Home Again in Botswana

Posted on April 15th, 2017

 Jan-Mar 2017
After three months of furlough, we are back home (Actually it was 5 months for Robin as she left early to spend time with her mom who has serious health issues.).  We arrived in the midst of an exceptionally good rainy season with rains so heavy our main supply road was closed on a couple of occasions due to flooding.  For a country like Botswana, much of which is desert, rain is extremely important.

Just this time last year, the dams that supply the water for Botswana's capitol city, Gaborone, were almost dry!  The whole country has received God's gracious gift of rain, which lead President Ian Khama to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving.  He and his cabinet met at the city’s main water supply dam (which was down to 1% this time last year) to offer up prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord.  Today, we are rejoicing that all the dams are currently full and some are overflowing; and, that we live in country where the president gives honor and credit where due!

Concerning our Residence Permits, Keith was summoned to the Labor Department where he was informed that the Head Immigration Office had made a mistake last time in issuing him a permit as a “Director”.  They said this is a specific title for someone in a company, a position for which Keith does not meet their criterion and would lead to the application’s rejection.  They instructed him to refill the forms applying as a “CEO/Missionary” of African Mission Services Trust.  This is an encouraging development as the Immigration Selection Board could have rejected the application and they are not bound to give an explanation why.  Our prayer is that God grants us favor in the eyes of the Botswana government for continued service in Botswana and the southern Africa region.  This has been a process that takes place every three years.  Our hope is that we are granted the maximum time allowed under such a permit, 5 years, as it is an expensive, laborious, and time consuming process.  Regardless of the length of time given, with renewed permits we will be able to move forward with an application for Permanent Residence.

Another exciting development was being awarded a grant by the American Business Council of Botswana in the amount of P10,000 ($1000) for our agricultural development program.  We are encouraged by this grant, thinking perhaps this is a sign that our ministry will move forward and permits will be granted. We are to attend their Annual General Meeting March 24 in Gaborone where the check will be presented.

Keith has resumed his mentoring and teaching of the young evangelists.  Last night he showed them the movie Unconditional.  Based on a true story, it speaks to the problems associated with fatherless homes.  A single mother, who is part of this group, usually comes with her son. This six year old was moved to tears by a scene where a young boy, not much older than him, pleaded with a man to be his father.  Oh, the soft, sweet hearts of the innocent.  If you have not seen this movie, we would highly recommend it.

Additionally, Keith has plugged back into his responsibilities at the Disciples of Jesus Fellowship (DJF), counseling, serving on the school board of Noka ya Botshelo, leading evangelistic Bible studies, working on the Trucker’s Chapel and walking the truck lines.

Robin is reengaging at the school and looking forward to working with new and old students.  The school has grown so large that there are now two standard one classes, which means more tutoring for her.  She is also teaching Sunday school again, but is so excited to have two young new teachers to help her in this ministry.

Since Ethan's birth, Elise has stopped teaching formally, but has a full tutoring load and more are asking for her help.  Pray she can find the time to help these students and still manage to take care of Ethan.

Rob continues his work with the NGO, Elephants without Borders.  His job takes him to different countries studying elephants, their migration patterns and the like.  He also is enjoying serving as a deacon at DJF. We are excited that he has the opportunity to shine the light of Christ in arenas where that light is often dim at best.

Parliament has just passed a law that will allow people like Elise, who was born here, to apply for Botswana citizenship, without giving up United States citizenship.  Dual citizenship would allow her to work here without having to go through the expensive permitting process.  As of now, her tutoring is gratis as she does not have a work permit. 

As the DJF has grown, there is a need for mentoring and teaching the young women. Robin has desired to do this for some time and is excited about the new Bible class for the women.  They met for the first time this past Saturday and all are eager for a time to study, share and learn.  Pray that this study will be fruitful in these women's lives.

This past furlough was an unusual one due to the passing of Keith's mother.  It saddened us that we were not able to see some of you that we normally try to see. We will look forward to seeing you next furlough.  Thank you for understanding our need to be with family during that difficult time.

We praise God for relationships like ours that span the oceans.
God bless,
Keith and Robin Honey
P.S.      Praise the Lord, our permits were renewed for 3 more years! Rather than rewrite, we              decided to append this good news here!

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