Posted on January 27th, 2018

​January 25, 2018
Dear Circle of Prayer,
As the New Year progresses, we find ourselves reflecting on the last few months of 2017. It has been a few busy, hectic months since our last letter to you. 
We would love to catch you up on all our news. 

September of 2017 found us in Zomba, Malawi presenting a Family and Marriage Seminar to about 50 members of the Namikango Mission.  This mission has a long and storied history. Our last visit to the mission was in 1979 when we were guest of B and Ruth Shelburne. So it was refreshing to visit again and bring encouragement to the students and staff and their families.
Our hosts this time, Ben and Rebecca Hayes, made us feel so welcome. Ben is a missionary kid who was raised in Kenya. How wonderful to see him following in his parents' footsteps.
After the seminar, we received word that Robin's mother was dying. So we cut short our trip and headed for home.  We had hoped to spend some time with the churches in Zambia with which we had worked in 1978-79. However, on the road we learned that she had passed.

Rushing home, we purchased tickets, packed our bags and flew to the US.  We were so thankful that we were able to be there for Robin's dad and all the family.  The two weeks we were in the US was spent helping prepare for Robin's mom's memorial and being with family.
The brief time with our children and grandchildren, one of which we had not met, was so sweet and precious.

Upon our return at the end of October, we had only two days to do wash and pack for a trip across the Zambezi River to Livingstone, Zambia, where Keith preformed a wedding for a dear Christian friend, who is actually our doctor here in Kasane.

After the wedding, we rushed home, did laundry and re-packed as we headed for Gaborone and the wonderful arrival of Hazel Charlotte Sutcliffe, Elise and Robert's little girl.  Ethan was so courageous and shed very few tears as he stayed with us while Elise was in the hospital . 
 We spent a week letting Elise rest and recover and took advantage of the time in the capital to renew our passports and get some Christmas shopping done.

Thankful to finally be home for a few weeks, we re-engaged in the various studies and activities here at home until December 21 when we drove all the way to South Africa for Keith to perform another wedding. Our long time and dear friend, Marilyn Cook's granddaughter Rachel Aub was married to Jason Brookstein. The wedding venue was gorgeous and the weather co-operated as it is the rainy season here.  The wedding was on December 22  so in order to be home in time for Christmas, we left on the 23rd and drove for 18 hours to be home in the early hours of Christmas Eve.  We were so excited to be home and to enjoy Christmas with family: Rob, Elise, Ethan and Hazel. 

However, our friends Robyn and Louie lost their son Sean in a horrible car accident.  Sean's death stunned everyone as he had celebrated his 17th birthday just days before. Several years before, Keith had studied with Sean and his brother Peter and baptized both of them. What a wonderful day that was for Louie and Robyn! What a comfort that was in these days of mourning to know Sean is alive and with Jesus. 

So just days after Christmas, we gathered with tears and memories and celebrated Sean's brief but meaningful life. Young people drove long distances to come and share their memories of what Sean had meant to them.  What a testimony to a life well lived! Pray for Robyn, Louie, Jamie, Mandy and Peter as they continue each day without their precious son and brother.
While Satan intended to steal our joy with these deaths, Robin's mother, Sean, and the first anniversary of  Keith's mother on this Christmas, we press on knowing that a glorious reunion awaits us when we too make that step into the fullness of God's  Kingdom.
We pray God's blessing on each of you in this new year.

​In His Service,
Keith and Robin Honey

Posted on April 15th, 2017

 Jan-Mar 2017
After three months of furlough, we are back home (Actually it was 5 months for Robin as she left early to spend time with her mom who has serious health issues.).  We arrived in the midst of an exceptionally good rainy season with rains so heavy our main supply road was closed on a couple of occasions due to flooding.  For a country like Botswana, much of which is desert, rain is extremely important.

Just this time last year, the dams that supply the water for Botswana's capitol city, Gaborone, were almost dry!  The whole country has received God's gracious gift of rain, which lead President Ian Khama to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving.  He and his cabinet met at the city’s main water supply dam (which was down to 1% this time last year) to offer up prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord.  Today, we are rejoicing that all the dams are currently full and some are overflowing; and, that we live in country where the president gives honor and credit where due!

