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lesotho, an introduction

January 2, 2011

TEAM \\ andrew (our team leader and recent grad from UB who is now leading ministry among university students here), myself, and four UB students – nomathemba, michael, wazer, and motsamai. every member of this team sacrificed greatly to go. for some the greater sacrifice was money, for others time. for all comfort and familiarity. one student skipped dinners every night to help save money for his trip. and in each case, God showed how every need was met and fulfilled in Him.

PLACE \\ lesotho, serving in the surrounding villages of katse. katse is located deep in the maluti mountains of lesotho, where there are countless basotho living in places only accessible by foot or horse.

PARTNERS \\ jim, teresa, grace, anna & rebekah flora, the missionary family serving in lesotho who led us, served and encouraged our team, fed us yummy food, prayed for us, and inspired us by their relentless service and passion for God. dr. larry and sally pepper, a missionary couple who traveled to katse to spend their week with our team being constant servants and encouragers. tsepo & sefiri, two basotho who were great culture resources, translators and shared each day in our task of proclaiming the gospel and serving the basotho.

CULTURE \\ the basotho found in the maluti mountains are a people of the land. they live in round, thatched-roof huts called rondavels. they farm. they ride horses and donkeys or walk. most live in great poverty. children will walk between 2-3 hours each morning to go to school, then walk 2-3 hours home. the nearest clinics are typically 3 hours from their village. many basotho, particularly the older generations, are unable to read. each village has a chief. lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world – just under 1 in 4 people are living with HIV. it’s commonly known that if a white flag is hung outside one’s rondavel they sell beer, a yellow flag offers harder alcohol, a red flag meat, a green flag vegetables. if all flags are present, it usually signifies the rondavel is home to a sangoma, more commonly known as witch doctor or african traditional doctor. basotho see cause & effect in all things – if you are ill then it is because you have not consulted the sangoma for muti (charms purchased to protect yourself – in the form of small bottles, beads, etc). if your crops are poor this year, it is likely because someone has cursed you or because you have failed to appease the balimo, your ancestor spirits. a majority of basotho will claim christianity by name, but have no understanding of the gospel. you often find men and women who are believing in bits and pieces of christianity that have been fused with traditional religion, ancestor worship and/or catholicism.

there is so, so much more than this – culture is so deep. but hopefully this will give you some sort of context for the stories to come. . .

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One Comment leave one →
  1. jtharp permalink
    January 4, 2011 12:45 am

    Yay! I’m glad you’re giving us updates. I’ve been curious about the trip and for stories and such. Love you!

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