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"O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"

August 31, 2009

 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught (Peter), saying to him,
"O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
-Matthew 14:31

As we begin our second term in Botswana with Global Ministries, those words that Jesus spoke to Peter also speak to us, as we sometimes find ourselves experiencing doubts. Yes, are we doing what is in accordance to God's plan for us?  This is especially true, as I begin to learn Setswana (one of the two official languages of the country). Learning a new language at any time is never easy. Learning at my age has been especially hard. When I was working exclusively at the theological college, the medium of instruction was English. However, knowing Setswana has been made a necessity by the fact that I have recently been assigned a parish by the United Congregational Churches in Southern Africa. Worship services are in Setswana. I find myself struggling to read; build vocabulary and to be able to conduct a worship service (with some semblance that the people I have been called to serve might be able to understand). At times, it feels like that for every three steps I take forward, I find myself taking two steps back. Nonetheless, God through Christ Jesus, reminds us that growing and learning is the Christian life in a nutshell.

Whatever clouds of uncertainty engulf me, are lifted when I conduct a worship service in the village of Ramotswa, in a small room of approximately 4 meters by 12 meters, with 30 people in attendance; hear their praises to God through song, dance and prayer; and are made aware of their hopes and concerns in church meetings. Yes, I am reminded that our Lord Jesus has a plan for each one of us, even when we ourselves are not certain.

Although this congregation is small, they have tremendous hope anchored in the Lord. Over a period of two years, they have built a new church structure. And although they have been unable to roof it because of financial restraints, they have chosen, in the meantime, to start a new congregation in a village 15 kilometers away. They even have plans  to erect a simple structure as a place of worship there, in the next several months.

Jayanthi and I continue our work at Kgolagano College of Theological Education, during the week. I am currently teaching a course called Religion and Morality, which has afforded me an opportunity to prod my students to define what is their code of ethics, and how their Christian identity helps to shape their morality and…… I am also still involved with curriculum development. Jayanthi has been helping in the college library.

We have been so thankful for the tremendous reception that we experienced when involved in deputation in North America, during the first half of 2009. The many churches that we visited in Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon and North Dakota, became a source of strength and encouragement. Coming together for worship services, Christian education classes, potluck suppers, women's gatherings, workshops, as well as enjoying a time of fellowship in a person's home, have reminded us that mission is still at the heart of the Christian experience. God bless you all.

Jim & Jayanthi Wilson

James & Jayanthi Wilson are missionaries with the Kgolagano Theological College in Gaborone, Botswana.  Jim serves as an instructor at Kgolagano Theological College.  Jayanthi is seconded to the Botswana Synod and assigned to Kgolagano Theological College.  She serves as librarian at Kgolagano College and will continue to work with the Sedibeng Centre.

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