Concerning our Residence Permits, Keith was summoned to the Labor Department where he was informed that the Head Immigration Office had made a mistake last time in issuing him a permit as a “Director”.  They said this is a specific title for someone in a company, a position for which Keith does not meet their criterion and would lead to the application’s rejection.  They instructed him to refill the forms applying as a “CEO/Missionary” of African Mission Services Trust.  This is an encouraging development as the Immigration Selection Board could have rejected the application and they are not bound to give an explanation why.  Our prayer is that God grants us favor in the eyes of the Botswana government for continued service in Botswana and the southern Africa region.  This has been a process that takes place every three years.  Our hope is that we are granted the maximum time allowed under such a permit, 5 years, as it is an expensive, laborious, and time consuming process.  Regardless of the length of time given, with renewed permits we will be able to move forward with an application for Permanent Residence.

Another exciting development was being awarded a grant by the American Business Council of Botswana in the amount of P10,000 ($1000) for our agricultural development program.  We are encouraged by this grant, thinking perhaps this is a sign that our ministry will move forward and permits will be granted. We are to attend their Annual General Meeting March 24 in Gaborone where the check will be presented.

Keith has resumed his mentoring and teaching of the young evangelists.  Last night he showed them the movie Unconditional.  Based on a true story, it speaks to the problems associated with fatherless homes.  A single mother, who is part of this group, usually comes with her son. This six year old was moved to tears by a scene where a young boy, not much older than him, pleaded with a man to be his father.  Oh, the soft, sweet hearts of the innocent.  If you have not seen this movie, we would highly recommend it.

Additionally, Keith has plugged back into his responsibilities at the Disciples of Jesus Fellowship (DJF), counseling, serving on the school board of Noka ya Botshelo, leading evangelistic Bible studies, working on the Trucker’s Chapel and walking the truck lines.

Robin is reengaging at the school and looking forward to working with new and old students.  The school has grown so large that there are now two standard one classes, which means more tutoring for her.  She is also teaching Sunday school again, but is so excited to have two young new teachers to help her in this ministry.

Since Ethan's birth, Elise has stopped teaching formally, but has a full tutoring load and more are asking for her help.  Pray she can find the time to help these students and still manage to take care of Ethan.

Rob continues his work with the NGO, Elephants without Borders.  His job takes him to different countries studying elephants, their migration patterns and the like.  He also is enjoying serving as a deacon at DJF. We are excited that he has the opportunity to shine the light of Christ in arenas where that light is often dim at best.

Parliament has just passed a law that will allow people like Elise, who was born here, to apply for Botswana citizenship, without giving up United States citizenship.  Dual citizenship would allow her to work here without having to go through the expensive permitting process.  As of now, her tutoring is gratis as she does not have a work permit. 

As the DJF has grown, there is a need for mentoring and teaching the young women. Robin has desired to do this for some time and is excited about the new Bible class for the women.  They met for the first time this past Saturday and all are eager for a time to study, share and learn.  Pray that this study will be fruitful in these women's lives.

This past furlough was an unusual one due to the passing of Keith's mother.  It saddened us that we were not able to see some of you that we normally try to see. We will look forward to seeing you next furlough.  Thank you for understanding our need to be with family during that difficult time.

We praise God for relationships like ours that span the oceans.
God bless,
Keith and Robin Honey
P.S.      Praise the Lord, our permits were renewed for 3 more years! Rather than rewrite, we              decided to append this good news here!

