I fly a lot. Airline snacks usually consist of pretzels or peanuts, unless you pay extra for Pringles. But not on Air Botswana. I received not one, but two packets of Chile Biltong – a spicy form of beef jerky. Plus a toothpick for when you are finished. Awesome!
Biltong – Beef or Game Jerky in Southern Africa
Fan at Victoria Lodge in Gaborone, Botswana
For some reason, I love the name of the fan I noticed recently while at a conference in Africa. Wonder if I can get one here?
The student leaders at the University of Botswana hosted our group of ministry leaders for a prayer walk of their campus on a sunny afternoon. And when I say sunny, I mean hot and sunny, with temps hovering just over 100 degrees. As we strolled in small groups and prayed for their fellow students, I found myself subtly guiding our group to the few patches of shade along our route. A few minutes later, I found myself praying, “Lord, don’t let me fall over from heat exhaustion in the middle of this campus!” The Botswana students certainly have a higher heat tolerance than this North American.
I was in Botswana for several days of meetings with Cru African student ministry leaders. Men and women attended from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Mauritius, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Tanzania. Many of these are young leaders, in their 20’s or early 30’s and many are pioneering new ministries and attempting to reach new campuses. The conference covered aspects of leadership, coaching their staff and students and launching new campus ministries. Their goal is to get to hundreds of new campuses by 2020.
I spoke a couple of times, including a talk on Servant Leadership and a devotional talk on the spiritual realities we face as ministers. We also attended a student meeting one evening at the University of Botswana. Student meetings on different continents often look different, but it’s encouraging to see the common threads of a commitment to growing in faith and reaching friends with the gospel. And, trying to meet members of the opposite sex. This aspect never changes!
Please join me in praying for these young leaders in Africa. Pray for their success in launching new campus movements and pray that many of their peers will come to faith and influence their continent for Christ!
In the 1970’s, the nation of Botswana, at the time one of the poorest in the world, was struggling to develop their national university. A fund-raising campaign called One Man, One Beast, was started to raise the money necessary to fully launch the university. Every family in Botswana was asked to contribute anything they could, including cash, cattle, grain, eggs – literally anything! It took several years, but by 1982 the university was established. Today it’s a large, modern, beautiful campus, one of which any nation would be proud. The One Man, One Beast campaign is immortalized in this statue that stands outside the university library.
The One Man, One Beast statue at the University of Botswana. Seated are some students, several of whom had grandparents who gave cattle to help start the university.
It seems that people have always wanted to capture an image of themselves. Today it’s the selfie – our culture of narcissism run amok. While in London recently, my wife and I constantly dodged people taking selfies in front of all the major sites. Selfies in front of Big Ben, selfies on the London Eye, selfies at the theatre and selfies in Westminster Abbey, as if taking a selfie with God.
When we visited the British Museum, I observed a young woman taking a selfie in front of this statue, and I realized that this statue itself is a selfie. An ancient selfie, captured in stone instead of pixels. Back in the day – this is one of the kings of ancient Egypt, probably a buddy of the young Moses – only kings could take a selfie. You had to come to power, then enslave people to carry your stones and build your massive works and then put your carved image on top. All so that you could show off to the people around you.
People don’t really change, do they? Ever and always centered on ourselves. Museums everywhere contains statues and images people from the past created to show themselves to the world. And likely created so that they could gaze at how good they looked in stone. So remember, when you’re taking your next selfie, that it might just show up in a future museum. So brush your hair and look good for the camera!