“Mommy, Please Go”
Lethabo begged his mother to go to church with him. She finally agreed.
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Jan. 12.
Big changes have been happening in a Botswanan family’s home since the mother sent her eight-year-old son to the Seventh-day Adventist elementary school in Francistown.
The boy, Lethabo, now insists that his parents pray before meals. He asks for prayer when he gets up in the morning and when he goes to bed in the evening. He begs his mother to go with him to church on Sabbath.
The requests initially shocked his mother, Gomolemo, who was not raised in a Christian home. But she couldn’t be happier. “I just want to thank God for bringing me and my kids here,” she said after Sabbath worship services at the Eastern Gate Primary School, where her son attends third grade.
Her young daughter goes to the church’s Place of Love preschool up the street.
How did the mother end up in church?
Lethabo completed the first three grades in a privately run home school with 10 other students in Francistown, the second-largest city in Botswana with a population of about 90,000. After three years, however, he was struggling with reading and math, and his worried mother decided to enroll him at Eastern Gate Primary School. She had heard about the school from a mother who planned to send her daughter there. In addition, she wanted her son to learn about God.
“I was not raised in a Christian family, but I want to raise my kids in a Christian family,” she said. “A lot of events are happening in the world. We need to know God.”
Because of his poor reading and math skills, Lethabo was asked to repeat the third grade at the Adventist school. His mother noticed a drastic improvement in his studies in just a few months.
“Now my son can do everything alone,” she said. “He can read, and he’s a star in math. Math and Bible are his favorite subjects.”
Lethabo especially loves the Bible. Tears come to his eyes when he hears stories about Jesus in school.
“This boy is very close to God,” his mother said. “Every morning, every evening, every meal—we pray. He encourages us. Every Sabbath, he and his sister come to church. Sometimes I just drop them off, and he says, ‘Mommy, you know what? You need to come to church.”
His mother didn’t come to church, so Lethabo decided to make it a matter of prayer. For four months, his mother suffered severe morning sickness. Every day, he told his schoolteacher, “You know, Teacher, my Mommy is not well. She is vomiting every day. Can we pray for her?”
At home, he told his mother, “Mommy, you need to go to church so the pastor can pray for you to get well.”
“Those words touched me,” his mother said.
Finally, she agreed to go to church. But she didn’t feel well the next Sabbath morning, and a church worker came to the house to pick up her children. Before leaving, Lethabo turned to his mother.
“Mommy, can you please go with us?” he said. “Why are you staying behind? Just go. If you go, the pastor will pray for you, and you will be healed.”
The words cut to his mother’s heart.
“Next Saturday, we will be together,” she promised. “I will go to church.”
That is how she ended up at the school on Sabbath.
“My son loves God. That is very good,” she said. “I think God sent him to us to show us the light.”
This Sabbath was the first day in four months that she hadn’t experienced morning sickness—an improvement not lost on her son, who stood nearby as his mother spoke.
“Praying is very good,” he told her. “You’re no longer vomiting.”
His mother smiled. “Thank you, my son,” she said. “I will keep coming to church.”
Part of a 2015 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering funded the construction of Eastern Gate Primary School, the first Adventist elementary school in northern Botswana. Thank you for your mission offerings that helped build the school—and brought a little boy’s mother to church.
“I thank God to have this school,” the mother said. “I really wish God would provide them with everything that they need.”