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Sample Report: Just Say No Breakthrough! at work in Botswana.

“Just say ‘No’ ” is not always enough:

Coming to terms with underlying issues

in male-female relationships in Botswana

 Rudy Dirks

January 30, 1999

I) Hypothesis and the need for research in this area:

Hypothesis: “A lack of understanding of a man and woman becoming “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) and Christ living in the bodies of Christians (I Corinthians 6:15-17), is a key factor in sexual promiscuity and marital unfaithfulness among Batswana Christians.”


Repeated complaints from AIC Christians regarding the poor state of marriages among Christians, and the critically high rate of AIDS in Botswana, has lent an urgency to addressing the issue of male/female relationships within, and outside of marriage among the AIC Christians with whom we work. Anecdotally, and by observation, it seems apparent that sexual promiscuity both before and after marriage is widespread even among Batswana Christians. AIC leaders and members alike acknowledge this problem. Knowing how to tackle this monumental issue is, of course, a significant part of the problem.


 It is out of this social and inter-church concern that this research project has arisen as one small step in the direction of addressing these needs. As a team, Mennonite Ministries has prioritized ministry in the area of marriage and the family as one primary thrust in our ministry at this time.

II) Method and activities:

Since our ministry in Botswana is to the African Independent Churches, it seemed obvious to do a research project among this group of people. Sexuality and marriage is a sensitive subject, and generally not one about which people speak openly in this culture. So it seemed especially important that I do research with people with whom I have some previous relationship.


With this in mind I undertook a guided research project which was intended to focus on this issue. Under supervision via e-mail I developed a research study while carefully praying for God’s direction in the process. I interviewed 24 AIC Christians from 17 different AICs. They ranged in age from perhaps early 20s to 60. There was a balance of married, single, men, women, leaders, and members. I specifically chose people with whom we work closely, so that the results would fairly reflect the AIC people to whom our teaching is directed. Most of these are solid, center-of-the-road, active AIC Christians.

The interviews were done, for the most part, in the interviewees own homes where they would feel most comfortable. The interview typically took one hour.


I had one female assistant who did the interviews with five young, single women since it would be culturally inappropriate for a married man (such as myself) to speak about sexuality with this group of people.


A caveat is in order before discussion of the research findings. First, I am still learning Setswana, therefore I have not understood everything which I have been told, and I may have misunderstood other things. It is important to keep this in mind as we summarize the findings. Secondly, male/female relationships, sexuality, and marriage are difficult topics of conversation in this culture. ( As an illustration of this sensitivity, my assistant told me that I should not ask people if they were married or not since that could be considered offensive. Even after a couple of years of friendships with Batswana Christians, I only gradually find out that so-and-so has grown children, but has never married, etc.) I have attempted to do my interviews in such a way as to reduce the risk of intimidation by the topic, and to reduce respondents censoring their answers. Nevertheless, I am aware that at times some of the responses were not completely candid. (It is encouraging to see that the results obtained by my assistant were substantially the same as the responses of the majority of my interviewees.) With that in mind I present these findings.

III) Research Results:

According to this study 96% of AIC Christians questioned believe sex before marriage, and sex outside of marriage, are problems among Christians in Botswana today (question #2). 75% of all respondents said it is “a big problem”(question #2). 76% also said that they either knew no one, or only one person, whom they believed had abstained from sex before marriage (question #4). 46% of respondents did not know any married Christians whom they believed to be sexually faithful in their marriages (question #5). The remainder knew of 1, 2, 3, 5, “many”, 50, or 100 faithful Christians (question #4).


A notable exception was one respondent who claimed to know 275 people who had abstained from sex before marriage, and 200 married couples who were faithful. He said that his church strongly emphasizes teaching on sexual fidelity and that the congregation practices what is preached.


Reasons given for this problem among Christians included; they have not been taught properly (both in church and home), they are following the examples of their elders (both parents and church leaders), their parents delay their marriage so youth simply go ahead and get involved sexually, people agree to sex before marriage for economic reasons (i.e. for a secure relationship), they cannot afford lobola (bride price), Satan is trying to destroy marriages, and people just give in to their temptations and desires. One respondent said, “When I was young, my grandfather would eat something I liked in front of me and not let me eat any of it right away. He said I needed to ‘tshwara pelo’ – to learn to be patient and wait for something which I wanted. Nowadays people are not willing to ‘tshwara pelo’ in terms of waiting for sex until they are married.”


13% of those interviewed believed that a verbal commitment between a young man and woman to stay only with each other (with intent to marry at some point in the future) was sufficient for them to have a child before marriage (question #1). As one of these respondents said, “Kgomo e tshwarwa ka kgole; motho o tshwarwa ka lefoko” (“a cow is held by its leather halter; a person is held by his or her word”)–in other words, a verbal commitment is binding and sufficient for a young couple to have a child before marriage.


The vast majority of respondents disagreed with this view. 83% said that it was wrong for a Christian couple to have a child before marriage (question #1). One church leader said that if a man gets a woman pregnant before marriage he is said to have, “entered the house through the window rather than the door”. Other respondents said it would be “stealing” to have sex before marriage. (4% of respondents did not have an opinion on question #1)


When presented with a case study where a young Christian had a chance to be sexually involved without anyone else knowing about it (question #11a), 71% of respondents said the youth would sin, 25% didn’t know or didn’t answer, and only one respondent said the youth would resist. When the case study included the youth being aware of his pastor’s unfaithfulness in marriage (question #11b), 83% said that the pastor’s unfaithfulness would influence the youth to sin.


When asked how many Christian men out of ten who were unmarried, how many Christians out of ten who were married, and how many Christians out of ten who were pastors, would commit adultery given an easy opportunity (question #11c,d,e), 77% said that half or more unmarried would do it and 50% said 8/10 or more would do it; 67% said that half or more married would do it and 33% said 8/10 or more would do it; 71% said half or more pastors would do it and 42% said 8/10 or more would do it.


When the responses are averaged out, the responses show that on average it is believed that, given an easy opportunity, 7/10 unmarried Christian men will commit adultery, 6/10 married men will do the same, and 6/10 pastors will also do it.


Although there was some variation in responses to the meaning of ‘one flesh’, 83% of respondents said that ‘one flesh’ begins with marriage, as opposed to sexual intercourse, living together, or having a child (question #5). 75% did not know anyone who agreed with the idea that having sex together makes a man and woman ‘one flesh’ whether they are married or not (question #8c). Several respondents said that ‘one flesh’ happens when God joins the spirit (moya) of a man and woman in marriage. There was a general sense that ‘one flesh’ cannot be understood as a joining of bodies in physical sex which is blessed in marriage, but sinful outside. In most respondent’s views it is defined by marriage, and as such is a special union blessed by God. Most respondents also indicated that pre-marital sex is something less than ‘one flesh’. (In fact one church leader mentioned that the idea that sex makes a couple ‘one flesh’ is used by non-believers to justify living together without marrying. His argument was that such couples are not ‘one flesh’ because they have not married).


Most of the respondents said that ‘one flesh’ could only end with death (question #6). (One even said that death would not stop the ‘one flesh’ status since even after death his wife would keep his name and continue to live in his house.) 25% said that divorce could end the ‘one flesh’ union between man and wife – although no one advocated it. One respondent commented that sleeping with someone outside of marriage was adultery, but it would not change the status of ‘one flesh’ of the man and wife.


Meanings of ‘one flesh’ (question #7) included; God has joined them, they are married, they are one spirit, they do everything together and share everything (“ba tsela botshelo bo le bongwe”–they live life together), they have feelings for each other (maikutlwana), they trust each other, solve problems together, take care of each other, hold no secrets from each other, they love each other and are in harmony together, they do not commit adultery, they leave their father and mother to raise their own children together, they forgive each other’s mistakes, they are members of each other, and they are together (one person) even if they are apart.


It was in the questions relating to Christians’ union with Christ that most respondents had difficulty. A number of respondents had trouble understanding the concepts in these questions. 83% of respondents had never heard the idea that if a Christian has sex with someone, they are joining Christ to that person since Christ dwells in the Christian’s body (question #10). Two respondents had heard this in their churches, and said that their leaders taught this. But the majority of respondents not only had not heard of this, but also had trouble understanding the point. Some commented; “If a couple is married, they have followed the law – if not, they haven’t. Christ cannot be there in both situations.” Another commented, “Christ is involved when people are married and approved by the elders, but he is not involved when it is sin”. Rather than think that by sinning sexually a person may be joining Christ to this other person in sin, the general sense among respondents was that the minute a person sins, they leave Christ (or he leaves them) and he is not with them.


