Lectionary Selection: Exodus 1:8-2,10
Prayers for Lesotho:
God, in troubling times you raise up talented leaders, those set apart and trained to do your work, to confront oppression, to care for the hurting, to respond to crises. As a new group of pastors and lay leaders graduate from Morija Theological Seminary this August, we pray for them. We pray that, though they will not have a graduation ceremony, they still feel your blessing and the support of many. We pray for the uncertainty of where they will go. We pray for the countries they will one day serve (Lesotho and South Africa) that are suffering in this global pandemic. We pray that you equip these new leaders personally, professionally, and spiritually, for whatever lies ahead – prepare them to not only be able confront challenges, but also to be able to embrace beauty, to connect with church members, and to continue to grow and enjoy life in all its complexity. We pray for churches that are not open, for parishioners who still need community, and for a world that always needs your love.
Lord we pray a blessing and thanksgiving over these lives, and the lives that will be impacted because of them. We pray that they may make the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa stronger, more loving, and better living. We pray, as we always pray, for your presence.
Lesotho was the last country in Africa to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, on May 12th, and, as of May 25th, it still only has two confirmed cases. Interestingly, within those dates, Lesotho also saw its Prime Minister resign and be replaced, and the country (largely) emerged from a six-week lockdown, so it has been an eventful month, to say the least.Read more
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth has been assigned by Christ Himself to spread the all-important message of resurrection and hope in God in all circumstances and situations of life in which human beings find themselves including disasters and catastrophes. The fundamental mandate of the church is to stand by all those in tribulations and catastrophic circumstances. The mandate of the Church is to educate, counsel and reprimand the people. For this reason, when all human endeavours have failed, the Church of God becomes the last hope/trust of nations living in confusion, frustration and fears.Read more
January marked a year since we arrived in Lesotho. And as we’ve revisited our memories from the past year, one event, in particular, stands out: Leeto la Thapelo. Leeto la Thapelo, which literally means “Journey of Prayer,” is the biggest event of the year for the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA), our partner organization.Read more
To learn more about the work of Lesotho Evangelical Church, continue reading here.
In early 2020, work on the Mohlanapeng Health Center new Expectant Mothers Shelter in Lesotho, a project of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA), is well under way. The new Expectant Mothers’ Shelter is located in the mountainous region of Thaba-Tseka. The Mohlanapeng Health Center opened in 1945 and today serves over 14 villages, approximately 8,000 people.Read more
February, March, and April are special months for LECSA, as each of its 12 presbyteries host an annual meeting where parish leaders gather to reflect on the past year and discern the direction for their presbytery in the coming year. These meetings are a precursor to the annual synod, which is typically held at the end of April in the small town of Morija, the historic headquarters of the church.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 19:1-10
Prayers for Lesotho:
O God, we pray for rain here in Lesotho. I don’t know if you do or don’t work like that—causing rains to come, responding to our petitions for it. I’ve heard some people I love and respect who say you do, and some who say you don’t. But that doesn’t matter in this prayer. What matters is the rains are long past due, as they have been for the past several years, and it’s causing a heartbreaking dryness that is felt here in this beautiful land. And so we, with all your people and creation here, need to say this to you.
The same thing, O God, is true of prayers for justice, prayers for peace, prayers for prosperity. Khotso, Pula, Nala. (Peace, Rain, Prosperity; Lesotho’s Motto.) We need to say it, God. Saying it doesn’t absolve us of our role in any of it. Zacchaeus had to admit his injustice and the injustice of the system he benefited from, as well as his plan to make things right. But first, he had to climb the tree to see Jesus and get a sense of the salvation coming that way. So for us, O God, we simply say these things in this prayer as our way of climbing that tree: to get a glimpse of your salvation. What comes next—from you, from others, from us—I don’t know.
But I hope it’s rain.
Lectionary Selection: Luke 14:1, 7-14
Prayers for Lesotho:
O God, we pray for Lesotho, a country that holds both spectacular beauty and stark challenges within its borders.
We are grateful for the magnificence of the mountains and the alluring austerity of the lowlands in mid-winter. We thank you for the richness and goodness of life lived, from the chaotic hustle and bustle of marketplaces to the isolation and solitude of expansive grazing lands. We are grateful for your presence in us and among us.
We pray for farmers who painstakingly wait months for rain to fall so that they can plant their crops. We pray for herd boys, as young as four years old, who spend days alone with their sheep on high, sunny, windswept mountain slopes. We pray for pregnant women who travel from remote villages to reside among strangers at hospitals for weeks before their babies are born. We pray for men who leave their loved ones for months at a time to labor in the dangerous mines of South Africa. We pray for laborers who make the heavy choice to leave their beloved homeplaces in order to seek better economic opportunities in lowland cities. We pray for those who have too many funerals to attend on the same Saturday, who must choose which loved-one’s burial they witness.
In this time of political unrest, we pray for government leaders, that there will be an end to warring party factions, instability, and corruption. We pray for wise and honest leadership that will direct Lesotho toward justice, prosperity, and peace.
We pray for the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA) as it seeks to live out God’s call to minister to the poor and marginalized. Give them vision as they prepare for their annual Pilgrimage of Peace and Justice in October. Guide them in developing new ways of communicating their Strategic Plan. Watch over those involved in the implementation of church projects from the completion of church halls and pastors houses to the delivery of furniture and toilets to schools that need them, to the improvement of spaces for waiting mothers at health institutions.
We pray for justice, that all people are invited to the table, that all are welcomed and honored.
After a lifetime spent in either the Northern Hemisphere or the tropics it seems a little odd to be commemorating Ascension Day and Pentecost as temperatures are getting cold. (And even if winter isn’t technically quite here yet in Lesotho, nor in its full fury, things have definitely shifted from cool to cold; most conversations pretty quickly include the phrase “Hoa bata,” (it’s cold) and the acknowledgment that winter is here.)Read more
Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa