For Such A Time As This…

It was 1930h and we were late. Not only was traffic heavy, it was downright slow – much like my day! Two simple tasks had consumed the spare time I’d hoped for. My husband spent his day lying on the cement hangar floor, removing a landing gear strut. Just 10 simple bolts, but this too took all day. As we parked the car and hurried in, the melody and words, "I worship You, Amighty God, there is none like You…" welcomed us and soothed our spirits. Participants at the Flying Mission (FM) Thursday Night Prayer Meeting are being skillfully led in worship of our Awesome God.

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I live in the village of Kumakwane and one day I visited the family of Mr M because he was sick.  I knew that the family would benefit from an egg each, so I brought them and explained why to the father whilst the children were standing there.  

They were very happy and hopeful to have an egg each but the father turned to them and said, “Eggs are not good for you, they will make you sick.”  However it seems they were perfectly good for he who was sick! 

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Out Of The Blue

During the frosty, dark hours of a winter morning in the Kalahari Desert, a baby boy was born to a young San (Bushman) woman. The birth of a baby in Botswana is a welcome and celebrated event, a triumph for the mother. This mother’s joy, however, was mixed with worry and fear. Her tiny son, weighing only one kilogram, had arrived prematurely, 30 days before he was due.
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Planting Little Seeds

Located on the banks of a river, The Woodpecker is a popular venue for church and mission events in Gaborone. With green leafy trees lining the river, and buildings scattered through a garden-like setting, it offers an escape from the dust and concrete of the city. At least it used to. As I drove onto The Woodpecker property today, I was astonished and distressed by the lack of vegetation. Drought has taken a terrible toll, and the riverbanks are now barren.

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Two More Milestones Reached!

Kgakgamatso (“KG”) was ejected from a vehicle when she was ten days old. All of the adults in the vehicle, including her birth mom, were killed in the accident, and KG spent the entire night lying on the ground until the accident was discovered some time the next morning. We brought her home from the hospital when she was two months old, and almost immediately we took her to South Africa for medical evaluations. The pediatric neurologist who examined KG gave a bleak prognosis. “You are looking at school for the blind and every kind of therapy known to man,” she said, “and even then, there is a good chance that she will never walk, talk, or see.”

The Botswana government kindly expedited KG’s adoption so that we could take her back to the United States and pursue “every kind of therapy known to man.” Continue reading “Two More Milestones Reached!”

Helping the Homeless

For being homeless, Chips has a pretty nice place. He camps on a vacant residential plot on the southeast side of Gaborone. This area was developed back when the plots were very large, and the brush hides him from view of the nice homes on either side. There is a water tap on the plot, but Chips doesn’t have any way of bathing. When you’re homeless, you pretty much have to wear everything you own, and you can’t very well wear a tub and a towel.

When James and Dingane got there, Chips was sitting on a log. He seemed very happy to see them. "Should I get a log for you?" asked Chips. "No, we’re okay," they said. They exchanged greetings and then James said, "We came to give you a bath." "I don’t have a tub," said Chips. "We brought everything you need," said James. "Dingane brought you his tub, and we brought a towel, warm water, soap . . ." That really made Chips happy. The three of them walked across the plot to where our car was parked outside the gate. James reached inside the car and Continue reading “Helping the Homeless”

Happiness is learning to knit

Dust and noise; children shouting to each other as they leave their classrooms. School is out for the day!! Remember the freedom you felt in those days back when?!

But some of the girls-and one boy!-remain and gather around Victoria. She is ready to hand each of the kids their colorful bags containing needles, wool and works in progress. Some are making scarves, some slippers.

Are your eyebrows now “knitting” together, as you try to bring your mind around the idea of scarves and slippers in Africa? Continue reading “Happiness is learning to knit”

Dave’s on the Team

For some, Dave’s no stranger. For me, he was. I met him at the Central Hall, Westminster, London, last year on a period of home leave. We’d shared identifying features over the phone……..I think he said he’d be wearing brown. I was equally helpful ‘I’ll be carrying a shoulder bag…blue!’ The meeting was destined to happen as it was a quiet day for the Central Hall. We talked: Botswana, retirement, grandchildren…and then to the grown up stuff! How could we make his job of collecting funds, for FM, in UK more meaningful, and how could he help us to communicate well with UK supporters? So, Dave Young’s part of the FM Team: secretary of FM UK. He’s not afraid to call a spade a spade. It’s good to know he’s there, that he’s prepared to read document drafts, that he banks the money, that he informs me of donations, that he prays for the work…. and that he paid for my lunch that day!



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Mighty is She

Mighty is a young lady from the village of Otse. I first met Mighty when I started working with Roberta at the Home Based Care unit out in Otse. I went to work with Roberta on developing skills among the HIV/AIDS positive volunteers at the Home Based Care. The skills I brought were in knitting and card making. Mighty always seemed to want to be there and took up whatever craft was going on, but never seemed to commit to anything or follow through on a given project. This became increasingly frustrating even if she was sweet. One week Mighty started knitting a purse. She had never knit before so I go her started and then all of sudden she left. Continue reading “Mighty is She”

Coming home to Botswana

Lillian Thorsen with Bela RammolaiMany have expressed admiration at my coming to Botswana to work as a short-term volunteer with Flying Mission this year. They tell me I’m brave for having come alone. But then I remind them that for me, coming to Botswana has in many ways been like coming home again. I grew up as a “missionary kid” in Botswana. This country was my home, and the people of Flying Mission were, in so many ways, my extended family. Even now, after 5 years away, I return to find that although Flying Mission has changed in so many ways, it is still an ever-growing family. It is a good place to come as a “short-termer”. I have been accepted here with open arms and have been given meaningful tasks according to my interests and abilities, tasks which have challenged me and tasks from which I have learned a great deal. As a short-termer you have a chance to use your skills for God, and at the same time you have plenty of opportunity to try something new, in a safe environment where there are always others to support you. It is a time of growth, and there will be challenges. But through these challenges, I am learning. I have been given the opportunity to give of myself, and I have received much in return. Continue reading “Coming home to Botswana”