When asked if Christians would resist committing adultery by reasoning that they would join Christ to that person if they had sex with someone outside of marriage, the difficulty in understanding this question became evident (question #11f). 25% said yes, 46% said no, and 29% found the question difficult to understand. My observation was that among those who said ‘yes’, many of them were saying ‘yes, I know Christians who would resist adultery”, but they did not understand that the question was asking if Christians would resist for that specific reason. Although it is hard to draw firm conclusions from the confusion, the discussion around this question, in conjunction with the responses to question #10, suggest that this idea–of Christ, by virtue of dwelling in the Christian’s body, being joined to the person with whom the Christian is sinning sexually (I Cor. 6)–is an unfamiliar one to nearly all of the respondents.


Further evidence of confusion on this issue, can be seen by comparing the responses to questions 9 and 10. 46% agreed with the pastor who said that Christ dwells in our bodies, and therefore if we commit sexual sin we join Christ to that person (question #9). But in the next question, when asked how many people had heard of the idea that if a Christian has sex with someone else they join Christ to that person, since Christ lives in our bodies, 83% said they had never heard such an idea. These would seem to be contradictory responses.

IV) Summary and Recommendations:

Following are some tentative conclusions and recommendations that follow from this study.


It seems apparent that AIC Christians perceive sexual behaviour and marriage relationships among Batswana Christians to be in serious trouble. Even when asked several different ways, the responses led to this same conclusion. Also, whereas most of these AIC Christians believe sex before and outside marriage is wrong, at the same time they seem to expect it to happen frequently. It is difficult to know exactly what conclusion to draw here. Is there a tacit acceptance here – that even though everyone agrees it is wrong, everyone also knows it happens? Is there a sense of helplessness in knowing how to stop what is happening? This area of difference between belief and practice needs further study, since this tension is a destructive force in the lives of Christians.


The causes of this problem within the church in Botswana are surely many and varied. In this study, some possible contributing factors seem to emerge: Many church leaders are perceived to be involved in sexual sin. The responses to specific questions, as well as freely-offered comments made that clear. Furthermore, there was a strong sentiment that the behaviour of the church leader has a direct, in such a case negative, impact on the rest of the church. Such a finding poses a delicate problem: How does one go about presenting such findings to church leaders, and how will they respond? One very helpful fact is that 58% of the interviewees were church leaders, or their spouses. And their responses to these questions were not significantly different than the others (the only difference was that when averaged out, church leaders actually expected slightly more marital unfaithfulness among pastors, than did lay people). So if even some church leaders hold this perception this may afford an opening for discussing and perhaps beginning to even address this issue.


It seems that the concept of ‘ one flesh’ is largely perceived to relate to God unifying a man and woman in marriage – a spiritual union. Is it possible that whereas the Bible talks of ‘one flesh’, the Batswana hear that as if it means ‘one spirit’? While this may establish the uniqueness of the marriage relationship, this concept seems to have little application outside of marriage. Thus, pre or extra marital sex, while regarded as sin, is widely practiced, often secretly, with the apparent belief that the marriage relationship is still intact as ‘one flesh’.


Regarding ‘union with Christ’, Christ seems to be regarded as being with a believer while he or she is obedient to God. However, since Christ is pure and holy he cannot be with the Christian when he or she sins. Thus, there seems to be a notion of the believer moving in and out of the presence of God (or at least union with Christ) depending on whether or not he or she is sinning.


If I have understood the respondents accurately, and if the conclusions drawn above are sound, then it would seem that there is a mixture of some biblical and non-biblical thinking among Batswana Christians regarding marriage. The biblical beliefs include; understanding pre and extra marital sex as sin, understanding the intention of ‘one flesh’ to be a unique God-blessed union, and understanding that God (and Christ) are holy and cannot be part of sin. Non-biblical beliefs would seem to include; a lack of understanding that God’s intention for ‘one flesh’ (namely, an exclusive covenant commitment between a husband and wife, which includes sex) can be distorted and misused, resulting in a sinful, tainted ‘one flesh’ outside of marriage – but ‘one flesh’ nevertheless. In addition, a lack of understanding that a Christian does not have the option of leaving one’s union with Christ in order to go and sin – rather, once Christ is dwelling within the Christian, the Christian drags Christ into any sin which one does. Christ then becomes profaned and crucified in that sin – the Christian cannot detach from Christ, nor spare Christ the suffering of that sin.


