December 2009: Why did you doubt?
James & Jayanthi Wilson are missionaries with the Kgolagano Theological College in Gaborone, Botswana.
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught (Peter), saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31
We began our second term in Botswana with Global Ministries, and those words that Jesus spoke to Peter also spoke to me, as I sometimes found myself experiencing doubts. Am I doing what is in accordance to God’s plan for me? Learning a new language at any time is never easy. Learning Setswana (one of the two official languages of the country) has been especially hard. 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 that for every three steps I take forward, I find myself taking two steps back.
Whatever clouds of uncertainty engulf me are lifted when I conduct a worship service in the village of Ramotswa, in a small room with 30 people in attendance; hear their praises to God through song, dance and prayer; and am made aware of their hopes and concerns in church meetings.
Although this congregation is small, they have tremendous hope anchored in God. Over a period of two years, they have built a new church building. 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 building as a place of worship there. Yes, I am reminded that our Jesus has a plan for each one of us, even when we ourselves are not certain.
In this season of hope and anticipation, we pray with the church in Botswana as we are reminded of their great faith which gives us strength in our faith which we share with others.
James & Jayanthi Wilson are missionaries with the Kgolagano Theological College in Gaborone, Botswana. Jim serves as an instructor at Kgolagano Theological College. Jayanthi serves as librarian.