This Christmas Break, I ventured into the most beautiful and desolate country I have ever seen. As a part of Dordt's AMOR program (A Mission OutReach), my team of four film students traveled with our professor to make a documentary in the country of Lesotho. Here's the highlights:
1.) Lesotho: The Kingdom in the Sky
Stunning vistas, rugged mountain peaks, brilliant sunsets, and billions of stars. The country is completely surrounded by South Africa and is one big mountain range. We spent most of our time above 10,000 feet. It's a spectacle that makes you feel incredibly small and realize how big and creative our God is.
2.) Shepherds: God's Cherished Children
The shepherds living in the mountains have been shunned and cast out of Basotho society. They live incredibly bleak and hopeless lives, herding sheep all day and eating only corn meal gruel. They were the subjects of our documentary because they need the Gospel desperately, and few people in Lesotho are doing anything to reach them.
Time and time again, we were reminded of the incredibly important roles shepherds play in the narrative of Scripture. Joseph was a shepherd when God sent him to save the land from famine. Moses was a shepherd when God called him to free Israel from the Egyptians. David was a shepherd when God chose him to be King of Israel. Shepherds were the first to take the Gospel to the area surrounding Bethlehem. And even Jesus calls Himself our Good Shepherd. These outcasts have been God's unique vessels of deliverance throughout history.
3.) Mark Eekhoff: The White Shepherd from the Mountains
Mark is a Dordt grad who now works with Africa Inland Mission as a "pastor of the shepherds" in Lesotho. He lives in the mountains with them – herding sheep, sleeping in their stone huts, and sharing God's love and message of the Gospel with them. He's the one who asked us to come make the documentary in the first place, and he was our guide the whole trip.
I have seen few people as passionate about being Christ's representative as Mark is. My favorite moment of the entire trip happened when a shepherd entered Mark's hut one night and asked to hear the Bible. We crowded around inside the hut with our flashlights as Mark read Psalm 23 in English and then translated it into Sasotho. God desperately loves these shepherds, and Mark desperately wants them to accept Him as their Savior and Lord.
4.) The Documentary: The Experience of a Lifetime
I feel so honored and grateful for the opportunity to do what I love to do (make movies) in such a fantastical place while working to advance Christ's Kingdom. This was only made available because of a place called Dordt.
Mark Eekhoff thought of us only because he graduated from Dordt. And Dordt made it a reality through its AMOR program. So thanks Dordt!
Well, if you've stuck with me this far, props to you! If you ever want your ear talked off, come ask me about Lesotho – I can provide many more stories!
Please pray for the Shepherds of Lesotho! They need the Gospel so desperately. And I really want to worship in heaven alongside these amazing people!