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Realeboha (Week 13-14)

November 21- December 4

Realeboha = We are Thankful!

I am so thankful for what the Lord has taught me through my weeks living in Lesotho. These two week I especially had time to sit and thank for the Lord for His good gifts!

Week 13 = Jenny, Reclaimed team of 10, and Thanksgiving!

Week 14 = Jenny, Griffith Church team, and lots of discipleship

Monday : Teaching at Khohlo-ntso. Many of the women had memorized verses so at the end of the lesson they began presenting the memory verses. The English’s team of ten showed up to play with the children at the care center just as we were finished. I am sure they thought we were going crazy inside because as women finished a memory verse the others would whoop and holler or break out into a praise song! When we finally finished, I invited the team to join us for one last praise song. The women taught then Ka Mata Mata. It was a blast! That evening we all had dinner with the team, and the Floras arrived from South Africa with Jenny! Jenny would become my partner in crime for the next two weeks! I moved into a different home with her for her stay here and was able to watch her work with children who had special needs throughout the next week. Thank you Lord for overflowing joy in the women, for teams who are willing to spend their holiday week in Africa serving You, for new friendships, and for Jenny’s heart for the people in Lesotho who are often pushed to the side!

Tuesday: My favorite kind of day…an adventure day! I shared in a previous post that Malefe, the Basotho pastor working in the Motsuku valley, found a new village. He preached the gospel there and seven women accepted Christ and now attend his church. We had to do a food delivery to this village, as well as to the Motsuku valley church sight. We arrived in Ha Sheshote, and Jim picked up Malefe in his truck, Jenny, Me Thato, and I followed in Squeaky (the “other” “not nearly as cool” truck…aka the one I drive). z master teacher.PNGNone of us knew where we were going. Malefe took us down a dirt road (pretty normal occurrence in Lesotho), but it was in pretty bad shape! I was really glad that Jim was driving in certain spots first so I could follow his lead! It was a blast!! I was able to chat with Jenny about her background, job, and heart for Africa. I love hearing people’s stories, especially when the focus is on Christ! We finally arrived after driving over the “treacherous terrain.” Malefe preached to the women, and I shared a story about Elijah and the widow. Then we set out for the valley. I dropped the rest of my food, and headed back to Katse for round two, while Jim and Malefe preached and answered the people’s questions! It was a fully day, but a fun one! Thank you Lord for Jenny’s love for Lesotho, and her sense of humor, for a village where Your name is now known, for Pastor Malefe’s heart to serve you no matter the cost, for new adventures, and for Your provision of food for many families in Lesotho.

Wednesday: The morning began with “twiddling thumbs.” The food delivery truck was supposed to arrive with 900 bags of mealie…it didn’t. We were so excited because we would have the help of a huge team, but …. things don’t usually happen exactly as planned over here! Headed to the Flora’s house for breakfast, when two women arrived with a young boy. After an assessment by Teresa, she decided to have Jenny work with him in the afternoon. (I was pumped to get to see Jenny in action) First, we headed to Ha Theko for Bible study, where Jenny would also meet with a Mom and young boy she had worked with before. The women were excited to learn from God’s word like any day! One of the new believers could not be there because she had to go to the clinic, but she asked for us to pray for her. Her father-in-law would not allow her attend church. She wanted us to pray for him and she wanted to tell us that she was so thankful for the opportunity to learn from the Scriptures on a different day. The little boy with the “special problems” as said in Lesotho, came with his mom to the lesson. z6.PNGWhile the women practiced teaching each other, he played with Jenny and I. He was all over the place and so adorable…but he also peed in Me Maphoka’s house right on the floor. Jenny and I couldn’t help but snicker! It happened so fast! After the lesson, the women all left except for the mom and child. Jenny checked up on his progress and gave the women new some new advice. Following Ha Theko, we headed to Ha Khenene to meet with the grandma of the boy who had been brought to Teresa’s house that morning.  I really enjoyed watching the way Jenny cared for the little boy, explained different methods for improving the little boy’s life, and trained the mom and sister with patience. I was also able to play with the children outside, while I waited for Jenny to finish up. We wrote our names in the dirt and played soccer! Lord, Thank you for unexpected meetings that turn into opportunities to bless others, for women who want to share Your name, for encouragement when we feel week, and for ALL of Your little children.

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Sidenote: In the evening began the saga of me verse pumpkin pie! Started the process of mashing up a pumpkin that cooked in the crock pot all day!
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Thursday:  Thanksgiving day! IMG_6484.JPGFun filled day of cooking, accidentally picking weeds instead of the pretty flowers that Teresa wanted, almost forgetting to put the egg in the pumpkin pie, cracking an egg and finding a bloody baby chic, a photoshoot with little baby leaves to pacify Anna, finding and gathering enough chairs from multiple homes, and decorating the house! I was able to skype both my family and Luke, which was such a blessing and so fun, then all 20 of us gathered into the Flora’s home for dinner! One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving, the more the merrier! I love watching the way people interact with smiles on their face and the joy that comes from being together! Lord, thank you for an amazing family who loves You, for Luke who constantly encourages me and shows me how to seek after You, for the Flora family who serve the people in Lesotho wholeheartedly, for the friendship of the Englishs, and for the opportunity to see You change hearts and grow hearts to be more like You in Lesotho!

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Friday: Waiting on mealie truck again in the morning. It didn’t show up! Typical.  Teaching Micaiah in the morning, then picking up Malaelae with Jenny and heading to Ha Suoani. Introducing Malaelae. IMG_6479.JPGHe is 21 years old, just finished his senior year of high school (generally they are a little older when they finish), and he is the pastor at Ha Theko. Because he just finished school, he was able to start working with us. This was his first day as a translator! He was SO excited to get to do ministry with us. When he introduced himself to us the day before, he told us that he loved the Lord and that is “greatest ambition is to go to seminary to learn the Word of God so he can continue to preach in Lesotho.” I asked him on our way to the village why he wanted to be a pastor, and he said that he wanted to be “hired by God.” He said he was not afraid that pastors do not get paid because he trusts in the Lord to lead and provide for him. I really enjoyed hearing his heart and his perspective on things. I have learned a whole lot about trust while in Lesotho, and he gave me another example of what it looks like to trust the Lord fully regardless of the circumstances!

We arrived in Ha Suoani and met with the two little boys with special needs and their mothers. While Jenny was working with the boys, a crowd of children gathered. When she finished, I shared the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den and used some of the children to help act out the story. I picked a little boy to be Daniel and some of the adults started to laugh. Malaelae told me they were laughing because the little boy’s name was actually Daniel! Kinda fun! The children loved the story, and afterwards we finished up with the moms and boys.  Lord thank you for laughter, for mom’s who care deeply for their children, for people in Lesotho, like Malaelae, who are committed to sharing the gospel! Lord thank you for bringing Micaiah into my life and letting me love her!

Saturday: The mealie truck finally showed up! Unfortunately, we no longer had a nice big team of ten around to help up unload. We hopped in the truck, with Teresa at the wheel, and began searching for young men who would be willing to help us unload and in return receive some food. We found a bunch of teenage boys, and they got to work! We were able to bless then with some food as well as some clothing! They were pumped! After a late start, Jenny, Malaelae, and I loaded the truck (Squeaky) with food and headed to Ha Theko.

I dropped then off to teach and headed back for a second load of food. I was able to meet with Me Masatebele, the young woman who is not allowed to go to church because of her father in law. I was able to pray with her. After the food delivery, and taking crazy pictures with the women from my Bible study, we went to Sephareng for discipleship. Tons of women were there and even some of the men. I was able to review all of the discipleship lessons I had taught so far.

Women who were excited about knowing the lessons so they could teach others, wrote down the passages that went with each lesson. The women wanted to begin meeting together as a church, so we set up a day and time to meet. The women chose to meet on Saturdays at 1 to study God’s word together and review lessons for women who couldn’t come to discipleship.  One of the younger girls received a Bible for memorizing her verses! It was a long but encouraging day! God, I am so thankful for laughter with friends in Ha Theko, for freedom to worship you and go to church, for the peace that you bring, and for women who are so excited to share Your truth with others!

Sunday:Headed to the Matsoku Valley to deliver food. Teresa brought clothing and presents for the children Pastor Malefe has taken in! Lord, thank you for Sundays, for smiles on children’s faces, and for the hope You give us!

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Monday: Trucks were all out and about so I was late to teaching the women at Khoklo-ntso…very very late! The women took the initiative to memorize verses! Two received Bibles and many more had memorized verses like crazy! These women always brighten my day! They are upbeat, willing to learn, and ready to teach! Lord, thank you for all of the work being done in Lesotho, thank you for Your Word, for times of fellowship, and for the work you are doing in the villages!

Tuesday: day off!

Wednesday: Teaching at Ha Theko! Love those women! Dinner outside!  God you are Good! After dinner, we sang praise songs including Good, Good Father, and shared how we had seen God’s goodness this week! So encouraging! Lord, thank you for rescuing me from darkness, thank you for families who desire to serve you with their time and finances, thank you for making me Your co-worker here in Lesotho! (2 Corinthians 6:1)

Thursday: Mobile moms! Long day of picking up women and meeting with them. The mobile mom’s program has over 35 women volunteers and more than 250 children.z18.PNG The women choose children who neglected or orphaned and “keep tabs” on them. Teresa teaches the women basic health and education lessons that the “moms” pass onto their chosen children. If the children are in a particularly poor situation the women are able to use Teresa as a resource to help that child. We passed out Christmas clothes, which brought a lot of excitement! Halfway through mobile moms the Englishs asked if they could borrow me to help move chickens. 50 new chickens arrived for each care center, as well as 35 chickens for the pastors. I headed to the care center and we loaded the chickens into the back of my truck. By the time we reached the other care center, the back of the truck smelled awful and was covered in chicken poop! z19.PNGYes, my fear of chickens had to be forgotten as I passed all 50 chickens out of truck to the care center kiddos who have NO fear of chickens! After a long day of mobile moms,  I thought the work was done, but we still needed to get 35 chickens to Pastor Raney. Teresa and I headed to the center and drove the chickens to the base of the village. Raney brought over a small Styrofoam box and tried to load some chickens into it. After trying to stuff 3 chickens into the box with no success (and chickens running wild), he figured out that maybe boxes were not the best option! We found a friend of his and loaded the chickens into his home (by home, I mean kitchen…his poor wife), until he could get a cart to transport the chickens! Finally, we headed home! Lord, I thank you for your provision for the pastors and children at the care center through the chicken project, I thank you for women who are willing to serve neglected children in their villages, and I thank you for Teresa’s heart to serve even when the task is daunting and difficult! Thank you for crazy moments I didn’t expect in Lesotho, like chickens hanging out in trucks!

Friday: Last discipleship lesson in Ha Khenene! Time flies! I continue to be encouraged by the middle school girls who come to discipleship training every week! Lord, thank you using people, no matter their age to do Your work, thank you for Anna’s love for teaching these girls, thank you for Malindewe’s gift of caring and influencing middle school girls and leading them to You!

