November 27, 2012

Botswana Outreach 2012 Recap - "In that day the deaf will hear..."

"In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, 
and out of doom and darkness the 
eyes of the blind will see." 
Isaiah 29:18 

After many days of traveling, dirt, long days, and more dirt our Botswana team returned to the States full of amazing stories of all that the Lord did during their mission. It would be impossible to share each and every story, but hopefully by highlighting some of the major ones you will see a glimpse of what it is like to be on the field, and to see those who have never heard, hear for the first time and decide to follow Christ. 

It is important to highlight that this team did not fly overseas to work in a different culture completely unprepared. In fact, this team completed 6 months of missional training at the School to the Nations Training Center where they were trained in every aspect from cross-cultural living to storying the Bible with non-believers. The high quality training was evident once in Botswana as the team worked hard, stayed unified, and were prepared for the shock of being in a different culture. 

Here is a brief recap of their trip...

The first city they worked in was a smaller one outside of the capitol city, Gaborone. Here they shared the Gospel with hundreds of deaf children and teenagers along with teachers and staff members at a residential deaf school. Our team was creative with their presentation of the Gospel and shared in many unique ways. Not only did they share with the students but they also had a chance to bless and honor the teachers who sacrifice so much to work with these students each day. Our team included two educators and they were able to connect and relate in many ways in order to bring hope and encouragement in the Word of God. 

The next stop was in the city of Maun which is in northern Botswana. A school of 900 children (deaf and hearing) sat here, and the team was welcomed with a song from the students: 

During their time in Maun, the team met a 17 year old boy (far left in this picture) who was deaf due to the medication he was given to treat HIV. After hearing the Gospel message, this boy gave his life to Christ! Also at this school, the headmaster gave his life to Christ as well. He told the team that his family had been praying for him to receive Christ, and that prayer was answered and the team was honored to be a part of his decision! Our team also hosted a dinner to honor the teachers and staff members at this school and it was a special time of encouragement for each of these teachers. 

After finishing in Maun, they traveled a LONG days travel in 110 degree weather (missions are not for the weak!) on a bus to Francistown with no air conditioning. Once they arrived they were welcomed into Francistown Center for Deaf Education where they were able to share the Gospel and show the children's version of the Jesus Film. Many children heard the Gospel for the first time and many seeds were planted! One 23 year old man gave his life to Christ! 

Their next stop was back to the capitol, Gaborone, where at a bus stop they saw some men standing around playing pool. One of the team members started a conversation with them, shared the Gospel, and 11 of these men accepted Christ right there at the bus stop! What a wonderful picture illustrating that God orchestrates divine appointments! These men were not even from Botswana, they had crossed the border from Zimbabwe. Praise God for bringing our team to these men at just the right time. 
Overall SIXTEEN people came to Christ during the teams trip in Botswana and many seeds were planted among children, teenagers, and adults that will hopefully be the beginning of many coming to Christ among the deaf community. The future is bright for our partnership in Botswana. Our team met with the President of the Baptist Convention in Botswana, Benjamin Kabika, who is excited about the future partnering of School to the Nations and Ridgecrest Baptist Church among the deaf in his country. This trip established clear and strategic inroads for future work to evangelize and disciple the deaf. 

Thank you to our wonderful team, who worked hard, stayed positive, and made lasting impacts on the children and adults they met. Thank you to Ridgecrest Baptist Church for partnering with us in taking the Gospel to the deaf. Thank you to our prayer partners and financial supporters who were a part of this team as they lifted us in prayer each day! 

To God be the glory for all that He has done and will continue to do among the deaf around the world! 

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