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Words of Life

How you are changing hearts and introducing the concept of forgiveness to the Basotho people

 

MAF pilot Danny Hulls answered the emergency call from the remote village of Bobete, Lesotho, to transport a gunshot victim to the big hospital in Maseru. The flight manifest listed the man’s name as Tlohelang. But in fact, he gave one of five names depending on who was asking: one for his family, one for the hospital, one for the police, and so on. This man was no stranger to trouble.

His enemies had wanted revenge and fired at him as he tried to flee one of his many crimes, hitting him in the stomach and leaving him for dead … or so they thought. The man and his family, and many others in the mountains of Lesotho, appear to take this Old Testament law to heart:

an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind (Leviticus 24:20b, NLT).

While Tlohelang was being treated at the hospital, Sefiri, the MAF chaplain in Lesotho, visited him. A Basotho man himself who also grew up in the mountains, Sefiri understands the cycle of revenge that exists there.

Sefiri shared with the man about salvation and forgiveness and the idea of reconciliation. The man could not fathom forgiving those who had wronged him. It was a completely foreign concept to him, and many other Basotho people. He still wanted revenge. But Sefiri kept visiting and told him his own story of finding Christ and returning to his own mountain village to ask for forgiveness from his family.

Finally, a glimmer of light started to pierce the man’s heart.

“I want to build peace with everybody,” he told Sefiri, “but I don’t know how to start. I’m too far from that, and everybody is my enemy.”

“He thought he was too sinful, that nothing good could come of him,” explained Sefiri. “I told him, ‘As long as you’re still alive, it’s not too late!’ ”

Messengers of Peace

Tlohelang desires a different kind of life, one governed by peace. So he asked if Sefiri would come with him to his village to help him reconcile with the people he has wronged—as well as convince his family, who all want revenge, too!

Sefiri has a burden, an urgency even, to see this man’s life transformed by the power of Christ and to change the deadly pattern of revenge among the Basotho people. His heart aligns with the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians:

And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him (2 Cor. 5:18b, (TLB)

“People reject you, not knowing they need Christ. It’s something that we as Christians need to think about,” said Sefiri. “This man is willing to forgive. He’s willing to reconcile. He’s willing to take a step to make peace.”

At the time of this writing, it was still unknown whether this man was able to reconcile with his enemies. Because of you, MAF staff like Sefiri are able to introduce the radical concepts of Christ’s grace and forgiveness to the people of Lesotho.

Join us in praying for hearts mired in revenge to break free from the chains of darkness and find the light that leads to life (John 8:12, NLT).

 

 

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