Saturday: Food drop off at the Matsoku Valley in the morning, then we headed to Khoklo-ntso. Teresa needed to check on a girl who was very sick. While we were there, the women of the church was meeting together to fast and pray! They were very excited to see me, and immediately began asking me if they could say the verses they had memorized. Two women memorized all of their verses. One of the women, Me Matakane, Me MaTakane.JPGwas beyond excited when she finished. She is always making me laugh, but today she had all of the women rolling on the floor laughing (helps that they were already sitting on the floor). As soon as she finished and knew she was getting a Bible, she started STRUTTING up and down the church speaking in Sesotho. I asked later what she was saying that was making everyone laugh. Me Maneo told me she was saying “Woo I am a CLEVER WOMAN!” She is hilarious! Lord, thank you for the spreading of your gospel, thank you for opportunities to rejoice with others, thank you for Me Matakane and her awesome sense of humor! The Barnhills finally came back from Zimbabwe after a couple of months! Dinner together with them and the Englishs.

Sunday: Amazing day! I finally had the opportunity to go on a hike! Anna, Brett, Tyler, and I spent the morning hiking and dreaming about a ski resort on the mountains and the world’s longest zip line. After a great morning, all of the families met up by the river for church. We sang together (Good, Good Father) and then Brett read a sermon by Charles Spurgeon, on Ecc. 11: 4

Eccelesiastes 11:4 “Whoever watched the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”

He talked about our heavenly calling and said, “Do you imagine no difficulty — do you think in heavenly training there will be no trials?” “Courage does not regard the obstacles”

While in Lesotho, I have learned a lot about trust, mostly from watching people in Lesotho and at home choose to trust the Lord in all things. It is easy for me to become distracted and overly consider the wind and the clouds. Instead, I am praying that as I prepare to leave Lesotho, the winds and clouds will not deter me from the work the Lord has for me regardless of my  location. Lord, thank you for being my Good Father, thank you for time to marvel in your creation, thank you for teaching from your Word, and thank you for how You have worked in my heart, while I do Your work in Lesotho! You have blessed me immeasurably! There is no one like you God!

 

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Rollin’ with the Punches

15109586_958235766503_187737355590542863_nWhat has been a theme in Lesotho the past couple of months?…well the phrase, “Rollin with the Punches” has taken on a whole new meaning. Whether it’s:

  •  people showing up at the Flora’s house unexpected, staying for hours because of a need for medical attention, and then accepting Christ
  •  Sangomas (witch doctors) showing up for medical care
  •  People coming to Christ who you would not have expected
  • Bible study starting an hour after it is supposed to…ever single week no matter how early or late you show up
  • Mealie trucks running into fences and shouting “Ko Ko” (equivalent to a doorbell) at the house until you wake up
  • Things breaking
  • Snakes
  • Water levels that are too high to drive through
  • Thunderstorms that make roads impossible to drive on
  • Translators not showing up
  • Chickens pooing all in the back of your truck
  • Villages that are “hard to reach”
  • Forgetting one bag of beans or one bottle of oil when delivering food
  • A schedule that never seems to stay put
  • Chickens that are not afraid of people!

God is still good and guess what… HIS POWER TRIUMPS!!!

Easy to get discouraged?… I guess it could be… but then, I think about my week and no matter how mundane or crazy it may seem… I can always see the Lord at work in some way…whether it is just in the beauty of the flowers growing through the fence of the neighbor’s yard (that I see every time I open my car door and park), or the smile on Micaiah’s face after I wake her up (when smiles would be the last thing you should expect from a child who has lived the life she has), someone accepting Christ with joy on their face, or women praising the Lord together when someone receives a Bible…to God be the glory!

God = Modimo

MODIMO, You Reign!

Morena Jesu Week 11 & 12

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(November 7-20) Playing the catch up game because I have been a little behind with this blog! Updated prayer requests on the prayer request page.

Morena Jesu = Lord Jesus

So many reasons during these weeks to Praise my Morena Jesu!

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Ba Roma 6:23 “Hobane moputso oa sebe ke lefu; empa neo ea mohau ea Molim ke bophelo bo sa feleng, ka Jesu Kreste, Morena oa rona.”

Monday: Morning school with Micaiah, afternoon teaching with the women of Khoklontzo on Jesus as the Good Shepherd! They are starting to get more and more comfortable teaching each other the lesson after I teach. The goal is that they have these lessons as tools to disciple new believers.

Tuesday: School in the morning with the little one. The families here are so excited for the Burleson family to join the Lesotho team for two years. They will be moving here in December, a week before I head to the states, and will be living in one of the homes in Katse. We spent the afternoon cleaning out the house they would be living in and moving supplies to other locations. Me Matomaki, one of the mobile moms, who I have the privilege of teaching on Mondays, helped us clean. Me Teresa may or may not have used a belt to scare her by shouting “Me Matomaki come quick,” then setting the belt outside of the room she was in, and yelling, “ah a snake” right as she almost stepped on it. Me Matomaki may have screamed and hit the opposite wall in her attempts to escape. It may or may not have been absolutely hilarious…but I don’t want to sell out the missionary! Not sure if they are on speaking terms yet! 🙂 This afternoon “little M” had a play date with a little, who lives down the street. It was so fun to watch her get to play with someone her own age for a little while! I was able to spend a bunch of time in the Word, while they were playing, getting ready for Bible studies and learning more!  Please continue to pray for little M to know the Lord and recognize the Morena Jesu as her savior!

Wednesday: Thunderstorm day! (I love them, but problem for ministry!) In the morning, I headed to Ha Theko for teaching. Because of the storms only a few women were able to come. One of the young women who just accepted Christ a few weeks ago, named Masetabele, memorized all of her verses for a Bible! She was so excited to learn from God’s Word – He is her Lord Jesus! While they practiced teaching, it was exciting to see her gain confidence in sharing the lesson with the other women! I still struggle with pronouncing the women’s names correctly. Today, I was working on names and continually getting laughed at! I enjoy laughing with the women I teach more than almost anything else in Lesotho (I think I say that about most things). I can’t help but smile when they think something is funny! Later, I spent some time working with the little one at school, and working to clean out the containers in 110 again for the new family! M fell asleep in a wheel barrow, and Pastor Rocawani started pushing her around in it while working in the yard! He was so pleased when she woke up with a little jump! Tomorrow the River Oak team arrives! Can’t wait! While I was teaching today, Me Teresa went to visit Pastor Malefe. I will probably find many more opportunities in the next couple of weeks to share my excitement about how he lives with a kingdom focus! But today Teresa went to visit to bring some clothes and food to his family. He has one child, and then 3 children that are not his own, that he takes care of with his wife! He called Teresa this week and told her that he had found a new village in his valley with people who had never heard the gospel! He shared the good news and now there are 7 new believers in the village who come to his church on Sundays!! He is a “gospel preaching machine!” I am so encouraged by his enthusiasm to preach the gospel and willingness to share no matter the cost! He recognizes Jesus as His Lord and wants to live in complete surrender and service to the Lord, the King of Kings!

Thursday: One of those fabulous long kind of days! Morning school with M. Women came knocking at the gate in the morning looking for Me Teresa’s medical expertise. After Me Teresa helped them, I shared Two Kingdoms, and Teresa told them now they needed to make a decision. One of the women was the mom of the man with the brain tumor who had a come a couple of months ago and accepted Christ. (He is now in a hospital waiting for surgery and still praising the Lord). The women said that they would “think about it.” It is the Lord’s timing not mine for how and when people come to Him! But it is definitely hard to watch people reject the good news! In the afternoon I headed out to pick up Neo to translate for me! Went to Sephareng… same as always…at first I was discouraged but the Lord is at work in that village. I just need to wait an hour for people to show up. The Sangoma and “Sangoma in training” were outside and watched us for all of the prayer time, singing, and teaching. Even a women so set against the gospel and trapped in the lies of Satan can be moved from darkness to light. Pray for the Sangoma in this village that is full of power and brings hardship to the believers! Worship was so fun! The people gathered as we began to sing, and they were singing joyfully to the Merena Jesu!  I always sing the same two songs in Sephareng. It is not a bad thing, but I felt like it was time to learn a new song. Neo taught them, what I call the “Hallelujah song.” The song consists of mostly singing Hallelujah (unless you are the lead) … so I can sing the whole thing which is great! Neo did some fun dance moves with the song and soon everyone was clapping, laughing, and dancing together! (yes, the laughing was because they were watching my terrible dance moves!…and they did not even hide the fact that they were making fun of me! 🙂 I think heaven will be a little like the praise time we had together! No fear or frustration, just joy at the opportunity to worship the Lord! The lesson was on prayer and there were so many people that everyone had to share Bibles! Many of the women were working on memorizing Scripture , so we spent 20 minutes working on memory verses! One girl finished and received a Bible! So pumped to go back next week! River Oak Team arrived in the evening!

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Friday: My church has partnered with the Flora’s to spread the gospel in Lesotho. We have “adopted” a valley in the Mokhotlong Province and have committed to spreading the gospel in the villages within the valley. Our valley is called the Khubelu (pronounced Koobaydue)…. It has a river running through it called the Khubelu river.IMG_6382.JPG It is about 60 km long, and the road only reaches about half way through the valley. To say it is beautiful is an understatement! Within the valley there are most likely over a hundred villages! River Oak sent a team for the week to continue the process of making connections within the villages and to share the Word of God! On Friday, we headed out to Mokhotlong (MOK). On the way, we dropped off food in one of the villages, where Teresa stayed to preach. Let me describe Lesotho to you in one sentence. Nothing is as easy as it seems! To get to Mokhotlong (MOK) you have to drive four hours…that is, if the river is low enough for you to drive across.IMG_6363.JPG It had been raining so it was not. So we decided to try the 5 hour drive, which includes driving over a little ledge across the water. Well, turns out the river was too high at that location and was flowing over the edge. Thanking the Lord for the rain these people need, but it was not so great for driving purposes. We had to backtrack more than an hour and take the “dreaded” eight hour route to Mokhotlong. Bright side: I was able to get to know Kyle (River Oak’s ministry director) and Kara (nurse who partners with River Oak’s medical trips to Lesotho) very well. Caleb (River Oak’s youth pastor) was also on the trip, but drove with Jim to keep him company. Two Texas boys in a big ole’ truck…I think they enjoyed themselves thoroughly!  Arrived in MOK and stayed at the Senqu Hotel (For those who are wondering Sesotho does not have many “clicks” in the language, but the letter “q” is a click, so try as I might, I was still unable to pronounce the name of the hotel by the time we left.) Food was great! I got a T-bone that was huge! I love steak!

Sidenote: We drove by a ski resort on our way to MOK. Goals: ski in Africa!

Saturday: Translator didn’t show up…rolling with the punches. Went to the nearby “town” and waited around to see if we could find any English speakers who could translate for us. No luck. So we headed into the villages praying that the Lord would have something up his sleeve! IMG_6377.JPGThis was my first trip to MOK, so I was so excited about what the day would hold! As we drove up to the entrance of the valley, a small winding dirt road (pictured to the left), I couldn’t wait to see the valley that our church had committed to work in. It was beautiful! Pictures don’t do it justice. We spend an entire morning in a village, playing soccer and “getting to know” people. Lots of hand motions, broken English, and very poor Sesotho were involved. The women began to memorize verses, but complained about it being too difficult. I felt like they just needed a little motivation. I stood with one of the younger moms and helped her to memorize one of the shorter verses. She was successful, and I signed off on the first verse. IMG_6398.JPGThe other women watched and soon there was a memory verse frenzy! Women began earning Bibles for their memory verses! After a fun filled morning including playing one of my favorite games, death hack (mix of juggling a soccer ball and dodgeball), we headed out, ate a late lunch, and drove through part of the valley to explore.

