Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana
Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana and what are its ministries?
Members greet each other after worship at the Lutheran Church in Maun, Botswana
New congregation building
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana (ELCB), a member of the Lutheran World Federation, has a membership of 22,000, with a bishop, 31 local pastors, 11 expatriate pastors, 9 congregational workers or evangelists, 2 youth workers, 3 deaconesses, 5 retired pastors and 2 evangelists. The church has been organized into three regions, called Circuits, each under the pastoral leadership of a Dean. There are 43 congregations and more than 61 preaching places.
The strengthening of congregational life and ministry as well as leadership training are important activities of the church. Building financial self-reliance is a main priority and activity for the congregations. The bulk of the members live in rural communities. As an arid country, Botswana is prone to droughts, which place a heavy strain on people whose livelihoods are based on agriculture.
Because Botswana has one of the highest rates of AIDS in the world, addressing HIV/AIDS is a major focus of the ELCB. Its comprehensive program includes home-based care, awareness and education, a program for orphans, counseling and pastoral care, and an adult day care program.How do the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another?
Lutheran HIV and AIDs project in Maun, Botswana
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana.
Churchwide funding through the ELCA Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by the ELCB, including its mission outreach work and leadership training initiatives (through scholarships for post-graduate studies) and the ELCB’s work in HIV & AIDS.Botswana: the context in which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana serves
Gardening in Botswana
The Republic of Botswana gained its independence from British rule in 1966. Located in Southern Africa north of South Africa, Botswana’s capital city, Gabarone, is considered Africa’s fastest growing city. The official language is English but 78% of its 1.6 million citizens speak Setswana. About 72% are Christian, 6% practice indigenous religion, and 20.6% do not practice a faith.
Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since its independence, and has moved from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $10,000 in 2005. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and for 70-80% of export earnings.
Botswana has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates (37%) in the world, as well as one of the most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with AIDS. Land disputes, human rights abuses, and an influx of refugees from Zimbabwe are among the current concerns.
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