Thursday, June 28, 2007
- Thank you so much for praying about the political situation here. Though the problems have not been solved, things are much more calm again. The curfew was lifted last week, and there haven't been near as many military check points. Praise God for this answer to prayer! Please do continue to pray for these problems.
- Help us praise the Lord for a good sense of unity among the pastors. For a while it seemed that satan had sowed seeds of disunity that could bring a lot of damage to God's Kingdom.
- A team of young people from a church in South Africa are visiting the Marais' and us to help with outreaches in Lesotho. Please pray much for these young people. Ask God to make them a blessing and also pray that this will be a time of spiritual growth for them. Pray that we missionaries will live so close to Jesus that it will make them hunger and thirst for righteousness.
- Pray for the annual ladies conference this weekend.
- Continue praying for revival in Lesotho.
- Pray much for the upcoming Bible distribution trip to Zimbabwe. Our departure date has changed to the 17th of July instead of the 10th.
- We got snow yesterday! No, it wasn't very much, but enough to make snowmen. It hasn't snowed this much here in the lowlands since 1996, so it was quite an event!
I'm sitting in my warmest coat with my hood up. It's cold with a nasty wind blowing. I'm sure the wind chill factor must be down in the single digits F. I suppose the temp is in the mid 20's still.
Yesterday something unusual happened. We go snow in the lowlands. Somebody told me the last time it happened was in 1996. The day started out cloudy and cool and got colder all day. Nt. Mokoena and I were in Maseru around 5:00pm when I noticed a few pellets of sleet. I went into the grocery store, and when I came out a few minutes later, there was already 2 inches of snow. I brushed it off the windshield of the car and started around clearing all the windows. By the time I got back to the front, the windshield was covered again. I don't know if I ever remember seeing it snow so hard in my life. Maybe I've forgotten, but the snow was falling in fist sized clumps. The temp was right at freezing, so most of it melted as it fell. Nt. Kali was at Ha Motheho and said there was about 6" there. As usual, Matukeng didn't get as much. Actually, it's warmer here, so more melted as it fell. I don't think there was more than about 2 inches here.
This morning I went to Ha Motheho with the 4X4 to get a load of church benches for the conference. The village was absolutely beautiful with a white blanket over everything including the thatch roof houses. The rusty red mud plaster contrasted nicely with the white wonderland. I wished I'd have taken the camera! In Maseru there were big snow men in the main traffic circle at the center of town. By afternoon the sun came out and the snow is all gone here in the village, but the top of the mountain is still white.
It's been very busy since we last wrote. Thursday morning I went to Ladybrand to pick up the TLC team in Ladybrand. They did some shopping on the way in Maseru and Steph had lunch for us when they got here. After lunch I took the two boys into town to buy some building materials. We got back late because there was an army check point on the way home. Traffic was terrible but fortunately they didn't search us or our vehicle.
Friday they helped with an outreach at Ha Seleso. They did a children's service, we passed out tracts and then had a short service for adults. They did a great job.Saturday we climbed the mountain behind our house. Only three of them (Jeremy Howard, Klaus Hobbs, & Priscilla Lefever) made it to the top. I stayed with the rest of the girls who made it about 3/4 of the way or a little more. I think they had fun. In the afternoon they went down into the donga below our house then we went into Ladybrand for supper. They took us out to a nice restaurant there. We had a really nice time while they were with us.
Thanks so much for praying for the political situation here. I don't think the problems have been solved, but the curfew has been lifted with helped to calm things down again. It seems as though a small part of the military mutinied or are in rebellion against the current government. They stole some government vehicles, firearms, etc. and temporarily kidnapped some of the government ministers body guards. It's all related to politics and needs continued prayer. So far there doesn't seem to be particularly dangerous for foreigners, but the situation is volatile.
