Thursday, December 24, 2015

In Memory of Mastephen Mokoka

On the 17th of November two of our friends passed away in a tragic car accident. Many of you knew or at least knew of Rachel Cutler who served with Hope International Missions and lived next door to us from 2011 to 2012. She was an incredibly talented children's worker and left her mark on many people both in America and Africa. However, many of you never heard of Mastephen Mokoka, the other girl who passed away, until her death a few weeks ago. She was also our next door neighbor on the other side for the last ten years. I decided to write a little something in memory of her and also so that our friends in America could know her better.
Mastephen graduated from our Bible School in 2012

The most important thing in Mastephen's life was that she was a born again Christian. I don't remember exactly when she got saved, but I think it was sometime in 2001. Her older sister, Mrs. Manthabi, shares how Mastephen was saved and delivered from demon possession:

Before I got saved, my family had problems because my younger sister was demon possessed. We thought that she would never get well. When she tried to sleep she would see people she knew from the village wearing masks. They would come to beat and torture her. We couldn't see them; we only saw her crying. Other times she would faint and sleep for two or three days without eating or drinking.

We took her to many medical doctors and witch doctors, but none of them could help her. My family had a special witch doctor that tied charms around peoples' necks and waists. My parents asked him to come to the house and spend the night to see if he could heal my sister. That night the problems only got worse, and we heard demons running on the tin roof of our house. Very early in the morning the witch doctor got up and left because he realized he could not help us. Then we took her to an even more powerful witch doctor, but his spells didn't work on her either. He told us that she would never be healed except by using the Bible!

After seeing that witch doctor, it so happened that Hope International Missions pitched a tent and were preaching the Gospel in our village. Someone from the village suggested that my sick sister should go to these tent services. She went and the preacher (Rev. Kali Nthabi) prayed for her. After he prayed for her, we all slept very
On air at Harvest FM
well. In fact nothing bothered her on the nights she went to the tent.

Then Satan began to tell Mastephen that people were going to mock her calling her an “evangelical.” She stopped going to the tent, and immediately the demons started to torment her again. Her condition became so bad that she couldn't walk, so we asked the preacher from the tent meeting to come pray for her. We saw God's power as she was healed and stood up immediately after his prayer.

From then on I decided that I would escort her to the tent myself so that we would be able to sleep at night. I told everyone that I was not saved or becoming an evangelical, but I was only taking my sister to the services so she would not be sick. After two or three days of going to the tent meetings, the Word of God began to speak to me and convict me of my sins. I went forward when the preacher gave an invitation and was converted. Mastephen also got saved about the same time, but Satan doesn't leave a person easily. Sometimes the demons would still bother my sister. Whenever this happened, we would call Pastor Kali and Pastor Glenn to come and pray for her. As they would pray, Satan would have to flee, and my sister would be well again right away.”

As Mastephen grew spiritually, her prayer life deepened and she was able to pray
for herself and fend off demonic attacks in the place of secret prayer. She never testified much publicly about her specific experience of entire sanctification, but her life clearly testified to being crucified with Christ and having the fulness of the Holy Spirit.
Kristell and her "Cousin"

Mastephen LOVED children! She was a very dear friend to our girls and often
bought gifts or candy for them even though her income was very limited. She was especially close to Kristell, and they called each other “Cousin.” Mastephen spent hours with our girls teaching them the Sesotho language and Sesotho songs and dances.

She was known as “Mangoane” (aunt) to hundreds of children in the villages of Lesotho where she held Sunday School classes, VBSs, and distributed Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. Just a quick look at our children's ministry statistics from the last year show that she touched more than a 1000 children with the Gospel in 2015! She and her sister were the first converts at the Ha Motheho congregation in 2001. This congregation has now grown to more than 100 people on Sundays largely as a result of her children's Sunday School classes. One of her first Sunday School children is now the pastor of this church.
VBS at Malimong 2015

