Stories of faith • Abiding fruitfulness in Lesotho

Stephan, Christiane and their children are missionaries who, in 2018, moved to a small mountain village in Lesotho. And your generous Faith Promise giving helps support them. 

The deep call they felt from the Lord was to share the love they had found in Him with the people of Lesotho. Abiding in Jesus, fully abandoned to Him, Stephan and Christiane trust Him to lead them in this pioneering mission. 

Over the past years, they have seen God come through in amazing ways and started seeing the fruit of their work. Initially, they planted a church where no Bible-based churches existed. Starting slowly, they saw more and more people giving their lives to Jesus over time, including the daughter of a witch doctor in a neighbouring village. 

They raise local leaders to facilitate meetings, lead discipleship and translate messages and discipleship books into the local dialect. The ministry is growing and includes Sunday services, weekly children’s ministry, weekly prayer meetings, home visits and discipleship groups. 

Working closely with Operation Mobilisation (OM), they also planted an OM missions base, which they lead. They have hosted international outreach teams, including teams from our church, and are even building a skills training centre.

Cell group

Stephan and Christiane believe the Gospel is practical and transforms all areas of life as we approach it from God’s perspective. Because of this, they have launched various community development and education initiatives. These include farming, sewing and carpentry training, all building trust and favour in the local community. 

God spoke to them during the pandemic to share hope through prayer and a food project. They visited families one by one, starting with basic conversations. After a while, the people began to open up and share their thoughts, sorrows, fears, happiness and dreams with them. They talked about culture, family, children, food, and faith and started talking about Jesus. They took the time to answer questions and pray together, journeying with people. Showing care and compassion helped create trust and openness. Their project would eventually distribute tons of food, assisting many unemployed families. 

In the process, they discovered a problem with one of the villages’ water supply. The taps and pipes had corroded, resulting in little to no water. People resorted to carrying buckets of water over long distances for their daily needs. The water collected from a river led to many people getting sick. God stirred Stephan and Christiane’s hearts, and they initiated an upgrade to the water system. It became a community project with the villagers helping to dig trenches and lay new pipes. Now, the village has access to clean spring water via four taps. 

Water system upgrade
Water system upgrade
Water system upgrade
Water system upgrade

Lesotho is not a land where Christianity is unknown, or the Bible is beyond reach, but the tribes in the mountain areas are still considered to be the least reached. Many of its people would claim some cultural attachment to the Gospel, yet it is mixed with ancestor worship and a general disconnect between belief and action. Most have heard the name “Jesus” but don’t know Jesus. And many spiritual leaders aggressively discourage ordinary people from reading God’s Word. 

Stephan and Christiane are often told when sharing the Gospel: “Oh, I didn’t know!”; “I didn’t know, I can pray to God directly, I don’t have to pay a priest, pastor or prophet to pray for me.”; “I didn’t know, God does not want rituals for ancestors, occult practices or mutis.” They have realised that people often want to follow Jesus, but they don’t know how, are misled, or are caught up in traditional beliefs. So, over the past two years, they have planted many discipleship groups in remote villages in Malefiloane and Butha-Buthe. 

“The deep call they felt from the Lord was to share the love they had found in Him with the people of Lesotho.”

They see the groups grow as people are discipled, and then they can form their own groups – disciples making disciples. There is some opposition from the community, tribal leaders and witch doctors, but even more people have been joining the groups through seeking God’s face and prayer. One Shepard who gave his life to Christ in 2020 struggled with no progress in his faith. He joined a discipleship group and is now leading it. He is so on fire that he regularly joins the OM team members when they evangelise in other villages. 

Stephan and Christiane want to see a discipleship group in every village, reaching the whole of Lesotho. They believe there is no other foundation for success except to let the Word of God bring light and truth into the culture. This year, they took the next step. They hosted a three-day church planting training in Masero, attended by 300 pastors from across Lesotho, where they learned easy-to-use practical strategies to start new churches by planting discipleship groups. Let’s trust God for much more fruit in these pastors’ lives and ministries! 

Thank you again for your incredible response during our recent Faith Promise season, which helps make stories like these possible. We are trusting for astonishing fruit in the months and years to come in your life and the lives of those your giving impacts!

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