Mission to Botswana’s Bushmen
GAiN partners with JESUS Film to Botswana’s New Xanagas
A team of 8 adults and 4 children volunteers traveled on a mission trip to New Xanagas, a village in western Ghanzi District of Botswana.
Lizelle Pieterse, the national coordinator of Global Aid Network in South Africa, led the team, loaded with 9 large bags of clothing and several boxes of Bibles, Four Spiritual Laws booklets and other literature.
Work is scarce in New Xanagas. With no shop in town, people travel to nearby towns for shopping or jobs if they are fortunate enough to have one. People are hungry and alcoholism reigns due to joblessness, poverty and almost no form of entertainment.
During the mornings of the first 4 days, Lizette’s team trained 27 local Christians in a makeshift half-open barn, sitting on crude wooden benches.
“We found the local Christians friendly and welcoming,” she says. “They had been looking forward to our coming and were very eager to be taught Christian basics, how to share their faith and how to grow in their faith.”
The local Christians were trained in various aspects of personal evangelism, initiating spiritual conversation, children’s evangelism, movement building and prayer.
“While we were teaching, our male team members were working with locals to erect a canvas house for a very poor elderly couple,” says Lizelle. The elderly people, living in the yard, stayed outside every day sometimes sleeping outside. The only ‘house’ on the premises before was a hut made of branches tied together that didn’t keep wind or rain out. “Needless to say, they were ecstatic about their new house,” says Lizelle, “especially the old woman who couldn't stop thanking us. What a privilege that we could be instruments in this!”
Every day after the trainings, the team went out into the town to talk with people about Jesus. The group was very bold in this small town with a population of only 500 people where everybody knows everyone. “Many were relatives – we know well how difficult it can be to share with relatives or acquaintances – yet they didn’t hesitate to go house to house to share,” says Lizelle.
Lizelle remembers one elderly man very specifically. “He had such intelligent, sharp eyes,” she says. “He asked many questions at first, but as they proceeded with the booklet, he became quieter and more serious, taking all in. Great was my delight when he prayed to receive Jesus!”
According to the follow-up cards the group collected, 137 people accepted Jesus, including 93-year-old Jack Qoma. 81 of those who received Jesus were 18 years or younger.
The JESUS Film was shown three nights in three places. Although nights were cold, many people attended. Many prayed to invite Christ into their life, especially children.
The trainees visited each person who had accepted Jesus and did follow-up from the Four Laws. Even after the ministry team left, the locals went on boldly teaching in New Xanagas.
“We were tired after the week there, but happy and confident that we accomplished what we were sent to do,” Lizelle says. “It was a sad occasion to say goodbye to these lovely people who had crawled so deeply into our hearts.”