Sunday: Woke up and drove to the back of the valley in hopes of finding a women who Kyle knew spoke English in one of the villages. We entered the valley in the “back” but that just means the furthest part we can reach by the road. We know our valley stretches further back, but road access is limited! We are not sure how many more villages are located “back there.” My dream is to go on a backpacking adventure through the hard to reach places in this valley in order to share the gospel! Maybe that dream will become a reality! We found the woman who could speak English and were able to speak with her briefly, but she said she had to go to church. Even though the gospel has not been spread throughout all of Lesotho. The people do go to church religiously. The types of churches have a wide range and usually are associated with some sort of ancestor worship, sacrificial system, or witch craft. She said she would come back in a couple of hours. We had no choice, but to wait because all of the Basotho in the villages were headed to church. Next to this village, there is a lodge run by a man from South Africa. The rooms are in large rondovels that are furnished and have a kitchen and bathroom! IMG_6430.JPGThey are pretty cool! We ate lunch down by the river and acted like children: skipped rocks, jumped from rock to rock to cross the river, and trying to race back to the trucks by only stepping on rocks. It was a beautiful afternoon. Finally, we decided to head back to the village. Unfortunately, the woman never returned. It may have been because her church did not want her helping people who were born again, or she may have just had other things to do. We spent some time playing soccer with a few children  and watched some women do the national singing and dancing. Even on a day where things could feel frustrating, with the lack of reception or ability to teach, our Morena Jesu is still faithful! Jesus Christ is still the Lord of all! Headed home and got the good news that Teresa had found a translator for us!

Monday: Rethabile! AKA Our translator! Woot woot! We walked out of breakfast Monday morning to a beautiful young lady with bright purple lipstick. I was so excited for a full day, and the opportunities we would have to teach the truth of the gospel! First we headed to Nightingale school. Our church had already connected with this school a couple of times before! We were able to sing “making melodies” (a crowd favorite), as well as many other songs, and play some games. We (led by myself) made the poor choice of playing freeze tag, where the Americans were “it”. It was us versus over a hundred kids at high altitude. Let’s just say we tried to change the game pretty quickly, and I definitely had to grab my knees a couple of times.

American problem story of the day: When we arrived at the school, Kara, Caleb, and I needed to go to the restroom. We walked down the hill to what we assumed was the restroom. It was a small rectangular building with a door at each end. We yelled to a boy nearby, using our poor Sesotho to figure out which door was for the “abuti” (boy) and for the “aussie” (girl). He nodded his head at us as we pointed and finally we committed to a doorway. Caleb entered the boys side and we entered the girls side…we walked into the same room. No boys or girls side, no stalls, just a room with holes in the ground. Let’s just say we took turns. I am sure that boy thought we were crazy!

15134801_10102704616878235_3313108850086644379_n.jpgAfter playing and singing with the children, the entire school piled into one of the classrooms with the 4 or 5 teachers. Kyle introduced the team, Kara shared a Bible story about a blind man named Bartimaeus, then Caleb shared the story of the women who touched Jesus’ robe and was healed (In the Lesotho Bible, the translation says that the women reached out and touched Jesus’ blanket, which is kind of cool because everyone in Lesotho understand that picture because most people wear blankets). At the end, Kyle asked for prayer requests. Most of the requests had to do with having nothing…no jobs, food, clothes, etc. Before Kyle prayed, he shared the story of another blind man (John 9). In the story Jesus’ disciples ask if the man was blind because of his sins or the sins of his parents. Jesus replied, “this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Kyle shared that our circumstances are not a reflection of how much God cares for us or loves us. He loves us with an unfailing love, and our lives can be used to show the works of God! I could see the encouragement his words brought, especially to the teachers, but it was also encouraging for me to hear. On some days in Lesotho, it is hard for me to see the difficulty and the pain many people experience. But I was reminded, yet again, that Jesus is Lord! “Our light and momentary trouble here are achieving for us eternal glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Jesus came so we could have eternal life with the Father, but an eternity with no pain and suffering does not begin until we meet Jesus face to face! Until then, I pray that my life would be able to fully display the works of the Morena Jesu, and the same would occur in the lives of the believers of Lesotho!

After the school, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed through the valley looking for a village to stop in. Something I love about Lesotho is the, “let’s see what happens” mentality as we seek to share the gospel. As we drove down the road, we saw a clinic that Baylor University supports in Lesotho. There was a large crowd of people gathered. What a perfect opportunity to share the truth of the gospel with a large group of people from all different villages.  We stopped to talk to the big group standing outside. They said they were busy, so we went to a smaller group. Soon many of the people from the large group joined as we talked about the Bible. I shared two kingdoms, then Jim taught about the Bible. Sharing that the Bible is not a magic book, but it tells us what it will do for us in 2 Timothy 3: 14-17. The Bible is good for wisdom in salvation through Jesus Christ, as well as for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Then Kyle shared a little more about our team, River Oak Church, and purpose of our visits to the Khubelu Valley. The women insisted that we sing before we left, so we made them sing Making Melodies. We usually sing the song with the children, so it was hilarious to watch grown women sing and make faces!

Following our clinic adventure, we wanted to stop in one more village, Maboleng. We stopped and played soccer with a group of school children in one of the villages.15109392_10102704616818355_101193561145591417_n.jpg While we were there, the teachers from the school walked by. They were able to speak English and invited us to come and teach at the school next time we had a team in Lesotho. Kara was able to share a Bible story with the children and the teachers. We asked for prayer requests, and one of the women asked if she could ask for prayer privately afterwards. After we prayed with the group, she came over to Kyle and I and shared how she had lost her baby. She shared how she was no longer attending the Catholic church and felt like she could not heal. Pray that this woman would find healing in the arms of Christ! After a long and full day, we headed home. Rethabile taught us one of Jim’s favorite worship songs on the drive home.

Jesu ke Mang (Jesus who is like you?)

Ea kang oena (Jesus who is he?)

Ea tsoaneloang kethoriso? (The one who deserves praise)

Alleluia x2

Ho rorisoe ea pholosang (Praise be to the one who brought salvation)

Oo re tella bophelo ba hao (he sacrificed his own life)

Ea eba pheko ea rona (he became our healing propitiation)

Tuesday: We began our day visiting the first village you encounter when driving into the Khubelu valley. Unfortunately the chief and most of the people were out working in the fields so we were unable to teach. We spent some of the morning “scouting out” the lay of the land, looking for ways to cross the river in order to reach some villages that the road did not reach. We ended up teaching a small group of people in one of the villages nearby. Caleb shared the two kingdoms, Kara shared a story, then Jim taught about the Bible. Ate lunch, and I had a peanut butter honey banana sandwich that was glorious! We returned to the village we had visited on Saturday when we did not have a translator. 15134546_10102704615935125_8442202040090085349_n.jpgThe people who had started memorizing verses swarmed Jim, and I’m not proud to say it, but the rest of the team at some point or another ran away to play games with the children! The children from school came over with their teachers. Kara shared a Bible story about Jesus being the good shepherd, and then I shared about David and Goliath. I used a little boy to play David and Caleb play Goliath. (Did I mention that Caleb is over 6.5 feet tall, the children gave him the Basotho name “Long rope”) We had a blast playing with the children and even were able to play a full field soccer game! It was awesome!!! Finally, we sat down to teach. One of the little girls who had been hanging on Kara or myself plopped herself down in my lap.IMG_6390.JPG I could tell that she was definitely being neglected, so we grabbed a little food for her, and washed her face and hands. We spoke to some of the women about her family situation and learned that she had no dad and that her mom was drinking every day. We told the women in the village that they needed to be caring for her. I gave her my sweatshirt because her clothes were tattered. It was huge, but she was so stinking cute in it! We ended up distributing over 40 Bibles to this village. Praying that God would use the power of His Word to spur these people’s hearts to desire to follow Him! Returning to the village twice during our visit to the valley allowed us to build a relationship with that village. I am praying that many people would come to know Christ, and that we would be able to send people out of  that village into other villages in the valley to spread the gospel! Spending the day in that village was a great end to our trip!

Wednesday: travel day back to Katse!

Thursday: Teaching Micaiah in the morning, then discipleship at Sephareng in the afternoon. Taught then the Lord’s Supper lesson. The rain was pouring down, while I was in the village so I only had a small group, but they were all believers. We were able to talk about beginning to meet together on Sundays, but I could tell they were not fully convinced that it would work until they had a pastor. Praying for leadership in this village! The Morena Jesus has already begun a mighty work, and I am excited to see the work he continues to do in this village. The women are hungry to grow, but often unwilling to take the steps forward that are required to grow! Prayers for confidence and peace between the women!

Friday: Weekend with Bek and Anna. Bek went to the care center in the afternoon with the English’s while Anna and I went to Ha Khenene for teaching. It is really exciting to see how Malindewe has a heart for young girls. She was working in the fields, but the 12 and 13 year old girls (and a few tag along younger girls) were ready for Bible study when we arrived. I love seeing their hearts for the Lord and their eagerness to learn! Please pray for these girls to grow strong in their faith and seek to obey the Lord!

Saturday and Sunday: Movies and Fun with Anna and Bek! Tyler and Rachel’s team of ten arrived  on Sunday, so we were able to join them for dinner! I love hearing people’s first impressions of Lesotho, and listening to their excitement about upcoming adventures and opportunities to share the truth of the Morena Jesu Christe!

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Strength (weeks 9 and 10)

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(Picture: getting ready for the Flora’s return) October 24-November 5

“You are my strength when I am weak. You are the treasure that I seek. You are my All in All! When I am down you pick me up. When I am dry you fill my cup! You are my all in ALL!”

Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is my Strength!”

A week of food deliveries, tired arms, and a crazy little one…ahem Micaiah (week 8), and a week of rest, fun, and planning for a big first team for the Englishs (week 9)!

Monday : Start of week 2 –> taking care of Micaiah with the Englishs, which means many more movies, funny comments from the little one, cooking, playing with cars, and riding bikes! Kicked off the week with a good day of school with Micaiah. Afterwards headed to Khohlo-ntso to teach on Baptism. There were about 15 women who were able to come after a weekend of rain, while others had to do the chores that were neglected because of the rain. Speaking of which, it has been raining! Praise the Lord for answers to prayers! I am encouraged by these women every week. We spent some time as we waited for people, working on memorizing verses. I memorized Romans 3:23 in Sosotho, and they could not stop laughing at my pronunciations, but I also received a round of applause! So…I think they were impressed…Just kidding! These women are so excited to hear the word of God so they can train others. Teaching them is so fun!  Chalk with Micaiah (we may have accidentally turned the dog blue), then breakfast for dinner, which makes a Monday spectacular!! Tyler and Rachel go “all in” during the care center games, and unfortunately Tyler messed up his foot!

 

Tuesday: Normally my “day off,” so it was a pretty relaxed day. School with Micaiah in the morning and then a food delivery to Khokhoba. So we began the lifting of the mealie bags…out of the kitchen of one of the homes because it would not all fit in the trailer where we normally store it. Tyler loaded the mealie into the trucks (because of his bum foot), and Rachel and I moved mealie bags to him. The beginning of sore tired arms. The Lord would be helping me with my physical strength by the end of this week! I was able to spend some time reading and relaxing at home in the afternoon!

Wednesday: Marathon day! At 9:15 we had two trucks loaded with food and were headed to Tsolosa. It took 3 trips to move all 75 packs to the base of the village, at which point the people had to carry the food up a very steep path to their village on top of the mountain. I shared two kingdoms, and then Tyler had his first opportunity to teach to a village. He did a great job teaching from 2 Kings 4 about Elisha and a widow.