Posted on December 5th, 2016

​November 2016
Dear Circle of Prayer,
We are now in the United States on furlough and enjoying being with family and friends and grandkids.  Sadly, shortly after our arrival, Keith’s mom Bea fell and broke her hip.  She is now in rehab following hip replacement surgery and doing well.  Please pray for the whole Honey family.  Bea missed being with the family for Thanksgiving, but we hope she will be home for Christmas.  We are so thankful that we are here and able to help the family at this difficult time.
Before leaving for furlough, we turned in our paper work for renewal of our work and residence permits.  We are confident that if God wants us to continue our work in Botswana, He will provide these permits.  Please join us in praying that these necessary permits are granted swiftly and for a longer period than just 3 years.  We are eligible for 10 years and pray that God will grant us 10 years.
Finally, after many years of preparation and waiting on governmental permission, Keith was able to open the Trucker’s Chapel.  It is being manned by some of the young evangelists while we are on furlough.  This is giving these young people a place and opportunity to share their faith with the many truckers who pass through Kazungula.

Now that we are stateside, we look forward to connecting with our many supporters, family and friends.  We have some very exciting projects to share with you.  The Lord has been opening doors to some dreams that may be finally coming true. 
Being here during presidential election has been a joy.  In years past, we have voted overseas, so to be here to cast our votes was special.  Our prayer for America is that we can return to the faith that so profoundly shaped this nation, bringing about the peace and unity so earnestly desired.
Last week we were able to attend the ECHO conference in Fort Meyers, Florida and were richly blessed to see old friends and meet new ones.  The classes and demonstrations were beneficial and instructive as usual.  Such conferences are valuable for the establishments of linkages that will help move the ministry forward. Keith is excited about meeting an Oklahoma State University agricultural professor who is interested in sending students to Botswana for internships.
As we travel during this furlough, we pray you remember us in prayer for safety and for opportunity to share about what God is doing through us in Botswana.
In His Love,
Keith and Robin Honey

Posted on March 14th, 2016

March 14, 2016

As the sun rises over the Zambezi this morning, we are reminded of God's care and provision for us this past year and we look forward to a new year of living for and serving the Lord in Kazungula and Kasane, Botswana.

By God's grace, Keith was able to speak to two very important groups of people during the last few months of 2015.  On International AIDS Day  Keith spoke at the local hospital to the district medical officer, the hospital manager and the doctors, nurses and support staff at our hospital in Kasane.

These doctors and nurses serve in an overcrowded, old hospital, doing the best with the limited facility and supplies.  Several of the nurses are Christians and attend the fellowship with which we work.  They commented that Keith's words of encouragement were greatly appreciated.

The other group was the Magistrate's Court. One of the young evangelists Keith has been mentoring works there.  She organized for him to speak for 30 minutes at their devotional time.  Keith chose the topic of Hypocrisy and apologized to the non-Christians for our often inconsistent behavior and encouraged the Christians to strive for perfection in Jesus. 

Afterward, Tshepang, the young evangelist, said that his talk was the topic of discussion all week and several stated that they would like to attend the fellowship where he is preaching!
The young evangelists continue to study with Keith whom they call "our father".

As we look to 2016, we are excited about the adventures ahead.  Walking with Jesus is an adventure indeed as we never know what He has prepared for us just ahead, but in faith and peace we continue with Him.

This year Noka ya Botshelo, (The River of Life) the school in which we are involved, Keith as a member of the school board, and Robin as a tutor and teacher trainer, has grown significantly.  The Lord has blessed the leadership and the school now has a school hall (auditorium) complete with stage, a lighted tennis court, a proper net ball court, and a swimming pool.

Enrollment has increased such that Standard 1 may have to be divided into two classes as there are too many children for one teacher.  Robin's tutorial load has also increased to the extent that she will now be tutoring four days of the week instead of three in order to work with all those students who need help.

One of the highlights of this past year is that one of the students who Robin tutored for the past five years graduated and made an exceptional grade!  We are so proud of Sheila and pray the best for her as she transitions to Middle School.

As a result of a generous contribution from one of our supporters, we will be able to provide five or six computers, the first installment towards the computer lab which will eventually consist of twenty five work stations. Our students need to be computer literate to be able to be successful in their higher education and eventually in their careers. 

The Trucker's Chapel is about to open and we are eager to see what the Lord will do with this new ministry.  As of this week, the ferry to Zambia, was broken and the line of trucks was long indeed.  We also found a huge lion print just in front of the door!  Interesting nocturnal visitors we have!

