The Bellville Church of Christ sent 22 teenagers on a mission trip to Lesotho from 3rd to 9th January 2013. Dr Christa Gerber of the TAH Bellville branch was one of 10 adults who were fortunate to join the teenagers on the journey. The main mission of the trip was to upgrade facilities at a small day care centre in Maseru.
The group left Bellville on the morning of the 3rd of January and traveled by bus to Reddersburg, situated about 40 km south of Bloemfontein. They spent the night at the local orphanage, playing with the children who had not left for the school holidays. Sweets, treats and board games were given to the children.
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On the 4th of January the group reached Maseru and spent the next 3 days upgrading Purity Day Care Centre. This day care is owned and run by Ms Mapitso Khoanyana where she cares for, feeds and gives basic education to 65 children ranging from 1 to 5 years old. Many of the children are abused and neglected and many of them are orphans with no other means of nurturing. These children are taken care of for free. For those children who have working parents, a nominal fee is charged. The facilities include 2 small class rooms, with poor insulation from heat or cold, 2 swings to share between all the children and very poor ablution facilities consisting of 2 cement blocks placed over holes in the ground out in the open.
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This care group was in most need of the mission group’s time and resources. The insides of the classrooms were decoratively painted and blackboards put up to aid in insulation and to be used as educational tools. Carpets were provided as well as paraffin heaters for each classroom and additional tables and stationery were donated. On the playground 2 additional swings, a jungle gym and tires were put up and painted. Two structural toilets were put up, which were received with great joy and overwhelming gratitude by the owner and the children.
The mission group also helped with other projects in the area with a local youth organization called H.O.P.E. (Help Other People to Excel). They spent 2 days planting vines for two local farmers to start vineyards, one in Maseru itself and one in the rural mountain lands to the north. Another swing was also erected at a rural orphanage. The youth also attended a traditional funeral and bonded with Lesotho teenagers through evenings of Bible devotionals and singing.
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The trip taught the mission group many valuable lessons, which forever changed the way they look at life. Among those lessons were: Do not take anything for granted, whether it is as large as the privilege of living in a house with more than one room and a flushing toilet, or as small as the luxury of having drinkable water available on tap whenever needed. True joy can be seen in true gratitude. Something that you may consider as small and insignificant can make a very large change in someone else’s life. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
The trip was successful in making a positive change in the lives of everyone who benefited from the work done, including the lives of the missionaries who did the work. It would not have been possible without God’s providence and the sponsorship of many individuals and companies. Our sincere gratitude to TAH for generously contributing to this project.