After three trips to Tsolosa, we loaded up the trucks once again and headed in the opposite direction to the Motsuku valley. Did I mention that at this point in the day Rachel and my hands and arms were dying from picking up mealie bags!? Thankfully, we had some very special help from a little Munchkin named Micaiah. I definitely felt like I had no strength left by the time we loaded the last bag. We picked up Pastor Malefe, and continued to a village called Realebese. I had not been to the village before, and assumed that we were teaching many believers. We arrived, and I shared two kingdoms and Pastor Malefe preached. At the end of the time a woman had memorized all of the verses to a receive a Bible and another woman wanted to accept Christ. We waited as Malefe explained to her what it meant to become born again and led her in prayer. I love seeing the smile on someone’s face when the look up after a prayer where they have asked Jesus into their heart! Malefe jumped into my car and said something quickly to Me Thato with a big grin on his face. She shared with me that the woman was the first believer in that village! Praise God!  What a demonstration of God’s Strength in the woman, as she stepped out in faith in a village with no other born again believers! On the way home, I saw the man at the gate for the dam who had asked for a Bible (week 6) working at the gate. He waved at me with a huge smile on his face as soon as he saw me and told me that he knew some of the verses! He recited a few, then said that he would be leaving for Maseru in a couple of days, but would be back. He really wanted to have a Bible by then. To catch you up. I had seen him a couple times when I would drive across the dam and on one of the days, I showed him that there was a Bible in the back seat pocket that was for him when he finished memorizing his verses. Every time I drove by he would look in the back seat at the Bible. I asked if he would be working on Thursday before leaving for Maseru. He said yes, so Me Thato and I planned to come see him then so he could recite his last couple of verses.   Finally we headed home, after a long exciting day!…side notes: I still HATE hens (feeding them is the definition of a purely hated chore), and I got to watch Lord of the Rings this evening!

Thursday – School with Micaiah in the morning, then food delivery to the Motsuku valley where I shared the two kingdoms. Lunch on the road, then we (Me Thato and I) headed in the opposite direction, back past Katse to Sephareng. To be honest I had been very discouraged with teaching in Sephareng, up until more recently as many of the believers began to come, listened intently, and practice teaching one another the word of God. Last Thursday, it thunder stormed all day so I was unable to go to the village for teaching. I was nervous that no one would show up this week. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by how many believers showed up with joyful hearts and willing attitudes to learn and practice teaching. A little while after I started the lesson, Me Makeletso who is always at discipleship (young girl, I have shared about before, who is 17 and has a 1 year old baby) showed up. She interrupted the lesson, waving her white memory verses paper, saying “I have the last two verses memorized.” I stopped the lesson and let her recite the memory verses. She had been working on the last two for many weeks, and she said them perfectly! I was so excited that I jumped up and gave her a huge hug! She couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the lesson! (of course in the picture she didn’t smile…typical!) She told me after the lesson that she had been waiting all day the previous Thursday for me to come and was so worried that she would forget the verses by the time I came this week! Thank the Lord for the word of God being present in the villages. I could also tell that because she received a Bible, many of the other women were motivated to memorize their verses! We left and headed to the man working at the gate. He said the rest of his memory verses and received the Bible that had been waiting for him in the truck! He was so thankful and excited to get to read the word of God! HE told me that he was unable to go to church on Sundays because he worked, but now he could read his Bible at the gate!

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Friday – School with Micaiah, food delivery and teaching in the Motsuku valley (yes, prayers for strength for my sore arms were involved). In the afternoon, Me Thato and I headed to Ha Khenene for teaching. I shared in a previous post how 2 girls accepted Christ 2 weeks before. Last Friday, one of the girls came back and had memorized the verses to receive a Bible. I had also seen her in church on Sunday. This week she returned for teaching and so did the other girl who had accepted Christ. She had memorized all of the verses to receive a Bible as well. They had also brought a friend. Teaching at Ha Khenene is probably one of the most exciting parts of my week because I get to help Anna teach girls who were the same age as I was when I decided that I really wanted a relationship with Christ. I love to see their excitement and interest. I asked the girls what they liked to do, and the two girls answered “learning” and “reading.” Hopefully, they put those two interests into action and use those loves to share the gospel. They were already talking about sharing the good news at their school! Prayers for the Lord’s Strength to allow them to boldly live out their faith!

Saturday –  Woke up bright and early for food deliveries and teaching in the Motsuku Valley! Last time loading food before a break on Sunday! Rachel and my arms were definitely ready for the break! We had delivered food to the Motsuku Valley most of the week, which meant that we saw a lot of Pastor Malefe. I am always so impressed and encouraged by his service for the Lord. He walks to villages hours from his home to share the gospel and is willing to do any work that the Lord calls him to do. He exemplifies the verse, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Mark 12:30. Later in the day we visited Thabang’s mom (He is one of the boys from the care center). I shared a couple weeks ago how she was very sick! She is still sick, but getting stronger. We went and visited her! She is getting stronger. We reminded her of the truth of Jesus Christ.

Romans 8: 35a; 37-39

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sunday: Day of rest!

During week 8 I taught in two different villages about persecution. I could tell that the lesson was far more real to them than a lesson on persecution ever was to me in the States. I listen to lessons on persecution normally as something that happens in other places, and something I should be praying about for other people. But here I was talking to believers who experience persecution. Some women are beaten by their husbands because of their faith, many are looked down upon or shunned by family members, most are called names for being born again. They understand. The lesson on persecution comes from Acts 14 where Paul and Barnabas are beaten for their faith. It says in verses 19-20 that Paul was beaten to the point where they thought he was dead. The disciples gathered around him, he got back up, and he went straight back into the city! It says that Paul and Barnabas spoke boldy! Only the Lord can give that kind of Strength!

Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace!”

One of the prayers that hear most often from the women is that their homes would be filled with peace and that the Lord would give them strength! What a God we serve, who offers us both things!

Monday: School with Micaiah, then teaching in Khohlo-ntso on sharing the gospel! These women are eager to do just that! Praise the Lord! Prayers for strength and peace for these women!! The Floras finally returned, which meant smiles all around! We made it, even if it was a little crazy at times! (picture is blurry but you get the point!)IMG_6311.JPG

Tuesday through Saturday: Left Lesotho with the Englishs for a break and an adventure in South Africa. They graciously let me third wheel, and we went shopping and ate a bunch of great food, while their car was being worked on. It was a great week to relax in some ways and help the English prep for their first team in Lesotho coming in a couple of weeks! I was able to spend time with my Lord who gives me strength when I don’t even realize how tired and weak I am! It was a nice break, but by the end of it I was ready to get back to Lesotho! One of the best parts of where we stayed were the beautiful purple trees outside!

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Psalm 28: 7 “The Lord is my STRENGTH and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise him.”

 

 

Loving Week 7 and 8

 

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1 John 4:8 “God is Love!” 

Week 7:

Monday:  I’ve mentioned the orphan care centers quite a bit, but haven’t given many details. To give you a brief overview, the care centers are run by the churches here in Lesotho, but supported through Reclaimed ministry. There are currently two in Lesotho, one in Khokhoba right near Katse, where we live, and one in Khohlo-ntso . The Barnhills and Englishs work with Reclaimed in Lesotho. The care centers provide support for children who are orphaned or in troubled situations at home. The centers run an after school program every day of the school week that includes games, math, English, and Bible lessons, and a meal. The children are so stinkin’ adorable, and they are able to hear stories from the Bible every day! Since arriving in Lesotho I had not been able to visit the care centers until this Monday, but since then have been able to spend quite a bit of time at them. I have loved it! The women who work at the centers and the children are wonderful! I went to Khohlo-ntso on Monday to do discipleship with a group of women. These women have a Bible study on Thursdays, but wanted to be trained in the discipleship lessons. About 20 women showed up for the first lesson. They were hungry to hear the word of God! At the end, I told them that if they did not have a Bible they could memorize verses to receive one. After the lesson, I had some time before the children arrived at the care center. I sat outside and watched as 5 different groups of women worked on memorizing the verses together! It was so cool to watch how they hunger for the word of God! They want to know our loving Savior. I spent some time reading my Bible outside in the sunshine (one of my favorite things to do) and went for a short walk with Nao. Nao’s mom is one of the women who works at the care center. She leads the Bible study that meets on Thursday and is a very sweet woman! Once the children arrived, I realized that I was hooked. I loved all of them! We played silly games, and I was able to see Rachel and Tyler English in action. A relief team from Kentucky had arrived, so I headed home early from the center and helped cook dinner.

fasdf.PNGTuesday: You may call me Mountain Woman Mic if you would like! Tuesday was a crazy day all around. While the Flora family headed out on their own adventure for the day, I headed out with the Kentucky team and their two drivers from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. We drove to Ha Suoani, a village that I kinda sorta may have thought that I had been to before, but hadn’t. Thank goodness for Rocawani (one of the Basotho pastors)! It took about an hour to arrive, and I got to use my four wheel drive as we adventured through the mountains. It was awesome! We delivered food, and the Kentucky team shared the gospel and the Bible story about the woman at the well. During the worship, the women were dancing and singing at the top of their lungs! I watched as people listened intently to the teaching and poured over the words in their Bibles. Others, I knew, were not believers. Our Lord loves them enough to give them opportunity after opportunity to hear the gospel. Roney, who I have mentioned before, pastors the church in this village. After Ha Suoani, we headed to Khokhoba’s care center. The team brought bouncy balls and puzzles to play with the children, and they shared the story of David and Goliath.

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Wednesday: Started as a normal day with a morning of school with Micaiah and then discipleship at Ha Theko in the afternoon. Me Maholi, an older woman who had been memorizing verses since I started discipleship, finally memorized her last verse and received her very own Bible! Ah you should have seen her face! She acted like she had just received a treasure, and honestly I think she did! She told me during the lesson that she had been teaching a woman up the mountain in their village who is a believer, but also paralyzed so she couldn’t walk to church. Me Maholi had been remembering the lessons and then sharing them with this woman. She was so excited to be able to teach with the Bible that she now owned! At the end of the time, I received a call from Me Teresa that a mom of one of the boys, Thabong, at the care center, was very sick. Teresa needed Me Thato, who had been translating for me, to go with her to this woman’s house.  We left and on the way back, the man at the gate to the bridge asked if he could have a Bible. I told him he could memorize verses and say them any time that I drove by. When we arrived at the home of the woman, I could tell she was not doing well, just from the way she was breathing and acting. Teresa wanted her to go to the hospital immediately, but the woman refused. Teresa thought that she would possibly die by the end of the week if she didn’t go. She gave her some medicine and tried to make her comfortable. The entire time the women who worked at the care center were talking to the mom about her need for a Savior. The shared about Jesus Christ. The woman said that today she wanted to follow Jesus. I was able, by God’s power, to lead Thabong’s mom to Christ. She accepted Christ despite her past and her sickness. The Lord’s love is great, powerful, unchanging, and accepting of anyone who calls on the name of Jesus! God’s love showered down on this woman in more ways than one. A couple days later, I went and checked on her and she was doing much better. She is still sick, but she has shown so much improvement! She is smiling! The Wednesday that we visited, I saw no hope in her eyes and pure exhaustion. After she accepted Christ all she could do was thank Teresa and thank the Lord, and a couple days later I saw joy! Praise the Lord for His love to us and for this new sister in Christ! Prayers for Thabong who is having a hard time seeing his mom so sick!

