Rev Hendrik Du Plessis
Reformed Church D’Kar Botswana
Bére looks like a paradise after the recent mild rains. This year has been a special year. Some places in this part of Botswana have already had over 1000 mm of rain. Everywhere the pans are full and the cattle are fat. The purpose of our visit was to distribute Bibles and Audio Bibles.
In the last few years we have built up such a good relationship with the locals that we no longer arrive there as strangers. We can honestly say we have good friends there who we also regularly see in Gantsi, their nearest town, when they come to shop.
With the distribution of the Bibles and the Audio Bibles, we have made it clear that we first want to have a deep spiritual conversation with them before they can receive a Bible. The word quickly circulated that we were also handing out Audio Bibles. Because few of the Bushmen can actually read, let alone in another language, the interest was particularly great as far as the Audio Bibles were concerned.
After each conversation, they literally could not wait to turn on their Bibles. It was good to see them listening to the Bible even in the middle of the day. Whatever they are busy with in their yards, there in the tree the sound of the Audio Bible could be heard by everybody close by. Bére is predominantly Qgõo speaking Bushman. Naro and Qgõo differ from each other like Chinese and English. Many Qgõo people can understand Naro, but very few Naros can understand Qgõo.
Recently, someone gave me a Qgõo audio bible that we can hopefully order and use in Bére. I have only one. Only portions of the Bible are on it.
After handing out all the printed Bibles and audio Bibles, people came from far to our campsite asking for Bibles even though the only left was the printed Tswana Bible. The audio Bibles we had was in Naro, Tswana and Herero.
It reminds me of the words of Hosea when he says in Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,” Everywhere in Africa, also here in Botswana, there are thousands of churches and groups with their cultic activities that seduce and deceive many people under the banner of church.
Only knowledge, the true biblical knowledge through the convincing work of the Holy Spirit can save Africa.
Another moving passage that explains it further is Isaiah 5 verse 13: “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.” Exile, famine and thirst were the natural and logical consequence of a lack of knowledge, and where the true knowledge is rejected, the Lord says in Hosea 4:6: “because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,”.
So it is not just about ignorance but the rejection of knowledge, but here in Bere we have people who yearn for true knowledge.
In conclusion, the distribution of Bibles is an essential part of any missionary’s ministry, because not only do you distribute Bibles, but you also have the opportunity to have conversations with people from the Bible.
The great consolation behind it all is, his Word will “not return unto me void.” Isaiah 55:11
I always say, missionary work is the most successful profession in the world, because the Lord Jesus guaranteed success. In John 6:37: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” In Acts 18: 9,10 we read: “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” (King James version) The Good News version: “9One night Paul had a vision in which the Lord said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, but keep on speaking and do not give up, 10for I am with you. No one will be able to harm you, for many in this city are my people.’”
May it be our motivation to carry the Word of the Lord everywhere we go, even if it seems as trivial as the court servant of Ethiopia. As a castrated man on his journey back to Africa we would say that Philip has better and more people to reach than to waste his time with individuals, but through the individual the first church in Africa was established.
Please pray for us and support us that the work of the Lord in and through us will be richly blessed.
Your brother in Christ, Hendrik du Plessis.