Stephanie has always had a vision for training children's workers in Lesotho. Mastephen caught this vision and carried this ministry on to the next level. She was the main teacher at several seminars that we had organized for Sunday School teachers from our churches, and she encouraged others to get involved in leading children to Christ. She and Stephanie met weekly to pray together that God would call others to children's ministry. Besides missing Mastephen as a person, one of the things that hit me hardest with her death was the loss of one the finest children's workers I have ever met. This was a very painful blow to me until I realized that she had personally mentored at least two other young ladies to take over this ministry before God called her home to heaven. I couldn't stop the tears as I watched one of these young ladies follow in her footsteps at a recent weekend evangelistic meeting. Within five minutes of our arrival in the village, she had gathered the curious children and was teaching them songs and Bible verses. May the Lord give her and many others a double portion of Mastephen's spirit for reaching children with the Gospel!

Music was a HUGE part of Mastephen's life! She loved to sing to the Lord and was
The Amazing Grace choir in 2012
blessed with a strong voice. She could effectively lead the singing for hundreds of people in an open air service without an amplifier. Many times I have seen God's presence come down in services as she sang. Several years ago I was to preach at our Ha Motheho congregation. That morning she sang a chorus that said “I don't know why Jesus loved me” over and over. Tears of joy streamed down her cheeks (and mine, too) as she worshipped the God who delivered her from demon possession and made her His child.

Mastephen was one of the lead members of the Amazing Grace choir. This choir has traveled with us to many outreaches and revivals around Lesotho and also in South Africa. Their music has been greatly used of God to bring people to salvation and to help believers enter into the deeper life of entire sanctification.
Mastephen (left) was a servant-leader.

Mastephen had told her family that she didn't plan to get married. She felt called to devote her life to God's service and said that her wedding would be once she got to heaven with Jesus. I don't know if her family completely took her seriously on this point, but after her death they realized that this was the truth. At her funeral, a visiting pastor from South Africa commented that the occasion was so joyful that he would have been convinced he was at a wedding except for the casket beside him as he was speaking. When he said that, I realized that a wedding had indeed taken place! Mastephen is with Jesus for the rest of eternity!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Church Planting at Ha Matjotjo

Back around July or so, an orphan girl named 'Majone heard the Gospel for the first time when Nt. Kali was preaching at the Harvest FM radio station. Though she was a trusted young person from a local church, she realized that she was far from God and in desperate need of a Savior. She was also heavily burdened by the responsibility of raising her younger siblings and caring for a household. Her elder brother took little responsibility for the family and wasted most of their money on alcohol, marijuana, and women.

After the broadcast 'Majone called Nt. Kali to ask for prayer. He listened to her family problems and once again shared the Gospel of a Savior who s
ays “"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” That night as Nt. Kali prayed with her over the phone, she gave her heart to Jesus and found rest for her soul. Nt. Kali stayed in touch with her by phone and discipled her over the next few weeks. One Sunday on his way back from preaching at the Ha Ntsabane congregation, Nt. Kali was able to visit her. Her younger sister and brother, and some cousins joined them for a cottage prayer meeting, and some of them gave their hearts to the Lord also. He invited them to come to the October youth conference, and they began making plans to attend.
At the October conference, Nt. Kali made plans with them to hold a weekend tent meeting in their village of Ha Matjotjo. 'Majone's sister and their cousins were excited about the plans and worked hard to prepare places for us to sleep at their houses. They were also saving money to help buy food for the weekend. A couple weeks ago Nt. Kali visited the village chief with a letter asking permission to hold a tent meeting. The chief was rather negative, but as soon as his wife heard their conversation, she quickly intervened and gave him a hearty welcome. A number of young people from Matukeng, Ha Motheho, and other congregations also got behind this effort. They collected money to pay their way to this outreach. It was decided that since a mission vehicle was already going, we would give some of them a ride in that and use their money to buy food. The rest went by taxi. I also contributed some to the food, but they paid for the majority of it.

