Updates, Botswana Style

Updates, Botswana Style

Here’s an overview of the latest from our work with Mennonite Church Canada Witness pay for homework in Botswana:

Bible Studies

1) Every second Friday night we are conducting a verse-by-verse study of the book of Luke. It is attended by young adults from Spiritual Healing Church, and we meet in local parks and open spaces. We used to meet at our house, and Taryn’s homemaking for the events was becoming legendary, but we realized that we were creating a dependency, and that though we’d have about 25 young adults at the study, on weeks that we were absent there was no study despite very capable leaders and teachers among our group. So by meeting in communal places we’re able to be out in the community and also show that it’s not about where we meet or who leads, but that God equips us all to share what we have.

2) On the alternate Fridays we have a combined study with youth from St. Michael’s Apostolic Church in Christ, as well as a number from Spiritual Healing Church and a few other local congregations. Our current study is topical, based on issues facing the young adults in Gaborone today, and how to handle them biblically as Christians. So far we’ve tackled the topics (requested by the young adults) of sex, alcohol, drugs, Satanism, and traditional spirituality.

3) On Wednesdays is the Extension 4 Bible Class, a classic time and place for Mennonite Witness workers to be leading Bible studies. It’s after the Wednesday night church service at Spiritual Healing Church Extension 4, with some elders and young adults, a mix of men and women of all ages. We are currently beginning a module on the spiritual disciplines, and are largely using the writings of Richard Foster and Dallas Willard and conducted it as a discussion based study.

The role of our supporting communities in Canada in the Bible Studies: Through your donations to Mennonite Church Canada we’ve been able to distribute dozens of Bibles, buy books for our course material, provide refreshments, and spend a lot of time driving many youth to and from the Bible studies. Your prayers have also helped to battle through complacency, to bring out some people who never thought they would ever want to study the Bible but who are now deeply invested, and to bring about the gifted leaders which we had prayed that God would provide.

Prison Ministry

After a little over a year of serving at First Offenders Prison in Gaborone, things are going better than ever. Our group of volunteers has grown from about 5 to about 12 on average, and our group of brothers among the inmates has grown from 20 to almost 60.

We are admitted to the prison every Saturday from 10:30am-12:30pm, during which time we worship together outside in a specially cordoned-off area under an army tent/awning. The musical worship is acapella, led by a few of the inmates who are fantastic singers, and the atmosphere is incredibly vibrant. This is followed by a teaching, and then small group discussion among six different groups, during which time we serve some treats and juice, a rarity in the prison. The teaching which we’ve been going through has been the ‘Timeline’ Bible series, which visits the entire story of the Bible, emphasizing recurring themes and important theological concepts in 22 parts from Genesis to Revelation. Once we’re finished in a few weeks we’ll have a graduation ceremony for the 40 or so inmates who will have completed the whole series.

Taryn has also been working at slowly helping them build up something of a library of Christian books, from theological studies to biographies to fiction. And finally, we are looking into setting up a physical workshop at our Futsal Park in Bontleng (see below) so that the rehabilitated inmates who are released, and have learned carpentry and welding skills in prison, can set up a business on the outside, as it’s not only difficult to find jobs these days, but especially so for those with criminal records.

The role of our supporting communities in Canada in Prison Ministry: Your financial contributions to Mennonite Church Canada have bought dozens of Bibles in English and Setswana for inmates, have allowed us to purchase the course materials for a few different modules (some of which we’ve completed already, and some of which we’re still planning), allow us to bring snacks and drinks to our incarcerated community every week, have bought art supplies for some up-and-coming artists within the prison, have bought toiletries for numerous inmates who have no relatives or friends to bring them the things which they need inside, and have allowed Taryn to put together the small library (the books get passed around like crazy, and the guys appreciate them a lot). Your prayers have also been huge: there have been a few attempts by local women to deceive us by pretending that they are from local partnering churches and that they want to volunteer with us, but are simply joining the group because they know someone inside and want to sneak them contraband items like cell phones. But the attempts have been discovered each time and the prison officers, despite the unique privilege that we have in being allowed inside, have never blamed us for the breaches in security. It has almost tangibly been through prayer that these attacks have been thwarted. The worshiping community is thriving (we consider the prison to be our local home church!), and the prayer support is necessary for its continuation and growth.

