An Unexpected Leader

An Unexpected Leader

December 14, 2023

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How God’s Word and the Holy Spirit equipped one young mother. 

This post is from our “Legacy” series—a collection of inspiring stories from Seed Company’s past. While some content, facts, and stats may be outdated, the resounding impact of God’s Word endures.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 NLT). 

As a single mother living in northern Botswana, Anna became one of the youngest Bible narrators in Seed Company’s San Cluster project. Prior to her involvement in translation, she had relied on other people to tell her what the Scriptures said because she had no way to learn them for herself. 

But heart language Scripture changed everything.

Gatekeeping Truth

In Anna’s home village of Kapatura, only a select few had the authority to teach about God’s Word, leaving ample room for the spread of false doctrines. In fact, the pastors of the churches Anna used to attend convinced congregants that the only way to know God was through them, not the Bible. They claimed to hold the truth but used their influence to control others, not set them free.

Anna was unsatisfied with receiving only what those in power chose to deliver to her; she hungered to know what the Bible really taught. So when Eben Le Roux, a Seed Company field coordinator, organized a Bible study, Anna began attending weekly.

For the first time, she was encouraged to listen to God’s Word directly, ask questions, and encounter the Lord herself. Together with the other Bible study members, she worked to reach the best translation. Everyone—no matter their age or background—had the opportunity to voice their opinions. Each week, the group practiced memorizing and internalizing Bible stories and learned to share them with others. 

“I used to only know God by mouth,” she said. “But now, by learning the Bible, I know this is where my life is.”

Reaching the Next Generation

While her community tended to view youth and limited training as a disadvantage, that didn’t stop Anna. She believed that God would empower others just as he had empowered her. So she set her sights on teaching the children of Kapatura. Anna saw them—not the influential elders—as the key to spreading the Word of God. 

According to Anna, “If you teach them while they’re still young, they can catch on quickly.” Her hope was that the older generation would observe the younger people living for God, be introduced to the gospel, and join the community of believers.

Though Anna seemed timid and unqualified, her faith propelled her forward, proving one thing: God’s love doesn’t discriminate. Anna understood that it doesn’t matter when you begin following God as long as you choose to follow. That’s why Matthew 20:1–16 has been so impactful for her. She explained it like this:

“The last will be the first and the first will be the last. The love of God is the same; he doesn’t love one more than another. ”

Just the Word and the Spirit

It’s widely understood that theological training and formal education are valuable in maintaining sound doctrine, but Anna’s story inspires us to remember what matters even more. The simple gifts of heart language Scripture and the Holy Spirit gave Anna all the power she needed. And her prayer reflects the humility with which she uses that power:

“I’m not so big. I have no strength—you are the only one who has strength. Give us your love and give us your strength that we may do your work. For this moment, God, listen to what I’m crying. This must be done in your hands. Please take the evil things from our community—the fighting and hatred—so that we may love one another. Please make sure that the kids who I am about to teach, let them understand. Let the gospel touch their hearts so that they may know your good way. By your love, you created us as your daughters and sons and sent your Son to die for our sins. By the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.”

Read More Stories

A Seed Company writer reflects on the generational impact of her family in Bible translation.
November 22, 2022
In Southeast Asia, a village experiences the power of the spoken Word.
February 1, 2018

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