswana and less English. Also, this tree looked like it was straight out of a storybook, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was! God really is an artist.
Myself and 3 BotsCru students Gorata, Tawana, and Dorcas with the film reel ready to show the Jesus Film!