From the beginning, the purpose of this research has been to help lay a foundation for teaching on marriage which would be biblical and culturally-appropriate. I believe it has provided a solid beginning.


My intention is that this research will bring together those of my Batswana colleagues who are interested in pursuing a biblical understanding, and practice, of marriage. The interviews have begun the conversations which I am hoping and praying will bring more wisdom and reflection to this issue. I will be presenting these findings to my Batswana colleagues, and intend to work together with them to develop teaching in the area of marriage relationships.


At this point, I am not clear on precisely how to address the misunderstandings evident in the research. I think it must begin with conversations with AIC Christians to see if I have, in fact, understood things accurately. I want to proceed with caution, moving in step with my AIC colleagues and God rather than moving at my own pace. I anticipate this to be a process whereby we learn together, and where I am sensitive to the needs and issues of my African brothers and sisters.


I want to avoid quick judgements and superficial solutions. If these findings are significant, and if God chooses to work in people’s lives through these conversations, then he will do so without my criticism – the Holy Spirit is the one who leads us into all truth, and who convicts.

Further issues relating to these findings need to be studied. For example; What is the predominant view of sex itself among Batswana Christians? Is it inherently sinful from the beginning? Can it be good in one context, but sinful in another? Also, what purpose does marriage serve in the relationship between two young people in love? Does it serve their interests, or is it an obligation for parents and community with little significance for their relationship? And also, Is there a generational shift going on whereby youth view the relationship between men and women differently than their elders, and largely ignore the obligations of marriage?


Given the apparent confusion regarding the Christian’s ‘ union with Christ’, further research needs to be done on AIC Christian’s views on how Christ dwells in us (ie. Does he leave when we sin? Is he impervious to our sin?) It is possible that the research findings on marriage, simply identify a much deeper issue regarding Christ’s dwelling within the Christian.


In regards to the concept of ‘one flesh’, there seems to be a “spiritualizing” of this concept, such that ‘one flesh’ is only true if two people have been joined together as ‘one spirit’. Further research is needed on the relationship between ‘spirit’ and ‘flesh’ in general, among Batswana Christians.

Finally, further research is needed regarding the rather startling response of one respondent, that 275 people in his church were sexually abstinent before marriage. That particular church is very much a ‘neo-pentecostal’-type of church. Is there a difference in behaviour between AIC Christians, mainline, and neo-pentecostal churches? Is the teaching on marriage and sexuality substantially different?


English version of questionnaire:






Single/ married


1) Suppose a young Christian man and a young Christian woman plan to get married sometime. They have a child before they get married. They believe that God approves of them having a child at this time.

Do you strongly agree, agree, disgree, or strongly disagree, or unsure?

What are your reasons?

2) Some Batswana Christians say that sexual promiscuity and marital unfaithfulness are problems among Batswana Christians. Do you agree or disagree, or are you unsure?

            2a) If you agree, do you think:   i) It is a serious problem

ii) It happens sometime, but it is a small problem

            What do you think is the cause of this problem?

3) How many Christians do you know who you think did not have sex with anyone until they were married? What reasons would they give for waiting?

4) How many Christians do you know who you think are completely faithful to their spouse during marriage?

What reasons would they give for being faithful?

5) At what part of a man and woman’s relationship do they “become one flesh”?

            a) When a man and woman have sex

            b) When a man and woman live together

            c) When a man and woman have a child together

            d) When a man and woman become married

6) If a man and woman have become one flesh, do they always remain one flesh, or can they stop being one flesh? If so, how?

7) What do you think it means in Gen. 2:24 where it says that a man and woman shall be united and shall become one flesh”?

8) A certain Christian man and woman fell in love with each other. They wanted to get married. Their parents knew they wanted to get married, and approved of their relationship, but said they were not ready to get married yet. After some time they began to have sex together. They both told each other that they loved each other. After a couple of years he began to get interested in another woman. He told his first girlfriend that they were not husband and wife so he was free to find another woman.

a) Suppose the first girlfriend is your sister and she comes to you for advice. What would you tell her?

b) Suppose the boy is your brother and he comes to you for advice. What would you tell him?

