The backbone of the assembly work in Botswana stems from children and young peoples work. The work in Maun started the same way, while we were building our house the boys with their Tonka trucks attracted the attention of the neighbourhood children. During the weeks while we were building the kids came over to play with our boys. Children have a great way of overcoming barriers and despite our boys not knowing the language that didn’t hinder the play time. We had a rudimentary knowledge of the language, having had a year’s langue study and so we attempted a Sunday school class. There were a few other Christians that were able to help us and that was the beginning of the Sunday school work.
We met under the shade of a tree in our back yard and once the house was semi-livable we started meeting in the house. The children’s work attracted some adults to start coming. We would have the Sunday school/adult Bible class together in the living room of the house. Eventually the numbers grew and we had to consider moving into a larger place. We, as an assembly had enough money to build a traditional church building. The Lord had not provided a separate piece of land so we used part of our land until the Lord indicated otherwise. The Sunday school classes were scattered under the shade of various trees.
The classes divide into four as we don’t have an abundance of teachers. The youngest class was from the nursery age up to grade two. Karen taught this class mostly but as the assembly grew and the young women were developing spiritually she gave the class over to the younger sisters so that they would have the opportunity to learn. They would sit in with Karen and take turns teach until they felt confident enough to take the class on their own. The second class is from grade 3 to 5 and then grades 6 and 7. The last class is from grades 8 to adult. This is generally taught by Sid and Dan.
The school year is divided into three terms starting in January and so our Sunday school follows the same schedule. During the school semester breaks we also have Sunday school breaks. This allows a good break for the teachers from weekly preparation. As our assembly grows we have two teachers per class so that they can team teach or cover for each other if one is not there. This allows for continuity in teaching.
In 2001 the Lord provided land for the assembly and we were able to build a proper building with classrooms. We are still wanting to building two separate classes as currently we only have two classes available.
At the end of the school year we award the children for their attendance. Many assemblies and individuals send good used or new clothes and we are able to give out these clothes as prizes. We try to make sure we give something for cold weather wear too. Despite the winter not being very cold in comparision to the northern hemisphere the children feel the cold because the summer is so warm. As the Lord provides we are able to do this. For information about helping with prize giving see How Can I Help.