Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Christmas Conference

This year Hope International Missions' churches in Lesotho held their annual Christmas conference out in one of the other districts instead of here in Maseru.  Because of the expense of transportation, often only two or three people from these outlying congregations can make it to a conference, so we decided to take the conference nearer to them at least once a year.  We went to the Ha Mokhachane congregation in the Berea District.

The practical needs of holding a conference far away were challenging.  I wish we would have taken a picture of the van and trailer!  A tent, benches, mattresses, cooking stove, big catering pots, as well as people's personal bed rolls--it was quite a load.  And with a load like that, there was no way we made the journey in the 1:53 minutes that Google suggests it might take!

The Ha Mokhachane congregations normally meetings in this tin church.
'Mrs Mathabang, the lay pastor of this congregation, graciously welcomed the pastors, several of their wives, and our family into her home.  Other church people welcomed guests into their homes, too.  Altogether around forty-five people came in from different congregations including a few from South Africa.

Mrs. Mathabang and Stephanie

The services were blessed by God's presence.  The Holy Spirit was present to deal with hearts, and there were several seekers.  We also enjoyed the different choirs and good Christian fellowship.  I especially enjoyed Rev. Liau Rampitsana's message on what Christians can learn from the hare, the rabbit, the jackal (like a coyote), the rock rabbit, the springbok, and the eagle!  Even though it was a hot afternoon service, I don't believe anyone was sleeping while he preached!  His sense of humor made it easier to except some painful truths from God's Word.

Rev. Liau Rampitsana 
The ladies did most of the cooking over open fires in black cast iron pots.  (I think they cooked the rice on the stove we took.)  For breakfast we had unsweetened donuts (called makoenya), homemade bread, and tea.  The suppers were "papa" (cornmeal mush), chicken, and cooked greens.  Christmas Sunday lunch was rice, chicken, and two kinds of salad.  

The ladies wanted to know if Stephanie could cook papa over the fire.
Christmas Dinner
The scenery from this village is spectacular.  It is just a few miles from high mountains in the central part of Lesotho.  The every changing shadows, mists, and storms made a majestic backdrop for worship.

Our children made some new friends.

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