Less than a week before the outreach, we hit a fairly serious snag. There had been a funeral in 'Majone's extended family, and at a family meeting after the funeral, an uncle and 'Majone's brother order the four girls not to allow evangelicals to use their homes. They didn't prevent them from attending services, but they would not allow them to use their homes to accommodate us.
They said that their clan was Roman Catholic, and it should stay that way. The girls were heart broken, and I think they wanted to call the outreach off. We felt that this was an attack from the devil and decided to go ahead in faith that the Lord would provide a place for us to stay. We agreed that if all else failed the men could sleep in the tent and the girls could sleep in the van.

Because of Ausi Mastephen's death and other family reasons, Nt. Kali felt he couldn't be gone for the whole weekend. We agreed that I would lead the team, and Nt. Liau, Bro. Mahlomola, and Bro. Tankiso from Hobhouse would help with the preaching. We left early Friday afternoon, but Maseru was very busy and it took a long time to get the food items that we needed. None of us in our taxi had been to the village either, so we were rather unsure of where we were going. With God's help and a GPS with an OpenStreetMap overlay, we found the village quite easily. We also met the chief leaving the local bar. He took us to his house, but he was not at all happy we had come. He complained that we didn't notify him by letter before we came, but we assured him that we had. Then he complained that he hadn't seen the letter and that it was his “underlings” that had given us permission. He also complained that we shouldn't be trying to start another church in a Roman Catholic village. Having said that, softened a little and said there was no way he could turn us away since we were already there. He showed us where we could pitch the tent, and went away in a huff. Fortunately by then his wife showed up and welcomed us most graciously.
Sis. Kefuoe working with children

'Majone and her cousins were no where to be found, but we went ahead with setting up the tent, renting some chairs, etc. While we worked on this, Ausi Kefuoe held a little service for the children. This really touched my heart. Ausi Mastephen has always been the one who ministered to children every where we went. I was so blest to see that her “mantle” had fallen on capable shoulders. Please pray that God will give Ausi Kefuoe and others a double portion of the Lord's love for children's ministry!

By dark the generator was running and we started singing. A handful of women, a few teenaged boys, and twenty or so children had gathered. There was still no sign of 'Majone, but we went on with the service. About half way through the service, someone called me outside the tent. There was Majone, and others who had given their hearts to the Lord. They were obviously troubled, and asked if I knew about their problems. I told them that I had heard, but they shouldn't be worried. I told them that it is normal for Satan to oppose the Gospel, and that God would provide everything we needed. They were still troubled, and I could see they had been crying. I told them to come on into the tent, enjoy the service, and we would talk afterward.

Pastor Liau preached an excellent evangelistic message—very concrete and easily understandable to the African mind. It was clear that the Holy Spirit was convicting some of the ladies of their sin. At one point while he was preaching, two inebriated ladies almost got in a fight over which one of them was the worst drunk and adulteress. After a rather intense minute, they both left the service swearing at each other, and Nt. Liau continued with this message! When he preached about the sin of marijuana, most of the men who had gathered outside the tent to listen left with quite a bit of noise.

After the service, Ausi Mapaseka, a godly girl from here at Matukeng (one of the “first fruits” of Stephanie's children's ministry) talked to Majone and her cousins. I didn't hear the whole conversation, but she basically encouraged them in the Lord, promised them that God had already supplied all our needs (she said this in faith), prayed with them, and sent them home for the night. As she w
as speaking, a man from nearby brought us forty liters (about 10 gallons) of water—a tremendous blessing during a terrible drought. We closed the sides of the tent up, and the girls started heating water for tea. The generator quit before supper was ready so they finished preparations by the light of my headlamp. We ate bread and drank tea for supper. After a good season of prayer, we made preparations for the night. We laid the seats flat in the van for the four girls, and we men set up our beds in the tent. Some of the boys put chairs together to sleep on, but others preferred a mattress on the ground. It was a chilly night and very damp and cold in the tent by the time we finally got to sleep a little after midnight.

