Overwhelming Hope

August 1st, 2018 Posted by Immersion Internship – 2018

Outreach in Lesotho was incredible! I enjoyed learning from Godfrey & Elizabeth and about the heart of LXP Lesotho. It was really cool to meet new friends and be immersed in a totally new culture. It’s so encouraging to see how God is already working in the lives of people in a new place. Early in the week, I felt that God was placing on my heart a strong, overwhelming feeling of hope for the ministry in Butha-Buthe and the future of Lesotho as a whole. It was super different and extravagant compared to anything I’ve felt before. I trust that that God will continue to provide for and lead this ministry. LXP Lesotho has got it going on, and the path that God has put ahead for its people and those that it reaches is a path of righteousness.

My greatest joy: on our final day, we had a chance to get back into the village to give farewells to new friends we had met earlier in the week. My group made one additional stop at a new home. Another female intern and I had the opportunity to have some “girl time” with a high school girl who was currently struggling with her identity and finding people who she could talk to about her challenges in life. After sharing our own stories, she felt comfortable with opening up to us about her own. I believe that there is such power and freedom in sharing your story, and it was clear that this was her first time really ever doing so. I had the opportunity to speak life and God-given identity over her. I could see the beauty in this daughter and I wanted her to realize it also. She told me that nobody has ever told her those truths before. I feel like this was the moment I really came alive on this trip and felt that I was truly living out my passion: helping others realize their full potential and get to the point where they are flourishing, rooted in their identity. If this was the only thing that happened during my time in Lesotho, the only thing that I came 36 hours on a bus for, then it would have been worth it. No doubt. Praise the Lord. 

Aside from the extreme weather conditions, my greatest challenge was likely the language barrier. This was the first time I had been immersed in a culture that spoke a language with clicks and sounds that my American English tongue was absolutely incapable of making. As someone who enjoys learning the names of new friends and diving into a conversation, it was difficult to hear someone speak their name and not be able to repeat it back to them again. To get past this, I did my best to say his/her name until I finally came close (which often was a good laugh) and continue conversation as normal, even if it meant that the next day I’d have to practice their name again the same way. It was a good & fun challenge.

I learned a lot from how Godfrey & Elizabeth do ministry during our time with them. They emphasize ministry as a lifestyle versus a scheduled time commitment on a given day. They kept their yard and home open for anyone in the village to pop in and out as they wished throughout the day. Often times, the yard would be filled with kids running around playing football and life would carry on. This was super encouraging, as I’m currently trying to determine how I can best do ministry in my career as a physical therapist in the future. Maybe I don’t even need to integrate the two per se, but do my career as a PT and live a lifestyle of ministry.

Additionally, throughout the course of the internship, I have been learning about the power of vulnerability. This came up again during my time in the village on the last day. When I allowed myself to be vulnerable, it opened the door for the girl to also open up and share her story. This allowed for a deeper connection and conversation about God’s love for her.

I’m also learning how amazing it is that obedience to the Lord can transform lives. It was really cool to see how truly allowing Holy Spirit to lead never resulted in a failure but always a really good thing during our time in the village, whether it was healing or connecting with someone who so badly needed a friend. Trust is so big, and it was really cool to feel the Holy Spirit lead the way he did.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Fort – 2018 Immersion Intern