It was one afternoon in the August or September of 1997. I had recently gotten my very first passport. My cell phone rang and on the other end was Keir Tayler of “Hand in Hand Ministries”.
“Dave, your name is down on the list for a mission trip to Mozambique!”
“Okay, let me check my schedule and I’ll come back to you” I answered
His emphatic answer changed my life!
“No Dave, it’s too late for that now, your name’s on the list and I can’t change it!”
It was to be my very first mission trip. Having worked as a volunteer on the Operation Mobilisation ministry ship, M.V. Doulos for 2 weeks in 1995, this first mission trip seemed so long in coming.
On the way to Mozambique I was blessed to sit in the front of the bakkie with Keir, a man with an incredible Damascus road, mercenary to missionary testimony. But that’s another story.
I determined to glean as much information about missions in as short a time as possible as I could. After all, it was Keirs 100th mission trip, a milestone that I have still to get to! As we drove the 800-900 kms to Zongoene, Mozambique, I fired away the questions. And so began an exciting chapter of my life.
Now over 13 years and almost 60 trips to Lesotho later, we continue to run mission trips to Lesotho as a Christian based NGO called One Heart International Mission. We have done clothing drops, blanket drops, a lot of evangelism, feeding schemes and recently built a church building in the village of Sekoka.
In February 2010, we undertook an exciting clothing project. We had been contacted by Barbara van de Griend, founder of a Dutch foundation called Be One World. She was collecting clothing in the Netherlands for distribution in the mountains of Lesotho.
By February she had collected and packed 2000kgs of good 2nd hand clothing into boxes, put it all into a container and shipped it to South Africa. Due to current legislation the container couldn’t be opened in South Africa, but had to continue, sealed to Maseru. It was then sent on to Mokhotlong, one of the remotest towns in Southern Africa.
The name Mokhotlong means “Place of the bald Ibis” due to the abundance of these birds in the area. It is also referred to amongst the locals as “Camp” due to the presence of a Lesotho Defense Force base, situated a stones throw from the town.
Our team of 18 people left from Durban on the 22 February and arrived, excited and tired after the trip from Durban up Sani Pass and onto Mokhotlong. That evening we sorted the boxes of clothing and early the next morning we packed the 6 vehicles with clothing. The interpreters had now joined us and there were 22 people from 5 different nations represented, including 5 members from the 4X4 community.
The plan was to cover 3 different valleys, including the Senqu River valley, over the next 3 days.
We split into 3 teams and divided each valley into thirds. Each team then did their third so that each team did a short, a medium and a long trip over the 3 days. Each night we slept at a mission house in Mokhotlong. This enabled us to reload with clothing each morning.
The first day we went East along the Mateanong valley. The second day we went NE up the Mangaung valley and on the last day we drove North up to the village of Tlanyaku following the beautiful Senqu river towards its source.
During this time we clothed approximately 2500-3000 people. At each village we also shared the Gospel and prayed for the villagers.
On Friday the 26th February the whole team left and went back down Sani Pass, tired but with lots of photos and stories to tell.
If you would like to contribute either your time or 2nd hand clothing to this very worthwhile project. please contact Mr. Dave Robb of One heart International Mission. Drop dates are once again 24-27 February 2011, so there is still time to get involved.