Later this year, we will be continue to teach in the African Institute of Marriage and Family Ministry with Fielden and Janet Allison.  We hope to travel to Zambia, again, and make a new foray into Malawi.  It is wonderful to see the impact this seminar has on the Christian couples who attend.  They are so eager to take what they learn and implement it in their marriages and to share with other married couples in their churches.

Recently, we have been without internet for about a week and a half due to some naughty school boys who found the junction box and could not resist taking the copious amount of wire.  They use the wire to make toys and were probably elated at such a find.  Thankfully, we can laugh about it now, but at the time it was very frustrating to say the least.

On Monday, a long time friend and fellow Christian Heather Carr-Hartley lost her husband to heart failure after 15 years of poor health.  Throughout these 15 years, Heather has faithfully and loving cared for her invalid husband and after 55 years of marriage, this parting is so painful.  Please keep Heather and her family in your prayers and pray for us as we comfort her.  Heather asked to Keith will preside over the memorial as it was a time of remembrance of Pat's life and a proclamation of his eternity!  Pray that those who heard the message and don't have a relationship with Jesus will be impacted and desire to seek Him.

Already, the Lord is working through the memorial, as the young woman who videoed the service had a problem with the audio, and asked Keith to redo his introduction. Through that Keith was able to witness in person to Janine.  Pray for her to come to know the Lord.

As this year rolls on, we look forward to what the Lord has in store for us and pray we will be faithful in all that He gives us to do.
In His Service and Love,
Keith and Robin Honey
We have been without internet for over a week due to a shortage of modems due to the many fierce storms we have had lately.  However, we are so thankful for the rain!

Posted on November 10th, 2015

October in Botswana creates thirst in man and beast alike.  Temperatures often in excess of a 100 scorch the land withering every green plant and tree.  It is no surprise that this month has long been called “suicide month” especially by the expat community!  Not only is it physically hot, but those who have no hope find it that much harder to struggle to survive.  Thus when the refreshing rains come, everything and everyone… are revived.  The same is true with the Message of Hope in a dry, hostile climate!  It brings relief from sin, guilt and shame, reviving the spirit, flooding the soul with joy for the one who believes!
with joy for the one who believes!

    On August 30th, we set out on our first African Institute of Marriage & Family (AIMF) tour with Fielden and Janet Allison holding workshops and seminars.  Our first stop was Namwianga Mission in southern Zambia.  What a blessing it was to minister to these Godly men and women who serve in that ministry.  An unexpected blessing came in meeting and fellowshipping with about 20 students from Harding University doing a semester study abroad program.  As a result of this meeting, a young lady is making plans to serve an internship with us here in Botswana next year.           

   From Namwianga, we traveled north to the outskirts of Lusaka where we held a Marriage and Family Seminar for 12 students at Day Break School, a school for training preachers, run by David and Lorie French.  Not only did we thoroughly enjoy interacting with and teaching the eager and bright students, but having a mini-reunion with the Frenches, whom we had not seen in 30 years!

    After our week there, we turned north again and made our way to the Tanzanian border.  Thankfully, with Fielden and Janet’s presence (i.e. they speak Swahili fluently while ours is very minimal), we crossed into Tanzania with just the usual problems.
    After two long days of driving (14 hours one day and 18 ½ the next) we reached Monduli, the town where Janet and Fielden now live.  It was wonderful to be in their home and out of the vehicle!  The morning after our late arrival, we had a tour of the Christian Clinic and the Senior Secondary School that Dr. Smeltzer and his wife have built in Monduli and where the Allisons now serve.  It is a majestic setting as the mission station is tucked in at the foot of the mountains that rise behind it!
    The next day we drove up into those mountains as far as possible and then hiked another 45 minutes or so to a Masai village for a Bible study.  Fielden is working with two young evangelists who have taken it upon themselves to reach their neighbors.  A man had visited their church the previous Sunday and expressed the desire to know more about God’s Word, so we were invited to tag along for the initial contact.  The man, his wives and children and a few other relatives had gathered and the two young men presented a wonderful introduction to the Bible and the Gospel.  At least it sounded wonderful, what little we understood, as the lesson was taught in both Kimasai and Kiswahili. We do not know Kimasai; and our Kiswahili is beyond the term “rusty!” 