Around dawn the next morning, Steve Makhetla and I assessed our water situation and decided that we could afford to use 15 liters (3 1/4 gallons) for the fourteen of us for our baths. This would leave us enough water for tea for breakfast, papa for lunch, and a little to drink. From there we had to trust the Lord for more water. We heated the water, and I divied it out at a liter (quart) per person. Bathing was a long process since we only had three wash basins, but the men were finally done and the girls were just about to “take possession” of the tent to bathe and cook breakfast and lunch for us. Just before they went in, Majone and friends showed up beaming. Puleng had talked to her parents who are away working in South Africa and received their unreserved permission to welcome us to their home. They agreed to rebuke the uncle who had no authority over their home, and also talk to anyone else in the village who might cause problems. We quickly decided to move our accommodation to their house where Majone and her cousins would do the cooking while the girls bathed and got ready for church. They had already saved up a lot of water for us, so we were well taken care of. God supplied all our needs! From this point on, things went much more smoothly!

Bro. Mahlomola
Bro. Mahlomola preached the morning service. He preached about God's judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah and showed how much the world has become like these wicked places. He talked about Lot's wife, his daughters, etc. He did a good job. I preached in the afternoon service about how we are God's ambassadors pleading with them to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18-21). I could see the Holy Spirit moving especially on one older lady who attended all the services. She had come forward to seek the Lord the night before, and I could see that she was really understanding the plan of salvation.

Bro. Tankiso preached the night service. He is a very deliberate speaker, and starts off in a very unassuming, hesitant, mild way. God has given him a brilliant mind and the ability to weave together many seemingly unrelated threads into a powerful climax. He does this with a lot of dry humor, a soft voice, pertinent illustrations, and tremendous unction from the Holy Spirit. I have seldom heard a clearer presentation of the Gospel in an African context! He was greatly helped by God, and a dozen or so adults as well as children came forward to seek the Lord.

After church, we went back to Puleng's house for a supper of papa and beans. After everyone ate most heartily, we ten men were given a room for the night. I estimate it was about 4 meters (~12 ft.) square. It had ward robes along one wall and two single beds along two other walls. I was a little perplexed at first about how the ten of us would sleep there, but it was soon revealed to me. Nt. Liau and Br
Ha Matjotjo is very close to the Kome cave where canibals lived in the 1800s

o. Tankiso were to share one single bed. Bro. Stephen and Bro. Rethabile were to share a single mattress on the floor at the foot of that bed. Bro. Steve, Bro. Mahlomola, Bro. Ramoneng, Bro. Josefa, and Bro. Poloko were supposed to share two single mattresses on the floor in the centre of the room between the two single beds. I was to be given the other single bed. I watched with interest as the five men (a couple of them aren't exactly petite) tried to figure out how they were going to fit on the two single mattresses in the centre of the room. I think both they and I came to the same conclusion at about the same time—it just wouldn't work. So I told Steve that he must join me in my single bed! I had a feeling that I wouldn't sleep much, but the next thing I knew it was 5:00am and my alarm was calling me to prayer.

After bathing (this time with two or three quarts of water per person) we had breakfast—tea, six slices of bread, and a MASSIVE plate of beans. I couldn't help but think of the cowboy song that says something about “Beans for breakfast, Beans for dinner, Beans for supper, Lord deliver us from that!” Nobody seemed to have a great appetite except for my dear friend Stephen Mokoka. His beans (a favorite food) disappeared in almost no time flat. I did notice that he didn't ask for seconds even though Sis Kefuoe assured him that their were plenty more and several people offered to give him some of theirs. Poor Sis. Itumeleng. Hers just didn't seem to want to go down. I'm not sure if she eventually ate them or threw them out the window, but I saw her plate was finally empty.

After breakfast, I left for Ha Ntsabne. Bro. Poloko, a young man from the Mazenod congregation accompanied me. We met Nt. Kali in the town of Teyateyaneng where we traded vehicles. We had a good service at Ha Ntsabane, and Nt. Kali said they also had a good service at Ha Matjotjo. Quite a few people, including the chief's wife begged us to start a church for them, so Nt. Kali promised that a preacher would come again this next Sunday. The man who gave us 20 liters of water offered to let us use one of his houses for a church, so it looks like another church has been planted in Lesotho.

