The LBOM team sat together around the table at Riley’s Hotel in early 2004 to discuss our desire to develop more community outreach programs. Alf Birger Eikaas from Norway said as he was praying he sensed that 1 Corinthians 13:13 was to be our plume-line which says, “So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (ESV) We all agreed! It was like a road map for us.
The Setswana words for these are: Tumelo (Faith), Tsholofelo (Hope) and Lorato (Love).
Tumelo (Faith) was the preschool program for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Tsholofelo (Hope) was for the community outreach work to those sick and disadvantaged. Lorato (Love) was to be the name of our Rescue Center for babies and young children zero to five years old.
Shortly after that time, our Chief Operations Officer and Missionary, Linda Madeksho and I made the 5 hour drive to do a fact-finding visit Nyangabwe, the Hospital in Francistown. We wanted to see how many orphaned babies there were living in that hospital. We were taken into a “special wing” where there were 5 orphan babies living there for different reasons, some abandoned, some the mother died and no family was found. We were both surprised when we found that the name of the 5 babies, all had one of the three names, Tumelo, Tsholofelo and 3 Lorato’s! We thought that was pretty amazing!
We drove another 5 to the Capital, Gaborone. My “Motswana Mama”, Serara Kupe-Mogwe went with us to Princess Marina Hospital for another fact-finding mission. Mom, now, still active in her 80’s, is known as the “Florence Nightingale” of Botswana. Her contribution to the nursing movement in the country is recognized throughout Africa. She was the first woman in Botswana to get a degree and the first woman to get her doctorate on top of that! Her textbooks on nursing are used across the Region. She was the founder for The University of Botswana School of Nursing. Her daughter, Pearl, and I are dear friends, like sisters really.
Mom and I were having a traditional lunch one day at the Broadhurst Mall. Mma Mogwe, as she is known, proudly introduced me to the waitress. She said, “Yes, this IS my daughter. You see, the problem is that when I was pregnant with her, I drank too much milk and she turned out like this!” We all had a good laugh and I felt privileged to be introduced as “hers”!
More on the Lorato story in the next blog!