Journey of Prayer

Journey of Prayer

“We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, as he commands us.” (Exodus 8:27)

“We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, as he commands us.” (Exodus 8:27)

The three-day journey began on Friday as Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC) members from all over Lesotho and part of South Africa began arriving in Morija for the first “Leeto la Thapelo” or “Journey of Prayer”.  This event began officially on Saturday morning, continued all day and through the night, and finally concluded at mid-afternoon on Sunday.  As no such “the entire church is invited” event had been held before, I didn’t really know what to expect.  But the dozen or so huge tents erected indicated expectations were high and by and large those expectations were either met or exceeded! 

Worship, prayer, communion, choirs, culture, celebration, offering, singing, fellowship, food, fundraising, prize giving… it was all wrapped into this festival which the LEC plans on making an annual event.  The expression “more than you could shake a stick at” certainly applied to the showcase of Basotho blankets on display on Saturday as people sported colors of the districts and presbyteries where they hailed from. 

From early afternoon until dusk, wave upon wave of presbyteries, church groups and institutions marched and paraded in praise to God bringing forth their contributions for a massive fundraising effort to support the church.  Months of preparation bore fruit as approximately $125,000 was raised. 

Although late April weather in Lesotho can be uncertain, we were blessed with fine weather which was cause for extra thanksgiving to God.  As one would expect from an event of this name, there were opportunities for people to come forward for prayers as the multitude of pastors present moved among those in need.

A powerful spirit of worship and singing featured in the evening, highlighted by a service of communion.  Despite the chill of the autumn night the chorus of voices rang out vibrantly until nearly dawn.  People commented on the presence of the Holy Spirit and the wondrous sound of the singing as it resounded against the mountain forming the backdrop to this worship experience.

After a few hours respite around dawn on Sunday morning, activities resumed with the color portrait changed to the traditional black and white of the LEC.

The LEC Synod Moderator, Rev. Tseliso Masemene, preached the sermon during morning worship.  Since taking office at the end of 2009, he has emphasized the need for a spirit of unity, both within the church and the nation as a whole.  His text was from 2 Timothy 2: 22-26.  Among other things, in the presence of the prime minister and his deputy (who, after recent events, are now in rival political parties) he exhorted the nation’s leaders to refrain from quarreling and encouraged all to pray and work for a peaceful atmosphere as Lesotho heads for parliamentary elections on the 26th of May.

Given the nature of political contests here and elsewhere in today’s world, Paul’s words to Timothy, “…and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…call on the Lord…don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments…be kind to everyone…gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance…and that they will come to their senses…”, are certainly ones that all of us who follow Christ would do well to remember amidst the rancor, political or otherwise, that often surrounds us one and all.  Please join with us here in Lesotho in offering your prayers to God as we near May 26th.

Yours in Christ,

Mark Behle

Mark Behle is a missionary with the Lesotho Evangelical Church. He is working to    identify development projects, assist the church in preparing project proposals and coordinating project implementation.