The best way to start a day....

This morning as I was leaving for work, one of the boarders, (the young man I talked about in this post) ran up to me and said, "Miss Andrea! You'll never guess what happened last night...the flame came back!" (referring to his passion for Christ which has recently been lost somewhere) He shared with me what a wonderful evening he had with the Lord and then said, "Remember how I told you God put it on my heart to start a prayer group? Well, our group met for the first time yesterday! It was so awesome!!"

I can't think of many better ways to start the day than to hear this first thing in the morning! Yay God!! :)

Dutch Blessings

I love outreach season here at the mission. This is the time between June and August when teams of people come here for mission trips for a week or two. The teams are like a breath of fresh air, bringing in a new excitement and passion and blessing the people of Botswana and us missionaries so much.

The team that is here right now is a team of eleven young adults (mostly teenagers) from "Athletes in Action" in The Netherlands (aka: Holland). We have been especially blessed by this team and love watching them in action. They seem to have a very strong unity within the team along with a great passion for the Lord, and they display such joy while ministering. I love watching them!

I've been blessed with the opportunity to spend a bit of time with a few members of the team and have now decided that I just have to visit The Netherlands. I've been learning history and facts about the country and have even learned my first phrase in Dutch. "Hoe gaat het?" (Translation: "How are you?")

I'm so fascinated by meeting people of other cultures. It is amazing to me that while we're just here living our lives, somewhere else in the world in a country, village, town, city, etc., there are people we've never met or maybe even heard of who have a whole life going on that we don't even know about. I love it when God opens up another unknown door to a culture I was not previously acquainted with. This world is so big! I pray for the opportunity to do a ton more traveling and see more of these fascinating cultures!

Here is most of the sweet Dutch team:
(photo courtesy of team leader, Joanne)

On the Brink of Breakthrough

My spirit is so stirred tonight and I am SO excited at what God is doing! I truly feel like we may be on the brink of some huge breakthrough with the teens. Please can you pray for them with me?

If you've been following for long, you know that this year with the teens has been considerably challenging, with very little interest in godly things and an increase in rebellious behavior. Honestly, it's been quite discouraging and exhausting.

When I started the weekly Bible study with the girls at the beginning of the year, my heart was heavy to see only six girls attend. Those with a heart after God were definitely the minority. I think there was a general feeling of discouragement among each of us. Throughout this year, I've seen slow growth in spiritual hunger among the girls, which has been great, but there's also been a very sad decrease among the guys, almost to the point of there only being two or three guys seeking after God at all.

A few weeks ago one of the guys asked me if boys could attend Bible study, too. Why this thought hadn't occured to me sooner, I don't know. I guess I was just hoping and praying for a strong male influence in their lives, thinking I should focus more on the girls. I'm so proud of that young man for asking and I'm so thankful that God was leading him!

It's been three weeks now where our Bible study has been co-ed. The attendance has grown dramatically (last week there were about twenty-five teens), but I wasn't sure of the true heart condition of many of the kids. Most of them, (especially the guys) have stayed pretty quiet, so I just haven't been sure what's been going on their hearts and minds.

I started last week with having the teens write questions and prayer requests out on notecards for me to read privately. I was greatly encouraged by what I read because God showed me that: 1) There is much more hunger there than I realized and that 2) There is much deeper thinking and questioning occurring than I imagined.

Tonight's Bible study was a special one as we continued our study on prayer. The kids were talking more, had more questions to ask, and seemed to be soaking in what we were talking about. The really awesome part of the night, though, was after Bible study was over.

One of the young men stayed behind to ask question after question and to share with me what God was stirring in his heart. He shared with me a vision that the Lord put on his heart of a group of his peers gathering together regularly in prayer, praying for the school (including teachers, students, and staff), for boarding, for leadership, for the country, and many other things. What a beautiful and amazing vision! To see these kids gathering by themselves, coming together in prayer to intercede on behalf of each other, their peers, their school, and their country...just think of all that God could do amongst a group like that!

