Thursday, December 11, 2008

December Newsletter

text only for now, but with pictures soon!
Love Botswana Outreach Mission
Michaelwalker@lovebotswana,org /

It’s been awhile since our last newsletter; here are the headlines:


One thing I can
truly say is that life
here in Botswana is
definitely not

P.O. BOX 790
BENTON, KY 42025

Yes, the Walkers are US bound.

We will be leaving for the United
States on December 8th. We will
arrive in Atlanta, GA. The states we
planned to travel to this furlough will
be Georgia, Florida, Virginia,
Washington D.C. Ohio, Illinois,
Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan,
Arizona, Washington State, and
possibly Oklahoma, Iowa, and
Arkansas. We will be in the states for
five months. As you can see will be
doing a lot of traveling in that time. As
many of you know the reason that we
do this is because we are independent
missionaries. We raise all of our own
living expenses and much of our
ministry operating expenses. We plan
to go to all these states to see our
supporters or to see potential
supporters. One thing that we think is
extremely important is to say thank
you in person to all of our financial
supporters and give them a verbal
report of the investment that they are
making in the Kingdom of God in
Africa. There is also the reality of a
fluctuating economy, and because of
this some of our supporters have not
been able to give anymore. We still
need more supporters and we truly
believe that God is going to provide.
We know He has called us therefore
He will bring it to pass. This is why we
make these trips to extra states to see
if some of the relationships that the
Lord has brought us into are to
become partners in our ministry here.

In the next two weeks we will be
arranging our travel schedule to visit
all of our supporters. If we did not visit
you last furlough and you are thinking
about becoming a supporter please,
let us know. We would love to make
the time to personally come see you
and speak at your church. As many of
you know one of our most powerful
platforms for raising awareness of the
ministry and needed support is
through speaking at church and
church functions. We would love to be
placed on your church schedule this
coming furlough.

I pray that everyone
reading this newsletter would be
inspired to make it happen and
schedule us to come to your church.
This is not just about the Walkers but
it is about what God is doing in the
Southern Africa region through us and
you. We look forward to seeing you on

Also, just as a friendly
reminder even when we are on
furlough we still need your support.
Every meal we eat, place we go and
thing we do is because of our financial
supporters answering God’s call to be
a part of this ministry. We are also in
the process of raising extra support for
our tickets to the states. It will cost us
approximately $11,000. I am happy to
say that we are a third of the way
there. So, once again we would
appreciate any extra giving to help us
make this happen as well. As you can
see it takes a lot of team work to make
ministry happen here and we are very
glad that you are a part of it.

Beracah & Judah

Yes, they grow up!
Beracah is our “magic man”
and guitar player. What took
me (Michael) 6 months to
learn he learns in two hours.
He also has taken a interest in
illusions. He performed for
the youth group and they all
loved it. He also is very active
in our youth group creative
ministry program.

Judah, is our drummer!

What can I say about Judah,
besides that he goes through
shoe sizes and clothes almost
weekly. He has taken a strong
interest in drums. He is
becoming quite good as well.
Also, the other day Judah
received a compliment from
the youth pastor that every
parent loves to hear about
their son. The youth pastor
told us that Judah has
changed. He has seen Judah
acquire a deep hunger for the
Lord and it has become
evident through his heart for
service in the ministry and
passion in worship.


One of the many things that is nice
about Josiah is that he still enjoys
going with his dad to the bush (rural
area). When the boys go to the bush
with their dad they know they will
spend a lot of time doing necessity
camping, using nature as the worlds
largest bathroom (don’t worry;
everything gets buried). Eating some
of the finest local cuisine or not eating
at all. They also get to enjoy being the
center of attention as crowds of
children gather around just to see
them breathe, but they also get to
experience some of the most
fascinating and lively church services
that they have ever experienced. They
also get to see first hand spiritual
battles and manifestations that they
most likely would not see in the United

Because of all of these
fascinating experiences the older two
boys usually decline even when I try to
bribe them with a one night stay at
Mahangu Lodge when we are in
Namibia. It cost approximately $45.00
dollars to stay there and includes a full
dinner and breakfast. Michael usually
tries to stay there for one night when a
special guest or a family member
accompanies him. The reason we like
to stay there is because if there is time
we try to do a half a day of fishing.
That is always a great adventure -
hippos, crocodiles,and water snakes
are standard with the occasional
elephant, or monitor lizard patrolling
the bank. Of course we can’t forget the
reason why we are fishing - the great
tiger fish. It can literally bite a small
finger off if you are not careful, and the
all so tasty Bream and Nimway (aka
tilapia). Josiah is a fisherman at heart
and is willing to endure almost
anything if you dangle fishing at the
end of it. Needless to say whenever
dad feels like he is going to be lonely
out in the bush he knows that he can
count on the great fisherman to step
up. Our fish count last time Josiah
went out with his dad for half a day,
dad - 3, Josiah- 7, but dad caught the

