Overview Feedback by Jaco de Bruin
Thank you for all your prayers and support! After long roads and a blessed time we are back from the Botswana outreach. The purpose of this mission was to go and support the work of Word for Africa in the Kweneng district. Centrally located in this region is Khudumelapye and this is where we went to help establish their facilities to strengthen it as a base that can serve the wider region.
We were 16 adults who set out from Every Nation Pretoria and it was a very blessed mission that took us into the heart of nature. God renewed our hearts for His people and we are full of faith for what He can do through us in Africa! We had great times of fellowship together as a team as well as with the local congregations. We also had the opportunity for one-to-one discipleship with the local leaders of the Khudumelapye church.
The team all physically worked very hard on this mission. We installed toilets, showers, a basin with all the necessary plumbing, put up doors and a roof, connected the waterpump and much more! On our way home, we also helped to deconstruct a steel structure that can now be used for the church roof in Khudumelapye.
God was truly with us and He faithfully protected us wherever we went and worked. A great thank you to everyone who availed themselves for what God entrusted to us during this week! Thank you to all our fellow World Partners who were not able to physically go but who carried us in prayer and support during this mission! Continue to pray with us for the people from Khudumelapye and our future path with them.
Thinking back over the Botswana outreach, the biggest thing that stands out for me is family. Before coming to Every Nation, I always avoided events like outreaches because I just felt “it’s not really my type of thing – I’m just not one of those people” and was too afraid of all the unknown factors it involves. Despite this previous misconception, I just experienced such a sense of complete peace and contentment throughout the entire Botswana outreach, as if God was continuously whispering to me “this is where I want you to be!”.
Our main goal was to finish building a bathroom on the small piece of land that the people of Khudumalapye would start using as a church. During this, I realized that God had also restored my concept of spiritual family and an amazing sense of security that comes with that – each of us had our own strengths and abilities we brought to the table, and was able to serve each in our own special way whilst still working together as a team.
We also had the opportunity to spend time with some of the people there – sometimes to share a bit of the One-to-one with them, but other times just to chat and find out a bit more about their lives in Khudumalapye. It’s during these interactions that I also realized that I had a lot of “head knowledge” about many things, but needed to start seeking God for a heart revelation of who He is and His love for us. I was inspired by the people’s passion for God and their eagerness to serve, and to see their faith when they asked us to pray with them for healing. I will always look back on the Botswana outreach as just the start of many more outreaches to come – I can’t wait for the next one!
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Through the outstretched expanses of red sand and Kalahari bush
I arrive …on a mission … not knowing
That GOD was waiting to meet me in that little church,
Waiting for the perfect moment where my heart would open, my mind would shut,
To saturate me, once again with divine Grace
It is difficult to capture my experience this week in one paragraph. I thought I was going on this mission to make a difference in the lives of others and to serve. But I came back with much more gained than I was ever able to give. It is as though the Lord came and put His love for people in me. I had to come to the realization: all my ideas of who God is and how big His love really were only knowledge. God revealed pieces of Himself to me during this week and all I can say is WOW! There is also a new fire in me to discover more and more who God is. To discover Him in my everyday life, not only through mere knowledge about Him. I also realized that to trust God is not a conditional thing. It is unconditional. This means that I trust Him with everything and for everything.
MAN! I still have a lot to discover about my God!
The outreach was a life changing experience for me. I learnt and grew so much.
It was humbling: besides the obvious of not having a warm shower, having to bath out of a bucket, not having a flush toilet and so on… What stood out for me were the people living there. They do not necessarily have a lot of material belongings but they are happy and take such pride in the little they do have. Not all the people in church from the village have a Bible, but I myself have more than one. And even if they do have a Bible not all of them can read it.
The silence: something about the peacefulness there, makes you stop rushing around and take a moment to come closer to God. When the sun rises in the morning and you wait for the sun to warm you it is like God showing His love to you in the beauty of it. I enjoyed and appreciated hearing what the Lord had to say to me and the work He did in my heart.
Would I do it again: YES any day.
Two weeks ago, when the family sent us out before the outreach, Harry told us that a successful outreach is not necessarilly what we go and do for a community but rather, to what extent we are changed. Not one of us returned unchanged and on top of that, we were able to do something for the family in Botswana.
