Trip to Botswana September 2016
- Published: Thursday, 08 September 2016 00:00
Awoken by a dense woodfire smell in our noses, we look around. It is still dark, only 4:30 am. The round hut we are sleeping in is already filled with smoke. Since two weeks we are staying at the Bible college in Molepolole, Botswana. The school is situated in the middle of the communities, a rural setting of mostly small houses and some huts. Everyone makes a fire early morning to cook a big pot of Mieliepap for the whole family.
Our hut has a toilet inside, which is quite luxurious. It also has a shower, a cold one. And since it is end winter here and night temperatures drop to close to 10 C, the water is… cold!
De students here are very kind. They like to spoil us. They make hot water for us so we can wash ourselves from a bucket. Steef likes this. Now, I don’t want to be ungrateful, but that water smells very smokey, so I stay with the cold shower! I actually learned to like it. It is refreshing. But I am just not quite sure that by the time it is almost winter upon our return to the Netherlands, I will still prefer that refreshing cold shower…
The whole set-up of the college here reminds me in some ways of the time we went camping when I was still small. The time that campsites did not earn stars with all kinds of conveniences. Here we have one cooking pot, so I need to be a bit creative in making supper. Then there is no water in the kitchen. We have to get water from a sink with some taps 100 meter away. I share this kitchen with a few cockroaches and many flies. It’s like old-fashioned country-camping… fun camping, like my parents have taught me. Who of them would have thought though, they were actually training me to live in Africa? ;-)
Steef is teaching a group of students here from the Bible about missions, bringing the gospel to other countries. The students are appreciating the studies. After the lessons are over, Steef and I are taking an hour walk along the hundreds of dusty little roads in between the houses here.
On one of these walks a bakkie came from behind us, in it an old man. When he came past us, he asked, in the little English he knew, if we would follow him to his home, which was closeby. He wanted us to meet his wife and pray for his family. So we followed the bakkie and came to his house and met his wife and their two small grandchildren. We tried to communicate some more and then we prayed for them all. So a simple walk turned into a special afternoon!
But because we followed the car to his house and neither of us had paid attention to where we were going, we found it difficult to know which of the multiple roads to take. And the area is quite big. So, not to get lost, we had to become ‘real Botswana bushmen’ and look for our own footprints! That’s how we found our way back. It was actually quite funny…
On Sundays we visit some local churches here. The services take over three hours and are really loud! The people here can sing beatifully and have clear voices, but a church here HAS to have its own soundsystem to be a proper church… and since we have to sit in front, because we are guests and they want to honor us, it is quite something for the ears… But the people here are so enthusiastic and friendly that we wouldn’t want to miss it!
During the services we are usually asked to share. For Steef that often means preaching. I am usually also allowed to share for 10 minutes. I always try to share a testimony or story that the children can also understand. Last Sunday half the church seemed to exist out of children and I asked permission to share a children’s story. I took the youngest ones to the front of the church and told a story of God’s special love and faithfulness to a child I knew. It was a wonderful time. When I wanted to dismiss them, the bishop came forward and even taught the children a new children’s song. It was beautiful!
So, as you can read, it is so good to be here! We thank our God for health and the opportunities He gives us to share His word with the people here.
Next tripreport will be written from South Africa, where our next assignment will be.
Blessings to all of you!
Steef en Tineke