Jim & Jayanthi Wilson – Botswana
Oftentimes we bring our own preconceived agendas as to how and when we would like things to happen, particularly as it relates to doing God's work in the church. A myriad of emotions are called to mind - "The pace is too slow"; "why don't they wake up and smell the coffee?"; "If only they would...." The thoughts go on and go, don't they? The problem begins whenever we allow our myopic vision to take hold rather than allowing the one that God has in mind to take root in the building of the Kingdom. We need to be reminded over and over again that God's vision is not a "trend", nor a "fad" or a "whim." That is to say, "the word of the Lord endureth forever."
Kgolagano College of Theological Education, where I work, is currently undergoing tremendous change as it attempts to revise its current syllabus to one that is more conduciveto its stakeholders, includingitsstudent body which comes from all walks of life, who are scattered throughout the country and who represent over 20 denominations. They are young, old, homemakers, business people, prison guards,prisoners, pastors and lay leadersand..... With this in mind, we are working towards the development of a modular educational system which will allow us to offer more varied courses at a time and place more convenient to those whom we serve- short courses, weekend courses, correspondence courses and a host of other configurations. Although there is a lot of excitement in the air amongst the staff at the college to make this a reality, there is also pressure beingexerted on us by the Botswana Government who wantsall educational institutions to be registered and regulated. Amongst the difficulties the college is facing is a lack of books and journals in the library (onlyonecurrent journal subscription) as well as alack of resources in the development of both a Children's Ministryand Pastoral Counseling program. Nonetheless, the faiththat is present amongst the stakeholders is one that will not fold....and whodisplay through their actionsthat "the word of the Lord endures forever."
A month ago at Sebibeng where Jayanthi works(a placewhich empowersunemployed youth and women) another group ofstudents graduatedafter having completed a six month program in one of the following areas- catering, sculpturing and fashion design. It was a joyous event to see the confidence amongst those who came forward to receive their certificates.Someare now working full-time, some part-time and yet others are still unemployed. In addition, some were absent from the festivities- unable to afford the bus fare or who’s whereabouts are unknown.
The country has spent this last week celebrating its 40th year as an independent state. There are so many things to be thankful for here. The churches are active; the government is democratic and has the support ofits people. At the same time,the HIV and AIDS pandemic is still in our midst and is a reminder of what bigger challenges lay ahead.
Weenjoyed havingthe presence of our younger daughter Priya with us here in Botswana fromAprilto July of this year. She did volunteer workat both Setibeng as well as Kgolagano College in the area of computers. Having returned to the USA in August, she is now enrolled at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri in the Social Work program. Our older daughter Shanthi works in Fargo, North Dakota and is gearing up for the arrival of colder weather.
Whileat the movie theatre sometime back, there was a youngcouple sitting just in front of us. The man, for reasons only known to him had aneed to explain each and every scene before ithappenedto his girlfriend, to the annoyance of all within hearing distance. After all, who on earth wants to knowthe plot and the conclusionbefore it happens. Nonetheless,there is onecase where Ibelieve knowing the plot and the conclusion before it happens is OK. That is to say, in the end,we can beabsolutely certain that God will prevail. The Kingdomwill come andthe word of the Lord endures forever.
Jim & Jayanthi Wilson
James & Jayanthi Wilson are missionaries with the Kgolagano Theological College in Gaborone, Botswana. Jim serves as a teacher of theology at Kgolagana Theological College. Jayanthi serves as seconded staff to the Mabogo Dinku Advice Centre in Gaborone, Botswana. She works in community development at the Mabogo Dinku Advice Centre.