A team of South African young people were supposed to arrive for a 10 day visit at Uncle Piet's on Sunday, but somehow their transportation didn't work out. (I think they had chartered a taxi, but it broke down.) Uncle Piet felt sorry for them and sent S.W. with his truck to pick them up on Monday. They are staying with Marais' but want to help with outreaches, etc. in Lesotho. Since they arrived a day late, it kind of threw off plans a little, and then this snow storm changed things even more. Tuesday they helped Nt. Mokoena and I and a few other young men put a ceiling in two rooms at Ha Matala. Today we had planned to go to a village in the mountains to pass out tracts and hold a service, but we couldn't with the snow. The Lord willing, they'll be back Friday and Saturday for outreaches in two other villages. Please pray a lot for them. Several of them probably aren't saved. The purpose of their visit is to expose them to mission work and also try to help them spiritually.
Besides hosting teams there is a ladies' conference this weekend. The special speakers (Bro. and Sis. Merrifield) will be staying with us. Another thing that keeps us busy is that I'm working on getting ready to go to Zimbabwe. As of now, I think we'll leave the 17th, so there's still a little time.
Well, I need to write another note or two, so I'll sign off.
Love you all. Thank for praying!
Glenn, Steph, & Kaitlyn
P.S. I'm going to try to put some pictures on the blog.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This is going to have to be short. Just the same, we really appreciate your prayers!
Our urgent prayer request for the moment concerns the political situation in Lesotho. On Saturday the 16th the Government of Lesotho declared a state of emergency and is imposing a 6pm to 6am curfew. No travel is allowed on foot or by road during that time without a special permit. The reason they declared the state of emergency is that several government ministers have been attacked or had property stolen. I think one or two had cars stolen, and several of their body guards were attacked, kidnapped, etc. Also I heard that an army base somewhere had a lot of weapons stolen. Supposedly this curfew will help the situation. There are also army check points where people are being searched for weapons, etc.
At the moment, the situation is not that dangerous to us. The violence has been limited to government people and we think that the whole thing may be motivated more by politics than an emergency. The majority of people who own vehicles and taxis belong to the opposition party. We suspect that the curfew is kind of aimed at them. Nevertheless, African politics are by nature unpredictable and can turn violent very easily. Please pray much for this situation!
Sunday the 10th of June I went with two of the pastors to our congregation near Mapoteng. God is really at work in the village there, and I was very encouraged at the progress this congregation has made. Help us praise the Lord for this!
Thanks again for your prayers!
Glenn, Stephanie, and Kaitlyn Gault
Hope International Missions
Friday, June 8, 2007
Here's a little update to help you pray more effectively.
- Thank you for praying for our Whit Sunday service in Ladybrand. One of the big hurdles for a joint service like this is to get Christians through the border into South Africa. This can often take 2+ hours on a Sunday afternoon. I (Glenn) went to the border and talked to the official in charge a few days before the service. This lady arranged for an immigration officer to help our group in an inside office. We didn't have to wait in the line at all. Everyone enjoyed the service!
- This past Sunday a young Christian asked for advice on how to pay tithe. He found some part-time work and wants to give back a part to God. This is a real victory! Most of the people in our churches are still very weak in this area.
- This weekend I will be going with several other pastors to visit the congregation near Mapoteng in the mountains. We need a lot of wisdom to make wise decisions with them. We are hoping to find a dedicated Christian there whom we can train as a pastor/leader for the people there.
- Please keep praying for our annual Bible distribution trip which will be to Zimbabwe this year. There are still many details to be worked out. We plan to leave around the 10th of July.
- Also keep praying for the special prayer request that we mentioned last time.
- Pray for outreaches in Lesotho. Two teams will be visiting to help with these.
- We got more than an inch of rain this week! I never thought I'd be happy to see mud, but after a very dry summer, it actually looks pretty good! :-)
Glenn, Stephanie, and Kaitlyn Gault
Hope International Missions
Hope you are all doing well. Seems like short e-mails from us have become the norm.
I suppose the biggest news item in our lives is rain! It rained and misted on and off all day Tuesday and most of the night. Then it rained a little more Wednesday. Even last night I woke up and heard a little sprinkle. After a very dry summer, it's nice to see mud again! And the high mountains are just beautiful with a thick blanket of snow.
