Right now I’m in the middle of planning Oceans Ministries’ next trip to Lesotho, Africa, this coming January. I enjoy the planning and preparation phase of the trip, but have learned along the way to wait with anticipation of how God will impact each trip in unimaginable ways. Every time I have the privilege of leading a team I find myself surprised by God and the way He expands his kingdom through the hearts of His children.
I specifically remember a young woman from a previous trip sharing the ways she encountered her Abba, Father in Lesotho. During a walk around the Beautiful Gate campus her heart was broken over a young boy whose father had died the night before, leaving him an orphan. As she walked, thinking about the boy, she was surrounded by countless children who wanted nothing more than to be held and feel affection. Simply put, she saw more brokenness in a week than she had in her lifetime. Her response after she returned home astounded me. She said, “While I was in Africa the thought that kept going through my mind was this is Heaven, this is the closest I have ever been to Heaven.”
As I listened to her words, I was struck again with the mystery of our Father God’s kingdom. How is it that through the brokenness of loss, hunger, and injustice she felt the love and acceptance of God through endless hugs from orphan children? I think the answer is this: As her heart softened and became broken for these children, she was sensing a fulfillment of God’s call in Psalm 82:3 to: Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. You see, God does some of his best work through brokenness, he uses it to open our ears to hear His voice, and through this, His kingdom expands.
Kingdom expansion is what we are seeing through our trips to Lesotho. This upcoming trip will focus on discipleship and the working of the Holy Spirit through our partner ministries in Lesotho. As always, Beautiful Gate is a focal point of our trip, but this summer we were also introduced to a care center in Semongkong, a two-hour drive from Beautiful Gate. During our visit the hearts of our volunteers ached for the children who live there with very little food, clothing or care.
Oceans Ministries has decided to partner with this care center to assist in meeting their needs and bringing hope. In fact, it will also be one of the focal points for the January trip we are planning right now. A few weeks ago I Skyped with some business people who will be joining us on the trip. These individuals also visited the Semongkong care center this summer and Christ’s call to care for the poor and broken came alive for them. Their response to action was like hearing the voice of God saying: “we can’t let those children go hungry!”
These memories, combined with the plans and details of this upcoming trip leave me excited and hopeful for what God will do next through our continued connection in Lesotho. If you feel the pull of the heart-strings of our Father, let us know we would love for you to join us.
– Mike Verkaik
On another note, Climbing Prayer Mountain is now available as an ebook on the Kindle platform.
Until the end of September, you can purchase the Kindle version on Amazon for the promotional price of $4.99. After that, the price will revert to $9.99.