“I began noticing Mahlanya occasionally describing himself in conversation with other shepherds as ‘saved’.” Caleb Fetterhoff, a missionary living high in the Lesotho mountains, told us how one day Mahlanya, his shepherd friend, found one of his goats paralysed. Mahlanya had heard the story of Jesus and the paralysed man and asked Caleb to pray for the goat. After days of caring for the goat and praying, Mahlanya had found his goat walking and grazing again.
“He would even join in in my conversations and help me evangelise. When I asked Mahlanya when he started to put his trust in Jesus, his response was ‘when Jesus healed my baby goat’. Jesus was saving more than a little animal that day; he also was busy saving a young man’s heart.”
The shepherds are the most isolated and unreached group of people in Lesotho. Traditional ancestor worship and witchcraft still have a strong hold among them, as with many other people groups in Africa. In this edition of Connect we take a look at some of the particular challenges of deciding to follow Christ in this context, such as having access to the Bible in a language you understand and exclusion or pressure from your community – your source of identity, as well as the place many practical needs are met. But we also hear stories of how God is working to overcome these barriers to bring people, like Mahlanya, Botu (p.15) and Lokolem Gabriel (p.23), to recognise that the cost of following Christ is outweighed by the glorious riches of his grace. Pray with us that as God calls people to serve in Korr (p.18), Marsabit (p.24) and Kondoa (p.28), we’ll see new local believers with that same testimony of faith.
Lucy Cranston, Communications Assistant