It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot that's newsy in our lives. Let me think...
Sunday night we went to a missionary farewell in Maseru. Three missionary families are leaving Lesotho in the next few weeks. The ones we know the best are Baptist missionaries who have contributed a lot of time and money to the translation of the TEE books we are using in the Bible School. They have been in Lesotho about 17 years, and actually helped Nt. Pheko start the church at Roma. We will miss them. They have a very broad vision for God's Kingdom and aren't afraid to help other churches.
Tuesday we had to make a trip to Bloemfontein. I took my tent to a shop there to have new zippers sewn in it. They kept calling me to tell me it was done, and I was afraid they were going to sell it or something. Steph also had some lab work done. Her cardiologist is trying to determine exactly what caused her stroke since he doesn't think it was a result of a damaged heart valve. Medical care is normally surprisingly cheap in South Africa, but I have to admit I was a bit shocked when the lady handed me the bill. I'm glad it was here and not America!!! As usual, the highlight of the day for Kaitlyn was the McDonald's playland.
I'm still working on TEE whenever I get a spare minute. It's coming well. I'm trying to finish another book before I go to Zimbabwe in July.
Thursday we went to the border to renew our 6-month border passes. It used to be that I could renew all of them, but anymore everyone has to be there. They've changed the system, so it doesn't take near as long as it used to. I think we were done in less than 10 minutes.
This Sunday I'm going to Mapoteng in the mountains. The church there has lost it's pastor again. We are hoping to train someone who lives there to do the work. It's a much more long-term proposition, but I think it will be more successful.
We're in Ladybrand for the day (Friday). Tonight we have our monthly missionary team meeting. It's always nice to be together, and hear what everybody else is doing.
Love you all,
Glenn, Steph, and Kaitlyn
Friday, June 1, 2007
As usual these days, this is going to have to be quick. We are in Ladybrand. I'm sitting at Spar while Steph gets our groceries. After a few weeks of a little more relaxed schedule, it seems like the pace is picking up again! Every weekend in May I had meetings, and it looks like it will be the same until I leave for Zimbabwe in July. Tomorrow is the annual church board meeting in Lesotho, so there has been lots of things to get ready for that. This was the first year I have had to give a report to the board, so writing that out in Sesotho took a lot of time. I think the grammar still has some problems here and there, but Nt. Kali read through it, helped me with a few corrections, and seemed to be able to understand everything.
Steph has been working a little bit everyday this week on bookkeeping. We got behind on it the first part of the year, so she's really trying to get it all caught up again. It's a big job because she can only snatch a few minutes here and there between caring for Kaitlyn, etc.
I've been working around our yard a couple days this week in my spare moments trying to get things cleaned up. Between the building project at our house and the work we did last year and in January at the clinic, there's a lot of stuff laying around. It's always hard to know what to keep and what to give to people for firewood or just throw away. Over time I use a lot of scraps of lumber, even small ones, but I don't really have a place to store all the lovely scraps now.
Nt. Kali has been spending Thursday afternoons at Ha Motheho passing out tracts and visiting from door to door with some of the church people there. They made some good contacts. Last Saturday he attended a funeral at Matukeng. The Anglican church was in charge, but they also gave the pastor of another apostate church an opportunity to preach. They both preached the deceased straight into heaven because she had been faithful to support the Anglican church financially. Unfortunately, both these pastors are some of the biggest drunks in the village. Right at the end the Anglican pastor also gave Nt. Kali a few minutes to preach. He felt lead to use a couple choice texts that state that drunkards cannot go to heaven. (At funerals virtually everyone is drunk. It's part of it. They brew at least one 55 gallon drum.) It seemed like the Holy Spirit used the few words he said to really convict some of the people. Both the pastors didn't seem too impressed, though!
Well, I suppose I better get this finished up. I want to put a couple pictures on the blog, too. Hopefully everything works out OK.
Glenn, Steph, & Kaitlyn