Blog written by Mike Verkaik:
In all my trips to Lesotho I have never experienced the country in the summer time. My exposure to the green grass on the hillsides and campus of Beautiful Gate has only come through snapshots and videos, because generally my trips have been during the winter months. In less than two weeks, that will change as eighteen of us will travel to Lesotho on Oceans Ministries’ Stepping into the River visionary trip. I look forward to dwelling with the Basotho people whom we serve through our partner ministries, but also to seeing the fields of green and wild flowers as we ascend into the mountains to the village of Semongkong. It will be an ride full of our Creator’s beauty.
Last week God un-expectantly began to once again prepare my heart for this trip as I assisted my son, with his homework. He was required to read a chapter from Engaging God’s World, written by Cornelius Plantinga Jr. As my son read these words my mind began reflecting on Lesotho and the upcoming trip we are taking.
Plantinga writes, “God made a paradise, and we can still find signs of it. Christians can still sing, “This is my Father’s World” and do it with gusto.
This is my Father’s world, and to my listen ears All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres…
It’s a good hymn, but it gives us only half the picture – only paradise, and not paradise lost. As matters stand, creation still declares the glory of God, but it also declares the tragedy of fallenness, of chaos … it still sings and rings, but it also groans. As Paul says, “the whole creation has been groaning” for release from its “bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21-22)”
As I reflected on the words my son read, thoughts went to our upcoming trip and the experiences of past visits to this small-impoverished country. Our Father is creating something incredibly beautiful in Lesotho. The Stepping into the River trip was birthed there through the realization that when we, “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed” (Psalm 82:3), our good Father begins to flow His river of life out of the brokenness. Paradise and paradise lost meet together there, as the river of God flows, bringing healing and restoration as He awakens His people.
We have seen His beauty and orchestration in Lesotho time and again. The Spirit flows out of our partner ministries as we dwell and experience life with the Basotho people. It is something we cannot duplicate, but with our fervent prayers we do anticipate as we seek Him and wait to see the fruit that He bears as we respond by stepping into the rushing waters that flow.
This is the first of four trips Oceans Ministries will lead to Lesotho this year. If you would like to receive some information on participating, please email Tim firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike at email@example.com. Our last scheduled trip for this year is the weeks of August 1 – August 14. There are still a few openings left if our Father is laying this on your heart.