Charissma with some of the
young girls from the rural
churches that came for our
annual Church conference. The
branch churches requested that
we baptize all the new believers
in their church during the
conference. One man told
Michael “There is much
work to be done in my
village. I need to be
baptized to show that I am
serious about my

Mischievous but Sweet

Who can resist this smile?
Charissma is the little jewel.
Everyone that interacts with her breaks out with a smile. One day
we were at church and one of the pastors gave her a hug and she
kicked one of her legs back. She has her tom boy tendencies, yet
she is definitely all girl. Sometimes she will change clothes 4 times
in one day. If you are extra nice to her she will give you a little
wink. She is as sweet as can be unless you try to take one of her
three favorite dolls; if that happens you just better step back.
Heather and I sometimes get the privilege of being awaken from
our sleep with these tiny hands on our cheeks and a sweet kiss
telling us hi or wake up. You canʼt help but smile when you get
woken up like that. Our major problem with Charissma is the rate
she outgrows clothes. She is two sizes past where she should be.
The little girl likes her “nama” (meat).

Canʼt keep a godly man down.

As many of you know the founder of
the ministry, Jerry Lackey, was
diagnosed with stage four cancer in his
tonsil. He was instructed to go back to
the states for aggressive treatment.
We are happy to say that God is in
control. As of the last report from the
Doctor the cancer is all gone! Pastor
Jerry traveled back for our annual
conference and on his return, holding
true to form, he hit the ground running.
It is always a great sight to see walking
testimonies and that is what Pastor
Jerry is. We thank all of you for your
prayers. They were heard and

We will be on furlough December 8th through May 6th. Please let us know if there is a possibility of speaking at your church.

Heather is continually rising
to the challenge of being the
women’s ministry minister. Heather
has this wonderful gift of making
every person she meets feel like they
are her best friend. She has so much
genuine love and care for everyone
she encounters or ministers to.
Because of this she has numerous
doors open to her. Recently she was
asked to be the wedding coordinator
for two former bible school students
who are now leaders in the church. It
was a major endeavor and she did a
fabulous job. The reason people love
Heather so much is because she
values relationships.

Death is common place here. Many
lives are cut short and when this
happens Heather is always there to
help family and friends cope with the
loss. You can just see her heart pour
out to them.

Recently Heather was involved in a
big misunderstanding and true to
form she handled it lovingly and
graciously. A young lady in church
called Heather extremely upset. She
confronted Heather about divulging
information regarding this young
lady’s HIV status. The young lady told
Heather that her friend said that she
overheard Heather talking about this
young lady’s HIV status to someone
else. When Heather was confronted
with this she was completely
devastated. She could not remember
discussing this young lady’s HIV
status with anyone. Even though
Heather could not remember
divulging this information she was
determined to make things right. She
set up several meetings with this
young lady to try and restore this
relationship but for some reason
something would come up and keep
them from meeting. Heather
continually persevered to restore this
relationship. Heather’s heart was
broken because she knew that she
was a shepherd to this young lady
and it is our duty to protect and care
and not to harm. Well, to make a long
story short after several months of
trying to restore this relationship they
were finally successful in meeting.
The young lady let Heather voice her
love and concern for her and then
asked for her forgiveness. She went
on to explain that she found out that
her friend had lied to her regarding
hearing Heather gossiping about her
HIV status. This friend wanted her to
leave the church so she spread this
rumor. She almost succeeded but
because of Heather’s love and
persistence she did not hold a grudge
but pressed through to work things
out. Because of this God rewarded
her with the truth being revealed and
relationship restored.

