“As I was searching for bible study schools, I came across the Christian Leaders Institute (CLI). On reviewing its mission and bible study courses, I found it to be very relevant for what I am looking for. I believe with my bible study at CLI, I will be empowered to be able to reach the unsaved with the Word of God as well as to nurture and mentor those converted to mature as Christians and for discipleship.” – Barbara Banana Mudanga, student of CLI’s bible study course
My name is Barbara Banana Mudanga born in Botswana at Francistown in 1957. I am currently living in Gaborone which is the capital city of Botswana. Both my parents are alive. I am a single parent with two sons aged 31 and 24 yrs. I was born and raised up in a Christian family and attended my 5 yrs secondary education in a mission school. Growing both in a Christian family and in a mission school influenced my beliefs and morale values which are based on Christian principles.
I am a nurse with diploma in General nursing, diploma in Midwifery, and bachelor degree in nursing education and Masters of Science in Nursing. I worked for 32 yrs at various levels of the Botswana health system, including working as clinical nurse, clinical nursing manager and national Community Care and Home based care program coordinator at policy level. I also have experience working with communities and civil society organizations on HIV /AIDS and other health issues including on palliative care for people living with HIV. My experience both from my nursing practice in palliative care programs and as a Christian revealed to me that many people need spiritual care and that many die before they receive Jesus. This poses a question to me on how can I help people to save before they day?
I was baptized in my youth age and I have always loved Jesus. However, for the first 17 yrs of my professional life I gave more attention to my professional work than to my Christian life. This was because of the nature of my work whereby I would either be on night duty or working during Sundays which eventually discouraged me even when I was off on Sundays. I again became more committed to my church services from 1998 when I moved from clinical health to public health care programs which I was no longer working on weekends. Since then I have been actively involved in church services. I was also encouraged by my family to take Christian life who often challenged me to be more serious about my relationship with GOD.
In the early 2000’s I was blessed by GOD, my sons became more committed to their Christian lives. They left my church and went to fellowship with different churches from mine. My eldest son would share the scripture with us when coming back from his church and during evenings. He also introduced our family to various TV Gospel channels such as TBN, Love World and others. Watching these Christian channels and sharing scripture from the bible became part of my family‘s life style and we gradually grew spiritual. I eventually realized that although I had been going to the church for so many years, I did not understand much on the meaning of Christian life. This challenged me to learn more about the gospel and Christian life.
My hobby has since grown to be listening to the gospel teachings, gospel music, reading the bible and reading books written by Christian authors. All these contributed a lot towards my understanding of the meaning of Christian life and that I also have the responsibility to witness Jesus’ love to other people. These observations have created a strong urge within me to preach the word to my church mates, relatives and to my colleagues at my work place. I have also realized that there are many people in my church who were regular church goers but still practiced some religious traditions that sustain them in the bondage of idolatry to the extent of backsliding because they lacked the understanding of being religious and being Christians and what God expects from them.
My ministry goal is to preach the word to the unsaved and mentor the newly converted to grow to be mature Christians. Therefore positions which fit me well are Pastor and Evangelist. At my previous church I was not a pastor but one of the elders of the church. I contributed to the church by serving in various church committees including the management committee. At that church people attended church services on Sundays only and for most of them that is the only time when they received the message from the word of God during pastors’ sermons. The church does not do bible lessons/bible study. As such many members of the church are regular church attendants and are very committed to conform to church traditions and programs with little understanding of the bible scripture, of Christianity and what God expects from them. As such many people are not growing spiritually and many new coverts backslide. Our church was not retaining many new converts therefore grew very slowly.
For the past three years I have tried to incorporate bible study in our church and that has not been easy. I have experienced some resistance from the leadership and to an extent that sometimes I was being accused of bringing confusion into the church. Despite the resistance and challenges, the pressure within me for preaching the gospel and mentoring new converts has been increasing. Therefore I have decided to respond to my call for preaching and mentoring new Christians by leaving my church and establish a new church called The Grace of God Church. Its Motto is “reaching people with the gospel to save their souls to glorify God”. The church is three months old. I intend to target people in urban areas because there are many social events and activities in urban areas that are sometimes obstacles for people particularly youth and middle age groups for going to churches.
The other reason for the concern about youth is that they are vulnerable to risky behaviors commonly found in urban area such as alcohol and other substance abuse, crime, early sexual debut including teenage pregnancy which expose them to many social ills. They therefore need to be targeted early with good moral values that will to help them build strong characters in order to overcome some temptations of engaging in some of these risky behaviors. The target populations will reached preaching the word of God in the church and throughout reach services. Since many people particularly youth may not have resources to go for formal bible schools to advance their understanding of the gospel I would also want the Grace of God Church to provide Bible study training as one of its services. These target groups will be reached through outreach services and through preaching in the church.
In order for me to fulfill my calling for the work of God, I am planning to retire from my current professional work so that I can have more time to preach the Word of God, pray with other people and mentor new Christians for Christian living including discipleship. To be able to do all these I need deeper understanding and knowledge of God, preaching skills, pastoral care skills and other relevant tools. To this regards, I need to take a courses in a bible study college.
In Botswana all people have the constitutional right and freedom to worship according their preferences. Therefore once I have the necessary knowledge, skills, tools and resources it will be easy to reach my target populations because the environment is conducive.
My prayer is to be empowered for preaching the gospel both adults and youth to be saved and for God guidance in my mentoring of new Christians for his Glory.
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