What is Happening with the Honeys

Posted on November 10th, 2015

October in Botswana creates thirst in man and beast alike.  Temperatures often in excess of a 100 scorch the land withering every green plant and tree.  It is no surprise that this month has long been called “suicide month” especially by the expat community!  Not only is it physically hot, but those who have no hope find it that much harder to struggle to survive.  Thus when the refreshing rains come, everything and everyone… are revived.  The same is true with the Message of Hope in a dry, hostile climate!  It brings relief from sin, guilt and shame, reviving the spirit, flooding the soul with joy for the one who believes!
with joy for the one who believes!

    On August 30th, we set out on our first African Institute of Marriage & Family (AIMF) tour with Fielden and Janet Allison holding workshops and seminars.  Our first stop was Namwianga Mission in southern Zambia.  What a blessing it was to minister to these Godly men and women who serve in that ministry.  An unexpected blessing came in meeting and fellowshipping with about 20 students from Harding University doing a semester study abroad program.  As a result of this meeting, a young lady is making plans to serve an internship with us here in Botswana next year.           

   From Namwianga, we traveled north to the outskirts of Lusaka where we held a Marriage and Family Seminar for 12 students at Day Break School, a school for training preachers, run by David and Lorie French.  Not only did we thoroughly enjoy interacting with and teaching the eager and bright students, but having a mini-reunion with the Frenches, whom we had not seen in 30 years!

    After our week there, we turned north again and made our way to the Tanzanian border.  Thankfully, with Fielden and Janet’s presence (i.e. they speak Swahili fluently while ours is very minimal), we crossed into Tanzania with just the usual problems.
    
    After two long days of driving (14 hours one day and 18 ½ the next) we reached Monduli, the town where Janet and Fielden now live.  It was wonderful to be in their home and out of the vehicle!  The morning after our late arrival, we had a tour of the Christian Clinic and the Senior Secondary School that Dr. Smeltzer and his wife have built in Monduli and where the Allisons now serve.  It is a majestic setting as the mission station is tucked in at the foot of the mountains that rise behind it!
   
    The next day we drove up into those mountains as far as possible and then hiked another 45 minutes or so to a Masai village for a Bible study.  Fielden is working with two young evangelists who have taken it upon themselves to reach their neighbors.  A man had visited their church the previous Sunday and expressed the desire to know more about God’s Word, so we were invited to tag along for the initial contact.  The man, his wives and children and a few other relatives had gathered and the two young men presented a wonderful introduction to the Bible and the Gospel.  At least it sounded wonderful, what little we understood, as the lesson was taught in both Kimasai and Kiswahili. We do not know Kimasai; and our Kiswahili is beyond the term “rusty!” 

     Afterwards, we were served tea. The blessing of that day was not quite over. On the hike back to the vehicle, the Headman for that area stopped us and asked us to enter his compound. He and a small group he had assembled expressed the desire that they too would like to hear the Gospel.  So Fielden and those two young evangelists have their work cut out for them.            

    The following day Robin began to feel ill and by Friday, when we left the Allisons’ to begin our journey back to Botswana, she was very sick with dysentery.  Originally, we had planned to spend two weeks on our return journey surveying the northwestern part of Zambia where it borders the Democratic Republic of Congo; to try to reestablish contact with the Lozi prince at Mwandi in Southern Province.  Robin was so ill we decided to drive straight home.

    Thankfully, Chimala Mission Hospital in southern Tanzania lay on our route home. There we were given a bed for the night and Cheryl Bode, the head matron, blessed Robin with treatment.  While Robin lay sick in bed, Keith was fed supper by the Fergusons, a missionary couple who plan to live and work on Mount Elsa that looks down on the hospital. That is where Robin lived as a girl with her family doing mission work back in the sixties.  Robin was sorry to miss out on this time of fellowship. Our plan had been to go up the mountain but Robin was just too ill.

     So finally, after 4 long, 12-14 hour days of driving, we arrived home!  Our first Marriage & Family trip was in the books!  Robin was as “right as rain” after a week of sleeping in her own bed and ‘Grandson Therapy!’

     Since our return, we have settled back into our routines.  Keith continues his various Bible studies, counseling, and is working to get the Trucker’s Chapel open. Keith was also accepted into the London School of Economics and has begun studying for a diploma in International Development.  It is a post-graduate distance learning program designed for working professionals.

    Robin is teaching Sunday school and working with the special need students at Noka Ya Botshelo. October is when all Standard 7 students take their Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE). Tests are given in all the major subject areas and are spread out over six days. This year Robin was honored to be asked to proctor the exam for a student with whom she has worked for the past five years.  After much prayer, and a positive assessment by the Botswana Education Department, this young student was allowed to take the tests with the appropriate modifications for her disability.  On Wednesday, the 14th, she finished the exams! Robin is so proud of her student’s achievement in completing Standard 7!

    Our grandson Ethan is now 5 months old and keeps his parents busy.  On October 3, people all over the world walked in support of elephants, rhinos and lions.  Elise, Ethan (in a carrier) and Robin joined the 100 plus people that made the 5 km walk in Kasane.  Rob was busy hosting the event as he is an employee of Elephants without Borders. This past week, Rob left to count elephants in Angola to complete the two year project of counting all the elephants in Africa.  Elise and Ethan will be staying with us for some of the month while Rob is away! 

    One exciting development since our return has been a new Bible study Keith has started with a young man who is a plumber by trade.  Robert has been our friend since we first arrived here in 2011.  When talking to him in the past about Jesus, he had never been interested.  Thankfully, the Lord has been working on his heart and he is now seriously studying the Word with Keith.  Pray for Robert as he seeks to find and know the Lord, and for Keith as he studies with Robert.

    Finally, a special word of thanks to all of you who made special contributions towards the purchase of our new vehicle. The new Land cruiser performed flawlessly. This year’s AIMF trip will, Lord willing, be the first of many. Your generous gifts helped make this possible. Thank you for your faithfulness.

    Last week driving in to administer the PSLE, Robin saw buffalo, impala, elephants and warthogs grazing along the roadside.  It was a reminder of how wonderful a place Kasane is to live! We are so thankful and grateful to live and minister here; and we appreciate all of you who make that possible!   It rained twice this past week and the clouds speak of more to come. The weathermen say we will have poor rains this year; but what do they really know! Join us in entreating Him who ‘made the clouds the earth’s garment’ (Job 38:9) for showers of blessing for both this dry land and its thirsty souls.   And should any of you desire to see first-hand this work you are a part of… come!
 
Until next time, God bless,
 
Keith and Robin Honey
 



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