Having the heart of a appointed by God

The Marriage Pastor:
Several pastors in the community have suggested a new title for Michael - “The Marriage Pastor”. Michael has performed his fifth wedding here in Botswana. Everyone knows that if you request Michael to do your wedding that he will require you to go through 13 weeks of premarital counseling. In his counseling Michael addresses many of the cultural issues
that couples may face which may be in opposition to the scriptures. Michael has also put together a marriage policy for all of the branch churches to use. He recently taught on this marriage policy in a workshop during our annual camp meeting conference. A predominant Batswana Pastor from Gabarone, who is on the Love Botswana Board sat in on the
workshop Michael was teaching. Afterwards he took a packet that Michael was giving out and told him that he had some questions and comments regarding the teaching. Having no clue what he was going to talk to him about, Michael set up a time to meet with him and the things that this pastor said to him caught him by surprise. This man’s criticism was that
this teaching should not be limited to churches affiliated with Love Botswana, but needed to be made available to all churches. He began to give Michael advice on how to approach the chiefs in each village to make this teaching available to them . He also instructed him on how to make sure the men in each village, Christian and non-christian, would be open to receiving this teaching. He then volunteered to go with Michael into several of the villages to give him credibility among the leaders in the community. He told Michael that he could tell that he had a heart for the people of Botswana and that he had been watching him and he saw how he was approachable and relatable to the Batswana men. In closing
Pastor Phillips told Michael “you have something here that all the men in Botswana need to know and if presented right it can literally change our country”. This is coming from a man who has advised top Government officials and raised up many Christian leaders in Botswana. He also told Michael that he would be a mentor to him on how to reach and teach the men of Botswana.

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for our travels.
Bible School Highs and Lows & “Back in the Day”
Bible School
This is Michael’s third year as the Director and Dean of the Bible School. It has been an interesting time. We have had people from all walks of life enroll in the Bible School - from teachers, rural pastors, doctors, and other professionals in
the community. Of course we all know we are in a spiritual battle and the last thing the enemy wants to see happening is men and women being equipped to advance the Kingdom of God. Which brings up a prayer request: There are many changes taking place in Botswana right now and one of those changes is that the Botswana government is requiring all Bible Schools to be registered with them. The unfortunate side of this is that it is a very long and cumbersome process. The government actually threaten to shut us down. In order to stay open we had to forego tuition and offer all classes for free. This only solves part of the problem. Approximately 70% of our students are from neighboring countries and since we are not registered with the Botswana Government these students who enter the country with a student visa to come
to school are no longer allowed. This has cut out enrollment down drastically. Many students had to drop out in the middle of the term because their permit renewals were denied. We have been in the process of registering for approximately seven months. We were told many times that the delay in the registration being processed could be due to the papers sitting on someone's desk unnoticed. So, please pray with us that we would find favor and that our
registration would be processed quickly. On the positive side, the students that are still in the bible school have been faithful and several of the students come from different churches in the community. It is always nice to see other churches and pastors in the community trust us to train up there leaders. In the end God is and will be glorified.

Back in Our day:

It is amazing how God uses what you have a passion for to minister to people of all ages and all
walks of life. In February the youth pastor at village church came to Me and Heather and told us that he was having a Valentines banquet for the youth. He told us that he wanted a couple to speak on Marriage and Godly Relationships but he needed a couple that was already presenting this message with their lives, and because of that he approached us to be the guest speakers. As you could imagine we were humbled by the request and graciously accepted. During the Banquet we showed clips from our wedding video. My how we have changed! The youth laughed and had a great time.

We then began to share our hearts about finding the perfect mate and how blessed you will be if you wait for the one God has for you. The wonderful thing about the whole time of teaching is that we had 18 years of testimony behind it.

Oral Roberts University invades Botswana:

The Missions department from Oral Roberts University contacted our mission and said that they would like to have a small team of 12 come to Botswana for a 30 day mission trip. They requested it be hard core. “Ok, if hard core is what you want - hard core is what you will get”. Because of their request we planned a 28 day bush ministry experience with
them. It was an incredible time. We ministered in twelve of the fourteen branch churches. The team mainly stayed in tents and huts. They did hut to hut evangelism and open air crusades. We arranged for them to teach discipleship classes at the kgotla (Meeting place of the Chief). They also trained the adults on how to start and maintain a children's ministry. In the village of Etsha 1 they met with several chiefs and counsel members that quizzed them on why they were
coming to their villages. When the chiefs realized that there was no other motive except to see Salvation come to people of their village and to proclaim the love of our Savior, they welcomed us with open arms. They told us that we have watched you bring groups here in the past and we have seen the changes in our villages. The Lord also gave us a few glorious times of R&R. There is a place called Drostky’s Cabin near a village called Shakawe. Michael usually camps there one
or two nights whenever he is ministering in that area. He has become good friends with the owners and has received a lot of favor from them. One day when Michael was taking the team there to shower the owner of the place offered to give the whole team a free boat ride in the delta. It was a glorious time and the team was able to see the beauty of the Delta.
They were able to view much of the delta’s wildlife; hippos, crocs, fish eagles, monitor lizards, etc. Once again it just proves how God blesses faithfulness. When you give it will be given back to you “press down shaken together and overflowing”. Our God is great. Not only did they get to see and minister to the beautiful people of Botswana but they also were able to to see the beauty of the country.

