Botswana experienced it’s largest earthquake on record last week! It was quite a rumble! Because most people have never experienced this before, it’s been fun to hear people’s thoughts. One of our brethren in Moralane said that he thought it was a herd of elephants who have been tearing up his fields. He ran out with a shotgun to scare them off only to discover there were no elephants there! Another lady in a fellowship in Metlobo told Sarah, “I told my husband, I think a helicopter is landing in our yard!!” From people running out of the shops, to our family standing there looking at each other, like “What the heck?”…..it “shook” everyone. Thankfully, there was no major damage and everyone has been reported fine.
For another glimpse of life in Botswana, here is a report from my husband, Kevin, preparing for Easter Conferences.
I ran into Leslie yesterday and he asked me how my recent trip to Salajwe went. I said, “Good, but nothing went the way I expected, . . . but then they never do on outreaches.” He responded, “Actually, there was one outreach back in 1974 that Len went on and he said that was the only one that ever went to plan.” 🙂
The purpose of my trip was to check on the preparations for the Easter Conference we are hosting there. Word To Africa is hosting 4 Easter Conferences at the same time this year. One in Mafikeng, (an hour drive south into South Africa), one in Sepopa, (13hrs drive north near the boarder of Namibia), one in Gopong, (only 15 min drive and hosted by the home church here in Lobatse), and the last one in Salajwe which is 3.5 hours drive straight out into the desert. Salajwe being my favorite village, the Witt family is spearheading the event there.
We arrived Friday at 6 to find the Salajwe church leaders packing to leave for Kaudwani for an “all night prayer” that we didn’t know about. Note: When African’s talk about “all night prayer” they mean a church service that literally lasts from 6pm to 6am. It’s pretty nuts if you ask me, but they are all in with certain things so you just have to roll with it. With the Salajwe leadership leaving I couldn’t meet with them Friday night, and if I went to Kaudwani on Saturday for lunch, then the leadership there would be asleep because they stayed up all night. So there wasn’t much choice, we jumped back in the car and off we went Friday night to all night prayer.
I had Teto and Andrew with me. Teto is a young man in the Lobatse home church that is very active in discipleship and wanted to experience a bit of outreach. Andrew is my 10 year old son. Upon arrival in Kaudwani, we found the ladies cooking dinner for an army. They tried to feed me a huge plate of pasta and chicken which I politely refused saying, “if I eat that much pasta I will be asleep in 30 min. Just give me some boiling water for my coffee press and I’m good for the night. An empty stomach will help keep me awake.” Full disclosure: I was a little hungry, but there is rarely enough for everyone at these events so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking from someone else. Also I had some snacks in my car. So score one for politely refusing! 🙂
Andrew made it until 1:30 am before he crashed of boredom. Teto fell asleep in his chair with his head on the wall by 3:00. By 3:15, I was falling asleep standing at the back. If any one of us was still awake, I would have continued, but all 3 of us out cold there was no point. So I quickly met with the leadership who were glad to step out for minute for a change of pace and then we packed up and headed back to Salajwe to sleep. On the drive I was half laughing at Teto for falling asleep and he said that it was not planned well enough for him. He said, “Usually they plan break out sessions and activities and loud singing and dancing every 30 min to keep everyone awake, but that guy just preached from 2 to 3:30 straight! That’s just crazy!” Teto has no trouble telling it like it is. 🙂
Saturday afternoon I organized to meet with the Salajwe church leadership over a late dinner after they got back from work. Yes they all went from staying up all night straight to work and then back to the church at 7pm to meet with me. So I spent all afternoon cooking a fabulous meal for them so they could eat during the meeting and then go right to bed. Cooking was actually pretty hectic because I forgot my big pot and the church only has small ones. I made a great big soup with rice, but I had to cook each ingredient in a different pot and then combine them all after the fact. It turned out fabulous in the end though. Martha Stewart’s got nothing on me.
Sunday morning I preached at the Salajwe service. I had a message prepared but I had one of those experiences where just before I started I got a completely different word from the Lord to give. About 3/4’s of the way through the impromptu message I felt like the passion of the Word left me and I should stop. I didn’t though. I guess I just couldn’t find a good stopping point, so I preached for another 5 min and later regretted it. Learning to listen and obey the leading of the Spirit seams to be one of those lessons I just have to keep learning over and over.
Even though we got plenty of time to sleep on Saturday morning to make up for lost sleep on Friday, once your schedule gets off, you still feel like a zombie. So we 3 zombie’s loaded up and headed home. I drove while Andrew and Teto slept most of the trip. A dad’s job is never done.