He said “No,” but she said, “Yes” to volunteers from Open Baptist Church, Gaborone, Botswana (in south-central Africa), who were delivering food boxes to families as one of their Inasmuch Day projects. He is a traditional witch-doctor. She is his wife and normally would not have gone against his authority, BUT she had already seen the love expressed by the church through the Inasmuch volunteers.
Though the witch-doctor’s wife had never attended the church, when she saw the volunteers painting a security wall in her community, she grabbed a roller and joined the effort. Later that day, other volunteers from the church showed up at her home offering a box of food. Without hesitating, she let them in and accepted the gift — over the objections of her husband. And the story only gets better….
A few days later, the witch-doctor’s wife attended a prayer meeting at the church!
Open Baptist conducted their very first Inasmuch Day On November 19,
with 160 volunteers involved in 9 projects. In addition to painting security walls and delivering food, Open Baptist volunteers visited an orphanage, a hospital, and the local prison where about 130 inmates are incarcerated.
At the prison, roughly 30 of the inmates participated in a Bible study and 14 of them prayed to receive Christ!! Prison officials have asked if the volunteers from Open Baptist would come back on a regular basis. A church member who is a chaplain at the prison is organizing what they believe will be an ongoing ministry.
“Altogether, we served about 500 people,” says Jeff Sukup, Missions Pastor at the church. He continues:
What’s interesting is that there is no word in the Botswana language for volunteer.
Botswanians are consumed with doing what is necessary merely to survive, so the idea of serving others is foreign to them. Our church has many ex-patriots and well-educated professionals from the university across the street. Therefore, we could implement the Inasmuch Day model of community ministry without some of the cultural challenges that might exist elsewhere in Africa.
One woman in our church expressed what many others felt when she said many times how blessed she was to be involved in such a caring ministry as Operation Inasmuch
Open Baptist learned about Operation Inasmuch when our Senior Pastor Norman Schafer visited Alice Drive Baptist Church in Sumter, South Carolina last spring. He brought back the concept of an Inasmuch Day and we implemented it in November.
“We didn’t even know your organization existed,” Sukup emailed David Crocker. Now a working relationship has been formed and we are exploring ways to help Open Baptist conduct an Inasmuch United in Gaborone.
“Needless to say, this is an exciting new chapter in the Inasmuch story,” says David Crocker, Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch, Inc. “It’s HUGE for us that God has used Operation Inasmuch to introduce compassion ministry in a part of the world where the needs are enormous. It shows once again that God has big plans for this ministry.”