I wanted to celebrate Christmas with something Jesus-y so what better way than to tell you the story of Colin and his trip to the mountains of Lesotho a few weeks ago? Here’s a vision for Lesotho: rather than building big church communities and finding money to pay people to lead them, and expecting people to walk for hours/ find money for taxis to get there, let’s have “a fire on every mountain and in every valley”. In other words, let’s pray for hundreds of little church communities spread out over the difficult terrain of that rural country, all with local leaders.
You may know that we spent a few months in Maseru, the capital, in 2013 – mainly just helping out the ‘River of Life’ church there. We made friends with a man called Khotatso – the guy with the market stall in my blog years ago, when Evie got propositioned for marriage. Well the following year Khotatso moved back to his village and started a new little church there – we call that a ‘church plant’. The village is called Dipakwen, and the Maseru church has been staying in touch and visiting to support them.
Colin and a gang of 30 met up in Maseru then set off to visit Khotatso in six 4×4’s on tar roads for 3 hours then dirt roads for an hour with boulders such as this… then no roads for an hour, not including time spent sitting still whilst debating the route.
They got to Dipakwen and some villagers had gathered because they’d heard some visitors were coming who would pray for them – what a welcome! Colin said they had loads of fun blaring gospel music out of the windows when they arrived in different places – people would come out to dance and welcome them, and the team would spill out of the cars to join in! Fun times! Check out the moves:
That night everyone gathered in a house to pray and worship. The local church (Khotatso’s lot) joined in and the local chief and his family. Justice, our friend, asked to pray for the chief and his wife. He lead them to faith and the local church were so excited! This was all by candlelight, thanks to this lady who held the candle on her head! Never despise being given a small job…..
The men all slept in the same house. The noise from collective snoring was unbearable and some folks opted to sleep in the car. In one room, the younger guys were doubled up with laughter about the noise coming from the older guys’ room. (I won’t say which room Colin was in!)
The next morning they divided into teams and went off to 7 different villages. Colin met a lady who walks an hour and half from her village to Khotatso’s church – she’s called M’Mamonso. They prayed for her and she got baptised in the Spirit along with a whole bunch of others – I guess you could say that a church was planted there that day! The team left them beaming, with Colin promising that we’d get people to pray for her as she is now leading that church.
People from Dipwaken asked for prayer too, so more and more people were singing and speaking in tongues so it all got pretty noisy so more and more people arrived with their families. The the team went house-to-house and families would gather to hear about the love of God and would ask for prayer for specific needs. They all got invited back to M’Mamonso’s house for the evening….
The happy gathering took place, and the highlight was listening to Tuso. He is the son of the chief and he’d been suffering with severe headaches, fatigue and confusion for a few months. The witch doctor had been consulted and his advice had been followed but to no avail. Eventually Tuso went to Khotatso’s church and ‘was saved and Jesus healed him’ he said – just in a matter of fact way. His parents then told their side of the story and then right there and then in M’Mamonso’s house, received prayer and also found faith. (By the way, if you’re reading this and you’re thinking ‘Cuckoo!?!?’ or you’re curious, grab somebody you know who is an active Christian – you know the ones – they seem like they mean it? Anyway, grab them because I can promise you they’ll enjoy answering your questions!)
Back to the story. Colin says, “In all we had 21 people that day who became Christians, including a few people who rushed outside to be sick during the meeting. They returned the next morning to say they had been ‘set free’. We stayed over at M’Mamonso’s house and ate her food. She made salty porridge which Letsema enjoyed. It’s traditional to serve it in a special visitor’s mug.
“The next morning we walked the few hours back to our base and gathered with all the teams that had gone out. We worshiped together then each team shared their stories – eg. the story about a deaf boy who began to hear and the witch doctor asking for prayer and being delivered as a result. People were burning their lucky charms and traditional medicines that they had trusted in. They killed a goat and made a massive stew and we feasted, celebrated and danced! It was a time of worshiping, dancing, praying for people, packing and saying good bye, all mixed up together!
Our plan is to return and help the small church that Khotatso leads – they have lots of contacts to follow up, and we need to train people to go out from there and start new churches in the villages that we visited. The goal is to put a vision in them right from the beginning that their role is to train more leaders and go and plant more churches, which will do the same.”
Yes, dear readers – ‘the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head’ and it’s good to celebrate that at Christmas. BUT….. but, but, but… let’s not forget that the baby grew into a man, and went to the cross and rose again, a victor. And he is alive and kicking in the minds and hearts of our friends in Lesotho.
“A fire on every mountain and in every valley” – it doesn’t sound too impossible really does it? We are praying that this vision will become more and more of a reality next year….
But for now, a very Merry Christmas and thanks so much if you’ve followed my blog this year.