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Thursday: Mountain Woman Mic on the loose again. Headed to one of my favorite places in the morning, the village of Ha Masoetsa, with the Kentucky team for a food delivery. img_6138When we arrived, Mafube, who is one of the leaders of the church in the village, was working in the fields. He had the list for the food delivery so we had to wait. We were able to spend time with the little children and play with bouncy balls!img_6152 It was an absolute blast! If the children dropped the balls they would bounce down the hills, and the children would fly after them! The mountain side was filled with laughter from children and their parents! While we waited, one of the Kentucky team members gathered the children together and shared the story of Jesus saying, “Let the little children come to me.” It was yet again a reminder to me of the love of Jesus. IMG_6156.JPGWe do not have to do anything to deserve his love! One little girl stayed attached to my hip the entire visit!  It was fun to have a little buddy, even as I shared the gospel story with the people. The Kentucky team did some teaching and then we distributed food, vitamins, and gloves and scarves for the people. One man even received a coat. He was pumped because his was pretty tattered. IMG_6145.JPGAfter a great morning, we headed to Sephareng for another food distribution. We picked up Rocawani on the way. After teaching and food distribution, I told the people that I would be teaching the discipleship lesson like every Thursday. A bunch of the women stayed to hear the lesson. Meanwhile, three women who had listened to the previous teaching from the team wanted to accept Christ. Rocawani talked to them about what it meant to follow Jesus and two turned away. I watched this from where I was sitting teaching a lesson about the church in Acts. It is always hard to watch people turn away when the understand the cost of following Jesus, but my heart rejoices when I see someone stand firm after others have walked away. One of the three women stayed and accepted Christ!! Praise the Lord for using Rocawani to teach this woman! Rocawani has one of the best grins (no two front teeth) and such a humble heart! It was fun for me to watch as the Lord used him to share with this woman! Meanwhile, the women during the discipleship lesson were so engaged and excited to learn! I had a blast with them! Dropped of Nao, who was our translator for the day and went to visit Thabong’s mom. She was doing so much better and greeted me with excitement from her bed. It was a long tiring day, but Christ’s love was on full display!

Friday: Day of teaching Micaiah, and discipleship at Ha Khenene. Really enjoy going to Ha Khenene with Anna. Every week I feel like Malindewe, the young woman whose home we teach in, invites more teenage girls to join! Those young girls and Malindewe are a joy to teach! They memorize the verses every week and are so excited to share how they taught others throughout the week. On this Friday, two new girls joined us. I shared two kingdoms with them at the beginning of the lesson and told them that if they wanted to accept Christ that they could tell me or Malindewe when the lesson was over. As we were walking away from the home, Zandele, a girl who is probably in 7th grade and lives with Malindewe, started to yell from the house. I asked Me Thato what she was yelling. She said, that both girls wanted to accept Christ and that Malindewe was going to help them! I told Zandele to run to us and gave her the page of verses so the girls could start memorizing Scripture for a Bible. Ah it was so awesome! I thought to myself, hopefully they will come back next week! (more to come)

Saturday: Day off! Down time. Floras getting ready for a trip to South Africa and Swazi!

Week 8

Sunday: Floras headed out, and the 10 day adventure with Micaiah and the Englishs in the mountains of Lesotho began! Here is where my lessons on Love really began. My junior and senior year of college, I spent a bunch of time on 1 Corinthians 13, learning about love. I would spend 40 days focusing on each attribute that it talked about …. Patience, kindness, etc. The Lord has definitely transformed my heart over the years since the 8th grade, when the power of God changed my heart to fully desire to know Him! My relationships with my sisters were mended in many ways by the love of Christ, and I have learned to love others with Christ’s love. But I have never had the opportunity to love someone like Micaiah. img_6233A little girl who is in desperate need of love, but whose life in many ways has been void of human love! She has been treated so poorly, yet the Lord has blessed her by putting her in the Flora’s home where she is loved so well. She is full of love, but also full of attitude, a need for control, and silliness! I love her! But sometimes it is hard to love her with the love of Christ! Week 7 of ministry has been awesome, but it has also taught me so much about love! As humans we crave love. We want to be noticed, loved, and cared for. I see those needs and desires in Micaiah, and I can try to fill those things, but at the end of the day, I’m not good enough. At the end of the day, when she understands what she has lived through, there will be a recognition of the lack of love that she has received from some, and the huge amounts of love that she has received from others. Eventually, she will understand that no human love will truly satisfy her! I am praying so hard for her little heart…that someday she chooses to fall into the arms of Jesus and accepts the Greatest Love from our Greatest Loving Father!  Sunday was also my first time at the church at Khakhoba. One of my favorite things about church was the line of 20 or so children who shared scripture at the end of the service. I absolutely loved it! All of the really little children say, “God is love.” Over and over again, I heard their little voices say in Sosotho, then in English, “God is love.” Short. Simple. Truth!

Monday: Discipleship cancelled. Went to the Khakhoba care center with Tyler, Rachel, and Micaiah. Spent most of the time with Ntene.ntene.PNG He is a boy who cannot hear at all. He is unable to read and doesn’t really know his numbers. So Rachel and I spent the afternoon practicing with him. Really fun and lots of hand motions were involved! It was exciting to watch his eyes light up and act like any other kid when he understood something, and funny to watch him slump when he didn’t want to do work anymore! His story is much longer, but short version. He was taken to the doctors a couple of weeks ago and will hopefully receive a hearing aid soon that will help him hear loud noises. He has also been accepted to a school for the deaf! Fun evening with Englishs and Micaiah!

Side story:

… if you are wondering, I HATE hens…particularly the Floras (no offense Jim). They are creepy and gross. Any thoughts of me ever living on a farm have gone out the window solely because of my new fear of chickens! …well at least of chickens that look like they have serious crazy problems!

Tuesday: Day off caught up on emails with people from home. I have been so encouraged by the words of friends and family since I have been here. Enjoyed some down time!

Wednesday: School with Micaiah, then discipleship at Ha Theko. As we drove through the bridge gate, I saw the man who had asked for a Bible last week. He gave me a HUGE smile and said that he was still working on memorizing the verses. At discipleship I spent a little time sharing what I was learning in 1 Corinthians about the power of God, and how the Lord using the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, so all we can do is boast in Christ. Again, it just reminds me of his great love for us, that he uses us to do his work.  The lesson this week was on sharing the gospel. So we went through the 2 kingdoms many times and the women practiced sharing the gospel with each other. At the end I asked if there were any questions, and Me Maphoka, said that she had shared the gospel with one of the women in the room that week. There are often a couple of new faces each week, and I am never sure if those people are believers or not. So I spent a couple minutes with the woman making sure she understood the commitment she was making. She wanted to accept Christ, so I led her through the prayer! As soon as I finished, another woman who had heard the gospel that week wanted to accept Christ.  Praise the Lord for two new sisters in Christ. I found out afterwards that one of the women was the wife of the man who has the cancer on his leg. I had led him in prayer to accept Christ a couple weeks earlier at the clinic, and he had said that he would go home and tell his wife. She had heard the gospel from him and then from Me MaPhoka! Amazed by the love of God and how he works. My morning had felt a little tough, so I had shared what I was learning in Scripture with these women more as a reminder to myself that is not about my persuasion or ability to teach, but about the power of God! And we saw his power on this day! Amazed by His Love!

Thursday: I almost forgot to mention, it rained almost every night this week! Praise the Lord for answering that prayer. It also stormed all day Thursday, so I couldn’t drive out to Sephareng for discipleship. After school with Micaiah, I went to Khokhoba with Micaiah and the Englishs as the storm started to clear up. Spent time with the kiddos at the care center. I helped with reading and then we played 4 corners, which was an absolute blast! Reading. Loved hearing them squeal and laugh with joyful hearts. Part of the lesson on this day was practicing memorizing scripture!! One of the little girl sat on my lap for a little while. She is absolutely beautiful. IMG_6228.JPG

Her name is Monaleti, she lives with her grandma because she has no parents, and she walks 2 hours after the care center to get home. She has heard about the love of Jesus through the teaching and work of the care center! Praise the Lord! I wanted her to sit on my lap for as long as she pleased because I never know how much affection and care these little children receive. I wanted her to have the opportunity to just sit and feel safe!

Friday: Teaching Micaiah in the morning. Afterwards a quick stop at Khokhoba to watch the beheading of a chicken…shout out to one of the woman at the care center! Then I headed to Ha Khenene for discipleship. Last week two girls accepted Christ! Today there were again new teenage girls who joined us. One of the girls who accepted Christ last week had returned! She is in 8th grade, about the same age I was when I decided that I wanted to follow Jesus with my whole heart. I walked in and smiled when I saw her. She immediately wanted to share all of the verses she had memorized, and by all I mean that she memorized all of them! She was hungry for the word of God, and I was able to give her a Bible! Her face lit up and she poured over it as we went through the lesson! Pray that the love of God fills her up so she is willing to share His love with others! She is a little shy, but I am praying that Christ gives her boldness to speak His truth to others.

Saturday: Day to relax. In the morning Micaiah rode her bike with NO TRAINING WHEELS! micaiah-first-bike-rideIt was a big day! I feel like I have been able to watch her accomplish many mile stones over the past few months. Including understanding math concepts,learning to read, and mastering her cooking skills! Prayers that as she continues to grow, she recognizes her need for the love of Christ! In the afternoon we headed to the lodge in Katse.IMG_6225.PNG I was able to spend some time on the wifi chatting with everyone in my family! (Shoutout …first time getting to talk to Bex!!) I also was able to chat with some of my awesome friends! The Lord blessed me by the encouragement he gave through these people!

Sunday: Church at Khokhoba. It was the first week that they had the big tent up, since I had arrived. It has been too windy in past weeks. I enjoyed just looking around at all of the familiar faces of women that I do discipleship with in the surrounding villages. It was fun catching their eye and giving them a quick smile. Me Maholi,who I said earlier received a Bible last week, was a couple rows in front of me, pouring over God’s Word, and asking others to show her where the  Scriptures were that the pastor was sharing. Me Maphoka was sitting off to the side with her hands above her head worshiping the Lord. Me Thato was in the front row, singing to the Lord with her little son, Jimmy, on her hip. Nsetising, one of the girls who comes to Ha Khenene discipleship was leading worship in the front (she has an amazing voice and she is only 12)!

(Nsetising in the pink dress on the left, Me Maholi on the right reading her Bible) A group of the teenage girls from Ha Khenene who come to discipleship were sitting across the aisle from me. I caught the eye of the girl who accepted Christ two weeks ago and received her Bible this week. She gave me a huge smile and showed me her Bible in her hand. Finally, sitting in the back were all of the little children that I love from the care center, along with more little children. At the end of the service, like every week, the children got up, walked to the front and shared a verse! Monaleti walked up and shared her verse then caught Rachel and my eye and sent a huge smile our way…day made! Even though she doesn’t have parents in the audience at church, she has a couple of Americans who are crazy about her and so proud! I think it was exciting for her to receive affirmation from someone after speaking the truth of God’s word up front. As always, the little children walked up and shared God is love in English and Lesotho. His love has showered me since I have been here, and this week reminded me so much of the fact that his love never ends. We went and visited Thabong’s mom after the church service and shared some verses with her then played UNO! Thabong dressed for the occassion! 🙂

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I read a letter from someone really awesome this week and it said this, ” I know Lesotho has a problem with its people being in constant fear. But the Bible says that perfect love casts out fear! So love Mic, love on those people however you can!” Perfect love casts out fear…I have more opportunities to love people here than I could have ever imagined, but even my love is not going to satisfy them. I was reminded in this letter that my love can point people to someone who loves them even more, with a perfect love that drives away fear! Prayers that my love for these people would glorify the Lord, so that they look to Him, not at me!

