Written by Mike Verkaik:
Oh Jehovah, you are my rock of ages, is the chorus we sang repeatedly at the CRC in Lesotho, Africa this past Sunday. As we sang and swayed to the lyrics of the song I was standing next to a Basotho brother who was helping me as I struggled to sing in Sesotho. Although I may not remember the Sesotho lyrics, the Sabbath day will be hard to forget. In my journal the next morning I wrote, “ Abba what an amazing Sabbath – Worship, Fellowship and Celebration.
Worshiping with the Basotho people always gives me incredible joy. Their celebration through the Holy Spirit of a Father who loves them in the midst of many difficult situations is contagious. However, what I hope is as equally contagious is their boldness and courage to respond when the Spirit moves in them. After the service we saw that Spirit led courage through a young Basotho woman. Approaching us on the sidewalk she expressed her gratitude for our choice to worship with her. Accompanying her words was a request to use her beautiful voice to sing a song of praise for us. As Amazing Grace was sung I stood in amazement of her voice, but also her willingness to say “yes” and respond to the Father’s voice. Gives new meaning to welcoming visitors and the proclamation of Psalm 33: 1 “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.”
Africa time is a phrase we use often when we are in Lesotho. In short, in Africa we have time. Time to dwell, to share, to listen and to pray. God brought our group together from four different states, but has bonded us together in three days. No place better to do it than under the canopies at Ooh – Lah – Lah. Don’t believe me? Come and join us sometime.
Our Sabbath continued at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new church at the Good Shepherd Center. It was our Father’s fulfillment of a prayer a group prayed over the land in 2014, “Abba do something with this land to bring You glory.” Our Father’s orchestration amazed us again as He had us back in Lesotho as they blessed it, and begin to build. As we listened to speaker after speaker we gazed at the crowd of the people from the villages, and were overcome with thanksgiving of what God had done through the prayers of His people.
Isaiah 58: 13- 14 says: “… if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, …”
As I remember this African Sabbath, I praise Him for how it brought me again to a true joy in worshiping , fellowshipping and celebrating our good, good Father.