Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Well, 4 months later and I am now finally getting ready to finish out some of my stories from the last month or so in Africa.  Up first: the visit to our branch church in the village of Sehitwa!

Sehitwa is Pastor Sunny's church, and is a couple of hours outside of Maun.  The girls and I loaded up the van with all of our camping equipment, drive into town, picked up Pastor Sunny and hit the road.  The only thing to note from this drive was that I finally saw my first black and white cow in Africa.  Kirsten and I (the midwestern gals) got excited, and everyone else yawned.  That was that.

Our church!

Once we arrived in Sehitwa, we pulled into the church property and started unpacking.  Within about 3 minutes we already had a hoard children surrounding us.  You definitely make a splash when 7 white girls show up in a village of a couple hundred people!  We got to work right away on cutting the grass with slashers (think of machetes, but duller).  One of my interns (Heather) was an all-star with this.  She grabbed a slasher and went to work, and while the rest of us were taking turns with the other slasher, she finished half the property.  It was nice to have her along, that's for sure!  The best part of that experience was having 7 year old children take them from me to show me how it's done :) The kids were so sweet and so talkative.  I was videotaping a group of about 5 of them as they were teaching me Setswana; it was great.  Anytime I repeated something correctly, one of the boys would say (so encouragingly) "Yes!  That is correct.  Well done!"  After we did this for a while, I was going to play back the video for them and sadly discovered that I had never pressed "record."  The kids were disappointed, but not enough to re-enact the scenario for me.  So now I don't have any video of that.  Bummer.

After we got the tents set up and finished slashing the yard, it was time to split up into 2 groups and begin evangelism in the village.  In all honesty, this type of ministry pushes me out of my comfort zone more than any other, and definitely challenges me each and every time I did it.  This time was no different.  We spent quite a bit of time in one woman's home, having a lovely conversation with her about her family and life, and then things took a turn.  She explained that it is so difficult to make any money in the village (which I completely understood- in all honesty, I don't know how anyone could make money there).  Because of this though, she was struggling to feed her children and admitted that she felt like a failure and has been contemplating suicide. What do you do with that?? We did our best, and I still think of her and pray for her often.  I hope that she's giving church another chance.  Anyway, we spent about 2 hours doing evangelism (while getting attacked by millions of ants), then met back up at the church/campsite.  It was time for Saturday night youth group!  All of the kids returned, along with about 20 teens, and we had a great service that the youth led.  I just can't get enough of our branch churches.  The cute little boy who was teaching me Setswana earlier sat with me during the service, and he knew my favorite song was "Jo Na Na" and he kept trying to request it for me.  When they finally sang it, he grabbed my arm and gave me a huge smile.  The memory of that is bringing a huge smile to my face as I type this.  Goodness, I miss Africa.