Posted on March 14th, 2016

March 14, 2016

As the sun rises over the Zambezi this morning, we are reminded of God's care and provision for us this past year and we look forward to a new year of living for and serving the Lord in Kazungula and Kasane, Botswana.

By God's grace, Keith was able to speak to two very important groups of people during the last few months of 2015.  On International AIDS Day  Keith spoke at the local hospital to the district medical officer, the hospital manager and the doctors, nurses and support staff at our hospital in Kasane.

These doctors and nurses serve in an overcrowded, old hospital, doing the best with the limited facility and supplies.  Several of the nurses are Christians and attend the fellowship with which we work.  They commented that Keith's words of encouragement were greatly appreciated.

The other group was the Magistrate's Court. One of the young evangelists Keith has been mentoring works there.  She organized for him to speak for 30 minutes at their devotional time.  Keith chose the topic of Hypocrisy and apologized to the non-Christians for our often inconsistent behavior and encouraged the Christians to strive for perfection in Jesus. 

Afterward, Tshepang, the young evangelist, said that his talk was the topic of discussion all week and several stated that they would like to attend the fellowship where he is preaching!
The young evangelists continue to study with Keith whom they call "our father".

As we look to 2016, we are excited about the adventures ahead.  Walking with Jesus is an adventure indeed as we never know what He has prepared for us just ahead, but in faith and peace we continue with Him.

This year Noka ya Botshelo, (The River of Life) the school in which we are involved, Keith as a member of the school board, and Robin as a tutor and teacher trainer, has grown significantly.  The Lord has blessed the leadership and the school now has a school hall (auditorium) complete with stage, a lighted tennis court, a proper net ball court, and a swimming pool.

Enrollment has increased such that Standard 1 may have to be divided into two classes as there are too many children for one teacher.  Robin's tutorial load has also increased to the extent that she will now be tutoring four days of the week instead of three in order to work with all those students who need help.

One of the highlights of this past year is that one of the students who Robin tutored for the past five years graduated and made an exceptional grade!  We are so proud of Sheila and pray the best for her as she transitions to Middle School.

As a result of a generous contribution from one of our supporters, we will be able to provide five or six computers, the first installment towards the computer lab which will eventually consist of twenty five work stations. Our students need to be computer literate to be able to be successful in their higher education and eventually in their careers. 

The Trucker's Chapel is about to open and we are eager to see what the Lord will do with this new ministry.  As of this week, the ferry to Zambia, was broken and the line of trucks was long indeed.  We also found a huge lion print just in front of the door!  Interesting nocturnal visitors we have!

Later this year, we will be continue to teach in the African Institute of Marriage and Family Ministry with Fielden and Janet Allison.  We hope to travel to Zambia, again, and make a new foray into Malawi.  It is wonderful to see the impact this seminar has on the Christian couples who attend.  They are so eager to take what they learn and implement it in their marriages and to share with other married couples in their churches.

Recently, we have been without internet for about a week and a half due to some naughty school boys who found the junction box and could not resist taking the copious amount of wire.  They use the wire to make toys and were probably elated at such a find.  Thankfully, we can laugh about it now, but at the time it was very frustrating to say the least.

On Monday, a long time friend and fellow Christian Heather Carr-Hartley lost her husband to heart failure after 15 years of poor health.  Throughout these 15 years, Heather has faithfully and loving cared for her invalid husband and after 55 years of marriage, this parting is so painful.  Please keep Heather and her family in your prayers and pray for us as we comfort her.  Heather asked to Keith will preside over the memorial as it was a time of remembrance of Pat's life and a proclamation of his eternity!  Pray that those who heard the message and don't have a relationship with Jesus will be impacted and desire to seek Him.

Already, the Lord is working through the memorial, as the young woman who videoed the service had a problem with the audio, and asked Keith to redo his introduction. Through that Keith was able to witness in person to Janine.  Pray for her to come to know the Lord.

As this year rolls on, we look forward to what the Lord has in store for us and pray we will be faithful in all that He gives us to do.
 
In His Service and Love,
Keith and Robin Honey
 
We have been without internet for over a week due to a shortage of modems due to the many fierce storms we have had lately.  However, we are so thankful for the rain!


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
 


Posted on May 15th, 2015

Waiting for Baby

On May 1st, Keith and I left Kasane/Kazungula and drove the 5 hours to Francistown where we picked up Rob and Elise.  They had driven down the day before to drop off a work vehicle for service.

 After picking them up, we continued our journey another 5 hours to the capital city, Gaborone.  This is where Elise and Rob will have their baby.

Bokamoso Hospital is very new and modern and was built in conjunction with Vanderbilt University.  In fact, Elise's doctor is a Cuban woman married to an American, who is a neurosurgeon at the hospital.  We are all very pleased with this doctor and the hospital.

Elise has already seen the doctor twice and both visits have been positive.  Now, we must patiently wait for our little grandson to come into this world.

To pass the time, we have been visiting friends, shopping, as the selection and availability of goods is many times better here ( There are at least 5 shopping malls in Gabs.), attending a mothers' group for play day, relaxing, reading, catching up on correspondence.
 
We are praying for Baby Sutcliffe's safe arrival which could be any day now!  How exciting and blessed we are to have a grand baby here in Africa with us!
 
 


Posted on April 29th, 2015

Just last week a local witch doctor took a taxi to the forest reserve to hunt for special roots and leaves for his traditional practice.  Upon arriving at the forest reserve, the taxi driver expressed concern as a large herd of elephant were feeding nearby.  The witch doctor replied that he had no business with the elephants and they had no business with him.  So off he went into their midst.  Soon the taxi driver heard trumpeting and chaos and immediately called the police, who found the witch doctor had been trampled by the enraged elephants. 

The saddest part of this story is that he trusted in his power and left reason at home.  How foolish to walk amongst these huge beasts knowing how dangerous they are! 

Don’t we often do that in our daily lives?  We trust in our strength and think we can handle the situation, when clearly we need to rely on God and trust in Him to give us rational thought and action.

Hopefully, we can learn from this unfortunate man.  Hope you have a blessed day and walk with God.


Posted on April 15th, 2015

Hazard!

Just last week a lion killed a warthog on the town's 9 hole golf course.  Of course, the wild life and game department were called out to investigate.  Thankfully, the lion, after partaking of the warthog, meandered back outside the fenced course.  The fence was quickly mended and the course reopened!

The local folk who play there will do so with their eyes wide open from now on!  Going to a golf course, one expects the usual hazards, sand pits, ponds, and trees in the rough.  How unexpected is the lion kill, the crocs in the water hazards, and the big bull elephant or hippo on the green. 

It gives the game a whole new element of excitement!  One never knows what one will meet on the course.  Isn't that just like life?  We expect the usual and often fall into complacency only to come up against the unexpected.

Our adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion looking for those he can devour. Thankfully, our God is bigger than all the hazards in the world and that gives us courage and peace to play through!



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