Community Development

The Bontleng Futsal Project is moving along steadily, if slowly. This project is an attempt to empower local young adults to be able to take responsibility within their own community, and inspire others to do the same. We have been granted a piece of open land in the middle of a rough part of one of the more impoverished neighborhoods in Gaborone, called Bontleng. The land has been known for muggings and worse, and is located beside some rough bars which are a social focal point on most nights (check out this short video about our park: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6jFsKqCeYg).

And then, check out this video about “A PARK IN BOTSWANA!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdG1Hczh2Zg), which isn’t actually about our park but, you know, it’s funny.

Our project is taking the area, cleaning it up, fixing up a playground for local children, a traditional meeting area for adults, and at the centre is a futsal (5-a-side soccer) pitch. We hope to draw young people away from the bars, make the neglected space a place of community focus, and keep it safer for the community as a whole.

We are also looking into certain innovations to maximize the potential of the park. We are going to set up a recycling centre (extremely rare in Botswana) to generate some income for the park, rainwater collection tanks for runoff from the 600 square meter field to sustain the park as well as a community vegetable garden, a café to be run by some local young adults complete with solar-powered wifi (we’re still looking into that one) to attract some of the local businessmen who already frequent the area looking for traditional foods at lunch. Around the perimeter we intend to build some creative spaces (some of them out of recycled materials) for local artisans and craftspeople. For example, there is currently a gentleman in a wheelchair who repairs shoes under a decrepit tin roof. We are going to build fix up his workspace and make it wheelchair friendly, so that he doesn’t have to sit in the dirt, and can hopefully garner a bit more attention for his business. We hope to do this for the few people already setting up shop there (car washers, a barber, some tuckshop tables), and to encourage others to join in with their trades as well. As mentioned above, we hope to build a shop for ex-offenders (many of whom are incredibly adept at carpentry and welding, which they were taught in prison). There are numerous considerations and potential pitfalls, as well as a lot of red tape to fight through, but we hope that this will all be able to come together.

The role of our supporting communities in Canada in the Bontleng Futsal Project: Though there is an incredibly wealthy business sector in Botswana, there is not currently a high value for corporate social responsibility (though that phrase is widely used in the businesses). So, without the financial support from Canada, there is no way that we could complete this project. The Ride for Refuge (http://rideforrefuge.org/partner/mennonitechurchca ) has raised a huge amount (thanks to all of our amazing RfR teams of riders!), and a number of individuals and congregations have made special contributions. One of the biggest things has been the fence which we are about to put in place thanks to your donations which will keep the area protected from the remarkable amount of senseless vandalism which occurs in the park, and will make the area safer for children. Money donated to Mennonite Church Canada also makes it out to the project and has allowed us to keep on moving with the work and feeding our volunteers. Once this first project is done, we believe that it will be replicable throughout the city, and that having seen the finished result there will be more local sponsorships. Your prayers have kept the area protected from even more vandalism (it’s actually starting to decline), have helped a trusting a hardworking community of volunteers to grow, and have helped us to see God’s leading as we work towards blessing the community in Bontleng.

Entrepreneurship

1) We recently taught some of our amazing futsal project volunteers how to build Muskoka chairs out of recycled wood from skids/pallets, as we’ve done in our own yard. They really enjoyed building them, did a great job, and asked if they could start to construct and sell them as their own small business as it’s been difficult for them to find work these days. For the past few weeks, we’ve been working on helping them to establish this business. So, hopefully we’ll have more to share in the next little while, but at the moment ‘GreenSeats Botswana’ is in the process of being registered, and they have already gotten a local hotspot café and plant nursery to feature and sell their chairs.

2) This is still very much in the early prayer and discernment stage (along with feeling things out with the powers that be locally), but one of our young adults who has really taken to rock climbing over the past year is starting to work towards a unique idea in Gaborone: transforming a local abandoned rock quarry, currently just a dumping site, into a beautiful climbing park, complete with open air grass-thatched conference and café areas, in order to not only cater to local underprivileged children and youth, but for it to be financially sustainable by encouraging corporate retreats and team building events at the site. There is more to it, but we hope to continue to prayerfully discern the feasibility of the project. New concepts are incredibly difficult to implement in Botswana, and so we hope to have the wisdom to understand whether we should fight through the inherent systemic roadblocks, or whether God is telling us that this project isn’t for us to pursue. But we’re excited to give it a go and see where it takes us!