By the way, when I got home to Matukeng, Steph and fixed us a delicious supper—bean burritos!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Mohobelo is a traditional dance performed by Basotho men.  These two men are dancing to a chorus that says "He's coming, He's coming. Jesus is coming soon."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Students of the Week at Hope Christian Academy

Valera Motovilov made these balloon animals for the "Students of the Week" at Hope International Missions' academy in Ladybrand.  It is a monkey climbing a palm tree.  The teachers look for a given character trait in their students throughout the week, and award those who exhibit or improve in that trait at chapel on Friday.

Oh, blog, how I have neglected thee!

We'll, it's been a LONG time since I put anything on our blog!  Let me get started with a picture of Mr. Caleb Gault

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Awakening at Ha Ratau

Just a few minutes ago, Pastor Kali Nthabi knocked at our door to share what God is doing in the village of Ha Ratau.
We live at Matukeng (red oval).  Ha Ratau is on the other side of the Qeme Plateau (blue oval).
Some time ago a family in this village requested prayer for their grown son who is demon possessed.  Most of the time this man cannot speak.  This week Pastor Kali arranged to hold a service at their home.  He expected at most a dozen people for a cottage prayer meeting.  God had other plans!

This village is deeply oppressed by witchcraft and demon possession.  Many people in the village have lost their minds or have other problems that are clearly the result of demonic forces.  The lady of the house went to the village chief to inform him that she was expecting a pastor to visit and hold a prayer meeting at her home.  When the chief heard this, he asked her to tell the pastor not to just hold a cottage prayer meeting, but instead pitch a tent and hold services for everyone.  He told the lady that the village is in dire straits, and they desperately need God to deliver them.  The lady invited many people to come to her house this afternoon for a prayer meeting. 

When Pastor Kali and his team got to the village, people started gathering.  Before long the house was full, so they moved the service outside.  Dozens of people gathered in the yard to listen to singing, testimonies, and a Gospel message.  At the end of the message many responded to the "altar call" to seek the Lord.  The demon-possessed man was also seeking God, and at the end of the service he was no longer mute.  Praise the Lord for delivering him, but he needs to keep seeking the Lord until he is really saved!  Please pray for him and many others who need help in this village!

This is an exciting time to be a missionary in Lesotho!  We see God working in a powerful way so many places.  Sometimes it seems that the Spirit is moving out ahead of us and we have to run to keep up with what God wants us to do.  Please pray as we train and mentor people to fill the many opportunities God is providing!

April to July Newsletter

Please click on the picture below to read our most recent newsletter.
At the bottom of the newsletter, there is a link to download a higher resolution pdf file if you want to print it. 

Thanks for your prayers and financial support!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Prayer and Praise Update

Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers even when we don't send out regular updates!  Between adopting Caleb and hosting a TLC team, our lives have been very busy and very happy.  God has blessed us richly!
  • There has been a very special time of revival at Hobhouse, South Africa over the last several months.  New people have been coming to church, people have been getting saved every Sunday, and Christians have been growing deeper.  I also believe some of the leaders in the church have gotten sanctified.
  • The TLC team helped us with a successful 3-day VBS/children's ministry campaign in the village of Malimong.  More than eighty children attended, and some parents and grandparents also enjoyed the services. 
  • God miraculously provided running water for us while the TLC team has been here!  We are grateful for this providence from our loving Father!
  • The thing that motivated me to write this prayer and praise update is the unstable political situation in Lesotho.  We have written about this on our blog here, here, and here if you are interested in the details.  Back in February South Africa helped to negotiate elections, but this didn't really deal with the root cause of the instability.  Things are getting worse lately with several high profile people being assassinated.  We are quite troubled by the direction things are going, and fear that there could be wide-spread violence unless the Lord intervenes.  Would you PLEASE pray for peace in Lesotho and a true resolution to the problems that have caused violence in Lesotho both now and in the past.
  • Pray for the TLC team as they begin their journey back to America tomorrow. 
Thank you so much!
Glenn, Stephanie, Kaitlyn, Kristell, and Caleb Gault
Hope International Missions

Monday, June 22, 2015

Touching Lives for Christ Team Part 2

Half the team went with Glenn to Ha Ntsabane this
Sunday.  They taught the children's Sunday School class.
The rest of the team with Nt. Thaisi to Ha Lihanela.