This young man needs prayer as he seeks to be obedient to what the Lord is calling him to. He needs encouragement to keep persevering, even when things look discouraging. All of these guys who have a hunger for God need prayer for that spark in their heart to grow into a growing flame, for them to come together in unity to pray for and reach out to their peers, and to sharpen each other as they pursue Christ together. I pray that these kids will live on mission together...on mission to know Christ and to make Him known.

For the first time in a long time, I am feeling excitement and a renewed hope that God is doing something. He's stirring things. I believe all the prayers sown are about to reap a harvest. One of the other young men writes as his prayer request every week that there would be revival in the hostel. Please join me in praying in agreement with him for that prayer and that this amazing vision will come to pass!

Questions on Prayer

I am looking for some help on this. At our weekly Bible study, the teens and I are studying about prayer. Each week I give them the opportunity to write down questions they have. I got quite a few at last week's study and would love to have additional feedback to offer the kids when we meet this week. Please if you are able to add offer any wisdom or insight on any of these questions, either comment below or you can email me at botswanagirl at Thank you!

  1. How come sometimes when you pray you feel like God is not listening and there is just a brick wall between the two of you? How do you change that?
  2. Is it a sin if we don't pray for our enemies?
  3. If you are praying to God and you start to lose focus, does He still listen to you and answer your prayer? How can I stop this problem?
  4. If we're praying for something and He hasn't give it to us, how do we know when to keep praying and when to stop?
  5. Do you always have to ask God before you talk to someone about Him and His teachings?
  6. When I pray for someone who is not a Christian, does God bless them?
  7. How do we pray so that God answers you fast?
  8. Is it ok to laugh and joke with God or should we talk to Him like we would our grandparents?
  9. Is praying in tongues real? And if so, when should we pray that way and why?

I have my own thoughts on most of these questions, but again, I'd really like to present more than just my thoughts and ideas. I'd love any feedback you could give on any of these. Thanks so much!

Prayer Needs

Here are a few current prayer requests:
1. The water situation at the dorm has been very touch and go the past few weeks. We'll have water for a couple of hours and then not have it for several more, or we'll even go a couple of days without it. It's become quite a burden and I'm praying that it is solved soon.

2. Because of it being winter, many of the kids are getting sick. Because of there being no water and them not being able to wash hands regularly, combined with living in such close quarters, the illnesses are spreading like crazy. I am one of the latest victims. I feel totally "blah" with cold/minor flu-like symptoms. Please pray for healing in boarding.

3. There have many issues with immigration and processing of documents around here lately, affecting many different people. I'm especially praying for Keturah and Brenda, who are both still waiting for work permits. Keturah has already had to leave the country and the same thing could happen to Brenda next month. Also, Jana has been working so hard for so long to get the needed approval for the baby house at the mission, a house that will take in abandoned or orphaned babies. We just need a lot of favor with the government right now in many ways.

4. Praying about the future and trying to not be anxious.

5. *Update* I just heard the horrible news about my former pastors in Austin losing their son last night in a car accident. Please pray for the Koke family in this horrible tragic time.

Thanks so much for any of these needs you are able to offer up in prayer!

What's Next?

With less than five months remaining out of my two-year committment to Love Botswana Outreach Mission, many people have begun asking me what is next. Well, that is definitely the million dollar question!

Honestly, I have very little clue what is next for me. And that scares me more than you can imagine! Since I came to Botswana the first time in 2006, I've known in my heart where I would be, at least until December 2009. Now that December is just around the corner, I am having to walk by faith again, trusting God to lead me into the next season of my life, and to reveal those plans to me in His perfect timing. I've been recalling His amazing faithfulness to me up until this point, which helps to encourage me in this waiting and trusting time.

What do I know for sure? I love Jesus and I love children. I hope to continue combining the two. I also have a passion for kids of other cultures and love traveling, but whether that will be a part of my next season or not, I'm not sure. I'd of course love your prayers concerning all of this over the next few months and I promise to keep you updated. I may not know what the future holds, but praise God I know Who does!