I’ve seen amazing love demonstrated in Lesotho over the weeks I have been here. Even though there is darkness, the Lord is moving. I see the way that people who have nothing, take in children who have no one. Their love could only come from someone who loves them completely and perfectly even if they don’t realize it yet! God is on the move, and it is His love and power that will change hearts!

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God’s love is greater than Micaiah’s love for baking (and pictures of herself), and a dog’s love for a freshly killed chicken (yuck!) It’s even greater than a big ole pig’s love for dinner!

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The Light Shines in the Darkness

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The other day as I was driving back from one of the villages, later in the afternoon, shadows darkened the mountains in the distance. I was on a stretch of road that wasn’t as twisty and was able to look at these mountains for quite a while. There was one spot on one of the mountains where the sun was peeking through the clouds and light was able to shine on that section of mountain. I began thinking about my Lord. He is Light!

“In 1 John it says that God is light. There is no darkness in him at all. His kingdom is the kingdom of Light.”

Every time I share the gospel story in Lesotho I say those words. It is part of the gospel message that I am proclaiming to the people over here! It is the truth! AND Praise God, it has reached the hearts of some of the people here! As I studied the mountain range, I began to think of it as ALL of Lesotho. That little section where the light was shining through the clouds represented the people in Lesotho who already know the gospel and are my brothers and sister in Christ, but the rest of the mountain range represents those who have not heard yet or resist the gospel. They are still in darkness. I am in Lesotho soley to serve the Lord so that people can hear and learn how to share the gospel with others. In Acts 26, Paul shared his testimony before Agrippa. He shared that the Lord spoke these words to him on the road to Damascus, (v.18) ” I am sending you to them, to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” My prayer is that the eyes of the people in Lesotho would be turned from darkness to light and to the power of God! I’ve shared many times that Lesotho is based on a culture of fear and power:

Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?”

 

The Lord is Light. With Christ there is no fear! I continued to drive along the road as it began to wind. In my first moments of looking at the spot of light compared to the shadows on the mountain, the light was definitely dwarfed by the shadows. I thought to myself, how in the world will the gospel spread to all of those places, then I turned the corner and saw many more mountain ranges in shadows and began to think about just how much darkness there is in Lesotho. It seems like too much sometimes!

Isaiah 60: 1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light and king to the brightness of your dawn.”

Darkness covers the earth. That statement carries new weight to me as I think about Lesotho. I continued to drive, thinking about how awesome our Lord is and thinking about how with His power it would is possible for the gospel to spread, even in Lesotho. Again I rounded another bend, and I looked out across the way at a mountain. The sun was peeking out in multiple places. Some of the spots where the light was shining through the clouds, illuminated what looked like whole villages. My excitement grew as I was driving. All things are possible with Christ!

John 8:12 says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Most of what the Floras have allowed me to do in Lesotho is discipleship training. The goal is that the Basotho will teach other Basotho about Christ. As I looked out over these mountains where the light was shining in many different places, my heart started to beat faster. I started to get so excited about what the Lord has in store for these people, for all people. God is light, and He will continue to let His light spread. The Lord gave me a gift through a picture on this particular day. As I rounded the last mountain before heading home, the sky broke out in radiant light. I don’t know how to say it any differently. It was one of those beautiful moments when the clouds have so many gaps that the Light streams through them. It is how I envision what Christ’s return will look like. Meanwhile the chorus to the song “All the Poor and Powerless” started playing in my car.

Psalm 104:2-3 “The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent…He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.”

He wraps himself in Light! Darkness will tremble at his voice!

Chorus mentioned above:

 

And all will sing out

Hallelujah

And we will cry out

Hallelujah

Shout it

Go on and scream it from the mountains

Go on and tell it to the masses

That He is God

My God is Light and in Him there is No Darkness! Prayers that that truth will continue to be shouted in the mountains of Lesotho!

(same mountains, different day)

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Gracious Week 6

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Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works that no one can boast.”

Monday: Headed to Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, because I needed to extend the date on my passport to stay in the country. It was a long day with a four hour drive there, and a four hour drive back. We also did some grocery shopping, etc. On the way there, Micaiah and I worked on school in the car, but on the way back I was able to have some awesome conversation with Jim. I was able to learn a lot from him on the trip home about teaching and about grace (not his daughter, but I did learned more about her and the rest of his family as well). He shared stories of his high school days and how he ended up on the mission field, stories about college and his first couple months of ministry in Lesotho. It was cool to listen to him share how he ended up in Africa. I shared a couple weeks ago that one of my new heroes is Teresa, but over the past week I have been able to learn a lot from Jim, and he has been added to my list of heroes. One of the things that we talked about was man’s depravity. In a country where the truth of the gospel has had little to no influence, it is no wonder that the many of the people act as they do. Sometimes I am appalled by the stories I hear, and the way that the men and women act towards each other and their children, but then I am reminded that they live in darkness. They live in a culture that has not been influenced by the gospel at all. As I sat in the car and thought about it more, I was yet again reminded of how much grace has been extended to me (and all people) by our Lord. One of the things that Jim shared was that he felt like he was not the best for the job in Lesotho after the first couple of months of being here. He said that he knew how to be a pastor, but at the time he didn’t feel like he was cut out to be a missionary. He felt like he wasn’t the best for the job. But then he shared that the Lord had revealed something to him. He said, “The Lord already sent his best so I can do His work here.” Wow! The Lord has already sent His best. We don’t have to be the best, we just have to follow and trust in the one who has sent us or placed us wherever we are.

2 Corinthians 12: 9 ” ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

I’ve been in Lesotho for about a month, and I have been reminded over and over again, that it is not my strength that is going to “get the job done.” It is the power of God that will work in the hearts of people, it is His Words that will change lives, and it is His plan that is perfect. I am just thankful for the grace He has shown me so that I can walk in His goodness.

Tuesday: Headed to Ha Masoetsa after school with Micaiah. Listened to Jim teach. After going to conference, Jim wanted to change the way that we teach discipleship lessons. I have probably shared this before, but there are 10 discipleship lessons that the Flora’s have prepared to use to build up new believers and train them. In the past Jim has taught them with the goal that the Basotho could teach others. At the conference he learned that it is really important for the nationals to practice up to ten times after the lesson in order to feel confident to share. So Ha Masoetsa was the first time we implemented “practicing teaching.” It went really well! The discipleship lessons were shortened so the people would have a better opportunity for success in remembering the lesson and how to best teach it. I really enjoyed watching as these new believers who started out very shy, began to gain confidence as they switched partners, moved around, and poured into the Scriptures. I was able to share the story of the woman at the well at the beginning of the lesson, and Jim encouraged the believers to be sharing their faith (just like the woman at the well). It says in John 4 that because of the testimony of the woman at the well many came to believe. Praying that because of the testimony of this village, many will come to believe. After the lesson a woman wanted to accept Christ, so one of the women of the village helped lead her to Christ! Praise the Lord!

Wednesday: Awesome school day with the munchkin! This needs to be said because not every day is wonderful! I fail many times on my end, and Micaiah is not always as sweet as she looks! But today was a great day of school! I picked up Nao (if I haven’t introduced Nao yet on here, she is the daughter of one of the pastors, Poka. She is 17, and she is most often going to be my translator from this point on), and we headed to Ha Theko. Wednesday was the day to put on my big girl missionary pants. After watching the seed distributions and watching where Me Teresa had been driving me over the past couple of weeks, she sent me out to do some work! Drove to one village to pick up Nao, then drove to another village, Ha Theko, to do a seed delivery and my normal discipleship lesson. The whole day went great! I was able to pass out the seed to the people after sharing the story of Elijah and the widow (God’s provision) from 1 Kings 17 and tie in the gospel message. Then I gave the info on the seed and pointed the people to the Lord as the Provider. Afterwards, I invited those who were born again believers to stay for the discipleship lesson. In this village, we were starting over at lesson 1 after finishing lesson 10 because there are many new believers. Most of the people stayed, even those who were not believers, to hear the teaching. The lesson was on Colossians 3 about being renewed, and what we need to take off and put on! It was the first time doing the “practicing teaching” with this group of believers! It was fun to watch them get excited about teaching and for some of the women, to finally catch on to my sense of humor as I taught the lesson. I had three moments that made me really smile on this day. #1. There were two men who had received seed and waited around during the discipleship lesson on the outskirts. They were not paying much attention, but during the practice teaching portion of the lesson, which we did five rounds of with different partners, a different believer went up to them and taught them the lesson for five minutes. SO, even if they didn’t want to hear it from me, the Lord used five other women to share His Words with these two men. I almost had to laugh as these women enthusiastically walked over to these two men and did not care if they wanted to listen or not. They spoke boldly the truth of God’s words.  #2 At the end of the lesson we worshipped the Lord through singing praise songs! I love listening to the people sing! Me Teresa had just pulled up to check the blood pressures of some of the people in the village, so I told the people to sing loudly so she could hear. I loved watching how the people sang loudly and beautifully together with joy on their faces. #3 A couple of weeks ago we did clinics and there was a man in this village who had cancer on his leg as a result of HIV. He had come in hopeless, but left full of hope because he chose to follow Jesus. I was able to share the gospel with this man and helped show him how to accept Christ into his heart. He went to the hospital after the clinic. He is unable to walk without a crutch because of the severity of the cancer in his leg. They sent him home with another appointment scheduled for November. I am not sure if there is much that the hospital will be able to do, but I was encouraged to see him again. He got his seed, and then he climbed  the hill with the help of a couple men to get to the discipleship lesson. After the teaching, I was able to offer a hand to help steady him as we hiked back down the mountain. Made my day to see him and be able to offer a kind hand of help to him even if just for a couple of moments!

Thursday: Just another one of those days where things don’t go exactly as planned. I was supposed to deliver seed to Sephareng, but there was a miscommunication. As a result, most of the people I normally teach were not there. I did get to spend some time getting to know one of the girls who is there every week. Her name is Makeletso. She is 17 and has a baby who is 1 years old. She has been trying to memorize a verse every week in order to get her very own Bible, but she has had a hard time with the last two verses. Please pray for this young girl to keep seeking Jesus when many in her village do not want to follow!

Friday:  Friday Fun day! Woke up and went everywhere! Not really, but I had a blast all day driving to different villages, sharing the gospel, and spending time with people. Woke up and worked out with Anna and Bek (always one of the highlights of my day). Then did school with Micaiah for an hour. She had her first test! Ah! Only missed 3 on the spelling test (her very first one)! And she got a 100 on the math portion! Thankful for the ways I have seen her progress! Prayers that I would be able to encourage her in a way that motivates her to work hard, eventually for the glory of God!  Afterwards, I headed to a village that I won’t try to spell because it would be a total disaster to deliver seed. The chief of the village, Morano (chief) Moya (wind) translated for me. I shared the gospel message with the people. They were so incredibly thankful. Over and over again they wanted to share with me that they were grateful for the seed and for the words that I shared from the Bible. Prayers for this village, a village that is so close to a church that teaches truth, yet filled with people who refuse to believe. Pray for softened hearts and a desire to follow Jesus. Afterwards, I headed home to pick up Me Thato and more seed. We headed out to Sephareng where the wind was blowing SO SO much. It was a little crazy. Normally, it is windy, but on Friday it was so loud that I had to stand somewhat behind the people in order to speak. I shared about the sowing of the seed on good soil in Matthew, then we passed out the seed! Afterwards, I drove home yet again to drop off Me Thato, and then I drove to Khoklontso, where Nao lives, to pick her up, drove back home to pick up Anna, then headed to Ha Khenene for discipleship. Anna teaches on Friday, so I was able to just listen and see the Lord work in the hearts of the family that we teach on Fridays. At the end of a great day, I dropped off Anna and then dropped of Nao, then headed home! I had ample opportunities all day to pray and spend time with the Lord. He showed me a beautiful picture of how he works as I drove home from dropping off Nao that night (details in next post). Yet again amazed by God’s grace in allowing me to share His Word with people from so many different places in one day.

