Friday Flashback: Old Naledi

In case we just met, The Daddy and I went on a mission trip to Africa last summer. Right before we sold our house in Atlanta and moved to Florida. New job. New city. New church(es). New friends. New house. New outlook on life.

In the jumbled mix of life, I never got to finish the story of our life-changing experiences in Botswana. It was a gift and still is a gift. If you want to go back and remember what happened so far... CLICK HERE.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gaborone, Botswana

Africa

Old Naledi

Population around 47,000 in 10 hectares (about 24.7 acres)

A few of these photos are from the first day we toured the city, but the rest are from Sunday.
Here is the church building in Old Naledi. The church itself was established in 1999, but 10 years later, a formal building is erected and dedicated. Sunday we got to attend the dedication service.


Wildlife: dogs and chickens

The building on the left is the feeding station where we were supposed to go to feed the community children in, but earlier that week someone stole all the copper piping out of the building. Makes it hard to cook.


Typical housing in Naledi: anything will work to create shelter. Note satellite dish.

People congregate.

Naledi Baptist Fellowship on the day of the dedication: New sign, doors and decorations added compared to first picture of the church building.

Pastor James and a member of Parliament ready to cut the ribbon

Opening the doors

The reception set up inside

View from inside the church

The ceremony and celebration outside

The Daddy gave this boy his salvation bracelet

This day stood out in my mind and still penetrates my heart. The reason: the children of Naledi. While I experienced the dedication of a new church building, I also experienced the hope of the community in their next goal: a school for the children. The presence of the church in Naledi offers the promise of eternal blessings, but the reality of the here and now is painful. The church building has opened up the eyes of the government in Botswana about Naledi. It's on the map. It won't be forgotten. The children won't be forgotten. The children need a school.

I'll let the pictures of the children speak for themselves. Just look into their eyes and you'll see something beautiful, something hopeful, something heartbreaking. You'll see smiles, silliness, joy, pain, weariness,
































How can you see yourself in someone who is living a life so different from your own?

Only God can do that.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

3 comments:

Tara G. said...

Beautiful.

missy said...

i loved hearing about your trips and seeing those precious faces. what a life changing experience.

my email is missydotkollaratuscmdotorg

thanks!

Jamie said...

Just today, at lunch, Ken & I were just talking about the kids at Naledi. They definitely made a permanent impression on me & I think of them often.