"Date" Night

Last term we had a boarding spelling bee, which turned out to be a really fun activity. I promised the top four spellers a dinner out one night. Unfortunately, right after that my car started having trouble and we never got around to the dinner.

Well, now that my car is all fixed, I was sure to put this "date" at the top of the priority list. Last week the four spellers and I had a nice dinner out at a local restaurant while we enjoyed some really yummy food and fun fellowship.

Here are a few pictures from the night. (I apologize about the camera was doing some really funky things in the restaurant's lighting.)

Praying for a friend

Since January, Keturah has been a missionary here in Botswana, and up until a few weeks ago was my co-boarding mistress. She is also the other sign language interpreter (and much more skilled than I am!) Her primary role here, though, is working with outreach teams, most of which come from June-August.

Keturah has had immigration issues since she got here, similar to what I went through last year. Unfortunately things are not going well right now and she actually had to fly to South Africa today to wait at least two more weeks in hopes that her documents will be ready by then and she can come back. With all the uncertainty, though, there is a chance that she might go all the way back to America and return at a later time.

The timing is horrible with this because we are right in the middle of outreach season, and actually have two teams here right now. Please join me in praying for God to work a miracle in this situation so that Keturah can return to Botswana very soon and continue in her ministry here. And please pray for me as I carry more of the load with sign language interpreting, especially on Sunday mornings...about 2 1/2 hours, non-stop!

Five Months

I just realized that five months from today I'll be leaving Botswana, moving back to America. What a crazy mixture of emotions that brings! I can't believe so much time has passed already. I'm excited to see what God has in store these next few months, and I pray they are my best yet!

Happy 4th of July!

Found this moving video and thought it would be appropriate to share today. Saying a prayer of thanks for all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and feeling such gratitude for all of the men and women serving in the armed forces. We love and appreciate you all!

Happy birthday, America!


This week off has been a wonderful one! (Not counting the drivers' license issue, of course.) The week's been a nice balance between fellowship, getting things accomplished, and resting. I've been able to hang out with some of the other missionaries, eat good food in town, get lessons planned and grade papers for class, organize my room, catch up on LOST, spend time in the Word, and just enjoy having quiet times of rest.

I'm incredibly thankful for these days off and am now getting prepared for the kids' return. I'm looking forward to my role change in boarding and am really hoping to spend more time in fun fellowship with them, beginning with a craft night one day next week. I also can't wait for Bible study to start back up with the girls. It's been going so well!! (Last week there were even a few guys who asked to join us!)

So thankful for times of rest and refreshment!!

The "Driver's License Adventure" part 1

Sorry about the length of this post, but to fully appreciate this story, all the details are necessary. Enjoy walking through today's "adventure" with me....

There are some things about living in Botswana that I really love: amazing animals, beautiful children, friendly people, slower-paced living, to name a few.
And there are things that I really dislike. For instance: trying to obtain a Botswana driver's license.

This morning was my first attempt at obtaining my official Botswana driver's license, a task I've been procrastinating about for a little while. Now you may wonder why I am only beginning this process now, after having lived here for eighteen months and only having five more to go. Well, that's because when I first arrived here in Botswana, I was told by a few people that it wasn't really necessary to get a new driver's license, so I trusted that. This was probably true, of course, until we elected a new president who is working to tighten up on some of the laws here. One of the results of this: sky-high fines for driving without a proper driver's license. (I've heard reports of 5,000 pula...about $800. Not a number worth playing around with.)

A couple months ago, Matt and Kelly went through this process of getting a license and helped to fill me in on what I'd need. Julie, who's been here for a little while, also gave me some pointers. On the list of needed items: certified copies of my resident's permit, work permit, passport, Texas driver's license, and a letter from the US Embassy stating that my license was valid. Now, the other three told me that they did not have to have the Embassy letter, so I crossed that off the list. I took the rest of the documents to the police station to get certified and was pleased that this was a fairly easy process.

