It’s difficult to quantify ministry, and not necessarily a very good idea to do so. But what we thought, what the heck, why not give it a try, eh? Here are some of the things which went down in 2014 in Botswana, by the numbers:
38 – Prison inmates who completed the year long “Bible Timeline Series” and received certificates of completion
5 – Youth from Mennonite Ministries Bible studies who were ordained as preachers at Spiritual Healing Church
19,932 – Dollars which were raised by the efforts of Mennonite Church Canada congregants during the ‘Ride for Refuge’, to be used for the Bontleng Futsal Court Project
4 – Active Bible studies in which we had the privilege of taking part in Gaborone: Wednesday night ‘Christian Life and Discipleship’ at Spiritual Healing Church; alternating Friday night in-depth study of Luke with youth; alternating Friday night topical Biblical discussion; Saturday morning prison Bible study group
600.16 – The surface area, in square meters, of the futsal pitch in Bontleng, Gaborone which was excavated and leveled in anticipation of its completion in 2015. The pitch will be angled at a slight 0.75% grade down to one corner, where an underground storage tank will collect the water runoff during rainy season. This will be used to water the trees which will be planted on the sight, and will hopefully feed and sustain a small aquaponics tank and hydroponic garden run by the community
55 – Bibles gifted to serious students of scripture known to us personally who had no Bible of their own, made possible by support from Mennonite Church Canada
28 – Largest number of youth which attended a Bible study night in the Mennonite Ministries house at 5120 Loruo Rd., Extension 10
6,000+ – Number of chocolate chip cookies baked by Taryn for Bible studies (not including numerous batches of muffins, apple turnovers, brownies, etc.)
6 – Muskoka chairs built and sold in their first month of business by the young men of ‘GreenSeats Botswana’, a new entrepreneurial start-up business initiated and supported by Mennonite Church Canada in Gaborone. Donations from Mennonite Church Canada congregants in Manitoba have allowed them to buy a jigsaw, palm sander, circular saw, and cordless drill. If the business is successful, it will support not only a few local Batswana, but some refugees from Zimbabwe who hope to use the money to pay for residence permits in Botswana
60 – Length, in meters, of a brand new dynamic rock climbing rope, donated along with 7 other pieces of climbing gear, by Mennonite Church Canada congregants to the Kalahari Mountain Club for the use of local up-and-coming rock climbers in Botswana
5 – Usual length, in hours, of Friday night Bible studies
258 – Christmas gift bags packaged and delivered to First Offenders Prison in Gaborone, enough for every inmate in the prison and every guard on duty. The bags were handed out to the prison at large by the 50 or so inmates who represent the Church in the prison, in partnership with their fellow brothers and sisters from their supporting church, Mennonite Church Canada, who made it financially possible
40 – Length of time, in years, that Mennonites and African Indigenous Churches in Botswana have been partnering together as of 2014
We’re privileged to be able to continue to serve in Botswana on behalf of Mennonite Church Canada, and we’re thankful for all of the support through prayers, financial contributions, and encouragement which we constantly receive from everyone back in Canada. Mennonite Church Canada supports its mission workers in a way which is no longer common, allowing us to be out here without spending time raising funds. There are many people here in Gaborone who are deeply appreciative of the work and support of MC Canada, and your willingness to contribute to their lives is incredible, and incredibly encouraging.
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If you would like to financially support the work in Botswana, or in one of the many global regions directly impacted by Mennonites living long-term, please visit the following link: https://donate.mennonitechurch.ca/
In March we will be coming back to Canada for the first time since 2012, and then will be heading back to Botswana at the end of July, in order to serve a second term. We hope that we will get a chance to visit most of you during our time at home! In the meantime, we are working towards the sustainability of the various areas of ministry here, to make sure that they will continue in our absence. We are also working and praying hard about the futsal project, which still has a lot of red tape in the way of being a functioning reality, but which we hope will be done by the time we head to Canada in two months! Please pray for that. Oh, and we are expecting our first child, due while we’re in Canada, so please pray for that, too!