A peep into life in Africa, through the eyes of an African Reformed Baptist pastor.

Water, water, water, everywhere. What else do you expect? I am a Baptist, and I live in the land of the mighty Victoria Falls!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monametsi Bahudi—Our New Missionary To Botswana

Last Sunday, July 1, 2012, was yet another milestone at Kabwata Baptist Church, as we set apart yet another missionary into the great spiritual harvest field. This time it was a national from Botswana, and he was being sent back to his own people to plant churches under the banner “Central Baptist Church”, starting with Central Baptist Church, Gaborone. His name is Monametsi Bahudi. We would value our praying for him. Below is his testimony of salvation and calling to the full time preaching ministry.

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Pastor Sibale taking Monametsi Bahudi through his ordination vows
Testimony of salvation
I came to faith in Jesus Christ during the month of July in 1992. A gentleman who did not give me any breathing space but kept inviting me for Christian meetings had been pursuing me for some time. On this occasion I finally went with him because he had been so insistent. During the meeting, the sermon that was preached was about Naaman and his issue of leprosy. I became convicted of my own sin that could only be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I believed on Jesus as my personal Saviour. The delivery of the sermon and the call to repentance were predominantly Arminian but I genuinely believed. I spent some time not affiliating to any church, as there was such a strong debate on which church was the correct one. I only joined a Baptist church in 1994 through baptism and I began to experience true growth.

In 1995 there were some Southern Baptist missionaries in the church who must have embraced Reformed theology. They isolated about five of us young men (including Bonang Lekoba) and began to teach us doctrines, which I now know to be the doctrines of grace. I enjoyed them and began to teach them to other youths. I was a leader for the youth group in the church and also began to preach when our pastor (Benjamin Kabika of Gaborone Baptist Church) asked me to. I soon became competent at preaching even though I cringe when I listen to what I taught in those days because of either the doctrinal errors or emptiness in the sermons.

In 2003, I worked in Francistown and was included on the preaching roster. Somehow, I was given more preaching slots than the other men. The church seemed to have a soft spot for my confident emptiness in the pulpit. Maybe even this emptiness was better than the “fullness” that others had! When I moved back to Gaborone, I was effectively an associate pastor in the church, which exposed me to the closer scrutiny. At that time the church wanted to register with the government and so we had to fill in some forms, which required us to put down our beliefs. This is what opened a Pandora’s box of diverse beliefs in the church. To cut the long story short, I realized that I my beliefs were incompatible with those of the church, especially in the areas of church government and the authority of the Bible. Fellowship became increasingly difficult as many members of the church felt that I was a heretic and was preaching the doctrines of the devil.

The church elders laying hands on the new missionary
I finally joined Central Baptist Church in July 2004 when it was just being formed. We were finally registered with the government in 2005.

Sense of call to the ministry
The bible teaches that when a man desires the office of elder he desires a good thing. For sometime now I felt that this was the call and desire for my life but I often suppressed it, especially in 2005/6 when we were hoping to get Mr Nsenduluka as our church-planting pastor. I looked forward to being under a Reformed elder who would guide me on how I can really be sure that God was calling me.  With the passing of time, this desire got stronger and clearer. When we could not finally get Mr Nsenduluka and began to look for someone else, this desire was growing in me. However, I avoided mentioning it to my fellow leaders (Katongo Nkamba and Phanuel Mweemba) for fear of presumption. When Ted Vinatieri—an elder from Grace Fellowship in Pennsyvania, USA—came to visit us, I had a long chat with him about it. It became even clearer that I am the servant that God wants to use to lead Central Baptist Church in Gaborone.

Since then I have been trying to deal with my blind spots. The church has affirmed my preaching and leadership gifts for some time now and I feel more confident that God has called me. I am planning my exit from my full time government service some time next year so that I can devote more time to the church.

The Bahudi family after the ordination service
My family
I am married to Tshoganetso and God has blessed us with four wonderful daughters. We are also fostering my late sister's son.  Our first daughter is 15 years old and is doing Form Two. She is a very reserved person and very quiet. Eunice Ikanyeng is 12 years old and doing Standard Seven. She is not quiet at all. She is vibrant. Abigail is going to be 6 next December. Finally, we have Rene who will be two years old in October. Ignicious is 18 years old. He is doing Form Four. He has had to repeat a few years cause he is apparently a slow learner but now he is doing better with his schoolwork. He is a very respectful boy.

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We are grateful to our sister churches and partners who have joined hands with us ever since we started planting churches in Botswana in 2004. Botswana is hard ground, spiritually. We now have three churches—in Gaborone, Francistown, and Orapa—but they are all still in diaper stage. This is our third attempt to send a missionary there, the first having been Kapambwe Nsenduluka (a Zambian) and the second being Bonang Lekoba (a national of Botswana). We are under no delusion that the devil will yield ground easily this time. We ask you to pray for Pastor Bahudi that God will use him far beyond our wildest dreams. We know that in answer to your prayers, God can do it!

3 comments:

  1. Yes God can do it. Its as Paul says "we ought to pray without ceasing" God be with Pastor Bahudi.

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  2. Thoroughly excited for Pastor Bahudi, his family, CBC Gaborone and Botswana at large. May this step be used of the Lord and bring forth much fruit.

    ReplyDelete