Team at the airport

Allan, Jason, Mark, Jake, Donny and Nancy

Here’s a snapshot of the group at our departure from Greenville-Spartanburg airport last Thursday. Thanks Julie!

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Worship at Naledi Baptist Fellowship (Video)

Here’s a quick video from today’s singing at Naledi Baptist Fellowship. Don’t worry, it’s not us 🙂

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The Lord’s Day

We all got a long rest last night and I think we have acclimated fairly well to being in this time zone and recovered from the travel. I personally was sleeping very soundly when the breakfast knock came at 0800.

We all went to worship in Old Naledi at Naledi Fellowship, which is where the feeding station building project will be continuing tomorrow. The singing was so good, I really can’t put into words how the singing of those men and women can immediately bring the Holy Spirit. The voices of angels that harmonize on a dime turn. Always the highlight of my trip and today was a full dose of singing and worship. Moruti Donny brought the message with a translator, which took a few seconds for Donny to adjust. But, he did great!!! I read the scripture from Genesis 1:26-31 with a translator and was honored with the privilege of the morning prayer. It was a such great reunion with our friends at Naledi Fellowship.

After church, we went to Sarita’s Tea Garden, not sure how we have missed this place in the previous visits; but, that won’t be our last visit. An oasis under a large canopy of trees with all 13 of us at the table- the Shipes have 5 boys :-). What a great meal and fellowship. Tonya is such a gem and Scott kept us laughing and entertained. Scott went with us to the airport after lunch to retrieve the last piece of luggage. Because this piece was also a cooler (expensive item here in Botswana), we had to wait for some time and jump through some customs hoops. But, we got the luggage with no fees and then we took Scott back home to his house in Gaborone.

The gang wanted to take a second trip to the Gaborone Game Preserve and we had another great trip in this park today. No monkey attacks this time around :-). Amazing that this park is so close to our lodging and so cheap- we all get in with a vehicle for $10 total.

After another huge meal tonight, we are all ready to start working tomorrow. We are all feeling a little guilty about being here to help hungry kids and being fed like kings. Tomorrow, we start laying bricks and earning our keep. The Shipes boys start school tomorrow- their first day at school in Botswana, so remember them in your prayers.

I will post some pictures and video soon. Stay tuned!

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Kgale Hill

We climbed Kgale Hill with the ADBC crew this morning and took a quick look at the feeding station construction site. This is the base and it’s almost 3 1/2 feet deep in that hard black Africa dirt. I know that was hard work! We will be going up from here! I think we have a lot of work to do. That’s a good thing!

We also took a walk downtown and ate chicken lunch at the Hungry Lion.

The ADBC crew fly out today. We are taking a break and then heading to the Gaborone Wildlife Preserve before dinner. More pictures of the Kgale Hill climb and the game preserve later.

More later!

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Up Early with the birds

I can’t sleep too much more. Really excited about being back here. Our host is up preparing breakfast as I check emails and enjoy the company of one friendly Siamese cat 🙂

It’s chilly, low 50s but the quarter moon shines in the clear blue sky that is growing brighter. I can hear the crowds gathering at the bus stops or maybe a tavern? and there is some singing going on in the distance. It’s good to be back and I’m looking forward to a hearty breakfast before we begin our ascent up Kgale Hill (aka Baboon Hill) to take in a gorgeous view of Gaborone.

Once again, don’t worry about our lodging as this bed and breakfast is so much better and safer than the Gaborone Sun. The host is a close friend to head pastor (Moruti) Norman and his wife at Open Baptist. You could not ask for better accommodations in Gaborone. Only 1 double room, the rest of us have our own room.

Sitting here on the deck with singing and dancing and drums growing louder along with a mourning dove of some kind trying to compete :-). And there are at least 20 other birdsongs I don’t recognize joining in with that dove. This is Africa!!!

More later with pictures from Kgale Hill.

In His Steps-
Mareko

P.S. We do have Skype working here!

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We made it to Gaborone!!!

We made it to Gaborone, a huge delay in J’Burg. It’s after midnight and we just got to the lodging. Really nice accommodations here and I’m ready for a long hot shower. The union strikes in South Africa caused some major delays in passport and customs control. Oh well, this is Africa.

Tomorrow we are getting up early to climb Kgale Hill with the ADBC group and to check out the construction project. Ok, I’m rambling. More later tomorrow!!! Everyone is safe and sound. Time for rest.

In His Steps,
Mareko

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3 September, 2010 15:34

We are now in South Africa. Good flight for most of us – but, we made it. A short transit to Botswana is next. One more step! Kealeboga modimo!!!

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Plane #2: The Big One

We are now all on board the big plane(777) and ready for takeoff. We had a great meal at TGIFs…no need to break a streak 3 years running of eating there as a team before the long flight. Everyone is in great spirits and looking forward to the next step.

Look for a quick update when we land in South Africa in about 17 hours 🙂

See ya!

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Plane #1

Ok, we are all on plane #1 heading to ATL. The stress and anxiety ease by the minute!!!

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Departure

John 34-35“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

This passage from the Gospel of John has always been one of my favorites and it was one that came back to me this morning.  Today is the day we get on a plane and fly around the world to another place that is nothing like home.  A place where children are hungry and searching for a light in the darkness.  Jesus Christ is that light and He lives in all of us as believers and we are bringing His light to one poor urban slum in Africa.  That’s what He commanded us to do, it’s not an option. It doesn’t have to be around the world, it can be across the street.  The where doesn’t matter as much as the what.  Jesus commands us to show love.  We just happen to be going to Africa because we know the need exists and we were called to do something specific about it.

Thank you for your part in getting us to this day and for your prayers of protection and empowerment while we are in Botswana.  Our God is a mighty God, so don’t box him in!!!  He is much bigger than we let Him be, call on Him and He will respond accordingly.  That means keep the prayers coming 🙂

I’m honored to be going with a great group of 6: Donny, Allan, Jake, Jason, Nancy and me. I prayed out loud for each of us today and for our families.  God is good and God will watch over us on this trip and protect our families while we are gone.  That is a given according to His word.  I also prayed that He would bring us closer to Him through this mission.  That’s the bold part, not the safety and the comfort…it’s our growth as His children.  So, hold on to your hat!!!

I hope to post as often as possible in Botswana.  We know we will have internet; but, the connection is very slow according to the group from Alice Drive that we are going to replace at the construction project.  It should be enough to get a post out and some pictures.  Stay tuned!

Kealeboga!!!

In His Steps,

Mareko morwa Johane

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