Christena (Botswana Namibia Mission)
–Paraphrased from Christena’s mission interview–
Church Growth in Botswana
The Church in Botswana is definitely growing. When I first got there, there were only 3 wards and 7 branches. They actually shared a stake with the Rudiport stake in South Africa. But, about 7 months after I was there, Botswana became its very own stake. They became 7 wards, with a few branches and 2 groups up north. It was no longer part of the Rudiport stake.
Right now, due to residency, there’s not very many missionaries in Botswana. Now we only have about 8 or 9. At one point, we used to have over 60, but now residency has become a very big issue there and in many other countries in Africa. Missionaries just can’t get their residency, so they have to be shuffled around to different missions. In Botswana, there’s a lot of controversy with the Church and the American people due to adoption laws, and the situation has complicated the residency issue.
There’s a lot of members of the church in Botswana, rougly about 3,000. Around 2,000 of them are very active and faithful in fulfilling their callings. People are very receptive, and are willing to open the door and pray and read their scriptures. Botswanian people will see missionaries’ name tag and just run up to them and ask “you know Jesus Christ? Teach me about him!”