October 2014

What is heaven? Who is God? How did we get here? The rainbow shows us a promise made by God? These are just a few questions that some of our Batswana children could not answer. I am involved in a children’s ministry on Friday at our church, Gaborone Baptist church. We begin with games to allow the children to come and play. They learn Sunday School songs and then memorize verses along with sign language to correspond with the verse. Another missionary and I have been storying through the Bible with the children and now they know the answers to these questions. It has been so amazing to see God come to life in the children’s lives. Would you pray that as God’s Word is shared with them, they will understand just how much God loves them?
Children min

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Back in Botswana

We have made it back home. Just to give you an update on our family, We are missionaries in Botswana Africa targeting the Tswana people. However our new job is Logistics Coordinator. You ask what is that? Well let me explain. Brandon is to find housing and vehicle for our missionaries in the country of Botswana. He is also responsible for their work and resident visa, taxes and other missioned own property in country. In essence, he is the business manager for the International Mission Board missionaries in Botswana. Since we have been back, we have had to find housing and vehicles for three new units along all the paper work that goes along with moving here. It is always a joy to meet and serve new people. We feel that God is moving in Botswana that allows to have three new units. In total, there are 11 units that we serve in Botswana. All of them with a different purpose in bringing the gospel to the nations.

The children’s ministry on Friday has been going well. On average there are about 20-30 children that attend. We play a few games, go over our memory verses, and have a bible story which we have been teaching about Paul. This ministry has been going on for many years. I have been able to be involved with it for two years. This time, I feel that new children are starting to come and the older ones are starting into the youth. This ministry is a great way to teach them the basics of the Bible. I can see this giving them a great foundation in the Word.

Brandon and I also have the opportunity to disciple youth. With Rhett now at that age, it is a great way to have a time to study the Word and just hang out. We have been meeting twice a month at our house. Our group has grown and it is encouraging get to know them. It is exciting to go through the scriptures and see what God has to say about things.

This weekend is a very different weekend for us believers. All the baptist churches of Botswana will unite in a central location of the country. Everyone loads up their camping gear and sets up tents on Friday. Singing, praising, and hearing the Word being preached all weekend long. We will eat, sleep, and worship together. Please be in prayer for speaker Robert Fortenberry. He is an IMB missionary that disciple believers to grow in the Lord.

Thank you for your continued prayer support. We are honored that you are interested in our family and that you lift us up to the Father.

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Providence Baptist Church

Providence Baptist Church of Raleigh North Carolina arrived in Botswana June 15.  They hit the ground sprinting.  The team began working with Gaborone Baptist Church in a village called Tsolomesesi.  Being prepared for VBS with the children they expected about 150.  The first day there were more than 200 and by the end of the week it was well over 300.  The children were able to do a craft, have a snack and have a bible story acted out by the team.  There were many decisions made in this village and we look forward to working with the church to follow-up with them to see them grow in Jesus.  Please be praying for this village that they will know the Truth and the Truth will set them free. 

The team now is working in another village called Molepolole.  They are working with Calvary Baptist Church there and are assisting them with evangelism.  Also pray for this village as God is at work there as well.

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As a boy growing up, any time the word refreshment was mentioned, I knew that something good would follow.  Whether it be a nice cookie or a cold cup of juice, I looked forward to that refreshment, because it usually followed some type of physical activity or a long period of study.  The way something small like that could give an extra boost or resupply much needed energy was a great thing.  As an adult, I find myself on the delivery side of these types of refreshments and see the same results.

Scripture speaks of being refreshed in different ways.  Many verses speak to people taking something to eat to be refreshed and some talk about being refreshed by rest.  Both of these are obviously physical types of refreshment and very important.  Scripture also talks about having your spirit and soul refreshed.  At times, I can recognize when I need to be resupplied by the Lord, and sometimes He just sends an “extra boost” by way of spiritual refreshing.  This is what He has done for me over the last couple of days.

We currently have a volunteer team in from North Carolina.  As if some time visiting with a team is not refreshing enough, God also sent a special team member with them.  This man is the son of the pastor where we served in Brinkley.  We did not know he was going to be part of the team at first, and as we had only met him a couple of times, did not know if he’d remember who we were to begin with.  God is so gracious in that He has provided great fellowship, both about people we know and love, and about future things in ministry.  To take portions of 1 Corinthians 16: 17-18, I can say, “I was glad when J—, K—-, and K—– arrived, because they have refreshed my spirit.”  Praise the Lord!

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Gaborone Baptist Church on Friday afternoons

    A fellow missionary Amanda Turner asked me if I would like to help her with a ministry opportunity at the Gaborone Baptist Church on Friday afternoon. She was wanting to assist the pastor’s wife with a children’s program that had been started many years ago through our former missionaries. I was excited for the opportunity to help. The first week there were about 12 that came. The pastor’s wife Ma Kabika told a Bible story and we helped out with the fun and games. The second week, Ma Kabika was going to a wedding and was not able to come. Amanda and I took over.  Amanda had crafts that were sent by a church in the states. The kids loved it. We started with 14 and it grew before we were through.  I told the Bible story then we played games and sang songs.  It was a great day with the kids.

    The children are very respectful and eager to learn about the Word of God. I can definitely see we will grow fast. We hope to continue this opportunity and look forward to it each week. I am planning to get some pictures of some of them so you can see their faces and begin praying for them. If you would like to donate crafts for them please email me and I can let you know what is needed. Thank you for your continued prayer and support.

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When life gives you brown eggs… you use extra vinegar.

That is exactly what we used, extra vinegar to dye our eggs.  I was not sure they would even dye but they did and they looked great. We had extra help from the Lowe family.  The Lowe’s were on their way home from South Africa headed back to Zambia.   They have three kids and we all sat around the table having a good ole Easter celebration and dying eggs. (Thanks to my sister- in-law Amy for sending the dye… they have no idea here about Easter egg dye)  It was great having them here to share the fun.  

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Easter Rally

Easter in Botswana is different from the states.  There are no new dresses, no easter bunny, or easter egg hunts done by the church.  Here all the Baptist churches get together starting on Friday and camp out in the newly cleared out lot the Convention owns in Radisele.  Many of the church pastors preach, teach, and conduct bible studies to encourage each other.  This was the first time we have been able to attend the rally, due to our arrival on the field and Riley being born last year.  When we arrived, they were gathered to eat supper.  Then the worship began and finished with preaching done by one of our fellow missionaries.  The boys were able to teach some of the children games that they had leaned at AMTM.  The fellowship was good and we were all encouraged to see fellow believers praising our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Even though we celebrate Easter differently, the reason for the celebration is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day.  We are humbled and thankful for such a great sacrifice.

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