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). None 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. While 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.
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!
Thursday: Thanksgiving day! Fun 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!
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. He 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!
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. 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! Yes, 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, was 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!