Each year we host an Easter conference on location for our
branch churches. Two years ago we held it in a village
called Etsha 6. The next year we moved it further north to a
town called Shakawe and both of these places were well
attended. However there has been one of our branch
churches that has been struggling to come and participate
in our branch Easter conferences and our main
conferences held in Maun. The church that has been
struggling to participate is our branch church in Popa Falls,
Namibia. Popa Falls is a small village in the North east part
of Namibia. It is a beautiful rural area. Our branch there is
doing well and the pastor of that particular church is
actually responsible for planting three of our churches up in
that area. He also was responsible for leading three men to
the Lord who are now pastors of three of our branch
churches. His name is Pastor Kamwanga. He is a hard
working man who has a heart for the Lord and for the
people of his village. It has been his cry for us to come and
do a conference in his home village because the people
there do not have passports and the means to travel to the
conferences. As overseer of the rural churches, the Youth
Pastor and I began praying and discussing the possibility of
doing this years Easter conference in Popa Falls, Namibia.
The plan would include bringing many of the youth from our
Maun church to assist with the conference and evangelize
the area. When I went to see Pastor Kamwanga to discuss
this with him he stated “Our Church has been fasting and
praying for this to happen”. We knew by doing the
conference there that it would limit the amount of people
that would come from the other rural branch churches.
Most of them do not have a passport or traveling
documents but we believed that this was how the Lord was
leading so that is what we did.

I am excited to say that our Rural Church Easter
Conference in Namibia went extremely well. We had over
60 salvations. We baptized 14 people in crocodile infested
waters. Many of our youth led a person to the Lord. We
had approximately 9 of our 14 rural churches attending.
Rural churches that attended are as follows: Etsha1, Etsha
6, Etsha 13, Nxamasere, Shakawe, Mohembo West,
Xakao, Kaoxwi, and of course Popa Falls. Several of our
LBBI Students and former students attended as well.
We also sent 55 of our own youth to the conference. It is
the first mission trip that any of our African youth have ever
taken. They did a fabulous job. They did hut to hut and
performed dramas in the villages. For many of them,
including our sons, it was their first time leading someone
to the Lord. It has become part of our churches rally cry to
be a missions church. This is a very new concept to
churches in Botswana. All and all the conference was

Branch Church Easter Conference & Youth on a Mission
Making the most out of every opportunity:

Being the overseer of the branch churches means
Michael travels to the bush on a regular basis.
One of our branch churches is in Namibia which
means Michael crosses the Botswana - Namibia
border about twice a month. Since Michael
crosses the border so much he felt it would be a
good a idea to get to know the border guards and
minister to them as well. He purposed that most of
the time when he goes through the border her
would take Bibles and teaching materials to the
boarder guards and always spend a few minutes
encouraging and ministering to them. Over time
Michael has developed close relationships with all
of them. He has been able to openly share,
encourage and pray with many of them. They
have requested him to hold a service at the border
and one of the men told him that Michael may not
know it but he is raising up Pastors among them.
This has been a good reminder that we should
always make the most out of every opportunity.
Finally, we want to thank all of you who came out to see us
this year and for those of you who are planning to come out this
next year. There is much going on and we love it when people
come out to see what God is doing here. We know the greatest
way for people in the states to catch the vision is to come and see
for themselves. We are happy to report that the Kingdom of God
is advancing here in Botswana and it is because of people like
you who continue to faithfully invest in this ministry. Your support
is greatly appreciated. As it was stated earlier it is now
approaching time for us to come to the states for furlough. We
would appreciate any financial support you are able to give to
help us with our travels. We are still in need of $7000.00. We
would like to start booking places to speak when we arrive in the
states. We are happy to speak at churches, youth groups, small
groups, Bible studies, banquets etc. Please, let us know if you are
interested in having us come. Our hearts are bursting with joyous
reports of what the Lord is doing in Botswana and in us. We look
forward to seeing you.For those of you who would like to send
extra support for our tickets you would send the funds to the
same place as before but if you would be kind enough to email us
as well to let us know you sent extra support that would be great.
May the Lord bless you all for you financial and prayer support.

No comments: