Ministry of Hope Mission Trip, March 7
March 7, 2020
By Jodi Beckham
Our week began in Johannesburg where we toured the Apartheid museum before making the 4 hour drive to Lesotho. In line at the museum, I turned around to see a Gamecock shirt! I traveled almost 9000 miles to find a guy from Greenville, on vacation with his family in South Africa right behind me. The world really is a small place!
Our week in Maseru has been busy with work at the home of Ministry of Hope Lesotho (MOHL). Cleaning out and rebuilding the old chicken coop out back, purchasing and hanging new curtains and other supplies and replastering the front porch have been a few of our projects. But the most important thing we have accomplished was spending time with these amazing children and getting to know them, and their caretakers.
MOHL is a refuge for children in crisis. Many of the children who come to the home are malnourished, so nursing them back to health is the first step. The house is a tiny, 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house with 26 children living in it. Yet, the children are happy, loving, and very well cared for. The children come here for a variety of reasons. Most have lost their parents. Some have been given up by family who can’t care for them. However, they have a house overflowing with a new family who all look out and care for each other. Mamonyane Mohale (MOHL co-founder and Ex. Dir.) is quick to explain these children are not orphans. She will tell you an orphan is a child who has no one, and these children are surrounded by people who love and care for them.
Nancy Dimmock (Ministry of Hope Lesotho cofounder) is quite a patient teacher, as we all have had so many questions. We have learned a lot about MOHL, social welfare and history of Lesotho. We spent a day driving across Lesotho to Morija where we had a delicious lunch on a mountain at the Morija Guest Houses, a bnb owned by an old friend of Nancy’s. We then hiked up the mountain (not an easy climb) to a spot where we saw a fossilized dinosaur footprint of the Lesothosaurus. If you are looking for a BEAUTIFUL place to stay in Lesotho, I recommend the Morija Guest Houses for incredible views, lovely hospitality and a true local experience.
The time in the MOHL house has been so rich for us. The other day we had lunch with them at the house and as the children sat on a blanket on the porch eating, naturally some ate much faster than others. One little one I was watching wasn’t eating much of her food. A few of the other started to move in and try and take her food. One little boy, who has been quite a little naughty one at times, went over and took her bowl and moved it away from the others and spoon fed her the rest. My heart melted! These children look out and care for each other in such a loving way.
I came to this place with an extra suitcase filled with supplies to help. But what I have received is so rich, so valuable, so priceless. I tend to always want to help in tangible ways, to do something with my hands. But what the children and caretakers of Ministry of Hope need are our support. The hugs, laughter, and our presence brought them so much joy and encouragement. These children may be lacking in possessions and a spacious home, but what they have and what they have given me is so rich. I will be forever changed and grateful for this experience!