January, February, March, and April – 2019 has been a great year so far!
Besides helping to lead the youth ministry at our main church branch in Francistown, I have been helping to establish and oversee the youth ministries at all five of our branch churches. I have been doing lots of traveling! So far, I have paid visits to two of our Botswana branches in Selebi-Phikwe and Gaborone.
Right now in Southern Africa, summer is ending and winter is beginning. We had a very HOT summer, so to cool off, I planned a couple pool parties for our youth early in the year – one in Francistown and one with our branch church in Selebi-Phikwe. Our youth had TOO much fun (as they say here), and this will definitely be an event we repeat next summer! What a great time of connecting with youth from across our branch churches!
Leading up to Easter, our church focused on reaching out to our community. We organized children’s outreaches in Francistown and in the nearby villages of Tati Siding, Matshelagabedi and Borolong. Our outreaches involved fun, candy and sharing the Good News of God’s love! Over 200 kids attended our “Fun Day” outreaches and nearly half of those children made a decision to give their life to Christ! Please pray that the seeds we planted continue to grow in these little hearts!
We also took time to evangelize and share God’s love one-on-one with people in our neighborhood. Thirty people from our church participated in this outreach, and we had the privilege of leading 28 people to Christ! It was also a blessing to see our church members get excited about sharing the story of God’s love with others.
It has been a busy year for me so far! But I look forward to what else God has in store. This month, I will be traveling to visit our branch church in Ndola, Zambia. I have enjoyed getting to connect with all the church families within our ministry, and it’s awesome getting to see more of Africa! In early September, one of my dearest friends, Erica, will be getting married. She has asked me to be her maid of honor, so I will be in the Southern California area for most of August and September to attend the wedding and pre-wedding events. I hope to connect with some of you while I am States-side!
Thank you to everyone who responded to my care package request in my last update! Thank you for thinking of me! Thank you for your willingness and excitement to bless me! I am really touched by your thoughtfulness and generosity. I appreciate everything that has been sent and I look forward to receiving the packages that are still on the way!
Thank you for praying for me! Whenever good things happen (and they happen often), I am reminded that you are praying for me. I feel your prayers and I appreciate your prayers so much. Please don’t stop praying for me!
Thank you for sending me emails, letters, cards! I am so excited to receive them and I read them over and over again. They encourage me and they bring a smile to my face. I love hearing from you and connecting with you. Please continue to stay in touch!
Thank you for your financial support! Thank you for considering me worth your investment. Thank you for believing in me and in what God has called me to do in Africa. I pray God blesses your lives because you have been a tremendous blessing in mine and in the lives of those I minister to.
Please pray for continued wisdom/direction for ministering to our youth this year at all our branch churches. I want to be able to spend my time and resources effectively. I want supernatural strength and energy (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) to carry out all my God-given roles and responsibilities, especially as I will continue to do much travel between all our branches this year. One thing I constantly focus on with our youth is learning how to live a life of faith and developing a strong work ethic. Pray I can communicate these principles effectively and successfully.
In April, I applied to renew my residence permit in Botswana. I was approved for another 3 years! Thanks for praying! It was a super fast turnaround!
Please pray with us for a new pastor for our Selebi-Phikwe branch. The Matandas, the original pastors for this church, have made their move back to their home country of Zambia, to return to their family and to also pastor our branch in Ndola, Zambia. For now, leaders in our church in Francistown are on weekly rotation to minister in Phikwe every Sunday. We believe this is a temporary solution and a transition time, as God is preparing the right person to fill this role. Pray this church is well taken care of and continues to grow until a new pastor is put in place.
We continue to move forward with our church building project. Our next goal is to complete the roofing. It would be nice to have this completed before winter so we can at least meet in an enclosed building when the weather is cold. Our challenge to our church is to ask God how much He wants each of us to pledge in faith towards our building, then to believe that what we pledge in faith will come in so we can give. Pray with us that our church will be willing to exercise faith to increase our individual finances so that we can complete this next phase of our building.