Pray for Botswana on Sunday June 24, 2012

Prayers for Botswana: Mark 4:35-41

Help us, O Lord, to find the words, the heart and the honesty of spirit to be witnesses of your glory. We come to you now (hona mona, hona joale), asking that we might walk in fellowship with Thee and unite as one  with our brothers and sister the world over. Let us never be distant to the cry of others.

You, heavenly Lord, are always with us. And thus, we ask for thy help in opening our ears to hear the concerns of the people of Botswana. We pray this all in the spirit of Christ.

Please keep Botswana in your prayers as Botswana faces the following challenges:

-          Unannounced power cuts as the demand for electricity outstrips supply

-          Two of the nation’s dams which supply most of the nation with water are currently at their lowest levels in five years

-          Retrenchment of many people in workplace- both government as well as private businesses

-          Children from low-income households who are sometimes forced to skip meals because there is not enough food in the house.

-          Kgolagano Theological College, an ecumenical tertiary institution engaged in the training of pastors.

Mission Stewardship Moment from Botswana:

It was one of those “mad rush” Sunday mornings! The Church Council was scheduled to meet an hour-and-a-half before the beginning of the worship service. However, by the time everyone arrived there was just 20 minutes left. Names were quickly brought forward of those who were sick, those needing to be baptized as well as confirmed that morning. In addition, a progress report was presented outlining the latest developments on the construction of our new church building and upcoming events were identified that needed to be brought to the congregation’s attention. By the time we finished, the church was full, already singing praise songs and we were 25 minutes late in beginning the service.

All of us from the Church Council hurried over to the church where with the others were singing, and we began the liturgy. More songs were sung; prayers were offered, scripture read and a sermon preached. In an effort to keep to schedule, I nearly forgot to take up the morning offering. One of the church deacons, having noticed the oversight, grabbed the collection plate and began making the rounds. He quickly passed the plate row after row. One small boy who was standing at the side of the church with some of the other children and who had a coin in hand, anxiously waited for the deacon to come his way. Unfortunately, the child was inadvertently overlooked and the plate continued to make its way amongst the parishioners. The boy, however, was determined to give forth his offering. And thus, the journey began as he pursued the plate, row after row. Finally, the deacon in charge of the offering, noticed the child, and allowed him to put his coin into the plate. Having done so, the boy happily went back to his chair for the remainder of the service.

From time to time, all of us have one of those “mad rush” Sundays- whereby we find ourselves so involved in trying to get things done, that we forget to focus on the bigger picture, i.e. the reason we come to church in the first place. That small boy, which I spoke about earlier, focused his entire attention on that which was important to him at that moment, and insured he was not side tracked along the way. To be honest, worship services are sometimes inspiring; chaotic; thinly attended and sometimes packed to capacity. Nonetheless, amidst the whirlwinds of a changing world, let us center our thoughts on Jesus who is always with us. Let us allow the words from the scripture ring true- “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Let us ask for God’s help in opening our eyes to the Almighty’s presence.

Kgolagano College, where both Jayanthi and I work during the week, is currently going through a period of structural and administrative changes. As the only ecumenical theological college in the country engaged in the training of pastors, it has a vital role to play in the development of the Church. Please keep this institution, the students and the people who work there in your prayers.

Ramotswa UCCSA Congregational Church, where I am serving as pastor, continues to grow numerically. At the same time, the new church structure is slowly inching its way towards completion. We recently put in the window panes and are looking towards finishing the floor over the next couple of months, God willing. We would like to thank everyone who have stood in solidarity with the people of this congregation- both in prayers and through donations

(Prayer and Mission Moment by Jim and Jayanthi Wilson)

  

Video resources on Botswana:

Prince Dibeela of the UCCSA: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/botswana-dibeela.html

Global Ministries International Partners in Botswana:

  • Botswana Council of Churches founded in 1966 with 36 member churches. The Council exists to serve the churches, to enable them to serve God and God’s people, especially those in need. It is a national body which is affiliated to the All Africa Conference of Churches and to the World Council of Churches. Among the many projects which it is involved in, include evangelical and developmental work among the Hambukushu people on the western side of the delta in Ngamiland and assisting children in especially difficult circumstances (street kids) in the capital of Gaborone, through rehabilitation, re-education and reintegration into society.

  • United Congregational Church of Southern Africa – Botswana Synod. Kgodisong Centre was started in July 2001 by the United    Congregational Church of  Southern Africa (UCCSA) in Kanye, a partner denomination with Global Ministries. It began as an initiative to address the escalating number of orphans in Kanye. According to national records from the Department of Social Services 51 600 orphans are registered countrywide. Approximately 5,000 of these are registered in Kanye alone. This alarming figure is by far due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic followed by road accidents and other factors. These children at risk in the local community are provided with a safe environment for learning, nutritious meals along with varying other assistance each week day.

  • Kgolagano Theological College. Since its beginning in 1975,  Kgolagano is the only ecumenical theological institution in the country, both in terms of staffing as well as student body. Although the major focus of its programme has always been the promotion of theological education for the pastors of Botswana.  Kgolagano cannot and does not ignore the life issues facing the people of the nation. It has an active, grass-root  HIV/AIDS awareness programme as well as an educational empowerment programme  for individuals incarcerated in prison.

More info on Botswana: http://globalministries.org/africa/countries/botswana/

Global Ministries Missionaries in Botswana:

Jim and Jayanthi Wilson are missionaries with the Kgolagano College of Theological Education in Gaborone, Botswana.  Jim serves as a tutor of theology at Kgolagano College of Theological Education.  Jayanthi serves as the coordinator of the College library.


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