The Importance of Good Governance

Dr. Les Stahlke; Consultant on GovernanceFlying Mission has been privileged to benefit from the skills and gifts of Dr. Les Stahlke, a consultant specialising in Governance (which he defines as “... the process of directing and controlling an organisation by policy rather than individual management decisions”). He has a wealth of experience in this area having been a CEO himself for 35 years in Canada, the U.S., the U.K and 6 countries in Africa. He says, “today I travel the world assisting Boards of Directors to make the change from managing to governing … I’ve worked with over 200 boards and about 300 CEOs since I started global consulting in 1999.”

He first engaged with FM at the start of 2012 and since then has been giving his time generously to work with all in FM to provide governance training and consultancy; he has made 13 trips to Botswana since then and expects to be working with FM until the end of November 2013

FM Office Move

New Flying Mission Head OfficeChange is part of life. Flying Mission (FM) has seen many changes over the years; some minor and some major, the latest being a change of Head Office location from a space in the ‘Kia Motors Building’ in the north of Gaborone in Botswana (where it has been since 2004) to a large house plot in the ‘Village’ suburb the other side of the city. 

 

Car troubles

Vehicles are vital tools for missionaries in Africa.  Roads are very tough here and workers have to spend a lot of time and money keeping their cars roadworthy for their ministries. So this story from Pilot Andy Kradolpher is a familiar one, except that it has a rather special ending. Read on to know more..

'Now I like to tinker with cars, but about six months ago we started to experience a series of car troubles in Flying Mission Zambia that gave us quite some grief. We ended up having our car at the mechanic for more than a month. That meant I had to go to the local automotive parts shop quite often.  So I started to dread all the car troubles.

A Picture for Mma Lesego

Mma Lesego, Deb & KgMma Lesego, our Motswana "mother", is one of the dearest people in all the world to me.  My regard for her knows no bounds.  For many decades, she was a hardworking woman who raised eight children in a hot and dusty climate, with no electricity and no running water.  Now blind and limited greatly in what she can do, she is still a woman of great courage, perseverance, and faith.

By the time we came to Botswana in early 1992, Mma Lesego had been widowed for numerous years.  She had pretty much finished raising her own children and had started raising the next generation.  Then she was asked by our mission to raise Mark and me, too -- in the Setswana language and culture.  When we arrived, Mma Lesego had three grown children living with her and seven grandchildren.  Mark and I lived in her son's house next door, but we shared her toilet facility, so we visited her yard several times every day.  In addition, we accompanied Mma Lesego almost everywhere she went -- to the kgotla (tribal meeting place), to weddings, to funerals, on social visits, to the clinic, etc.  We also "helped" her with chores -- fetching firewood, building a kraal, mudding floors, and so on.  (As novices, we weren't that much help.)

Sunday School Under the Trees

Learning their versesOne of the highlights of my week is teaching Sunday School – under the trees. A special set of conditions comes along with it. During the summer, the higher the sun gets, the deeper we move our chairs into the shade. During the winter, when we get cold, we stop the lesson long enough to do calisthenics to warm us up. When it's windy, the seed pods and pollen stick in our hair. I never dealt with predicaments like this when teaching Sunday School in the US.

Happy Mother's Day

Mark wasn't home last night, so KG got to sleep with me. She looked at me in my flannel pajamas, with my hair pulled up in a messy knot on top of my head, and said, "You are SO beautiful, my mama." Hearing KG say that used to make me laugh and crack jokes about her vision impairment. But I have learned to enjoy looking through my daughter's eyes. It is one of the miracles of life that a child can look at her mom when her mom looks her worst and still think that her mom is beautiful!

Those blessed pews

Although Flying Mission is a ‘service’ rather than a ‘church-planting’ mission, all of its missionaries attend local churches and play their part in the life of those churches. This item, from John and Faith Solt, tells of some of their experiences as they worship with a local group of believers in the area of Lusaka in which Flying Mission Zambia has its base.

When we arrived in Zambia we wanted to attend a church within walking distance of our home. We saw a sign for a Baptist Church but it took us three Sundays to find it! It was out in the bush. As we arrived we heard the choir singing in beautiful harmony and everyone welcomed us.

Recalling what God has done

KG dancingKG was an exuberant worshiper yesterday.  It was one of those Sundays when I struggled with whether I should rein her in or whether I should give her free rein.  But as I watched her dancing and jumping in the aisle, I thought back to our first two years at this church, when KG walked on her knees instead of her feet.  I wondered if the people who might be annoyed by her exuberant aisle-dancing now ever think about that.  Her knees looked like camel knees back then, they were so thick and calloused from doing the work of her feet.  We were so grateful when she finally gained the confidence to walk upright, even though she had the gait of a happy bear.

So, what was inside that metal box?

This is Bob Parkinson, from Canada.

Not so very long ago we wrote a news item on the shipping container that Bob organised to be sent to Flying Mission Zambia. 

At the time of writing, the container had not been opened. Now we are delighted to show you some of what was inside. Being a practical sort of a guy, Bob knew what to bring and has been able to furnish the mission with many useful tools and materials. Here is just a 'taster' of what the 'metal box' contained.

Locked Out

Clothes peg spellingWhat to do when your tired and hungry daughter locks herself and you out of the house for 2½ hours:  Review memory verses; list what you're thankful for; pray for Daddy to come home; say the sounds of the alphabet; practice rhyming; count to 50 by ones; count to 100 by 5's; count to 100 by 10's; pray for Daddy to come home; sweep the gazebo floor and the sidewalk; play “I Spy”; take the laundry off the line; use the clothespins to practice phonics; thank God that Daddy came home!

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