Now suppose that in this story, the girlfriend surprised him by telling him that he must not leave her since in God’s eyes they were “one flesh” when the first had sex, and so now they must stay together.

c) Do you know anyone who would agree with the girlfriend in saying that in God’s eyes sex makes a man and a woman “one flesh” permanently, whether they are married or not?

9) Suppose a pastor says, “Christ lives in a Christian’s body, so whatever we do with our body, we do with Christ. Therefore, if someone is involved sexually with someone else, they are joining Christ to that person.”

Suppose another pastor says, “Christ lives in our spirit, so what we do with our body is separate from our spirit. Therefore if a person has sex with someone else, Christ is not a part of that union.”

Which pastor do you agree with the most? Explain.

If you agree with the first: What does that mean if a Christian has sex with someone outside of marriage?

If you agree with the second: Does it matter if a Christian has sex with someone to whom they are not married?

10) Have you ever heard the idea that the sexual activity of a Christian involves Christ because he lives in the Christian’s body?

11) A Christian man was travelling by bus from Gaborone to Francistown. In Mahalapye a young woman sat down beside him. They talked while they travelled. The woman became very friendly. When she found out that he was not married, she asked if he would like to stay with her overnight in Francistown. The man knew that none of his Christian friends would ever know if he stayed overnight with this woman. Then he remembered that his pastor had just preached a sermon about God’s commandment against adultery, but he also remembered that most people thought the pastor was not 100% faithful to his own wife.

a)What do you think this man will do?

 b)Will the fact that his pastor is unfaithful influence this man’s decision?

c) Of ten Christian single young men, given that chance, how many do you think would go home with the woman?

d) Of ten Christian married men, given that chance, how many do you think would go home with the woman?

e) Of ten pastors, given that chance, how many do you think would go home with the woman?

Suppose that in this story, the man remembered the Bible verse that says Christians are “united with Christ”, and that to be involved with someone other than one’s wife is to “become one flesh” with her. This man then told the woman that as a Christian he could not do such a thing.

f) Do you know any Christians who would turn down the woman because they think it would mean that they are joining Christ to adultery if they sleep with her?

Setswana version of questionnaire:





a o nyetse/nyetswe

1) Fa lekolwane la mokeresete le lekgarebe la mokeresete ba batla go nyalana mo nakong e e tlang. Ba bo ba tshola ngwana pele ga lenyalo. Ba dumela gore Modimo O rata gore ba bo ba tshotse ngwana ka nako eo. A o a dumela, kgotsa a o a ganela, kgotsa ga o a tlhomamisa gore ke nnete?

Mabaka a gago ke afe?

2) Bakereste ba bangwe ba Botswana ba re tlhakanela dikobo pele ga lenyalo le boaka ke mathata le mo bakereseteng ba Botswana. A o a dumela, kgotsa a o a ganela?

            i) A ke mathata a matona

            ii) Ga go dirafale gantsi, ke mathata a mannye fela.

            O akanya gore mathata a, a dirwa ke eng?

3) O itse Bakeresete ba le ba kae, ba ba sa tlhakanelang dikobo le ope pele ga lenyalo?                 Ke mabaka afe a ba a fang?

4) O itse Bakeresete ba le ba kae, ba ba boikanyo ruri mo nyalong?

Ke mabaka afe a ba a fang go nna boikanyo?

5) Ke kopano efe e e dirang monna le mosadi go nna nama e lengwe?

            a) Fa monna le mosadi ba tlhakanela dikobo?

            b) Fa monna le mosadi ba nna mmogo?

            c) Fa monna le mosadi ba tshotse ngwana mmogo?

            d) Fa monna le mosadi ba nyalana?

6) Fa monna le mosadi e le nama e lengwe, a ba tla nna nama e lengwe botshelo jotlhe, kgotsa ba ka emisa go nna nama e lengwe?

Fa go le jalo, jang?

7) O akanya gore go raya eng mo Genesis 2:24 fa go twe, monna le mosadi ba tla kopana mme ba tla nna nama e lengwe fela?