Saturday: 5 mile run with Anna in the morning! Spent the majority of time praying for people back home and just feeling encouraged from the Lord. I love opportunities to sit (or run) before Him and know that I have all the time I want to talk and listen to Him. I was able to spend a lot of time processing and thinking about what I had discussed with Jim on Monday. God’s grace overwhelmed me as I ran. During the run a woman from Ha Theko, that I disciple named Me Mamaholi, was walking down the road we were running on. I can’t explain to you how elated I was to see her face and be able to say “lumela” (dumella = hello) “oo pela juan” (how are you), and see her face light up to see me too. I love these people so much. I know that it can only be the love of Jesus because honestly I know very little about their lives and struggles, but my heart leaps when I get to see them! As I continued to run, I kept thinking about my love for this woman and my love for people like the man with the sores on his body as a result of HIV that I shared about in a previous week. The man, I found out, passed away recently, but he had accepted Christ into his heart! Prayers for his family to become a part of the family of God as well! The grace extended to me by the Lord is why I am able to love people who it doesn’t make sense by most people’s standards to love. I think about Micaiah’s father who treated her terribly, I think about this man who passed away after living a life of lust and suffering the consequences of HIV,  I think about mobile mom’s that work with Me Teresa who have husbands who they are afraid of because they are treated so poorly, and I love those people and want them to know Christ. It doesn’t make any sense, but my eyes have been opened in new ways to the amazing grace that the Lord has shown people. He knows all of the dirt that we try to hide, and the good things we do are like filthy rags to him. He can look at someone who in our minds has committed horrifying acts, and He can still say, “Come to me child.” His Grace is Amazing! Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” then Romans continues to say in verse 24, “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God offers us an undeserved gift, freedom through faith in Christ…Grace!  This weekend there was a conference for the believers in the surrounding villages right in Katse. It included many different pastors teaching, prayer, worship, food, and baptisms. We went to a little bit of the service so Jim could teach on baptism and then we went to watch the baptisms. Again, something that is an awesome picture of Christ’s sacrifice mixed with a little humor because the Basotho and water don’t really go together, was such a blessing to be a part of. It was probably the coldest day of the week unfortunately, but the men and women who were baptized braved the weather! Fun to praise the Lord with these people as they proclaimed the work that God has done in their life, and the grace that they have received, through baptism.

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(photocred: Teresa Flora)

Sunday: A day of rest (and cleaning) before a team from Kentucky arrived Sunday evening!

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see

(Not by Works!)

Provider (Week 5)

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(photocred: Teresa Flora)

Genesis 22:8  “Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ SO the two of them walked on together.”

The seed came!! After hearing the many prayers of the people because they had no seed, knowing that time was running short to plant, and the seed truck not showing up last week…hearing that the seed truck finally arrived on Monday was cause for excitement! God answers prayers! I was able share many times about God being the Provider this past week as we distributed food and seed! In a culture based on fear and power, the people were quick to point out the power of God as we shared stories of God’s provision.

Monday: Seed arrival! After about an hour, we had successfully unloaded 5 tons of seed up a small but steep hill and into a storage room.  We made an assembly line, so yes, this girl threw 5 tons of seed up a hill (just not all at once ;)! At the end, I had become friends with a man just through huffing and puffing as he tossed seed to me, and my hands had turned blue from the chemicals in the seed bags. A couple showed up at the Flora’s home, the husband had a brain tumor. Full story in previous post, but he accepted Christ and so did his wife! Afterwards, I headed to Sephareng then to Ha Khenene for discipleship. Both visits had been rescheduled because of the clinics last week, so in both places most of the people did not show up. It could have felt like a frustrating day,  but I was able to walk through the gospel with about 5 women in Sephareng who were not believers and even though they were not willing to follow Jesus, one of the women did exclaim at the end of the time, “Ah, I have heard the good news today!” She knows what Christ has done for her! Prayers that she is willing to follow Him. She said that she was not ready to become a born again believer because she has seen how some of the Christians still do not act the right way. It was a reminder to me that although I will never be perfect, the way I love my neighbor, and how I choose to live can affect the walk of other people. I also was able to spend time outside in the sunshine all day, so I can’t complain! Dinner was just with the Flora family, which had not happened much since I arrived! I have been blessed in so many ways by their family!

Tuesday: Finally was able to go to the village of Ha Masoetsa! In January, I went to Lesotho for the first time with my sister and my dad. While we were out one day, on our way to a different village, my dad noticed Ha Masoetsa, and the Lord led Me Teresa to stop there. It was her first time in the village, and we were able to see how the Flora’s enter a new village to share the gospel for the very first time. The people were very excited to hear the story of Jesus and were very receptive. A couple months later, then had over twenty believers and had started a church! I had been waiting since I arrived to go to the village and was pumped to join Teresa and Jim on Tuesday. It was pouring as we headed through the mountains on dirt roads to get there for a discipleship and seed delivery! 27 adults and many children packed into a rondovel! They asked us to pray for seed, and it was fun to give Teresa and Jim knowing looks because God Provides! After the lesson, we headed outside to distribute the seed! The people were so thankful and praised God! One of the things that Jim told them to do as they received the seed was to give a smaller bag full of the seed they were given to someone else. The purpose was to teach them that “it is better to give than to receive.” Following the seed distribution, Mafube ( disclaimer: most of the words that don’t sound American, aka Sosotho words, I am probably spelling wrong. I apologize, but I tend to type them how the sound, not as they should be spelled), a young man in the village, who has really begun to dive into the Word of God and share the gospel with surrounding villages, came up to Jim. He brought a man with him, and the man wanted to accept Christ. Even with his mask/ hat on I could see the joy in Mafube’s eyes as the man accepted Christ! Jim reminded Mafube that he could help lead people to Christ when they wanted to make that decision. I guess this isn’t the first time that he has shared the gospel and people have wanted to accept Christ. Please pray for this man who is has no fear to share the gospel! I am so thankful for the way he has received the good news and wants to bring it to surrounding villages. While we were standing at the car, a woman came up because she had memorized the six verses to receive a Bible. It was awesome to hear her recite God’s Word in another language and watch her face as she received a Bible! There was crazy rain and thunder on our way down the mountain.

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flora 5.PNGWednesday: Woke up with the news that I had been given the go ahead to drive! First day driving on the wrong side of the road with the wheel on the wrong side of the car! Drove with Teresa to Ha Theko for discipleship! She left with the vehicle to do food distribution, so I was in Ha Theko for a long time. Rookie mistake, I left the Bibles at home. We bring Bibles for the people to use who do not have them, until they have memorized the verses to receive their own. One of the women memorized all of her verses, and this newb couldn’t give her a Bible! Thankfully, she was pretty forgiving. The cost of following Jesus in Lesotho has become more apparent, as I see believers trying to raise their children without following the customs and traditions that involved worship and sacrificing to the bodimo ( ancestors). I asked the women if they had been sharing their testimonies and the story of Jesus. They said that they had been sharing, but that many rejected them and did not want to talk to them because of their faith. Thankful that they are still choosing to walk in the Light!

abc.PNGThursday: Teresa and Jim headed to Mokhotlong Province to deliver 160 bags of seed. Jb and Liz, a missionary couple, that lives in Lesotho, visited this week, so JB went with the Floras, while Liz spent time in the Flora’s home taking care of their little girl!  Micaiah went with them, so I had downtime in the morning because I was not on teaching duty. I was able to spend a little extra time relaxing, praying, and reading. Malopo, the pastor at the tent church in Ha Hoba (village right outside of Katse) picked me up with Roney (He is helping pastor a new church in a different village) who was my translator for the day. I love getting to talk to Roney because he always had questions or things that he is willing to share from reading God’s Word. We headed to Sephareng for discipleship! I tried to learn names and was having a really hard time pronouncing one of the older man’s name. He does not speak English, but in Sosotho he told me to call him Ntate (Mr.) Snow White. I have dubbed him my Basotho grandpa, but he does not know that. I spent the rest of the time calling on him as Ntate Snow White, which made him laugh. The lesson was on the Word of God and studying it. There was a man who stayed for the entire lesson, just listening. At the end, I asked one of the women who the believers were that joined us for the lesson because often there are people who show up just to listen. She told me that everyone there was a born again believer except for the man who I had noticed. I asked him why he had decided to listen to all of the teaching, He answered, “I want to follow Jesus!” So, I shared two kingdoms (the gospel message) with him and was able to lead him in prayer. This man now has hope!  It was really awesome to see the other believers get excited for him! Thursday night I also had an interview for a teaching job back in the states when I return! Trusting the Lord to provide!

Friday: Food distribution to Ha Solosa all morning with 100 or so packs. We always teach before we pass out the food. JB shared his testimony in Sosotho, then I shared two kingdoms, and Jim Flora did more teaching about the kingdom of Light and Darkness! I really enjoyed listening to him teach because I feel like I am able to learn how to communicate more effectively with the people of Lesotho. There were so many people, but it seemed like there were even more donkeys to carry the food up the mountain to the people’s village (trucks couldn’t make it up that road). First day of driving alone, so I may have sung “Born to Be Wild” to myself as I was driving in the beautiful mountains of Lesotho…life is good! Afterwards did dischipleship with Roney (translator) and Anna (Flora’s daughter and my roomie) at Ha Khenene! I love Friday discipleship because it feels like a girls retreat every time (plus Roney). Anna leads the teaching. We teach one of the mobile moms and then a handful of teenage and younger girls. The mobile mom has become more confident and full of joy since the first week we came when she had just lost her baby. She has been pouring into God’s Word.

Saturday: Food delivery to Sephareng. Shared 1 Kings 17 about Elijah and the widow whose flour and oil did not run out. Taught on God’s provision! Jim taught off of the story I shared, pointing to the power of God! Saw my friend, Ntate Snow White. I walked straight up to him and said “Hello Ntate Snow White!” He gave me a huge toothless grin then busted out laughing! I think it made both of our days! Afterwards we drove to the Motsuku valley to deliver seed. We did the same lesson as in Sephareng. I drove by myself following Jim and just enjoyed the gift that God has given me of being in Lesotho. His provision in my life has been abundant, and I was able to spend some time singing and praising him as I drove along the road. We also got to a place where I thought I was going to go see Him a whole lot sooner than I had expected. We drove up a steep portion of dirt road to the point where I could not see Jim’s car or the road in front of me and I thought I was driving right off a cliff (not really because I had just seen Jim drive ahead of me, but still a new adventure). The truck reached the top of the incline then once it dove back down the mountain I was able to see the ground again…thankfully! :)f

Sunday: Headed to Katse lodge for church and shared two kingdoms. Jim preached from Matthew on the wide and narrow gates. Reminding the people that the only way to salvation is through Jesus. If we put our trust in other things, like good works, church, and even miracles, those things will lead us to the wide gate! He talked about building our house on the rock. We need a sturdy foundation, that is Christ! John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  After lodge church, we drove out to the Motsuku valley again to deliver more seed! Was able to enjoy the afternoon at the Flora’s home, resting!

