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Planting Seeds

Written by Mark Behle
June 24, 2008

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

(Matthew 9:37-38)

The months of April and May were busy ones with weekends filled with sports.  The boys and girls basketball teams have done well with records of 8-3 and 9-4, respectively.  At a weekend tournament in Maseru involving schools from around the country the girls finished 3rd and received medals for their efforts.  They lost by just a point in their semifinal match.

In the league competition the girls finished 2nd in their group and just missed out qualifying for the national quarterfinals in August.  Although they are a better team than some of the other qualifiers, they are unfortunate to have the national power in girl's basketball in their group which usually prevents them from advancing beyond the group phase of the competition.  Meanwhile the boys won their group again and will be in the quarterfinals.  They have played well against the weaker teams but haven't fared too well against the tougher ones outside of their group.  

Both teams will be representing our district in another competition in August.  During May the various districts of the country hold competitions to crown the best teams in a variety of sports.  These are volleyball, football (soccer), basketball and netball.  Netball is played only by girls and is a bit like playing basketball without dribbling or a backboard.  Offensive and defensive players are limited to certain areas of the court.  Besides the two basketball teams, our football and boys volleyball teams will represent our district at the inter-district competition in August.

May was also a busy month for our Friends of God group.  Twice during the month I received calls from leaders of Scripture Union groups at other schools.  Both wanted to visit our group and asked that we help "revive" their groups. SU groups tend to have their ups and downs.  How active and alive a group is often depends upon the adult leader.  The leader may be a teacher who is a committed Christian and wants to be involved with the SU group. The leader may simply be someone appointed by the school principal without regard to their interest or commitment.  Or there may be no one looking after the group.  With so many schools and students in Lesotho, there are great opportunities for ministry, if only someone would say, "Here I am."

When we were visited by these other schools, I would find some of our students peering in through the windows to see what was happening inside.  I encouraged them to come in; some accepted, some did not but continued to look in on us.  What are the magic words to draw them in?  Obviously there is a hunger and interest and a longing to be part of a group that accepts them.

My years in Africa have taught me to be more patient, worry less and trust God more.  I don't worry about the size of our group.  My motto is, "Work with the people God gives you."  Over the years the number has ranged from less than 10 to more than 50.  Early this year there were only two or three students attending from the youngest students in Forms A and B.  And this was after I had visited their classrooms, handed out information and invited them to attend.  By the time of our last meeting earlier this month we had a dozen students from these Forms.  This brought to mind the following words of scripture:

This is what the kingdom of God is like.  A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.   (Mark 4:26-27)

We can plant seeds and nurture them, but the growth comes from God.  Some seeds germinate and others do not.  The "how" and the "why" we leave to God.  But as for us, in the words of Jesus, let us "…go and proclaim the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60).                                                                       

Yours in Christ,
Mark Behle

Mark Behle is a missionary with the Lesotho Evangelical Church.  He is a Mathematics teacher at Masitise High School, Lesotho.


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