Next up, going to the transport office to get the license. The office opens at 7:30 am. Not too bad. The only thing is, there is already a line of around 50 people at that time, as I found out this morning. I was feeling good with leaving the mission at 7:10am, all bundled up (remember it's winter now), thinking that because I'd be getting there early, I wouldn't have to wait outside in the 30-40 something degree weather very long. I was wrong.

The transport office is a tiny, tiny office that only accomodates about eight people at a time. Therefore, the rest of the line must wait outside, standing because there aren't any seats. You sign your name on a paper and someone calls the people eight at a time to come into the office. I arrived at 7:20 and signed up, shocked to find I'd be number 45 on the list. When I said, "Forty-five?? Already??" one of the men said, "Oh, that's a low number. On Tuesday I was number 198."

Suddenly thankful for my 45th place in line, I walked over to another young woman outside and began striking up a conversation with her. I tried not to be too jealous when she said she was number 3 on the list. It was easier after she told me she'd come on Tuesday at 1:00 pm, waited in line for four hours, and then was told (along with 100 others) to go home and come back Thursday. Then, I was happy for her to be one of the first to go in.

Unfortunately for me, being number 45 on the list translated to two hours of standing in the cold, hands turning to ice cubes, with a sore back and stiff legs. But at least I wasn't number 200 on the list, the number it had gotten to at 9:30 when I was let in.

When the woman came outside and began calling people who were in the 40's on the list, I began making my way up to the door. I was stunned when she for some reason skipped over my name, called numbers 46 and 47, and closed and locked the door before I could say anything. When I knocked and she didn't answer, I just had to stand at the door and wait until she came out again or someone came out the door (luckily just a few minutes later).

How wonderful to finally get inside that tiny office! My joy quickly turned to sorrow, though, when the woman working told me that the only person who could help me with getting my license converted was gone until Monday. I could have screamed when she casually said to me, "You'll have to come back Monday." Excuse me, what???? When I begged and pleaded, she told me to go ahead and get my eye test and I could try pleading my case to the other man working.

Feeling a little bit more encouraged, I left and went to the eye-testing area. After a few minutes of filling in a form for me, he looks at me and asks, "Do you have a letter from your embassy, stating that this license is valid?" I explained to him that others who'd recently come in had not needed this document. We went back and forth for a bit, but the conversation ended with him putting my form away and telling me to come back when I have a letter from the embassy.

I therefore left the transport office at 10:00 am being no better off than when I got in line at 7:20, and now just on the brink of either bursting into tears or shouting at anyone in my path, including the 150 people waiting outside the transport office. I decided the only thing to do at a time like this was to go to one of my favorite restaurants, Hilary's, and eat a yummy breakfast and drink some really strong coffee.

Next on my "to-do" list is to make a trip to the local US Embassy and then find another morning when I can get to the transport office... this time before 7:00 am.
To be continued....

(Update: Haha! I found out today that the only US Embassy is in Gaborone, a ten-hour drive from here. This story might be dragged out for a lot longer than expected!)

"My Beloved"

I have recently been listening a lot to an album by Kari Jobe that my sweet friend, Stephanie, blessed me with. Kari's music is beautiful and calming in its sound, but it's the words to her songs that really minister to me so much. Read the words to one of her songs, "My Beloved" as if the Lord was saying them directly to you:

You're my beloved, you're my bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me, my love

Under My mercy come and wait,
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you, my child

You're beautiful to Me, so beautiful to Me

I sing over you My song of peace
Cast all your cares down at My feet
Come and find your rest in Me

I'll breathe my life inside of you,
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of My strength

I'll take you to my quiet waters,
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in Me and be made whole

You're My beloved, you're my bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with me, my love

Oh, how these words are ministering to me today! I pray that they will resonate in your spirit as well and that you would feel the magnitude of God's love and grace to you, His beloved.

When I looked up this song on YouTube, I was blessed to find this video of the Sans people from Botswana with this song in it. I love it!