Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The BANA project for Lesotho orphans

I’ve been encouraged recently, hearing about the BANA project for Lesotho orphans. The project is working in a non-traditional manner, using indigenous networks to reach the local orphans. Ladell Patterson is leading the project here in the U.S.A., soon to be in Lesotho, with a heart aflame for the cause. On a recent administrative visit, he and his son Allen found far more than they expected! Listen to his moving description of the event:

The rains had returned with a vengeance. Now we looked at the Lesotho lakes, ponds and gullies full and running…as if there had never been a shortage of rain. The entire country bloomed greener that I have ever seen it… Crops peaked through the formerly parched soil – a visible answer to prayer…

But the crop-giving rains turned the roads to mud! The car slipped and slid down to Tsikane's home and we wondered how on earth we would climb out the next day. Immediately we received word: You are to speak to the village chiefs and committees regarding the BANA project! So we prepared, with only two hours to spare.

Then the outpouring of hope captured our hearts. Some 800 people greeted us, surrounding us and crying their happy cry – dancing around, shaking and kissing our hands. Some of them had never met me and this was Allen's first group gathering to experience. What a greeting! I was not aware what was about to happen.

Tsikane introduced us and said a few words about our hearts and our vision. Allen spoke a few words of thanks and encouragement towards the project. As I walked forward to speak my heart suddenly leaped within me! I was so moved to see such a large delegation awaiting us. They had come from all 17 villages where we are working. A news reporter joined the crowd, along with the steering committee of the whole project. A representative from the chief’s office was there and many, many other people. Several cast iron pots wafted smoke in the background – promise of welcoming food being prepared. My heart threatened to beat out its socket: These people were really serious!

I gave greetings to them, and thanked all of them for their dedicated efforts. I recognized all those important people who were there. Then I told them of our entire vision, what we wanted to do in Lesotho, and they came unglued. They clapped, gave the happy cry and our hearts soared together, two diverse cultures meeting together with one common cause: to help the children of their villages who have no parents

Ladell goes on to tell how moving the event was – he could think of no past experience in Africa that equals it: a true convergence of calling and destiny, the pleasure of God. In his words, it seemed as if God is saying that “we must do all within our power to continue putting this project on the map.”

Ladell’s passion comes through, powerfully, in his words:

I want the entire world to become involved. These kids need all we can give them, and as a side effect to it, thousands of lives will be touched and possibly a nation will be saved from annihilation. There were Christians, Jehovah Witnesses, Catholics, Lesotho Evangelical Church, and many other groups. They were all aware that we were Christian. They did not seem to care. Lives are being touched and changed and they seemed to want to be a part of it. The BANA Project is certainly a success. However, there is much, much more to do and their needs will never go away. We are going to be there for each child as they grow up and take their place in Basotho life. There is education, training, preparation, and many things to do for the children and we intend to be there.

You can read more here and here, but it is true: God is calling this project into existence, with the purpose of saving many lives, and perhaps a nation. Ladell and the others have come to the kingdom “for such a time as this!”

People are seeing the vision. Generous donors have heard the calling on the night wind, and moved to contribute. Lives are being touched and healed. The word is going out, with hope and healing in its wings!

And, there is room for your heart and action, should you sense the call!

The BANA project of Lesotho is making a difference in our time, our world of desperate need. Stay tuned here for more to come…

God bless,


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