For Nathan and Taryn Dirks, ministry in Gaborone, Botswana, is all about relationships. But ministry by relationship is hard to measure, so they’ve creatively translated some of their good news into numbers.
For almost five years, the Dirks have served youth and young adults from local African Initiated Churches (AICs) through their role as Mennonite Church Canada Witness Workers, in partnership with Mennonite Mission Network and local churches. Following community needs and initiatives, they focus on development and Bible teaching. They organize local volunteers for prison ministry and a school for special needs children, and they coordinate development projects, most notably Bontleng Park. This green, sustainable initiative supports urban agriculture and sports, and has revitalized an abandoned area in a disadvantaged area of Gaborone.
As they complete their last 6 months of service, the Dirks reflect on some of the successes achieved through local partnerships, by number. Nathan and Taryn complete their ministry term in June, 2017.
Here are a few of the numbers they've shared:
46 prison inmates at First Offenders Prison, Gaborone, completed a certificate program offered by Mennonite Ministries in Botswana.
18 students graduated from the Inter-Church Ministries Botswana 3-year Bible study program.
42 students have already signed up for the 2017 program.
7 prison inmates will begin a Masters-level theology program by distance this year.
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