The ladies from my Bible study groups sent reading glasses along with me for this trip to Lesotho. I knew there was a tremendous need because last year Pontso kept asking me if she could have a couple of my pairs. I brought the glasses downstairs when I went to breakfast. I shared them first with Pontso…then it seemed like the entire restaurant staff was going through them trying to find the correct strength and style of their liking. One of the new waitress asked me how much I wanted for them. When I told her they were a gift, she squealed with delight. They wiped me out of the bag of glasses…little do they know I have more in the room for other groups! This is so much fun!
Yesterday was wonderful. Me Rose, has helped us each day. She has acted as our translator when the Basotho (native to Lesotho) people have spoken Sosetho (their native language). Under Me Rose’s guidance along with the help of 2 other women who live in the village, we headed to a public school.
All students in public schools are required to wear school uniforms which are provided by the government. We saw many torn and tattered uniforms. As we arrived we were mobbed by students that were at recess.
We were there to help the neediest of the needy, one of which was a girl who could not speak. She is 1 of 4 children living with her aunt and uncle (unemployed) in a 3 room house – 9 people in total. When we arrived she would not smile, but that changed quickly as she received the many items that had been hand-picked for her.
Later we had the opportunity to visit her home and meet her aunt. I know that we can’t even make a dent in the HUGE problems, but we could brighten a very hopeless life for a brief time.
We came to share the Word of God and extend material need to some of the poorest. I am praising God for the opportunity He gave us. He truly has given me a heart for the people of Lesotho. It has been heart-breaking at times, but I am convinced that the message we share transcends cultures and transforms lives! Join me today in praising Him for His abundant blessings…and for the work He has done in Lesotho through us.
I (Mike) was touched deeply by our visit to the Save the Children orphanage. The conditions were in stark contrast to Beautiful Gate.
The teenage girls we met are some of the “forgotten” children here. They do not live in an orphanage but rather in homes. These girls are perhaps some of the neediest children we met. And yet young women like this can play a large role in changing the future of the next generation. Graciously they met with us after school. We were told that freshmen girls shave their heads similar to an initiation ceremony. We were able to share some clothes with them. Later we purchased shoes, coats, and warm clothes for them. Lesotho is about to head into winter and it gets very cold here.
Dr. Angela Benson of the World Health Organization on the left
We had a full day of worship, teaching, and making new friends. The people of the church are incredibly hungry for God’s Word. There was an eagerness that we don’t always see in the states to learn. Our teaching sessions were quite lengthy compared to what we experience at home – they were 2 hours in length. From young to old, they all had Bibles, took copious notes on what we taught, had excellent questions, and a genuine desire to hear and apply the Word of God.
Carol was a big hit with the children not only with her teaching, but also with the American candy she brought. It was amazing to walk into her large room of 30 kids, ages 5-12, and see them all quietly working on their lessons.
Amanda, never having worked with teenagers before, was great! The room they were in was a converted dorm room. But as teenagers do they made the most of it and turned it into their own. There was lively conversation, a lot of giggling, and deep sharing about the struggles they face.
I (Mike) taught the adults. It was a wonderful group with lively discussion. We covered a lot of territory during the 6 hours on the theme of “Fertile Soil.” We looked at what the Bible said about having a well-prepared heart to receive God’s Word, abiding in Christ, building your life on the foundation of the Word, what it means to love one another, and the command from Christ that we be one in Him. They even learned “Look, Learn, and Live” a method of Bible study that takes you deeper into the Word.
All in all the people were hungry for God’s Word. They couldn’t get enough it and voiced the desire that it would continue for days! I am excited to see the passion and enthusiasm they had to know God’s Word. Many related how what they learned will change their lives.
How about you? How hungry are you to hear and apply God’s Word? My prayer for my new friends in Lesotho and my friends at home is that each of us will have an insatiable desire to know God through a deeper understanding of His Word.
Mike teaching the children
Only God! Only God can direct a woman living in Ethiopia to visit one website in particular, one out of billions of websites on the Internet. Only God can then develop a deep friendship between two women on separate continents as they correspond via email, sharing their common commitments to Christ and their visions for doing God’s work in the world. Only God can prompt a church in a small African country to invite a team of women from the US to come and teach God’s Word and encourage their people. Only God! And when our one and only God provides such extraordinary opportunities, I want to immediately follow!
I have known Angela, now from Lesotho, since 1998 when she first visited the Anchor Your Life website and we began to correspond via email. Over the ensuing years, Angela and I have shared God’s Word and prayed for one another many times. I had the privilege of meeting Angela and her family while they were in Philadelphia a few years ago and then the joy of hosting Angela in Sarasota a year ago.
Angela is a Thought for the Day subscriber and for years has used content from the Anchor Your Life website in Bible studies and small groups in her local church. Consequently, many of the people in her church are familiar with Anchor Your Life . And now, as only God can orchestrate, her church has invited us to come to Lesotho and to teach and minister to the people of the Maseru United Church, an international, interdenominational English-speaking congregation in the capital city of Maseru. God is continuing His incredible work in our lives and in the ministry of Anchor Your Life as I will be leading a small team of women on a trip to Lesotho from February 27 – March 9, 2007!
Lesotho — a country slightly smaller than the state of Maryland and entirely surrounded by the nation of South Africa — is home to some two million people. Sadly, this tiny nation faces some monumental challenges. About 50% of the population lives at poverty level. HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent in Lesotho. The adult HIV/AIDS rate is about 30%. Even more striking, the life expectancy for males is 35.55 years and only 33.21 years for females. Because 10% of Lesotho’s children are orphans, many households are headed by adolescents rather than adults. Lesotho is a country that is desperately hungry for hope…the kind of hope that only God can provide!
We are going to teach and minister to the people of the Maseru United Church. We will spend three days ministering to various ages, from young children to adults, by teaching the Bible, worshipping through music, and encouraging those in Angela’s local church. On Sunday, we will lead her church’s worship service. The following days, we will minister to orphans, street children, and AIDS patients. We not only want to share the hope God offers, but also try to meet some of dire material needs of the orphans.
We need your help! We desperately need your prayers. We believe that when God’s people pray, God hears their prayers and works in incredible ways. Please read the specific prayers requests that are listed at the end of this letter. We ourselves are praying for assistance with the funding of the general expenses of the trip, as well as additional funding for shoes, clothing, and other supplies for the children and people of Lesotho.
We are excited to be able to share our experience with you, so we will be shooting video of the trip and uploading it to the Anchor Your Life website. You will then be able to view firsthand the direct impact of your contribution as you watch a child receive his first pair of shoes or perhaps her first dress. Our prayer is that as you see for yourselves the very faces of the people you invest in, your lives will be enriched, and your faith in God will deepen. Only God can accomplish such marvelous things!
It is our honor and joy to be able to share this exciting adventure with you. Thank you for your support and encouragement along the way. We always look forward to how we can together expand God’s Kingdom. Join us as we seek, praise, and delight in the only God who can do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine!
Joyfully Serving Him!
Marji “Mike” Kruger