8) Lekolwane le lekgarebe ba ba bakereseteng ba ne ba ratana. Ba ne ba batla go nyalana. Batsadi ba bone ba ne ba itse gore ba ne ba batla go nyalana, e bile ba itumelela lorato lwa bone, mme batsadi ba re ga e ise e nne nako ya go ka nyalana. Morago ga lebaka baratani ba simolola go tlhakanela dikobo. Morago ga dingwaga tse dingwe lekolwane la simolola go kgatlhega mo lekgarebeng le lengwe. O boleletse moratiwa wa ntlha gore ga ba a nyalana ka jalo o gololesegile go batla moratiwa o mongwe.

a) Fa mosetsana o e le ngwana wa ga mmago, a bo a tla go kopa thuso kwa go wena. O ka mmolelela eng?

b) Fa mosimane o e le ngwana wa ga mmago, a bo a tla go kopa thuso kwa go wena. O ka mmolelela eng?

Jaanong, mo polelong e, mosetsana wa ntlha o gakgamatsa monna ka go mo raya a re, ga a tshwanela go mo tlhogela ka gore fa pele ga matlho a

Modimo ke nama e lengwe fela, go tswa ka nako ya ntlha ba tlhakanela dikobo, jaanong ba tshwanetse go nna botlhe.

c) A o itse mongwe yo o ka dumelana le mosetsana fa a re mo matlhong a Modimo, tlhakanelo dikobo e dira monna le mosadi nama e lengwe, le fa ba sa nyalana, kgotsa ba nyalane?

9) Fa moruti o raya, “Keresete o tsela mo mmeleng wa mokeresete, ka jalo sengwe le sengwe se re se dirang le mmele wa rona, re se dirang le Keresete. Ka jalo, fa mokeresete o tlakanela dikobo le yo o mongwe, a kopantse Keresete le motho o.”

Fa moruti yo o mongwe a raya, “Keresete o tsela mo moweng wa mokeresete, ka jalo sengwe le sengwe se re se dirang le mmele wa rona ga se amane le mowa. Ka jalo, fa mokeresete o tlakanela dikobo le yo o mongwe, ga se amane le Keresete.”

O dumelana le moruti ofe?

Fa o dumelana le moruti wa ntla: Go raya eng fa mokeresete o tlakanela dikobo le yo o mongwe kwa ntle ga nyalong?

Fa o dumelana le moruti wa bobedi: A go molato fa mokeresete o tlakanela dikobo le yo o mongwe kwa ntle ga nyalong?

10) A o kile o utlwile thuto gore fa mokeresete o tlakanela dikobo le yo o mongwe ba kopantse le Keresete ka gore Keresete o tsela mo mmeleng wa mokeresete?

11) Lekolwane la mokeresete le eta ka bese go tswa Gaborone go ya Francistown. Kwa Mahalapye lekgarebe la nna go bapa le ene. Ba ne ba tlotla mo tseleng. Mosadi o ne a kgatlhegela monna. Fa a lemoga fa monna a sa nyala a mo kopa gore a ba ka lala botlhe kwa Francistown. Monna o ne a itse gore ga go na ope wa ditsala tsa gagwe tsa bakeresete yo o tla itseng gore o robetse le mosadi o. A gakologelwa thero ya Moruti wa gagwe fa a rera ka ga taolo ya Modimo kgatlhanong le boaka. Mme gape a gakologelwa gore bontsi jwa batho ba akanya gore moruti ga a boikanyo mo go mma moruti.

            a) O akanya gore monna o o direng?

b) A lebaka la gore moruti wa gagwe ga a boikanyego le ka dira gore a tsamaye le mosadi?

c) Mo bakereseteng ba ba lesome ba ba sa nyalang, ke ba le ba kae ba ba ka tsamayang le mosadi o, ba le mo seemong se?

d) Mo bakereseteng ba ba lesome ba ba nyetseng, ke ba le ba kae ba ba ka tsamayang le mosadi o, ba le mo seemong se?

e) Mo baruting ba ba lesome, ke ba le ba kae ba ba ka tsamayang le mosadi o, ba le mo seemong se?

Mo polelong e, monna o gakologetswe temana ya baebele e e reng mebele ya Bakeresete ke ditokololo tsa ga Keresete, gape gore go tlhakanela dikobo le motho o sele ke go nna nama e lengwe le ene. Monna yo o boleletse mosadi gore jaaka mokeresete ga a kake a dira jalo.

f) A o itse bakeresete bangwe ba ba ka gananang le kopo ya mosadi, ka gore ba akanya gore ba kopanya Keresete le boaka fa ba tlakanela dikobo le mosadi yo o sa nyalana?


