• Pray for the unchurched and those to this day that have not heard of the redeeming grace and love of Christ Jesus.
• Pray for more Biblical training for indigenous Church leaders; pray for mature beliefs free from tribal or animistic thinking.
• Pray for Lutheran Bible Translators as they work to make the word of God available to all in Botswana.
• Pray for young people to choose abstinence to cleanse their nation of HIV/AIDS and for the ministries that deal with this crisis.
Botswana’s vast pristine wilderness accommodates more elephants than any other country. Large game herds roam free and undisturbed. It has become the world’s safest haven for threatened and endangered species and in turn exports them to other nations who seek to replenish their own national parks with rare herds. It has transformed its Safari-based tourism into a 370 million dollar a year industry. Sustainable tourism accounts for 12% of the economy. Botswana is also the world’s largest producer of diamonds. Through this luxury product, it has transformed itself into a middle-income nation and a model for stability within a war-torn continent.
Botswana’s leaders have been notably free of corruption and have used fiscal discipline and tenets of liberty to build infrastructure, manage natural resources, and invest in their people. However, with diamond reserves dwindling, the government and private industry are searching for ways to diversify the economy. Despite being ranked as a middle-income country and having a high literacy rate, unemployment has risen to nearly 20%, and the scourge of AIDS still haunts them. Twenty-two percent of the population is infected with HIV/AIDS, and 100,000 children are AIDS orphans. But comprehensive and effective treatment programs have saved many lives.
Relative stability and religious freedom have led to an open door for the Gospel in Botswana. Many Christian agencies engage in evangelism, church planting, and more social and holistic ministry. But even though 65% of the population identifies as Christian, animism and old tribal rituals are often mixed into their faith. This syncretism has led to the decline of many strong churches. Nominalism is pervasive. However, networking between churches and ministries is strong, and the AIDS epidemic offers countless opportunities to tangibly demonstrate the love of Christ and influence the next generation with His Truth.
Rev. Tim and Lisa Beckendorf
Rev. Tim and Lisa Beckendorf are professionally trained and equipped for cross-cultural and native Bible translation ministry.
Tim served as a volunteer missionary with the LCMS for one year in Slovakia, teaching English as a Foreign Language at the Lutheran High School of Tisovec. Lisa was born and grew up in Papua New Guinea, where her parents were missionaries. She returned to the States at age 17, to attend college. She later served three years as a volunteer missionary in Slovakia, where she met Tim.
Tim was ordained at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Osmond, Nebraska in 2003. Since July 2005, Tim and Lisa have been working with LBT among the Khwe people of Botswana. They have two sons, Aaron and Andrew and currently live in Shakawe in northern Botswana.
For more information on the Beckendorf's click here.