This week, Pastor John hands over the TAGD keyboard to Pastor Brent Whitefield, Northpoint’s Pastor of Missions and Outreach.
Botswana Ministry Update
Hello Church Family,
Over the next month or so, we will be wrapping up our financial partnership with Gaborone Chapel in Botswana. I want to thank everybody who has participated and made it possible for us to generously support this church planting endeavor. By nearly every measure, this has been a successful partnership. Our agreement with Nairobi Chapel (the parent church of Gaborone Chapel) was to support the church for the first 24 months of its life and allow it to get on its feet. The plan was to help the church in the critical start-up phase without creating a long-term dependency which results from many partnerships between first world and third world ministries. I am happy to report that the church has grown deeper and wider, allowing for it to be on its way to full autonomy.
Pastor Lamaz Kariuki has labored faithfully and diligently in the face of many obstacles to build this church. He faces a culture which is, by African standards, quite skeptical and where Christian morality is largely ignored. He has consistently rejected the get-big-quick schemes that other church plants employ, instead seeking solid, sustainable growth. Pastor Lamaz has placed a strong emphasis on discipleship, not putting stock in large numbers of converts or attendees, but in making reproducing disciples. The result has been that he now has in place a solid leadership team, a vibrant worship and children’s program, and a campus ministry that has seen many people come to Christ. The church has grown to the point where it no longer has enough room in its current facility and is looking at other options to accommodate future growth.
In the fall, the church will introduce a second service in the local language. This is an important step in the life of the church as is it seeks to reach as many as possible in its neighborhood. A local pastor, who is fluent in Setswana, has already been brought on to build this ministry. The leaders anticipate this will accelerate the pace of growth for the church.
Over the last two years, Northpoint has offered not only financial support but periodic visits, including two teams in the summer of 2016. In the process, we have forged relationships that will last into the future. The end of our financial support does not mean that we will not continue to work with Gaborone Chapel. On the contrary, we are exploring ways to continue to partner, including help with leadership development. A lack of trained leaders is one of the factors that holds back the church in Africa from more fully realizing its potential. As Gaborone Chapel matures, the plan is to become a church planting hub that starts churches throughout Botswana.
What is next for us? We would like to continue to partner with Nairobi Chapel and assist them in their goal of planting churches in all of the major African capitals and beyond. We are working on another opportunity that we believe the Lord has provided in his perfect timing. We hope to have an announcement about this in the next month or two. It is also my fervent hope that you will continue to pray for the ministry in Gaborone as it grows and encounters new challenges.
I again wish to thank all of you who have prayed, given, and traveled in support of this ministry. Please know that God has answered your prayers and blessed your efforts.
In his service,
The rest of NP News for 8.17.2017 can be found on the “This Week” page at https://www.northpointcorona.org/this-week/