Saturday, May 9, 2009

News from Lesotho

Hi everyone,

It's a sunny but chilly Saturday afternoon in Lesotho. I wonder if it snowed up in the mountains somewhere recently. In spite of a clear sunny day, the wind has a cold bite to it.

I finished up the class I've been taking yesterday. I enjoyed the class a lot, but I'm glad it's over! I have a to-do list as long as my arm to get done this month. When I take these classes I seem to only get the necessities done. Anything that can be put off gets put off. Now it's catch up time!

Last weekend we visited Philip and Amrie Geise. We had a really nice time with them. Since Friday was a holiday in South Africa, we went there Thursday afternoon after they got out of school. Friday we went to a farm show in Bloemfontein. We arrived there late because we slept in, so we missed some of the better shows like seeing horses, but we still had a lot of fun looking around. Besides animals, there were displays of farm equipment, motorcycles and four wheelers, art contests from area schools, and lots of flea market type stuff. Saturday Steph
and Amrie relaxed around the house while Philip and I went for a hike. We went to a farm about 8 miles from Ladybrand and hiked down into a beautiful canyon that has a waterfall at the head of it. There wasn't any water falling, but little springs were trickling out of the rocks
everywhere. It was very beautiful and therapeutic. We had planned to go back to Lesotho Saturday night even though I didn't have to preach on Sunday, but around supper time we decided to spend the night again and go with them to the church at Manyatseng Sunday.

Saturday afternoon Philip had loaned his truck to one of the pastors to move some of his things from the farm where he used to live to Ladybrand. Shortly after we made the decision to spend the night, Philip got a phone call that somebody had run into his truck and the back axle was knocked out from under the truck. We hurried off together to see what could be done. Fortunately no one was hurt seriously, but the pastor's brother's son did spend the night in the hospital. The car that hit the truck hit it right on the back wheel and drove the back
axle almost to the bumper on one side. We managed to beat it back into place and tightened up the badly mangled u-bolts again enough to get it home. The big challenge was that it didn't have any brakes and the drive shaft was also pulled out. Eventually we used our Golf and a tow
rope to pull it a few miles back to Steve and Gwen's house very slowly. The last four blocks to their house is down hill, so we hitched a "whoa rope" from the front of Steve Geise's Mercedes to the back of Philip's truck to be the brakes to go down the hill. By then it was getting late and we were all pretty tired. We got a good laugh out of our tow train.

Monday morning I took our truck back to Ladybrand for them to use, then Wednesday we worked on his truck. We replaced the spring center bolts, u-bolts and all the bushings on both sides. We also had to repair the parking brake cable, the brakes, and a few other things. Amazingly there was very little sheet metal damage on the vehicle. The man who
hit him supposedly deposited money into Philip's bank account today to cover the damage. I suspect that the wheel bearing and the u-joints will eventually have to be replaced, and we wonder if the frame wasn't tweaked out of shape a little somewhere since the truck sits a little
higher on one side than the other. Fortunately the amount the man paid will cover those repairs and paint that side of the truck.

Today Steve and Gwen were planning to visit, but their whole family is down with a nasty stomach flu. Instead of visiting with them, I ended up going to a funeral here in the village. It was a strange funeral to say the least. It seemed that the young man who died was estranged from his family here. I don't really know what the problem was, but between the drunkenness and family problems the funeral was a little tense. The father of the man who died left the funeral midway to go get some more alcohol in the village. He came back at the end of the service so drunk he could hardly stand up. Ntate Pheko preached the funeral, and the people of the village listened very attentively. The hunger for the Gospel in Lesotho is very encouraging.

Friday night Nt. Kali took a group of ladies to Mapoteng to encourage the ladies of that congregation. They held an all night prayer meeting there and came back real early this morning. Nt. Kali turned the truck around in a spot that turned out to be a marsh. The truck was starting to get stuck so he backed up into some bushes to get to solid ground. Unfortunately, the bushes had been cut down and had grown out again. The branches looked very soft and harmless, but unfortunately there was a big limb hidden by the new growth. This nasty snag broke out the back window of the topper of the truck. I'm not sure where I'll find a replacement for that! Maybe I'll have to just find some plexi-glass and cut a custom one.

Well, I'm rambling so I'll close.

Love to all. Thanks for your prayers!