     Afterwards, we were served tea. The blessing of that day was not quite over. On the hike back to the vehicle, the Headman for that area stopped us and asked us to enter his compound. He and a small group he had assembled expressed the desire that they too would like to hear the Gospel.  So Fielden and those two young evangelists have their work cut out for them.            

    The following day Robin began to feel ill and by Friday, when we left the Allisons’ to begin our journey back to Botswana, she was very sick with dysentery.  Originally, we had planned to spend two weeks on our return journey surveying the northwestern part of Zambia where it borders the Democratic Republic of Congo; to try to reestablish contact with the Lozi prince at Mwandi in Southern Province.  Robin was so ill we decided to drive straight home.

    Thankfully, Chimala Mission Hospital in southern Tanzania lay on our route home. There we were given a bed for the night and Cheryl Bode, the head matron, blessed Robin with treatment.  While Robin lay sick in bed, Keith was fed supper by the Fergusons, a missionary couple who plan to live and work on Mount Elsa that looks down on the hospital. That is where Robin lived as a girl with her family doing mission work back in the sixties.  Robin was sorry to miss out on this time of fellowship. Our plan had been to go up the mountain but Robin was just too ill.

     So finally, after 4 long, 12-14 hour days of driving, we arrived home!  Our first Marriage & Family trip was in the books!  Robin was as “right as rain” after a week of sleeping in her own bed and ‘Grandson Therapy!’

     Since our return, we have settled back into our routines.  Keith continues his various Bible studies, counseling, and is working to get the Trucker’s Chapel open. Keith was also accepted into the London School of Economics and has begun studying for a diploma in International Development.  It is a post-graduate distance learning program designed for working professionals.

    Robin is teaching Sunday school and working with the special need students at Noka Ya Botshelo. October is when all Standard 7 students take their Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE). Tests are given in all the major subject areas and are spread out over six days. This year Robin was honored to be asked to proctor the exam for a student with whom she has worked for the past five years.  After much prayer, and a positive assessment by the Botswana Education Department, this young student was allowed to take the tests with the appropriate modifications for her disability.  On Wednesday, the 14th, she finished the exams! Robin is so proud of her student’s achievement in completing Standard 7!

    Our grandson Ethan is now 5 months old and keeps his parents busy.  On October 3, people all over the world walked in support of elephants, rhinos and lions.  Elise, Ethan (in a carrier) and Robin joined the 100 plus people that made the 5 km walk in Kasane.  Rob was busy hosting the event as he is an employee of Elephants without Borders. This past week, Rob left to count elephants in Angola to complete the two year project of counting all the elephants in Africa.  Elise and Ethan will be staying with us for some of the month while Rob is away! 

    One exciting development since our return has been a new Bible study Keith has started with a young man who is a plumber by trade.  Robert has been our friend since we first arrived here in 2011.  When talking to him in the past about Jesus, he had never been interested.  Thankfully, the Lord has been working on his heart and he is now seriously studying the Word with Keith.  Pray for Robert as he seeks to find and know the Lord, and for Keith as he studies with Robert.

    Finally, a special word of thanks to all of you who made special contributions towards the purchase of our new vehicle. The new Land cruiser performed flawlessly. This year’s AIMF trip will, Lord willing, be the first of many. Your generous gifts helped make this possible. Thank you for your faithfulness.

    Last week driving in to administer the PSLE, Robin saw buffalo, impala, elephants and warthogs grazing along the roadside.  It was a reminder of how wonderful a place Kasane is to live! We are so thankful and grateful to live and minister here; and we appreciate all of you who make that possible!   It rained twice this past week and the clouds speak of more to come. The weathermen say we will have poor rains this year; but what do they really know! Join us in entreating Him who ‘made the clouds the earth’s garment’ (Job 38:9) for showers of blessing for both this dry land and its thirsty souls.   And should any of you desire to see first-hand this work you are a part of… come!
Until next time, God bless,
Keith and Robin Honey

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