Number of Respondents: 24

Married                                             Single

7 male            6 female                     6 male            5 female

church leader or spouse:14

church members or adherents: 10

younger than 30: 11

older than 30: 13

(married, single, and age categories may not be exact since I have filled in this data from what I know of the respondents. I was told by my assistant that it would be impolite to ask if someone is married or not, so I have had to guess on a few of them – some I know)

Number of churches represented: 17 ( all AICs, two of which could be considered ‘neo-pentecostal’)


#1)      Agree: 3 (13%)          disagree: 20 (83%)   don’t know: 1 (4%)

#2)      Agree: 23 (96%)       disagree: 0                don’t know: 1 (4%)

            Big problem: 18 (75%)

            Small problem: 3 (13%)

            Somewhere in between: 1 (4%)

            Don’t know how big: 2 (8%)

#3)      No one: 15 (63%)

            One: 3 (13%)

            Ten: 1(4%)

            Twenty-five: 1 (4%)

            Two Hundred and Seventy-five: 1 (4%)

            Don’t know, can’t know for sure: 3 (13%)

#4)      None: 11 (46%)

            One: 1 (4%)  

Two: 1(4%)

            Three: 1 (4%)

            Five: 1 (4%)

            Several: 1 (4%)

            Many: 2 (8%)

            Fifty: 1 (4%)

            One Hundred or less: 1 (4%)

            Two Hundred: 1 (4%)

            Don’t know for sure: 3 (13%)

#5)      A: 1(4%)

            B: 0

            C: 2 (8%)

            D: 20 (83%)

            When they first love each other: 1 (4%)

#6)      All of life: 16 (67%)

            Can end before death: 6 (25%)

            Unanswered: 2 (8%)

#7)      Not amenable to percentages

#8a)    Not amenable to percentages

#8b)    Not amenable to percentages

#8c)     Don’t know anyone who believes this: 18 (75%)

            Yes, I know someone who believes this: 6 (25%)

(NB - 2 of the “yes” indicated that those who believed this were distorting scripture - in other words, they were not agreeing with it in a positive way)

#9)      Agree with first pastor: 11 (46%)

            Agree with second pastor: 6 (25%)

            Did not agree with either, fully: 7 (29%)

#10)    Have never heard this: 20 (83%)

            Have heard this: 3 (13%)

            Don’t know: 1 (4%)

#11a)  He will commit adultery: 17 (71%)

            He will not commit adultery: 1 (4%)

            Don’t know, didn’t answer: 6 (25%)

#11b)  The pastor’s example will influence the man to sin: 20 (83%)

The man “should not” follow the pastor’s example: 4 (17%)

1/10    2/10    3/10    4/10    5/10    6/10    7/10    8/10    9/10    10/10  other

#11c)  2          1          1          1          3          1          1          5          2          5         

                                                                                                                        don’t know (2)

#11d)  2          0          2          1          7          0          1          2          2          4

                                                                                                                        don’t know (3)

#11e)  1          0          0          2          7          0          0          4          1          5          zero (1)

                                                                                                                        don’t know (3)

#11f)   Yes, I know some who would think this: 6 (25%)

            No, I don’t know any: 11 (46%)

            Don’t understand: 7 (29%)


Rudy Dirks is married to Sharon, with three children; Nathan (14), Shawna (12), and Stephanie (9). Having grown up as the son of missionaries in Kinshasa, Rep. Of the Congo, Rudy returned to his native Canada for university studies. He completed his graduate studies with an M.Div. and an MA (Counselling/Psychology) at Trinity, in Deerfield, Illinois. He lived in Toronto for ten years where he was on faculty as Director of Counselling Services and Chaplain at Ontario Bible College. He also established a private practice in marriage and family counselling in the north end of Toronto.


For the past three years Rudy has been working with African Independent Churches, under Mennonite Ministries, teaching Bible and working in partnership with a number of AICs in Botswana. His wife Sharon, with her background in Social Work and ESL (English as a Second Language), teaches Religious Studies and ESL in the squatter settlement of Old Naledi in Gaborone..