Khudumalapye is a spectacular place. The fields, the clouds, the stars – but above everything, the people are amazing! We were welcomed with open arms, we were accepted and I’m sure we found a place in their hearts just as much as they found a place in our hearts.
Love didn’t need an interpreter.
God gave us a supernatural understanding and compassion for these precious people and we fell in love with the family in Khudumalapye and further strengthened our relationship with them. A few of the congregation members came every day to help us work and I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as Mybusa who brought her own spade and helped to dig and clear out the shrubs. She is already a grandmother, she has a heart of gold! We prayed for her every day and by the end of the week we were certain that the growth in her neck was smaller.
As for our work: the roof was completed, toilettes completed and connected, showers are working and a basin with running water was installed. Ditches were dug, water connected, doors were fitted, worked and painted in the hot Botswana sun. Through it all, God was with us and our relationships were strenghened. Every morning started with the new visual 1-2-1 booklet and every afternoon we shared with the family in little groups. It went slow, but we saw how God touched their hearts, made things more clear and revealed to them as He did to us as well. We prayed together and our relationships were strengthened.
The second day we joined members of the Khudumalapye family for a church service in Salajwe. We had the opportunity to share Word. After the service we spent time with the family under the trees. We shared stories and, although our worlds are far apart, we realized that we are very similar. Toko shared how God opened doors for her to be able to launch and establish her chicken farming business. We prayed with Emily for her brother who is in Gaborone and who is on a wayward path. We could sit at the feet of oom Frans and listen as he and some of the older people shared stories from their lives. We played ball with some of the kids and all in all, we strengthened and enjoyed relationships.
We spent two days at a clinic and on the second day we could pray for the staff and sick patients. Word quickly spread and even one of the leaders of the area came for prayer. We could share the Message and the girls sang ‘Amazing Grace’ over the clinic. Adam and Elektra, originally from Zimbabwe, joined our group and helped us. Nobody can work so beautifully as Adam.
God also joureyed with us as group. The first night, as the heavy weather threatened to consume us, we prayed that it would not rain where we had to pitch tents and make food. The rains fell and the thunder roared, but it only reached our area after we’ve all retired to bed for the night. We heard that the town’s water was going to dry up for a day so we tried to fill the watertank. However, it was not enough for all our needs. However, later during the night the pressure on the pypes increased to such an extent that the water didn’t dry up and the tank overflowed! Litterally overflowing grace. Except for hard work and tired bodies, nobody was seriously injured. When we lifted the steel structure in Lobatse, half of the roof fell as the men brought it down. Supernaturally God protected them and they escaped with a few scratches!
Everyone came to the outreach with unique gifts and talents and we became family – supernatural unity! We shared our space and lives with each other and everyone helped where there was a need. Together we worked hard, digging ditches, raising a roof, painting doors, serving refreshments, preparing food, washing dishes, looking after kids and sharing a bucket for bathing. Together we laughed, prayed, chilled out, drank REAL coffee, shared Sambok cream and shared food. Together we became one with our family in Khudumalapye, Salajwe and Lobatse.
All honour to our Father who gave Himself, His heart, His Son and His Spirit to us for the building of His family, He came and built relationship with us.
On a more personal level, I can’t shake the picture Nielen shared with us. He placed a chair down and said that the one sitting in the chair is ‘lord’ of your life. In my head, I saw myself removing every false god, lie and illusion from the chair and chasing it away every time it tries to come back. Then I saw myself, full of myself, sitting on the chair thinking, ‘Sho, now I’ve chased every bad thing away’ just to realize that I am now sitting on the chair so I jump off and ask God to come and take His place.
He has to be the Lord in our lives. Harry shared the first morning with us that we can’t share something with someone without understanding it in our own hearts. It doesn’t help to only have head-knowledge about God and His Word, but no hearts-knowledge. It struck me so deep that I cannot move beyond that point of absolute need for God’s presence. Everything starts with Him, everything ends with Him and everything in between is about Him! We were in perfect relationship with him, we messed up and He sent His Son to restore our relationship with the Father. I have a lot of head-knowledge, and I don’t think it is wrong, but hearts-knowledge is needed. Relationship with Him is now my journey.