Saturday, January 22, 2011

Palapye, Botswana

Well I am a terrible blogger. I just can't seem to update frequently enough. I apologize to all of my supporters, that I haven't been more diligent to provide updates.
Currently I am in Palapye, Botswana at a pastors house. I've been doing hospital visits, school ministries, door to door evangelism, and teaching every night at the church. I am so blessed beyond measure to be here.

Outreach has proved to be a time where flexibility and patience is needed, but there is so much joy and grace found in service. I'm so blessed! I love Africa! I love the people here in Botswana. People are more hospitable and friendly than anyone I've ever met. All the girls on my Palapye team are staying at the Pastor's house. There are 11 of us. He has been giving us all rides to every location we go, back and forth til we're all where we need to be, and he cleared out two of the rooms in his own house so we would have room to sleep. He is bending over backwards for us...and we can see the grace of God on his life. I am honored to be able to partner with and learn from such a godly man.

Going on this portion of the trip to Botswana really was a wild card trip. We didn't know what to expect when we got here. All we knew was there was some form of evangelism and teaching. We definitely have been doing quite a bit of both. One thing that really sticks out to me is a trip we took the hospital. I prayed for a girl with TB and by the size of her, I'd guess she was HIV/AIDS positive too. She couldn't speak much because of her illness, but she could hear out of one ear and she understood English. I was able to pray over her and Corey and I read several Psalms to her. At one point I looked into her eyes and I was able to tell her that God saw her even here in her darkest hour. That he loved her and valued her, and that Jesus wanted to save her. I told her that she is precious and loved and God wants her and loves her so deeply. As I told her these things, her eyes grew wider and wider and she began to cry. I was so moved for her. I really felt like the Holy Spirit was moving in my and guiding my words.
You can't even go into a hospital here without being overwhelmed with compassion. There are people in really bad shape...and they are desperate for anything you can offer them. Patients, Nurses, and Family members are all asking us to pray for them as we walk through the hallways. We even had two women with blindness receieve sight and relief from pain after our prayers. We saw them at the church service that night because they wanted to know what was behind the healing. Praise GOD!

Here in Botswana, we're not staying at a YWAM base, we're staying at a pastors house. So we're able to experience a bit more of the life and culture here than we might have if there had been a base removed from the culture. I feel like I'm getting to experience what a life of full time missions would look like. I'm excited.
God has been speaking to me a lot about my future plans and trusting Him. I know this is what my life is meant to look like. To be on the front lines when it comes to missions. What a blessing!

Pray for me and my team as we end our time here in Palapye Botswana and move onto Rustenberg South Africa. We'll be working with a hospice and at a place called "Freedom Park" which is an HIV/AIDS squatter camp. Pray that we'll be able to have a special grace to endure whatever we may see and experience there. Pray that we'll be refreshed in our time of ministry, that we won't grow weary while doing good. Pray for safety and good attitudes.

I love you all, and I can't thank you enough for the support that has gotten me to this place. I know that with God all things are possible, and I'm trusting HIM alone with my future.

-Rachel Olson