Looking toward the future…

In my last month in Lesotho, time flew by. The younger classes at the school finished their year on June 8, leaving for a break until the first of August. Grades 5, 6, and 7 are all meeting during the winter holidays in Lesotho. If the teachers feel like the students are far behind what they should be, they do not let the children have the two month break over winter. They’ll probably let the students have two weeks off at the end of July. I was able to see, then, the students from those classes a few times before I left. On Sunday, June 10, Kendelle and I gave a sermon and sang a few sesotho songs to celebrate the time we had spent and say good-bye to the Basotho congregation that we had learned to be a part of in spite of a massive language barrier. I’ll post the notes from that sermon in the next few days. We used some text from the book of Hosea as well as the parable of the prodigal son from the gospels. It was a wonderful discussion of God’s relentless grace.

On the following weekend, I went to Maseru with my host brothers to hang out with another guy who was working at the project and going to college classes in Maseru. then on the weekend of the 24th, my host family and I went to Malealea lodge, a retreat center about 3 hours from Maphutseng. We sat around reading books and playing cards, ate lots of food, played many games of pool, and slept a lot. We left on Friday morning and returned on Monday morning. It was also a wonderful time for conversation with my host mother. She is a wonderful mosotho woman. The final weekend of the month was full of finishing personal projects for the school and mission.

I finished building 3 book shelves, two of which were for the youngest two classes at the primary school and the other was for my host mom’s office at the mission. She needed shelves for all of the binders that she used to keep track of accounts at the mission. I also cut about 200 wood blocks for the kreshe in Durban that MCC partners with. The rest of the time was spent finishing little things and leaving behind updats on projects that I could not finish so that other people could work on them once I left. On the last Sunday of July, we had a big dinner with Kendelle and I’s host families. It was wonderful way to finish out the time in Lesotho. On Monday morning, we travelled to Maseru by taxi and were picked up by one of the GNT staff at the border post. We stayed at his house on Monday evening, seeing his farm as well as the research that he is doing for his doctorate.

On Tuesday, we went to Pietermaritzburg and worked at Project Gateway for the rest of the week, repairing beds in the homeless shelter. The shelter is using two old railroad cars for people to sleep in. They welded support bars onto the walls so that beds could be mounted to the walls and people could sleep in bunk beds. There’s not a lot of space, but there is enough to sleep for the evening and get out of the cold. We went to the mall last Saturday to do some shopping, drinking coffee, and watching a movie (Snow White and the Huntsman – kind of predictable but still pretty good). We relaxed all day Sunday and then started our spiritual retreat on Monday. We have been processing all that has been happening to us, through us, and around us in our host countries. It’s been crazy revisiting some of the events, feelings, hopes, fears, and so much more. Life in Lesotho was traumatic in many ways, but it was good even through the trauma. I will continue releasing some of my personal gleanings from this spiritual retreat.

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~ by randallkoehler on July 11, 2012.

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