The Christian periodical was opened and the flyer fell out. Bold and colourful, it asked people to donate to a fund providing African Bible Commentaries for grass-roots pastors in Africa. (The ABC is a one-volume commentary written by 70 African scholars.) The reader, knowing some African pastors through work with Flying Mission, made bold to e-mail Langham Literature to ask if they had any Commentaries for distribution. Although at first they were unable to help, a few months later the reply changed, ‘Circumstances have changed, how many would you like?’ And so it was that 50 copies made their way to FM and FMZ!
Every year Flying Mission distributes Bibles to patients at Princess Marina Hospital on the 26th December. Around 21 people, FM personnel and friends, met at 9.00am at PMH. Larry Murley, in charge of operations, gave thorough instructions, and by 9.20am we sailed forth with two trolleys packed with New Testaments and sweets. Singing mostly Setswana songs, we walked through the hospital, sharing God’s glory with patients by talking with them, praying with them, and with the children, playing with them too! It was a time of mutual blessing for us all.
Not many people want to live out in the Kalahari. People living there are largely un-thought of by the outside world. Seherelela is a settlement in the Kalahari – a place with a school for the children of the families working at the surrounding cattle posts, where people of Botswana who own cattle keep their herds.
There is no church here, but about 250 children here learned who Jesus is because a team of people cared enough to take time to share about him with them.
Flying Mission has lots of visitors: some come to spend time with family members or friends serving with the mission, some come from the sending missions to find out how their people are getting along, and some come from organisations that are looking into whether we can work together on a particular project. One of our visitors last year was a Canadian, Len McKay, who served with Flying Mission as an aircraft mechanic in the mid-1990s. He wasn’t here simply for a nostalgia trip but to find out what we are currently doing and if his home church could contribute in some way.
Mercia’s attention was caught by the Radio Pulpit programme, which today was focussed on the ‘CrossRoads’ Programme, a Campus Crusade educational programme geared towards young people. Developed in two parts, ‘Better Choices’ aims to help young people make choices based on godly values; ‘Life at the Crossroads’ is a training programme for those eager to pass on these values to their peers and establish Abstinence Clubs.
Mercia, with her professional nursing skills, and already involved with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, knew this was a programme in which she wanted to get involved. She volunteered, and was soon pitched into an introductory training session whose aim was to teach people how to effect behavioural change in the battle against HIV/AIDS through messages of abstinence and faithfulness.
Participants in Flying Mission’s Lifeskills training courses, entitled "Life at the CrossRoads", do an exercise using poetry to help them reflect on their views of life in the face of the effect that HIV and AIDS has on the people around them.
The exercise is guided with words to begin each line of the verse. The participants complete the line in their own words.
The following is one of the poems written by one of the young women during a Lifeskills course.
|A typical combi!|
Early this morning I arrived at Holy Cross Hospice and almost immediately found myself leaving again. The staff were all heading off to do some home visits. Myself, another nurse, a couple of nurse aides, a few social workers, several volunteers and a pre-school teacher bundle onto the combi and set off to a worn-out area of town called Old Naledi. Here, we bump and shudder along the dirt roads, negotiating crumbling homes, ditches, broken glass and excitable children.
The Tumelong Child Care Centre in Kumakwane has a new look. Tumelong, which provides a feeding program and learning facilities for orphans and other vulnerable children, now sports brightly painted walls inside and out. Flying Mission provided the paint, and Samara Lubbe and her friend Safura, both art students at Maru-a-Pula school in Gaborone, volunteered to paint pictures on the walls. Continue reading “Putting Smiles on Faces”
It’s not every day one hears a Botswana MP in fulsome praise of FM’s Director John L?bbe, but last week I heard it with my own ears.
The occasion? The presentation of certificates at Kagisong Conference Centre.
The achievers? 30 young people selected to undergo ‘Life at the Crossroads Behavioural Change Training’.
The aim? To run Abstinence Clubs in the community, and later in schools, to address HIV/AIDS issues.
Ask almost any Motswana and they will tell you that in the past, people with disabilities were regarded with suspicion and fear (the disability itself was looked at as a curse – literally), and that they were kept hidden away at cattle posts and distant villages. Fortunately, this attitude is changing. It is changing, thanks to people like Mma Seema, a teacher of disabled preschoolers at the Tshimologo Stimulation Centre (TSC) in Francistown.
I met Mma Seema last week at a Little Seeds (see Planting Little Seeds) preschool teacher training course sponsored by Flying Mission. When I greeted her, she was cordial but slow to smile. It wasn’t until I asked her about the children in her preschool that her face broke into a proud and beaming smile. I could tell that she wanted to tell me success stories about her children, but first I coaxed her to tell me about the Stimulation Centre itself.