Cry of the Kalahari
As wise men once followed a star, so Sekoba followed the cloud until it stopped over a village.
Heat waves danced above the burning sands. A tiny, black Bushman strode purposefully eastward across the vast Kalahari Desert, glancing frequently at a small gray cloud in the sky ahead. Sekoba was obeying instructions given to him in a dream. An angel had directed him to look for a man named William, who would teach him about the true God.
As wise men once followed a star, so Sekoba followed the cloud until it stopped over a village. But when he told the inhabitants of the village about his dream they mocked and laughed at him. That night the angel appeared again and told him to continue his eastward journey. After traveling over the desert for nearly a month, Sekoba found Pastor William Moyo, who had been prepared for his coming through a dream.
For several weeks Pastor William taught Sekoba about God. In turn the Bushman told a marvelous story of God’s guidance. As a young man he had felt a strong impression that he must learn to read and write, so now he was able to read Pastor William’s Bible for himself. Several years earlier when hungry lions were killing many cattle, he felt impressed that a higher power controlled the lions. When he prayed to this power the lions left the area. When he heard of Christianity and began seeking God in earnest, an angel in a dream had led him to Pastor William.
After Sekoba had learned the good news of the gospel he took Pastor William back with him to tell the rest of his family and prepare them for baptism. And that is how, at a camp meeting in 1948, the first converts among the Bushmen were baptized.
The Bushmen are a short race, averaging about five feet in height, who traditionally wander in small groups hunting and gathering wild fruit. They are a nomadic people who have learned to survive in the harsh desert region of Botswana.
Botswana’s climate is generally arid; the Kalahari Desert, which covers the southwestern part of the country, receives less than nine inches of rain a year. For many years they have had contact with Seventh-day Adventists through the dedicated doctors at Kanye Hospital.
The Only Help He Knew
The desert sun streamed down mercilessly as the little man crept forward with his bow. From his thin, wrinkled appearance one might suppose he was in his seventies, but his body was accustomed to the scarcity of food and water, and his reflexes were lightning fast.
Steeped in the accumulated wisdom of his ancestors, he cautiously moved closer to the small herd of grazing buck. When he was close enough he fitted a poisoned arrow to his bow, aimed carefully, and let the arrow fly. It found its mark, but the buck’s hide was tough and the arrow didn’t penetrate deeply. The buck looked around and then charged the Bushman, catching him on its long, sharp horns and tossing him until his intestines hung out of his abdomen, covered with sand and grit. After the buck left the Bushman staggered to his feet and, clutching the dirty mass to himself, headed for the only help he knew, the Adventist hospital miles away!
He was barely conscious when he reached the hospital compound. The horrified staff rushed him to the operating room, marveling at the desperate stamina that had brought him there. The surgeon prayed earnestly as he cleansed the intestines, replaced them in the abdominal cavity, and sutured the gaping wound closed. He knew that only God could heal the Bushman.
With careful nursing and much prayer the Bushman eventually recovered and returned to his family, leaving the hospital staff to wonder if he had also learned of God’s love during his hospital stay.
Several months later, a little man with a horrible scar on his abdomen came to the hospital bringing a four-foot chain of beads, painstakingly handcrafted with primitive tools, as his expression of gratitude to the doctor who had saved his life.
Global Mission Pioneers
In addition to the wonderful work being done at the Adventist hospital, Global Mission Pioneers are reaching the people of Botswana for Christ.
For three years Mookodi Mokopotsa served as a Global Mission pioneer at a little white church in the village of Sojwe. When he began his ministry at Sojwe there were seven Adventist members. Now there are 42 members, including many energetic, happy children.
During his ministry, Mookodi held evangelistic meetings, prayed with the village chief every morning, visited the students at local schools, and prayed with the staff and patients at the health clinic. Every day he visited the village people in their homes to study the Bible and pray with them.
“Jesus is coming very soon,” Mookodi said. “Please pray for the latter rain to help us Global Mission Pioneers around the world to be more powerful and effective in sharing Jesus.”
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help to establish an Adventist primary school in Botswana. Please plan to give generously.