The role of our supporting communities in Canada in the entrepreneurship ventures: The financial support from Canada has allowed us to have the means to get a jump start for both of these projects, with supplies and materials, and with making the printouts necessary for the endless paperwork involved in establishing a business venture. Please pray for these projects, and for the 5 key young Batswana adults who are involved. If you have an interest in supporting either of these businesses, or any of the other projects, please contact Mennonite Church Canada (https://donate.mennonitechurch.ca/).

So that’s generally where we’re at! Just like back home it’s a daily struggle to learn to be like Jesus, and to be a part of what God is doing through his Holy Spirit. It’s a complete community effort, and we are constantly humbled by the support which we get in so many ways from back home, without which there is no way we could possibly be involved in any of this. Thanks for making it happen! And for those of you who have bravely made it to the end of all of this, we want to let you know that we will be coming back to Canada for four months next spring, and will then be coming back to Botswana for a second term.

Feel free to follow this work on our www.ntdirks.com website, on our Facebook page (NT Dirks), and on Instagram (username – nathanrd) to get a look at daily life in Botswana.

Peace,

NT

 
What Can We Bring?

What Can We Bring?

So, Mennonite Church Canada-ers, how well do we know ourselves? Without checking, what’s the theme of Article 22 of our Confession of Faith?

As good Mennonites, it might only take us a few guesses to get it.

The 22nd article of our Mennonite Church Canada Confession of Faith (http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/about/cof/art.22.htm) is summarized as follows:

We believe that peace (ah, there it is) is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God’s peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance, even in the face of violence and warfare.

We can agree with that, right?

But in this confession, we are stating a potentially fatal belief. This may be hard to imagine, as we voice that God’s will for the world, like many a Miss Universe contestant, is peace. Blond, doe-eyed Jesus seems to smile passively at us from a safe distance. But things become personal in the third sentence: “Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace…” Do we know what Jesus’ Holy Spirit-led way of peace involved? Bloodied Jesus now beckons to us to come uncomfortably close. His way of peace is anything but passive.

So what do we do with this confession?

Here’s one place that this revealer of peace, doer of justice, bringer of reconciliation, and practicer of active non-violence (yes I’ve written that last one differently than the Confession; I’m willing to discuss that) Jesus may be calling us now:

Zimbabwe is an incredibly beautiful, fertile, diverse country, with people known all around southern Africa for their creativity, diligence, and skill in any capacity to which they put their efforts. It is also a country which has been hammered by decades of political oppression and violence, economic collapse, poverty, malnutrition, fear, and suspicion. A country with much potential finds itself with entire people groups being persecuted, and some of its brightest minds having been run out of the country or killed. Fear has caused people to buy into a system which causes harm, but which would otherwise cause them and their families harm. And many who have stood up to voice their opinions have been forcefully silenced.

Lawrence* is one such individual. Using his talents to speak out against the powers, Lawrence was targeted and threatened. Then he was abducted, taken to a remote area, beaten to within an inch of his life, and left for dead. Some providential timing allowed a stranger to stumble upon on him hidden and unconscious, putting himself at risk by caring and providing for him, and getting him the proper treatment. Eventually, Lawrence had recovered enough to make the risky journey out of the country without being detected, while his family at home mourned his reported death until he was able to secretively let them know that he had survived.

Now living in Botswana with his family safe and healthy around him, and once again putting his talents to good use, Lawrence feels he has unfinished business with his oppressors. According to Lawrence, having found himself in a place where his relationship with Jesus has been creating the possibility for him to forgive, he needs to help others to do the same. Many other of his fellow expatriates have experienced similar abuses, and Lawrence hopes that they may all help each other to learn to forgive. Their country is not yet in the clear. The dangers and abuses remain, and so does the fear and suspicion. But even as Jesus was able to proclaim forgiveness for his executioners in the midst of his pain, Lawrence sees their call to be to do the same. He feels that forgiveness leads to the possibility of reconciliation, and that reconciliation is the path to the healing of both nation and individual, on either side of the sword. “Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance, even in the face of violence and warfare.”

Do we as individuals, willfully choosing to take part in the work of God’s kingdom through our place within the Mennonite Church Canada community, believe this? What type of a belief is it? One which is simply not offensive to us, so we unquestioningly accept it? One which seems biblical, and contains the Mennonite-sounding language of “peace” and “doing justice”, and so seems reasonable? One which we read and are able to state confidently is something to which Jesus calls his people?

Or, if we believe this Confession, is this a belief that in a world in need of bringers of peace, justice, reconciliation, and examples of active nonviolence causes us to stand up and exclaim the prophetic words, “Here am I. Send me!”?

Taryn and I are not sure what role we have to play in this part of the story, but as our friend has tapped us on the shoulder as confessing people of peace, we feel that something must be done. Essentially, we want to be a part of Lawrence’s journey of peace, as he tries to help others in his community to find the peace that passes understanding through Jesus, and as they take action to combat the destruction done in their own hearts and minds. As they seek to forgive, and to reconcile.

So, to our own community of people of peace, our request is this: what are the resources, the words, the examples, even the methods that we as Mennonites have come to know, whether old or new, in seeking to learn to forgive, and seeking to approach reconciliation? We want to know, and we would like to be equipped with the collective wisdom with which we as a people have been gifted. We have a confession that solidly states our belief, and we have a history that has experienced pain and seen people exemplify how to deal with it in a Christ-like way. So, please invest with us by praying that the Holy Spirit would lead us into the right course of action, and if you feel led, helping to guide that action as well. We are one body.

If this resonates with you, please contact us at ntdirks@mennonitechurch.ca, under the heading “Peace and Reconciliation 2014”.

We look forward to hearing from you.

(If you have an interest in contributing but are not sure how, please go to this Mennonite Church Canada Witness page [https://donate.mennonitechurch.ca/] and consider supporting other projects such as this one) 

*not his real name

 
Ministry of Climbing, or, A Time to Climb

Ministry of Climbing, or, A Time to Climb

Who knew that there was rock climbing in the Kalahari Desert?

This is one of the less contoured regions of the world, once described by a former Mennonite mission worker as “dusty as a sandbox and flat as a pancake.” And yet before coming out to Botswana, an online search eventually led us to find that over the years, various vertically-inclined expatriates in the country had spent time mapping out, and even bolting, a number of routes in and around Gaborone. So we brought our climbing gear along with us.

A few expats continue to climb here, a continuously rotating group of Germans, Italians, Americans, Canadians, South Africans and others, usually about half-a-dozen at a time, who maintain the ‘Kalahari Mountain Club’. We connected with this group of people a few months after arriving, and have been fortunate enough to find kindred-spirits among this community. Though our schedule often prevents us from being able to participate in the usual weekend climbing outings, we enjoy the occasional sunrise climbs on Kgale Hill on the outskirts of Gaborone.

I (Nathan) find climbing to be one of the best ways to relax. As with many sports, it calls for total concentration. When you’re perched high up on the rock, pinching holds with fingertips and delicately balancing toes on penny-edge-sized ledges, planning the next sequence of moves takes all of your focus. There isn’t any room for the encroachment of the thoughts and worries of the day. Climbing causes you to venture out to beautiful, raw places where the scenery is invariably inspiring. And once there, you find yourself granted the opportunity to not only admire from afar, but to grow intimately acquainted with the tiniest details and nuances of that particular piece of creation. I find that it gives me a profound sense of appreciation for a creator and his lovingly wrought earth.

Last year we began taking interested friends from among the young adults of our African Independent Church partners to learn how to climb. For a few, the joy of the experience took hold and they began to develop their own passion for climbing. We would go out at dawn, or different times during the week, exploring different routes around the red and black cliffs of Kgale Hill. Cha, Belson, Zanele, Tabaka, Tshepo, Baamuchili and others came out learned to harness up and tie in to the rope, as well as how to safely belay each other while offering tips and encouragement. Cha and Belson, increasingly comfortable with the technical aspects of the sport, helped us to bring the whole youth group of one of the other churches, as we set up ropes on multiple routes and helped everyone in the group to give it a try. One of the enjoyable aspects of climbing is that regardless of how far you get, the very effort is worth celebrating by the whole group; a personal pursuit supported and aided by the community. Climbing was proving to be a great way to bring people together, to enjoy community, and to worship God through our joy in his work.

While Taryn and I had an awesome time in South Africa around Christmas with our siblings, including the most epic climbing that we’ve yet had the pleasure of doing, all of our personal climbing gear was stolen along with our truck, much to the disappointment of our Batswana friends once we returned to Gaborone. Cha was especially disappointed. However, perhaps it was our gear being stolen that has provided the impetus for us to begin pursuing a project about which we’d already been dreaming. Cha and the other guys from church have a number of friends who are involved in heavy drinking and drug use and who would never come out to church or Bible study to find a new way to live. However, Cha hopes to start a climbing ministry to bring people into community and fellowship as they enjoy the sport together. We feel that this is a great cause. We’ll leave you with Cha’s own words:

My name is Ontheeditse Mosetlhanyane, born and grew up here in Botswana, currently a student at Limkokwing University of technology studying advertising. A couple of months ago (almost a year and some month) I was introduced to rock climbing by Nathan Dirks from Canada who came to minister here in our country. I enjoyed the whole climbing process and I learnt a lot from it, we did sport climbing and within some months of climbing I could lead the sport climb and do top rope.

Unfortunately there is no climbing anymore because the gear that we were using got stolen while my Canadian friend Nathan Dirks was in South Africa for a few weeks.  This incidence got me and my climbing passion on a slow move because I had my plans to make my own climbing club and notifying people to know about the new sport of “rock climbing” which is not well known here in our country Botswana. Lately my friend and I we have been blessed with some gear which was donated to us by the MAD ROCK company in South Africa. This is some of the gear they sponsored us with: 4 pairs of shoes and 3 harness. All this is not enough to get me and my up-coming club of local youth to start climbing because we do not have some equipment needed for climbing. The motive behind our climbing club will be to strengthen relationships, introduce something new to our community which I believe it will keep the youth out of the bad habits and dangers they acquire in their idle time.

I Ontheeditse Mosetlhanyane was kindly asking if you can sponsor us with some climbing equipment, which can’t be found in Botswana, so we can start making people aware of the new sport that they were never aware of. I will be very glad if you can sponsor us with ANY of the following equipment:

Harness; Belay devices/ATCs x 2; Ropes x 2; Short slings x 4; Long slings x 4; Quick draws x 12; Locking carabiners x 4; Pear-shaped carabiners x 4; Set of hexes/nuts; Cams; Helmets x 2

We will appreciate any donation from the list above and it will be highly appreciated. High resolution photos will be sent back to you to show how the equipment donated is helping us, the youth of Botswana and the rock climbing community at large.

 I will be very glad and honored if my request can be responded to, as it will bring a lot of change not only to my life but to the youth of my country and the rock climbing family.

Thank you…..

So, if anyone is willing to help us out to get Cha and the guys going in their rock climbing ministry, let us know! If you need to know where you can get this gear in Canada, we’d be happy to direct you, and if you’d just like to hear more about this project we’d love to give you more details! Contact us at ntdirks@gmail.com, or NT Dirks on Facebook. Thanks!

– Nate and Taryn

 

 
“Therefore go…”

“Therefore go…”

This past Sunday we made the 45-minute drive from Gaborone through the red-soil, thorn and aloe bush landscape to Molepolole, along with six of our young adult leaders. These young adults, all from the Extension 4 branch, or “mission station”, of Spiritual Healing Church, have all been actively participating in Bible studies, from our BASIC series, to a certificate series on the same curriculum, to our current topical Bible study (‘Free Sex’ being the first in the series, which led to some amazing discussions). Along with various events, sports, and constant hangout sessions which we enjoy with them, this group has also been helping to lead our prison ministry at the local First Offenders Prison. Tumelo, Kabo, Milton, twins Khumo and Etsile, and Cha (actually named Ontheeditse Mosetlhanyane, but simply called Cha by all of his friends) are all strong followers of Jesus who spend time reading the scriptures to know what Jesus is all about, and then spend even more time trying to enact similar lives of service.

We headed out to Molepolole to fulfill a promise Taryn and I had made to Moruti Madimabe, one of the key national leaders of Spiritual Healing Church. Madimabe had been assigned to the Molepolole branch of the church just over one year ago in order to help to organize and build up the longstanding church body there. Taryn and I had been exploring how to best serve the indigenous churches of Botswana, and had realized that given our relatively young ages, and the need for support of the young adults in these churches, that would be a good fit for us. Throughout the following year we worked at establishing Bible introduction studies, some certificate programs, and some topical Bible studies. We also began some local outreach ministries to serve the physical and spiritual needs of our neighbors. A few have involved sports, and are about to involve sports in new ways (we’ll write more about that soon, but it involves soccer, futsal, and rock climbing), and also visiting local prisons.

There’s been great success in these areas, because the young adults in our churches are some amazing people and we’ve all found it encouraging and fruitful to be together in these different capacities. As one of our youth recently stated, he didn’t realize that when Jesus said “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much…” (Matthew 19:29). We’ve all found in this past year that in going to the places that Jesus calls us, we’ve been blessed with an abundance of unexpectedly awesome community, which keeps on growing. We all struggle to leave prison on a weekly basis even as the guards try to usher us out, because it’s tough to walk away from our brothers there. Who knew that we’d find a home with newfound family in prison?

So, on Sunday morning we found ourselves travelling to Molepolole to share what we’ve found.

A few minutes before 10am we zigzagged through the sand between the last few huts and houses and reached Spiritual Healing Church. Moruti Madimabe, a tall, dark man with an air of authority, who is also a professor at an agricultural college in Gaborone, greeted us and introduced us to the elderly bishop of the church, who stood supported by a wooden cane and smiling warmly. Congregants made final adjustments to their blue and white church uniforms, a staple of many African Indigenous Churches, and entered through the appropriate door of the three-winged, T-shaped cinderblock church: men through the south entrance, church leaders through the west, and women through the north and east entrances, the latter also shared with youth and children.

The three hour service that followed was conducted entirely in Setswana, of which, to my shame, I know only the barest of essentials. A sermon by one pastor, announcements by another (our friend Oitsile, a young leader in the church), and a few choirs dancing and singing their way to the front of the church and then back to their seats were interspersed with some readings from the Bible, and impromptu songs from the congregation. Whenever the flow of the service lagged, or the speaker of the moment seemed to lose his or her place, the spontaneous singing would spring up, filling in the gaps, until the speaker waved it off with their train of thought regained. Given the possibility of multiple offerings, I came prepared with a pocket full of change, and indeed there were a few collections to pay for a maintenance person for the church and yard, and to raise funds for church activities, as everyone danced their money to the baskets at the front.

The service ended around 1, at which point our group from Gaborone were invited into one of the rooms of a building in the corner of the large, dusty yard, where we took our seats on the plush couches. Moruti Madimabe soon joined us, along with about 10 of the young adult leaders from Molepolole. They sat down, and graciously invited us to share with them.

In turns, our group spoke of the fact that the leaders of the indigenous churches have expressed concern over the many youth who seem to be leaving or neglecting the churches, feeling that there is no power to be found within them. We had in turn been studying the Bible, and in examining the life of Jesus we had found ourselves instructed and inspired to go out, away from the walls of the church. Through the example of Jesus we had been finding that in service to others, especially those who seem unlikely to be served, the power of God is manifested. And in prison we had been witnessing just that, as we had been seeing the lives of thieves and murderers turning into lives of repentance, love and service. Hearing the stories of the inmates, and getting to know them as friends, we had been seeing transformation from hate and selfish consumption, to love and selfless sacrifice. Jesus had not steered us wrong; in going out to the least likely, we had been witnessing the power of God, in its subtly revolutionary way.

The young adult leaders with whom Taryn and I have been growing in relationship since moving to Gaborone spoke sincerely and passionately. It was a great moment, to be able to see the impact that our times together have been having, and to hear the unscripted thoughts of our friends, expressing their views on the experiences which Taryn and I have similarly spent time contemplating together. It was meaningful to witness our friends sharing movingly from the Bible, and affirming that what they have read they have also been living, testifying to the truth of the message: in serving those who are neglected, as Jesus served, we experience the power of God. Contrary to many of the messages which are daily blasted loudly and colorfully tract-ed across our city, this is not necessarily through an increase in finances and a promotion at work, in direct correlation to the amount of money which we give to this or that preacher. Rather, it is through the radical changing of lives, as people grow in love and service of each other.

The message was well received by our hosts, and our hope is now that we will be able to come back soon to study the life and teachings of Jesus with this group of young adults, and to then move out and serve the needs of the community in Molepolole together. And from there, who knows?