We started a 3-day VBS at Malimong today.

John did a great job of telling the story 
of Noah and the Ark

Attendance was good for the first day.  Around 60
children showed up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Touching Lives for Christ Team

Right now we are hosting a Touching Lives for Christ short-term missions team.  They are a great group, and they've helped us a LOT!  Here's a few pictures.

Today part of the team painted the porch of our house.

Others worked on child evangelism material.

The married ladies had a seminar this past Saturday.

Mrs. Grant was the main speaker at the ladies' seminar.

Caleb is enjoying all the attention!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Support Us Link Fixed

Someone recently alerted us to the fact that the "Support Us" Paypal link on our blog and website were no longer working.  This was a result of FEA Ministries revamping their website.  I have repaired the link, so if you want to donate, go ahead and click it over there in the side bar! :-)


Monday, May 11, 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Playing With Caleb

As you can see, we are really enjoying Caleb!  This is for family, but anyone else is welcome to watch it too.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Teaching Sunday School at Ha Ntsabane

Who would have EVER thought I would be teaching the children's Sunday School class?  Sometimes I have twice this many children.  That's quite a challenge!

Lots of interesting things happen!  This Sunday I stepped on a puppy during the class.  That kept things lively! 

Please pray for a permanent teacher for these dear children!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Enjoying electricity

Fall has arrived in Lesotho, and the evenings are cool.  Tonight Kaitlyn and Kristell enjoyed using the hair dryer instead of going to bed with damp hair.  It's great to have electricity!


We spotted this on the way to town the other day.  Over a curb, across a sidewalk and into a ditch.  One always wonders how things like this happen!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

King of the Stone Fence Post

I snapped this picture on the way to church Sunday morning.  I'm not sure what the name of the village is, but it's near Ha Phiri Ntsabane in the TY area.

Adoption Update

We just got a message from the Director of Adoptions that we will be meeting Ts'epo tomorrow!  We can't wait!

We're sure glad his mommy didn't choose abortion!

News and Prayer Requests from Hope Christian Academy

Aunt Hessie just shared this on the Hope Christian Academy Facebook page.  We really appreciate your prayers for the school!

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!
The holidays are over and we are on our way to school to start the second term of the school year with the students after a blessed fasting and prayer meeting of the staff at the school yesterday!
We praise God that the unrest which forced us to close the school at the end of the previous term seems to be under control and there was no occurrences at the school property.
Please pray with us for the following:
- The spiritual condition of students and parents and salvation of souls.
- Strength and wisdom for the staff.
- God's provision for the staff that we still need
- The Motovilov family on their current deputation in preparation to come to South Africa in August.

Thank you for being involved with our ministry. May God bless and keep you.

For more pictures, click the link above!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Adoption Progress

Many of you already know that we've applied to adopt a child in Lesotho.  It's been a long process, but we are getting to the end finally!  Yesterday we formally agreed to adopt an eight-month-old boy named Ts'epo.  He is currently in the care of Beautiful Gate's loving staff.  The rules of the Department of Social Welfare don't allow us to see him quite yet, but we are so excited!

Because of the recent elections in Lesotho, we don't know how quickly the finalization of the adoption will go.  We are hoping everything will be complete by June or before! 

We'll try to keep you posted here!

Operation Christmas Child

This year several of Hope International Missions' pastors in Lesotho received Christmas gifts to distribute in their villages from Operation Christmas Child.  This great ministry of Samaritans Purse uses gifts packed in shoe boxes to teach under-privileged children about the love of God and His greatest gift to us, Jesus Christ.  After the gifts are given, interested children can continue in a 12-week discipleship program.  We are already seeing the results of these shoe box gifts in our churches.  We hope you enjoy the pictures and get inspired to get involved next year!

Finally! Another Newsletter

You may read our latest newsletter by clicking on this link.  If you would like to download it for printing, you can do that by clicking here.  We hope you enjoy it.  Thank you for your prayers and financial support!