The Lord has given a great gift to the people of Lesotho through the work of the Flora family. He has provided them with an opportunity to hear the gospel and be discipled. He has provided seed this past week, but more importantly He has provided the greatest gift we could receive: His Son! Thanks be to God for his provision and love for us! In the story of Abraham and Isaac, God provided a perfect sacrifice to take the place of Isaac. In a place filled with darkness, I am often reminded of my own depravity and my need for a Savior. Thankful that I know the truth that it is not by my works that I am saved, but by the grace of God!

Psalm 107:8-9 “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

He is Better!

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Yesterday a husband and wife walked into the Flora’s home following Teresa. I have learned by now that it is completely normal for random people to show up at the Flora’s home, and that the Flora’s choose to “make the most of every opportunity” to share the gospel. The man had been very sick and had been to the hospital. I did not catch the entire story, but essentially he had his medical record with him, and it said that he had a brain tumor. No one at the hospital had informed him of the diagnosis. Teresa called me in from the other room after sharing the news with him and his wife, and I was able to share the gospel with them. Both of them wanted to accept Jesus into their hearts. Jim led them in prayer, and they received salvation through Jesus Christ!

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 If you read my previous post, you will know that last week we did medical clinics. I was exposed to a lot of sickness that may have been prevented with knowledge and access to medical help. Thankfully, Teresa, Rachel, and the team that was in were able to care for some of the medical needs of the people. One thing that was hard for me, in the midst of recognizing that our Lord is Peace, was being reminded that even though someone in pain accepts Jesus into their heart, there is still physical pain that medical care cannot take away. As the husband and wife left the Flora’s home, I felt hope for him, but there was a twinge of sadness in me. We left immediately after they did for the villages. We had to stop in one village to drop off a food pack, and we saw the man, a born again believer, who had brought the couple to Me Teresa’s home. Teresa gave him the news about his friend’s condition. She shared that she would not be able to help him, and that he would need to go to a hospital for treatment. I could tell by the look on his face that those were not the words that he had wanted to hear. Teresa continued by saying, “he accepted Jesus.” Without hesitation the man’s expression changed and he responded, “ah that is better!” He did not need convincing or reminding that it is better to suffer on this earth knowing Christ, then to live in comfort never knowing the name of Jesus!

He is Better! Better than a life of luxury or the perfect job. Better than financial security or even a loving family! He Reigns! Just a couple moments of my day that made me smile!

Psalm 84:10 “Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere…”

Prince of Peace (Week 4)

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Isaiah 9:6 “…and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE.”

My God is the Prince of Peace! This past week I was able to see the work of the Lord in the lives of those, who by the world standards should be full of fear and far from peace. I participated in medical clinics this week with my new hero Teresa Flora. Week 3:

This past week the Floras had two teams visit, both from Texas and both teams of 3. One  of the teams was from a church that has been sending team to Lesotho for many years. The church has adopted the Matsoku Valley and does most of their ministry in that valley. What I mean by “adopted a valley” is the church has chosen to support the Floras and has committed to sending teams multiple times during the year to sharing the gospel in a specific valley in Lesotho . These valleys have many villages within them, and the goal of adopting the valley is to spread the good news in that particular area. The team worked with the church in the Matsoku valley all week. More to come on their ministry and the church in the Matsoku valley…

The other team (I’ll call them the medical team) was led by a man who had been to Lesotho before. He brought a couple who were both nurses and willing to use their profession to serve in Lesotho for the week. I am not sure if they knew what they were getting themselves into, but I loved seeing their hearts long to serve and help the people here! I was so encouraged by their willingness to jump right in at the first sign of need. I will add that the first sign of need was a man in desperate need of care! Again more on that later…

Sunday: A day of preparation. We organized all of the medicine and supplies to get ready for the week! All of a sudden a week of clinics didn’t seem as simple as I had thought…I have learned many times… “I literally know nothing about everything!” Good thing I am willing to learn from failure these days.

Monday: Many hours of school with Micaiah. I love that little girl. She is doing a great job in school. Any math tips for a 7 year old who does not love math would be greatly appreciated! I was supposed to do discipleship with a teacher who is the only believer in her family. I had been told that she is eager to learn more about the Lord. Unfortunately, schedules don’t always work out as we hope. The teachers are preparing for exams, so I will not be able to begin discipleship lessons with her until school obligations settle down.  But the “medical team” was able to go out and deliver food to a village and 3 people accepted Christ!

Tuesday: BGR Bucket Delivery. Me Teresa, myself, the medical team, as well as one of the Basotho pastors visited a man who some believers had heard was sick. We delivered a BGR bucket which has items in it to help a family care for a family member who is very sick. When we arrived , the man was not in good shape. He was very ill, and had sores on his body from laying in the same position for long periods of time. I was amazed by his courage as we spent the day by his side, cleaning and applying bandages to his body. I was so thankful for the nurses who had come to serve for the week and for the Englishs. Rachel and Tyler English are here for two years working with Reclaimed. Reclaimed is a ministry that works closely with the Flora’s and focuses on orphan care. Rachel is a new nurse, and I am proud to say that her first day on the job as a registered nurse was very impressive! She, and the other nurses visiting, took such good care of the man. During the many hours that we were there, we learned a little bit about his family. He had a brother who was taking care of him, and they had been inviting the sangoma (witch doctor) into their home for healing. We shared the good news of Jesus Christ. After a long day, the man who was sick with wounds and little hope of survival put his faith in Jesus Christ! In places where it seems like peace cannot be found, He is there! Our Prince of Peace! Prayers for his brother and mother who also heard the good news. Regardless of this man’s future on earth, he has eternal security! Christ has given him the greatest gift!

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Wednesday: First full clinic day in the village of Ha Theko. The nurses got to work, while Russ, the leader of the team and I became the pharmacists! Once upon a time I had thought about being a pharmacist. Got my pharmacy fix for a couple of days! Spend the majority of the day (and the next two days) handing out medication.  Highlight of the day was again a moment where the Lord showed me that He is the Prince of Peace. He gives peace in the most unlikely of circumstances. A man who could barely walk because he had a case of Kaposi Sarcoma affecting his legs accepted Christ. I love watching the faces of those who immediately realize how the choice they  have made will make all the difference in their life. I could not say it any better than Teresa, “He went from hopelessness to joyful confidence in a matter of a few minutes.” His face was full of peace. A peace that does not come from knowing that you will be healed from your disease, but a peace that comes from knowing that you have received eternal life and do not have to be afraid of disease because God is Greater!

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Thursday: Today we did a children’s clinic in Ha Masoetsa where a church is growing. There were  lots of children to play with all day. One of my highlights of the day was doing school with Micaiah. About 20 children gathered around to look at the white board that I was using to practice reading words with Micaiah. They were really interested in reading the words right along with her, but they were even more interested in the fact that I could erase the words with my finger after writing them! It’s the little things. 🙂 It was crazy windy out, but the women sat for hours not for their own benefit but for the benefit of their children. The people here have very little, yet they have some of the most loving hearts. There were women who were bringing children that were not their own to the clinic because those children had no one else to take care of them. The Lord continues to amaze me. At the end of the day we saw a little boy with scarring on his eyes. Story below, and an update just a couple of days later, he is already doing better!

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Friday: We had another clinic for all ages in the village of Ha Saoi. Another long great day! Jim joined us and was the pharmacy master for the day! He could actually speak the language to the people and explain how to use the medicines we were handing out so we didn’t have to continually send people back to Teresa! We were able to get through a lot of people! Highlight of the day was watching Micaiah try on glasses that severely impaired her ability to see and made her look like she was a grandma. One of the pastors from another village joined us for the day while his wife and daughter helped translate. He preached the Word of God to the people! Loved listening to him speak, knowing that the God’s word was being proclaimed in a language that I can’t understand! Spend some time skyping my parents, my heroes!

Saturday: Teresa has begun a mobile moms program among some of the women believers in the villages. She has over 30 mobile moms that she meets with once a month. The mobile moms are women who are willing to volunteer their time and energy to look after children in their villages that are neglected or orphaned. This Saturday we had a mobile mom meeting, where the woman were picked up in vehicles and brought Katse. They met together, heard from God’s word, were given encouragement and opportunities to pray for one another, and received a meal and goodies in the form of clothes and crafts for the children that they look after. Me Teresa pointed out that the woman get so excited when they receive something that they are going to be able to give to one of the children they look after. These children are not even their own yet they want to look after them well. We gave out some dresses for the young girls, and on Sunday I saw some of the little girls proudly wearing their new dresses to church. It was an awesome day! I also got to skype a very special person Saturday evening! 😉

Sunday: One of my favorite days I have had in Lesotho, and I have had a lot of good days. I went with the team who adopted the Matsoku valley to church in the valley. We arrived “on time,” which means we were way too early. So I was able to spend an hour playing soccer! I had a blast! We played with a couple of younger boys, one of whom had the best laugh ever! Every time he got the ball and someone would run toward him he would scream and laugh all at once! It sounded like pure joy. After an hour of soccer, church began anIMG_6068.JPGd the worship was awesome! I spend the church service surrounded by over 30 children and two who sat on my lap for the whole service! I may have lost circulation in my legs for a good half hour! Worth it, they were stinking cute. They wanted to hold my Bible and help me turn to the verses we were looking up. As I sat there with them, I realized there were far more children than adults. I am excited to see what this church looks like when all of these children are grown. Please pray that these parents have the courage to live boldly, and to train their children in the ways of the Lord. The team I went with for the day taught a lesson on overcoming fear. Yet again, I had another reminder that my Lord is the Prince of Peace. After the service I was able to witness over 20 believers get baptized in the river! The people rejoiced and sang the entire time. I also met the pastor, who is an amazing man of God. He walks two hours to church every Sunday and has a heart for the Lord and for the church in the Matsoku valley. Many of the people in Lesotho are terrified of water. A couple of the woman who were baptized actually came up out of the water in complete  panic. I asked Pastor Malefe (probably spelled wrong along with half of the names of villages in this post… I apologize) if he was afraid of water, and his response was “oh, yes!” He was willing to face his fear in order to baptize people so they could proclaim what the Lord has done in their life! It was a blast! After the church service, the team provided lunch for all of the people! It was a long, but awesome day!

 

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At the beginning of this post I said that Me Teresa was my new hero! I don’t say that lightly. I am not very good at having heroes, but I have been so encouraged and amazed by her selflessness and heart that breaks for the people of Lesotho. She uses the gifts she has been given to love on the people and teach them. One of the first evenings in Lesotho, we had to bring a casket to a family who had just lost a baby. She told me at one point during the evening that the moment she can’t mourn for these people and share in the their heartache is when she needs to leave Lesotho. She has fully invested her heart and life into not only providing for these people’s physical needs through her title as a nurse, but through getting to know the people and providing them with the story of Jesus. She is sharing with the good news of Jesus Christ, and with that she is giving the Basotho opportunities to know the Prince of Peace.

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Psalm 29:11 “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with PEACE.

I have been so blessed by the prayers and encouragement I have received this week! Thank you family and friends!